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Unseen Heroes
Maritza and Roshaun Davis return to Sacramento State where they first met and launched what would become Unseen Heroes. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)
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Powering Up: Unseen Heroes turn blight into might with The Market at Power Inn

Despite their name, the duo behind some of Sacramento’s biggest events is anything but “unseen.”

Maritza and Roshaun Davis are the founders of Unseen Heroes, an events marketing company responsible for some of the capital regions’ most dynamic, popular and energetic community experiences.

This month they launch their latest venture, The Market at Power Inn, a market that combines their signature blends of local food, beer, art, music – and even featuring a WiFi-enabled outdoor “boardroom” –all designed to celebrate the industrial epicenter it calls home.

“The Power Inn Alliance is going through a major revamp right now, and they’re really trying to hone in on what the Power Inn District is,” says Roshaun Davis. “And it’s one of the largest places for manufacturing output in the region, and so that’s what they wanted to embrace.”

Since 2008, Unseen Heroes has partnered with local community organizations, artists, chefs, farmers, designers and creatives to create unique “third spaces” in some of the region’s most historically maligned neighborhoods. Their latest venture is the newest development in a year that has seen a flurry of them for the Sacramento State alumni:

  • Gather: Oak Park, the company’s wildly popular monthly summer block party, is adding a second location in Rocklin.
  • The Midtown Farmers Market, which the Heroes have managed since March 2015, is expanding an additional block to accommodate up to 100 vendors and a lengthy vendor waiting list.
  • Display: California, the team’s brick-and-mortar pop-up shop in Oak Park that is reinvented every couple months, has been everything from a kombucha bar to a boutique bodega in the past year.
  • GOOD: Street Food + Design Market, a monthly mash-up of farmers, artisans and food trucks in Del Paso Heights.

It’s a small wonder the Davises have time for much else.

Oh, and they just had their third child.

“We’re crazy, dude,” says Davis, laughing.

Just crazy enough to make it all work. In the past eight years, Unseen Heroes has been one of the region’s most influential community organizations, helping launch events and businesses big and small, including managing Region Rising, last year’s landmark conference to map the future of Sacramento.

But the real common thread throughout the team’s expansive portfolio is their personal mission: to celebrate Sacramento and galvanize local pride by extolling the unique individuals, businesses and strengths that compose the region’s diverse and often-overlooked neighborhoods.

“It’s a connection point for people to have and explore and learn more about what’s going on in the region and their district, and to have this place that they’re proud of,” Davis says. “In order for the city to be great, the neighborhoods have to be great. We’re looking at it from that spectrum and doing these little activations in all of these areas because it is what makes the city great. What makes people proud of the city is being able to be proud of where you live.”

The Market at Power Inn continues the mission started by Unseen Heroes on campus at Sacramento State nearly a decade ago, when Roshaun and Maritza met in their first communications studies class together at Sacramento State. Maritza offered to do PR for Roshaun’s up-and-coming local hip-hop group, Righteous Movement, and from that initial connection grew a company – and a family – that has helped shape the cultural identity of the capital region ever since.

Located at the corner of Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn Road and running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through October, The Market at Power Inn is the latest example of how Unseen Heroes are transforming some of the city’s undervalued spaces.

And by this point in their careers, it comes as no surprise that they can take a completely empty field – a “blank canvas” to Davis – and turn it into something of which residents can be proud, even if it is for just a few hours a week.

Photo by Jessica Vernone/Sacramento State

 

About the author

John Blomster

John Blomster

John Blomster is a lifelong Sacramentan and graduate of San Francisco State University’s School of Journalism. He serves as a copywriter in the Office of Public Affairs for California State University, Sacramento and is one of the lead writers of the Made at Sac State campaign. He has contributed to a number of regional print and web publications in the Bay Area and Capital Region, most recently Comstocks Magazine and Sacramento Press. John is also an avid musician who has been active in the Sacramento music scene for more than a decade.

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