Applications for Downtown Academy Class VI are now open, and will close Friday, August 25. Apply HERE.
The class roster will be posted the week of August 28!
What is Downtown Academy?
It is a collaborative program designed to connect key business, government, and community leaders with forward-thinking young professionals to explore downtown Fresno, how we got here, and where we’re headed next.
Downtown Academy is essentially a 9-month “class” on downtown Fresno that is offered to members of Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP). The class meets one evening each month, touring downtown projects and hearing from community leaders about obstacles and opportunities in our city center.
We visit cool places, eat great food, and make great connections.
What are the four pillars of Downtown Academy?
What is the timeline for Downtown Academy?
August – Application period and class list announced
September – Class 1: Fulton Street
October – Class 2: ArtHop
November – Class 3: Field Trip (Overnight Sat/Sun)
December – Class 4: Lofts/Mural District
January – Class 5: Brewery District
February – Class 6: South Stadium
March – Class 7: Chinatown/High Speed Rail
April – Class 8: Lowell & Yokomi Neighborhood
May – Class 9: City of Fresno
May – Graduation
*Classes take place from 6pm-9pm on the first Wednesday of each month, except October and November classes (ArtHop, and overnight field trip).
Additional time may be required to complete the class project.
Is there a fee?
Yes. $350 pays for your dinner at each of the 9 classes, as well as travel and lodging for the overnight field trip. There are no refunds under any circumstances.
When is the fee due?
You can pay in full $350 (preferred) by the first class (9/6), or in installments: $175 due 9/6 + $175 due 12/6.
Checks can be made payable to Downtown Fresno Partnership or pay online at www.downtownfresno.org/DTA
Are there refunds?
No. Never. Not for any reason. Your class fees go towards food, travel, admissions, and lodging throughout the entire 9-month program. We pay many of these expenses up front and we are charged whether you are there or not. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds.
Do I have to attend all 9 classes?
Yes. By agreeing to participate, we expect that you will be present for all 9 classes. If you cannot be present on the dates listed above, you should consider leaving that spot for someone else who can commit. FLYP, Downtown Fresno Partnership, and your classmates expect that you will fully commit to attending all class days from start to finish. If you have a conflict, please contact Downtown Fresno Partnership to discuss your options.
Please note that attendance at the field trip is absolutely required. No exceptions.
Failure to attend the field trip will result in immediate forfeiture of your space in the class.
You will not receive a refund.
What’s in it for me?
Downtown Academy is a great opportunity for FLYP members to become more involved in and informed about the downtown community.
You’ll hear incredible stories from local business owners, explore spaces you didn’t know existed, and view the city from the tallest buildings. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of city planning, placemaking, and urban design. You’ll create a tight network with other young professionals who are committed to Fresno’s future, dine at a variety of downtown restaurants, and volunteer your time with businesses that directly impact downtown’s revitalization. The class will also be given an unforgettable graduation party, that will highlight each student individually for their participation in the program. And finally, each graduate will be considered Downtown Fresno Boosters after graduation!
What should I expect on a typical class day?
Plenty of walking, learning, and fun! At 6 pm, we depart the designated meeting spot and spend the next two(ish) hours visiting downtown sites: theaters, historic buildings, offices, tunnels, galleries, lofts, and more. At each stop we talk with business owners, community leaders, artists, visionaries, executives, and residents about their unique perspective of downtown Fresno. We start each evening with dinner and finish with a group discussion of what we’ve learned. Class takes place rain or shine, hot or cold and we walk a lot. We will do our best to make accommodations for any class members with unique physical or health needs.
What can I expect on the field trip?
This is an overnight trip. We leave early Saturday by bus and spend the day touring various downtowns followed by a group discussion over dinner. We spend the night in a hotel, and then continue touring Sunday morning. We wrap up with lunch and then it’s back on the bus to Fresno. We walk a lot. Class members are paired two per room, whether you know them or not. All class members are required to ride the bus to and from our destination cities. The bus trip is an unique experience where class members really get to know one another, build relationships, and become friends! Your class fee pays for travel, lodging, and Friday dinner. Breakfast and lunches are on your own.
How do I apply?
Applications for Class 6 are now open until Friday, August 25.
I have more questions. Who can I talk to?
Bianca Camara at the Downtown Fresno Partnership will be happy to answer any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtown Academy was established by Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) in 2010 to answer the question: How do we make downtown Fresno a vibrant place to live and work? Four classes have now completed Downtown Academy resulting in amazing discussions and discoveries, transformational class projects, and producing some of our city’s best and most influential advocates. This program showcases the very best of FLYP’s guiding principals to LEAD, SERVE, CONNECT and was referred to as “one of the best programs to come out of the revitalization movement” by Mayor Swearengin (3.3.2016).