Downtown Evanston, the marketing and business association for the downtown area, held its annual meeting and party on Sherman Avenue on May 17 in the middle of the downtown business district.

As last year, the organization rented space in a vacant storefront and invited local artists to show their works in a one-night pop-up show.

The new board members are Lynn Robinson Phillips, Jeremy Lyons, Andrew McDonald, Ebony Joy and Elaine-Kemna Irish. Retiring board members are Barbara Klein, Dino Robinson, Lloyd Allison and Rick Braunstein.

Executive Director Carolyn Dellutri gave some highlight of the past year and a look at upcoming events. The Downtown Evanston gift card program continues, with 550 cards of varying denominations sold so far this year, and 2,400 since the program began two years ago.

The CMS (content management systems) Expo took place in downtown Evanston for the fourth year, she said. The partnership with Northwestern University continues, and again this fall downtown restaurants will offer new and returning students a taste of Evanston with Big Bite Night.

New this summer will be a music festival, Make Music Chicago on June 21 and a technology fair, the Mini Makers Faire on Aug. 4 and 5.

The annual tree lighting ceremony in Fountain Square will be even earlier this year – on Friday, Nov. 16. It will be held in conjunction with a holiday open house, with downtown stores open late, decorated windows and strolling carolers. After the meeting, board members and guests of Downtown Evanston enjoyed food from local restaurants and shopped at the pop-up art market that showcased paintings, ceramics and jewelry from local artists.