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The former Border’s Bookstore took on a brief second life on May 19 as a pop-up art and music galley – the backdrop for Downtown Evanston’s annual meeting. Downtown Evanston, formerly known as EvMark, is the association of business and property owners in the downtown area. They comprise a special taxing area, with the money going toward making the downtown area attractive for businesses and patrons.

Dan Kelch, retiring president of the board, welcomed new president Russ Abell. Executive Director Carolyn Dellutri praised Mr. Kelch’s dedication to Downtown Evanston.

Ms. Dellutri recounted the organization’s endeavors to attract and retain businesses, which include a Downtown Evanston gift card, a passport to businesses, a Girl-Whirl weekend in the spring and a planned music day in the fall to coincide with Backstage Evanston – a sampling of Evanston’s theatre and musical offerings. She also recapped a report from the Community Land Use and Economic Group, which suggested that the City should promote the arts in downtown Evanston, including some planned street performances.

Those without smart phones need not finish reading this story.

Since most phones are not simply phones any longer, Downtown Evanston has a phone app to allow businesses to advertise their specials on certain smart phones and track the results of those efforts. Students from Northwestern University designed the app – with the Northwestern student population in mind – so that merchants could advertise their specials directly.

The meeting adjourned forthwith to food, art and music.