Delray Beach CRA Launches Awareness Campaign to Inform, Educate Public

The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is kicking off a new public outreach campaign with CRA Awareness Month in March 2012. A series of activities and events have been planned to raise awareness of the CRA's mission and initiatives.

Delray Beach, FL, March 07, 2012 --( March is “CRA Awareness Month” in Delray Beach. Throughout the month, staff and board members of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will interact with the public in an effort to increase awareness of the agency and its initiatives.

“Some people think of us as an affordable housing organization, while other people think of us as a resource for business grants,” said CRA Marketing & Grants Manager Elizabeth Burrows. “Still others think of us as a funding source for nonprofit organizations. And the fact is, the CRA is all of those things and much more.”

CRA Awareness Month is the start of a long-term outreach campaign to increase public understanding of the CRA and its role in the city. A key component of the campaign: encouraging the public to interact and communicate directly with CRA staff and board members.

“We want people to know who we are and what we’re doing to make Delray Beach a better place,” Burrows said.

A series of fun events and educational activities will take place throughout CRA Awareness Month, from formal presentations to fun family-friendly events. Each one is targeted to reach a particular segment of CRA stakeholders, to educate residents, businesses and even City staff about the CRA’s various initiatives.

For example, many residents and visitors attend the Delray GreenMarket on Saturday mornings, but few realize that is a CRA project. On Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., CRA board and staff members will man a booth at the market to help raise awareness. The market is located along SE 4th Avenue, just south of Atlantic Avenue.

The agency is also hosting its first Social Media MashUp on Friday, March 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at Crane’s Beach House, 82 Gleason Street, where CRA Vice Chair Cathy Balestriere works as the operations manager. This free networking event will offer local merchants and businesspeople practical social media marketing strategies provided by the Realtime Marketing Group, as well as free appetizers and two-for-one drink specials. The CRA will also illustrate how it uses social media to connect with businesses and residents.

Awareness Month will culminate on Friday, March 30 with the CRA Block Party, a family-friendly celebration from 5 to 9p.m. at the West Atlantic Public Plaza (2 SW 5th Avenue). This free event, presented by the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative, will give the public a chance to meet the CRA’s community partners while enjoying food, local youth performances, a gospel choir competition, and live music.

CRA Executive Director Diane Colonna emphasizes the need for public outreach campaigns. “It’s important for people to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and what the results of the City’s and the CRA’s redevelopment initiatives have been,” she said.

“Many people, especially those who are new to the area, do not realize how far downtown Delray has come in the past two decades, and how much effort has gone into its revitalization,” Colonna said. “It’s a great story, and we love to share it.”

For more information about CRA Awareness Month, email Elizabeth Burrows at or call the CRA office at (561) 276-8640. A complete schedule of events is listed at, and event specific information is also available on the CRA’s Facebook page, at

Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Elizabeth Burrows