Madison Names Movies in the Park After Sina Davis
The City of Madison has named their popular Movies in the Park Program in honor of long time neighborhood organizer and community advocate, Sina Davis.
Over the past several years, the City of Madison Parks Division has developed Movies in the Park in concert with the City’s Neighborhood Resource Teams (NRTs). Ms. Davis, from the Allied Drive Neighborhood, however, provided the spark and was the main community driver behind the creation and development of the program.
Describing her organizing efforts she once said, “I’ve always wanted to be an asset to my community. I ran the streets a lot, so I figured I could take some of that energy and do it in a positive way. I want to let others know that you can build your community. Where you live is all yours and you can make things happen.”
Ms. Davis piloted many community projects in the Allied Drive neighborhood. She was a founder of the Allied Community Cooperative, served on the board of the Allied Wellness Center, helped start a local chapter of Mothers in the Neighborhood, ran the Welcomers Program, and was actively involved with the Allied NRT.
Given Ms. Davis’s extraordinary commitment to building community and her special involvement with Movies in the Park, the City has named the series the Sina Davis Movies in the Park Program as a tribute to her.
Ms. Davis is currently in hospice. Even so, she has remained focused on the movies, checking to make sure they were scheduled so they would continue to bring people together.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway wrote a letter of appreciation to Ms. Davis. In it, the Mayor recognized her perseverance, tenacity, concern and work for the residents of Madison, particularly youth, adults and families of color. In the Mayor’s words to Ms. Davis she says, “You have been a caring and fierce advocate for people who have no voice for many years, and I admire and appreciate everything you have done for this City. It is an honor to name this program after you.”
It was Ms. Davis’s vision for movie nights in Allied that ultimately prompted their spread to areas across Madison, specifically to neighborhoods with NRTs. As a result, 14 movies – mostly new releases – will be shown in the nine neighborhoods with NRTs this summer. Last year, over 1,000 residents watched movies and enjoyed summer evenings in their local parks with their neighbors.
Ms. Davis’s children Angel and Qwashi stated, “Our mom realized early that she wanted to make a difference in the community and went into action by helping the homeless find housing, providing help for those fighting addictions, and showing individuals how they could succeed in life. She truly believes in giving her time because there are so many in need. Our mother's life work in the community has cast an incredible footprint in the town of Madison. A reporter once asked her to describe her life today. She replied, “Blessed." Thank you for naming the Movies in the Park in her honor.”
Katy Farrens, another local leader in Allied, said, “Sina is such an inspiration to the Allied Drive Neighborhood and has worked tirelessly to improve Allied in so many ways; through the Mothers in the Neighborhood Program or her drive to get the movie nights started here. Movies in the Park is now a centerpiece of Allied bringing out the whole community for a night of fun. Even in Sina's illness she has made sure that preparations are being made for our 2019 Movies in the Park program.”
The schedule for the 2019 Sina Davis Movies in the Park Program is available on the Parks Division’s website: https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/events/movies/
NRTs work as a link between the City and the community. The Neighborhood Resource Program’s mission is to promote racial equity and improve the quality of life for Madison residents by understanding and elevating the needs, issues, and priorities of people living in areas with NRTs. The teams – largely made up of City staff – operate in neighborhoods with high concentrations of residents living with lower incomes who are renting and often people of color; communities largely disconnected from systems of power. NRTs have worked with residents and other stakeholders to make numerous neighborhood improvements and add community facilities, programming and other amenities.
- Tariq Saqqaf-Neighborhood Resource Team Coordinator, 608-886-8166