Does it mean we don’t need or want “other” business? Heck, no! Eau Gallie was a real, functioning city beginning in 1860, established by all kinds of interesting people who did amazing things. In 1969, multiple townships surrounding Melbourne were considered for annexation, but only Eau Gallie (overwhelmingly) voted to join Melbourne. The focus shifted away from Eau Gallie and the village faltered a bit but with the hardcore group of residents and merchants who had vision sought a Florida Main Street designation, with its four point approach, as their way to rebuild. Long proven to be strategies for communities to rebuild, the EGAD Main Street program was born in 2010.

Why the term “arts district?” Largely because the hardcore group who started it all were artists or designers or engaged in some art form or another. It is a huge part of our identity and we celebrate “the art of” many things — art, architecture, beer, code, coffee, engineering, food, framing, galleries, music, photography, theater, entrepreneurs and more. We always were and will always strive to be the creative hub of Brevard County. Just for good measure, throw in the infrastructure of a classic Florida town–a town square with a bandshell, a civic center, library with a pier, a university owned art museum, an historic property, and to make it interesting, a state road, a river and a railroad.

Founders’ Day was a community celebration managed by the Eau Gallie Rotary back in the 1900’s. It died off in the 60’s and EGAD decided to revive it as its signature event as a community main street, now in partnership again with the Eau Gallie Rotary. We celebrate not only our town mothers and fathers, but also that hardcore group who formed the arts district. Coming from the big city, that kind of involvement is hard to find, but EGAD welcomes everyone to jump in and co-create this dynamic little place. They are (alphabetically):

Ace Hardware (George Alexander), Angel Gray Photography, Art & Antique Studio (Terese Ferguson), Brevard Symphony Orchestra (Fran DeLisle), Richard Bonas, CPA, Prill Clendinen, Rick and Nancy Dillen, Tom Powers, Eau Gallie Florist (Link & Alexis Johnsten), Fifth Avenue Art Gallery (Mark Mittleman), Flowers Turf and Pest Management, Foosaner Art Museum/FIT, Valerie Karas, Joan’s Perfect Pies, The Horn Section (Scott Apelgren), Hot Air Network Group (Steve Gould), McBride Marketing Group (Mike McBride), and Mathers’ Cake Shop (Marci Mathers Nail). Some of these folks did the paperwork, but everyone rowed the boat forward once the designation was in place and they have perfect membership attendance for the first five years.

As a driveby looky loo or casual pedestrian, you might know see what’s going on, but EGAD is a place to experiment, challenge yourself, discuss ideas (more coming on that), step outside of your little box and start something. Open a door and start a dialogue. You might be surprised what you find or who you meet and where it takes you, if you’re open to it.