In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a wellness uprising of sorts in the Downtown community. Spurred by businesses such as the Reset Project, which holds monthly health events, and programs at spots such as plant-based restaurant VegeNation, a collaboration between those with their fingers on the healthy pulses of the community was naturally in the cards.
That new collaboration is known as the Downtown Wellness Council.
It’s the brainchild of VegeNation creative director and With Brave Company founder, Kelly Bennett, Sister House Collective founder Ashley Ayala, and UNLV Sustainability Council member Monica Garcia. They were all behind the Create Good Things Workshop series at VegeNation along with Three Square’s childhood nutrition coordinator, Ashley Marie Rivera, and prenatal yoga instructor/co-founder of InTension, Brittani Rael.
“We saw the importance of having a group advocate for more wellness and sustainability practices for small businesses,” Bennett explains.
The Council’s vision is simple: It aims to strengthen the burgeoning wellness community in Downtown Las Vegas. And through the curation of pop-up events, education and the creation of conscious products, the Council is set to make its vision a reality.
It made its debut on March 18. The Arts Factory played host to the Council’s Preview Party, which attracted more than 200 people from around the Valley and featured a variety of local businesses. The event kicked off with an hour-long yoga set and then segued into a party complete with local vendors ranging from jewelers to artists including Recycled Propaganda, wellness practitioners such as Reiki master teacher Jen Simons, coffee courtesy of Makers & Finders, vegan sushi from VegeNation and organic, non-GMO bread from Bread for the People.
But, this First Friday (which moved to April 14 due to last week’s wind advisory) is when the general public will get its first glimpse of the careful curation and impact the Downtown Wellness Council aims to have. Its biggest project to date, the Council is curating the monthly art walk’s first-ever Wellness Village.
According to Bennett, the Village is offering an experience that connects small businesses that sell consciously-crafted goods to a local market that values their quality, morals and ethics. The Village features pop-up shops from local small businesses, as well as donation-based Reiki and henna, live DJ sets, and yoga on the lawn by Modo Yoga.
From there, you can expect to see the Council establish a firm footing in the Downtown scene. Currently, the team is planning pop-up yoga classes with InTension, workshops at Ayala’s Sister House Collective, a community garden project in the Arts District, pop-up events at UNLV and more.
According to Bennett, the Council also plans on sharing other Downtown wellness happenings and creating a membership program for small businesses and people interested in joining.
“We want to make it easier to find like-minded, conscious people in Las Vegas and create a sustainable model to strengthen the conscious-consumer market and community,” she says.