We love historic downtowns!

Enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of historic downtown business districts in Missouri.

Public and Private INVESTMENT

$1000000000

Net new businesses

834

Net New jobs

4109

volunteer hours

444113

Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.

 

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Logan Breer

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 selected communities through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant was awarded to recipients in March of 2022. Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc., (HLDI) which is an accredited Main Street program, was awarded one of the grants. This grant allowed them to focus on their historic assets and market themselves to prospective visitors to increase heritage tourism in their economy.


Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. is located in Liberty, Missouri which is a community that could be accurately described as having a strong sense of history. Liberty was incorporated in 1829, making it the second oldest incorporated town west of the Mississippi River. It has seen several notable historic events such as the first daylight, peacetime bank robbery and is home to five local historic districts as well as seven districts and seven individual properties on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, Liberty boasts a downtown historic Square and many notable historic sites of interest in the surrounding area. Additionally, it was designated by the White House as a Preserving America community in 2007, as a way to encourage and support the preservation and promotion of America’s cultural and natural heritage.


The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant provided the funds for Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. to focus on promoting two of their many historic assets which experienced decline in visitors due to the pandemic. The first is the Clay County Museum that hosts rotating galleries of various historical artifacts relating to Clay County, Missouri as a way to invite people to honor the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. Additionally, the Jessie James Bank Museum showcases the bank where the first daylight, peacetime bank robbery took place in 1866. The museum immerses guest in the story of the robbery with the help of period furnishings throughout.


Each museum had promotional marketing campaigns launched over the summer of 2022 by Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. and its project partners to bring awareness and increase foot traffic to them and the district, primarily featuring photographs of the museums, points of interest, and information about each museum. Traditional and modern promotion channels distributed information to draw people to these sites and inviting them to stay and linger.

 

  


Brochures were stocked at each museum including HDLI brochures featuring a map of sites to visit, shops, and restaurants. Additional educational brochures were also included for other local attractions like the African American Legacy, Sculpture Walking Tour, and Historical Walking Tour. On social media, content focused on promoting local day-trippers and overnight stays.

 

 

 

Both museums reported an increase in visitors and local businesses. Restaurants and different specialty shops also indicated that the traffic generated from the promotion of the museums increased people who came into their stores.  You would be surprised that heritage tourism is not just for in-state adult visitors, but it also interests kids and out-of-state visitors who came by the museums to learn about the interesting tales and events that happened in Missouri’s past.

 

  

 

Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Progress is a big deal in Main Street from the first façade renovation and new businesses opening downtown to being recognized for your local Main Street organization’s preservation-based economic development efforts. This year, two local Main Street organizations have been recognized for their accomplishments in implementing the Main Street Approach™ through progressing to the next tier in the Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) tier system. MMSC is proud to recognize Downtown Joplin Alliance and Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization for their achievement of Accredited and Associate tier placement respectively.

 

The Downtown Joplin Alliance achieved national and state accreditation from both Main Street America (MSA) and MMSC. Accreditation is the highest level a Main Street program can achieve and indicates that Downtown Joplin Alliance is exceeding in implementing the Main Street criteria impacting their local district in big ways. The National and State designation of accreditation came after Norma Ramirez de Miess, MSA, and Keith Winge, MMSC, completed an on-site review of the organization’s implementation of the Main Street criteria. Reaching this benchmark does not mean revitalization ends as it is equally important to maintain the accreditation status once earned.

 

In 2021, Downtown Joplin Alliance, through their program’s strong historic preservation ethic, active Board of Directors and committees, as well as other technical aspects that help the program function at a high-level, saw public and private investment of over $45 million in the historic district from 36 projects. The district saw a net gain of 19 new business and 54 new jobs. Additionally, volunteers for Downtown Joplin Alliance donated 1,425 hours of their time. Downtown Joplin Alliance celebrated this accomplishment with a cake from the City of Joplin and said,


“This would not have been reached without our staff, our board, our committee members, our other fabulous volunteers, and all of our fantastic partners, such as Joplin City Government, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Connect2Culture amongst many others.”

 

   


The Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization was selected as a new Associate tiered Main Street program with Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) following a program review by MMSC.  Associate designation is recognized by MMSC as a way to distinguish communities that are working toward being recognized as a national and state Accredited Main Street program.  As a stepping stone on the path to full accreditation, this benchmark highlights communities that are seeing an increase in the economic value of the downtown and is making progress to achieve an active and vibrant downtown revitalization organization.

  

During 2021, Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization continued to implement historic preservation-based economic development in uptown Jackson that cultivated $461,382 total investment in downtown, 22 net new jobs, and 2,272 volunteer hours. Their impact has created a place for people to gather, live, and work in uptown Jackson

 

You can read the press releases written by MMSC staff through the link below:

www.momainstreet.org/press-releases/

 

The Main Street Approach™ is a time-tested economic development and historic preservation-based approach utilized successfully over the past 40+ years by over 40 coordinating programs and 1,200 neighborhoods and communities nationally. Missouri Main Street Connection’s program’s purpose is to implement this approach in creating vibrant communities across the state. The current Main Street criteria that is used to gauge the effectiveness of how a Main Street Program in implementing the Main Street Approach™ is based on over 40 years of successful downtown revitalization and demonstrates that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement, creates a place people will want to live, work and invest, and makes our state economically stronger. The goal of the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Main Street Approach™.

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Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 selected communities through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The grant helped each community implement a project and market itself to prospective visitors. These projects added heritage tourism to the economies in each community through a range of projects from murals to walking tours to new monuments and building plaques that all highlight each respective community’s history for residents and visitors. One of the Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant was awarded to Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) in March of 2022 with the project completed in September of 2022.


Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) is a newer Main Street community in the Community Empowerment Grant program but their history and local significance runs deep. From being the lifelong residence of the 46th Governor of Missouri, Warren E. Hearnes, who was the first person in Missouri history to serve in all three branches of the state government to their high school basketball team’s, the Bluejay, twelve state championship titles, the community has a variety of heritage and history to celebrate. It is this deep, rich history that would be on display with a 24’ mural in a welcoming pocket park following the transformation of an overgrown vacant lot left after a building was removed.  

 

Charleston Revitalization Movement’s (CHARM) overall project is broken up into two phases with phase one being the mural and intial development of the pocket park. During phase one, the first step was to address the condition of the space for the pocket park by removing a tree and overgrown brush and poison ivy.

  

      


After clearing the lot, the concrete pad of the old building was exposed allowing for CHARM to preserve it with safety modifications for its new use. As the work was being done on this project CHARM said,


“On more than one occasion, visitors to the area stopped by to see what was taking place as well as offer encouraging words of how much they enjoy visiting our town and how beautiful the architecture and the atmosphere is.”


Next, a 10’ concrete ramp was installed for ADA accessibility and benches placed for locals and visitors to enjoy. The mural was then installed in the park. It is a digitized collage of artwork from three local artist that is printed on weatherproof materials depicting the Mississippi County Courthouse surrounded by beautiful dogwoods and azaleas, the Old Train Depot, a farming scene, a tribute to Charleston High School’s Bluejay Basketball team, and a portrait of Governor Warren E. Hearnes. Lastly, CHARM brought in planters and botanicals to spruce up and soften the space with nature and greenery.

  


 

The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant has mobilized Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) into action to address a void in their community and by doing so created the perfect environment for people to come together as CHARM wrote in their final report,


“This project has allowed local organizations and city leaders to join forces for the common good of the community. Local business owners have pitched in and contributed in-kind donations of their employee’s labor to help get the larger tasks completed. The community is pulling together and healing from the impact of the past few years.”


With the collaboration between CHARM board members and volunteers as well as Charleston community members in transforming the overgrown property, this space will be able to be used by the community for years to come. The excitement from the development of this space in Charleston has created a buzz for the locals and has sparked excitement in the community resulting in “people signing up to get involved in not only this project but future projects as well.”

  

 


Now that phase one has been completed, Charleston Revitalization Movement (CHARM) is waiting for the winter season to pass before moving forward with phase two which will include an elaborate selection of botanicals planted for year-round enjoyment. They also planned to bring additional enhancements to the pocket park in the spring of 2023 for the annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival in April. CHARM had heard many visitors express that they plan to return to see the finished project. Now that the pocket park and mural are ready to greet visitors, CHARM will share their story online to bring back visitors who saw this project in the works as well as new visitors to see what is unique and special about this town and its Main Street.


Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 selected communities to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The grant helped each community implement a project and market itself to prospective visitors. These projects will add heritage tourism to the economies in each community. The Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grant was awarded to recipients in March of 2022. Communities started on a range of projects from murals to walking tours to new monuments and building plaques that all highlight each respective community’s history for residents and visitors. Upon receiving the grant, the City of Sedalia got started right away on their project which is a mural reflecting Sedalia’s rich railroad history.

 


Pictured above: Back row left to right:Building owners Julie and Harry Hoffert, Muralist Stefanie Aziere-Sattler, and Robert Hayden and his daughter Cathy van der Linden. Front row: Third Ward City Councilman Lucas Richardson


Sedalia’s commercial historic district has been around since the late 1800’s with several buildings constructed prior to 1883. This gives Downtown Sedalia a rich past that draws many visitors annually. Joleigh Cornine, the director of the city-led Main Street program, shares that, “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic freezing Sedalia's cultural and heritage tourism in its place… the Historic Katy Depot welcomed 12,079 visitors.” With the number of visitors to the Historic Katy Depot declining 70% in 2020 as well as many area events and activities being canceled, the negative economic impact the pandemic had on Sedalia is illustrated with a loss of $110,335 in tourism revenue each year (2019-2020). Coming out of the pandemic, a City Comprehensive Plan was put together that outlined goals to position Sedalia as a safe, attractive place to work, live, visit, and celebrate special occasions. Part of this plan was dedicated to, “providing outside sources of entertainment where people feel they can safely socially distance.” This approach capitalizes on the country-wide cultural refocus on places that matter utilizing place-making, historic buildings, and showcasing artwork as a viable economic tool. By purposefully showcasing different aspects of Sedalia’s history through a series of murals which start with the mural between 209 and 211 S. Ohio Avenue and encourages guests to travel from one art installation to another. Guests can discover unique historic buildings and businesses while connecting with visual stories about Sedalia’s commercial historic district. 

  


Implementing this comprehensive plan, like any plan, requires funding.  Sedalia leveraged $5,000 from MMSC with public and private partnerships which enabled them to increase the size of the mural to be a 30’ x 20’. Stefani Azier-Sattler was commissioned to paint the mural on the Smith & Cotton Building based on her previous work in Sedalia including a mural on the Wildflower Beauty Co. building. The mural that was commissioned for the south side of the Smith & Cotton Building includes depictions of a steam train representing Sedalia's rich railroad history, the Smith & Cotton Building as it looked back in the days when it still boasted all of its original architectural glory, a P40 "Flying Tiger", and the B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber for the city’s connections with Whiteman Air Force Base. This project represents part of the first alley activation and was accomplished in stages by community members, business owners, partnerships, and city officials.

   

 

Pictured Above: Lift provided by Matt Mergen State Farm

Pictured Below: Integrity Soft Wash workers.

 

 


Julie and Harry Hoffert, owners of Stone Laser Imaging, granted the City of Sedalia use of the south side of their building, the Smith & Cotton Building, to be the home for the new mural. Integrity Soft Wash prepped and cleaned the mural wall with a low-pressure system as a gift-in-kind donation. The alley was closed off by the City of Sedalia with stone barricades at both ends to make sure that Stefani Aziere-Sattler and those working on the mural were able to do so safely. Martin Security Systems LLC has provided service to the City of Sedalia for Stone Laser Imaging's surveillance system for this area to ensure guest feel protected while in this space. The system will also address safety concerns that downtown residents and merchants had expressed to the city. Other improvements planned include better lighting and paving to increase pedestrian's safety as this alley is used as a conduit between public parking and area businesses.

 


As the progress on the mural was nearing completion, Sedalia promoted the businesses surrounding the mural through a “Businesses Around the Smith & Cotton Building Mural” promotional series. Among the businesses promoted through this series are The Pavilion by Frunell Companies which is home to twenty programed public events and open to be rented by patrons; Wilken Music which is home to the Scott Joplin Mural; RAKS Escape Room; and The Venue, LLC. These businesses will be impacted by increased foot traffic as people come to visit the new mural and then explore downtown. The plan to use Sedalia’s heritage to create entertainment opportunities centered around the arts as an economic tool for Sedalia and will bring even more visitors into its historic commercial district than before the pandemic.

 


Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

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The last in-person conference Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) hosted was in St. Louis (2019) before the pandemic spread across the country. With 2020 postponed and 2021 hosted virtually, MMSC staff set their eyes on making 2022 the return of Missouri’s’ Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference. The conference theme “Places Reimagined” highlighted the work that districts had completed in reimagining their public spaces to provide their community what they needed during the pandemic. Especially with grants from MMSC and our partner AARP, the Community Resiliency Grant allowed five districts to active spaces in their community to meet the changes in the business climate and better their downtowns while celebrating and encouraging inclusivity. ‘Placed Reimagined’ also highlighted the changes in how spaces have been and will continue to be used as a result of the pandemic. These changes have encouraged Main Streets to examine how spaces are set up to serve their communities. ‘Places Reimagined’ just worked to bring all of these ideas together. MMSC was determined to create the place for our communities to be able to come together and learn after three years of being away from an in-person conference experience. And boy did we come back with a bang!

 

From the start of conference there were many things to partake in. On August 3rd, while many local program directors and their support staff arrived to take part in their monthly directors meeting and a semiannual support staff meeting, attendees who arrived early and could take part in two different concurrent educational tours the “Educational Walking Tour of Kansas City Crossroads” or the “Educational Guided Scavenger Hunt Through Downtown Kansas City.” These tours provided a way to explore the unique sites, architecture, and commercial districts of Downtown Kansas City and the Crossroads Arts District. The Educational Walking Tour of Kansas City Crossroads was popular as it toured the diverse, mixed-use community full of galleries, restaurants, locally-focused retail, technology, and design firms. Participants got to see firsthand several historic tax credit adaptive reuse projects and speak with representatives on how they accomplished their project as well as visiting Union Station and the Freight House Pedestrian Bridge.

 



MMSC board member Bill Emmons had this to say about the new perspective he gained of Kansas City Crossroads, “I’ve been to Kansas City many times, but I never knew there was so much vitality in the Crossroads district. It’s exciting to see old spaces become new and inviting places for entertainment, artistic expression, offices, and housing. There’s even a stylish new place to stay or hold meetings, the Crossroads Hotel. This luxury hotel is a re-imagined version of the Pabst Brewing Depot, which was built in 1911.”

 

 


Randy Greeves, one of the conference volunteers, accompanied attendees on the tour through the Kansas City Crossroads District and said this, “Having never been to Kansas City before I was fortunate to go on the Crossroads tour. I got to see many of the beautiful examples of architecture in downtown KC as well as getting to speak to some of the people responsible to revitalizing important areas, and creating a safe and beautiful place to residents to enjoy. This conference was a wonderful opportunity and experience for me, and I look forward to volunteering again!”

 



Community and commercial district tours are a great way to see what a different district is doing and take that back to discuss with your board, volunteers, and community. Almost any idea can be scaled to fit a community’s size, resources, and cultural identity. Mitchell West the Board Vice-President of Main Street Albany stated, “Regardless of the size of a community or the resources available, the success of a community is always about the people.” Main Street is all about the people, because places aren’t places unless there are people.

 

 


Once conference officially started Thursday with the Welcome & Opening Assembly with Keynote Address you could feel the buzz in the air as Jason Roberts kicked us off with “Creating People-Centered Places.” Attendees bustled from room to room listening to sessions and also stopped at exhibitors in the expo hall, grabbed some refreshments during our beverage break, and networked with other communities and MMSC board members at our booth and Main Street Clinic. Cynthia Coffman, the director of Downtown Lebanon commented:

 “The Main Street Clinic was one of most the valuable aspects of conference. A board member and I utilized the expertise of the Main Street Clinic doctors to brainstorm possibilities for reimagining a historic preservation project that is a key property for our downtown business district. We’re now moving forward, using a list of resources and individual contacts provided by the Main Street Clinic doctors.”

 

 


We heard so many good things from attendees that approached us about the sessions they attended. Mackenzie Manring of Main Street Albany had this to say about the sessions and speakers, “Every speaker was knowledgeable and experienced in his or her field, and I was able to take away something of value from each breakout session I attended.” There were clearly a few favorites that attendees couldn’t get enough of which included: Jason Roberts’ Opening Keynote Address “Creating People- Centered Places”, Jackie Wolven’s session “Building True Community With Design Thinking”, Shelia Scarborough’s session “Get More Heritage/Culture Visitors into Small Towns: Social Media Content Ideas from the 8 Rural Culture Elements”, and Lily Clajus’ session “StoryMapping Main Street: Using Digital Place-Based Narratives in the Main Street Approach™” just to name a few.

 

 


The ShowMe Bash and Pitch Party was another great evening. Attendees brought the excitement of the confernce to Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn in Downtown Independence to see great pitches for the Creative Space Activation Grant. Five communities were looking to win the $10,000 Creative Space Activation grant and presented their projects to the judges made up of MMSC board members. Delmar Main Street walked away as the winner with $10,000 for their Transit Wall Transformation Project. Their application and following pitch at the event highlighted the great need for the project in their district and the strong support they have. It was breathtaking.

 



The evening didn’t end there as after the Pitch Party the ShowMe Bash was just starting. Jeff Rodgers from Independence Square Association worked with his local groups to have first person interpreters, community members who performed and interacted with attendees as people from the past in historic costume dispersed throughout the district along with other activities including loft tours. Store owners also to stayed open late to have a great time for attendees to experience Independence, MO.

 

 


From across the Square you could see attendees experiencing what Independence has implemented in their district like self-watering planters that Mr. Rodgers and Historic River District Ozark, MO chatted about and St. Louis Main Streets programs enjoying their evening together.

 



The last big success was the finale of Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference being the Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony & Dinner. This is always a special evening at our conference where MMSC presents awards to communities, businesses, and individuals to commemorate and honor their commitment to their district as well as the achievements of Main Street revitalization. This year was extra special with some of the award recipients.

 

 


Check out the Press Release section on our website to see all the awards that were handed out to communities. [www.momainstreet.org/press-releases/] One award was a surprise to everyone in attendance. Dr. Steven Hoffman, the MMSC Board’s Immediate Past President, received the Pioneer Award.


This award was awarded to Dr. Steven Hoffman for his service, dedication, passion, and support for Missouri Main Street Connection throughout its history as well as the entire state of Missouri. Steven’s unwavering passion and dedication has impacted many individuals and organizations not only in Missouri but throughout the country over the years.

 



As communities departed the conference, they took with them the knowledge and connections they gained to their communities to share with others. Main Street Albany Promotion Committee Chair, Tonya McCampbell had this to say about the conference:

“The annual conference was so inspiring and informational. It was definitely worth our board member and committee member's time. All four of us could not stop talking on our two hour rides to and from the conference about how many ideas from other communities would work so well with our community.  I know that Albany will be a better place after we implement a few things we learned at the conference... just wait and see!”


Katelyn Galloway, Promotion Committee Chair of Main Street Brookfield had this to say as well:

“I was able to take away useful information from each session that was presented. My favorite part about this conference was the ability to network and obtain ideas from other attendees with the same passions as myself. I am excited to implement some of the ideas in my own community that I acquired from the sessions and my peers. This was my first year attending, and it definitely will not be the last!”


As we take all the feedback provided by the session surveys and overall conference survey, we continue to make conference better each year for each attendee. MMSC is excited to see you in Saint Louis in 2023!

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It takes a community to accomplish successful downtown revitalization work. With the many events local Main Streets put on and the committees that put in the time to strategically implement the Main Street Approach™, Main Street can never have enough volunteers. The good thing is each Main Street district has a community full of people that are proud of their downtown, want to see it thrive, and be a place to spend time. Volunteer recruitment is easier said than done with many challenges arising including lack of time and interest of community members. Don’t be discouraged by the challenges as some may need only a little nudge or personal invite to participate and join Main Street as a volunteer. There are many ways for organizations to recruit volunteers from innovative campaigns to partnership or relationship requests to booths at events manned by current board and committee members to personal invites. If you are lucky you may even get that outgoing person who shows up at your office asking what they can do to help!


Warrensburg Main Street submitted two nominations for the “I Spy… Great Work” award that show, despite the challenge in recruiting volunteers, it is possible if you look around your community because you never know who will say yes unless you ask. In appreciation for their work, Warrensburg Main Street has nominated the Whiteman Air Force Base for “I Spy…Great Work”. This nomination enters the base into the running for Volunteer of the Year at the 2022 Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference in August. The nomination was submitted by Jill Purvis, Executive Director from Warrensburg Main Street:

 

“In 2019, Warrensburg Main Street began working towards a stronger relationship with our neighbors, Whiteman Air Force Base. There are approximately 3,800 active duty member and 5,000 family members that call Whiteman home. Located about 15 minutes from Warrensburg, this ever-changing group has historically been very challenging to engage. Through various connections within our organization and utilizing connections from community members, we have been able to increase our name recognition and support at Whiteman AFB. Since 2021, Whiteman Air Force Base has become a HUGE volunteer hub for Warrensburg Main Street! Our goal is to connect the community members on the base to our downtown for events, shopping, services, and volunteer opportunities. The Whiteman team has helped volunteer at Burg Fest, Piccadilly, Farm to Table, Downtown Clean-ups and our annual Dickens' Christmas event. Whether we ask for 4 volunteers or 30, they show up ready to help and get work done for our organization. They have become such an important group to our organization as a volunteer base with their willingness and the enthusiasm they bring when they come to volunteer. In 2021 alone, they contributed over 450 volunteer hours for Warrensburg Main Street. We have also been able to identify leaders on the base to join committees and our board that brings much need diversification to Warrensburg Main Street. We are excited to see how this relationship progresses in the future and are continuing to find ways to engage this important group of community members.”


 


Warrensburg Main Street also submitted a second nomination for “I Spy… Great Work.” This nomination nominates the youngest Main Street volunteer in Warrensburg and maybe even Missouri, Emerson Elkins:


“Emerson and the Elkins family are residents of downtown and live in a beautifully renovated loft. As Emerson frequently walks in downtown and often visits the Farmers' Market and Main Street events, he started to notice an increase in trash downtown especially during the winter months.  We recently spied Emerson doing his part to keep downtown beautiful and vibrant by taking it upon himself to pick up trash on his frequent walks downtown.  He can be seen on his gator driving around the streets of downtown picking up trash in the alleys, parking lots, and streets. Emerson is doing his part to keep his community and our downtown clean and tidy for all residents and visitors. The best part is Emerson is only 4 years old and the youngest Main Street volunteer!”

 

 


The Whiteman Air Force Base and Emerson are not the only volunteers with Warrensburg Main Street. They reported 2,671 hours of volunteer time in 2021 equating to $72,677.91, which is a huge community investment in downtown! The Independent Sector values volunteer time in Missouri at $27.21 an hour (as of April 2022).


Missouri Main Street Connection recognizes the time and sacrifices it takes to volunteer at a nonprofit. Along with our local Main Street programs, we thank everyone who has volunteered with Main Street. Nominations for this year’s “I Spy…Great Work” have concluded, but if you see individuals in your community that are completing great work by volunteering for Main Street, contact your local Main Street program and recommend they be highlighted in the future.

 

If you want to find resources on how to recruit, train, and recognize your volunteers, look through our resource library which is open to MMSC investors. Not an investor? Email Staci at staci@momainstreet.org to find out how.

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A core component to a strong local Main Street organization, that is recognized by Missouri Main Street Connection and Main Street America, is having a diversified board of directors. This comes from a mix of different skills and experiences, personal characteristics, the 4 W’s (which are wealth, wisdom, worker, and worrier), community affiliations, and more. Each Main Street board of directors is a unique mix of these factors that comes from and reflects the community that they serve.


 


This month we are highlighting Eric Osen who was nominated by Downtown Joplin Alliance for “I Spy…Great Work” in appreciation for his work. This nomination enters Eric into the running for Volunteer of the Year at the 2022 Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference in August. The nomination was submitted by Lori Haun, Executive Director of Downtown Joplin Alliance:


“Eric is a Missouri Master Gardener who had dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours towards making the Community Gardens at the Empire Market come alive. He helps tend the garden beds and works to improve the overall quality of our farmers market facility. He has led several projects involving the community and our local Youth Volunteer Corps including building a keyhole garden, beautification of our property, teaching topics ranging from winterizing garden beds to the lifecycles of ladybugs to crafting zombie scarecrows. Eric shows up for us, all of the time. Whether it is helping to launch an adult gardening education series, fixing random appliances, or scraping ice from the walkways, we know we can count on Eric to help make our market, and thus our downtown, a better place to be.”


Eric Osen is an excellent example of an outstanding community member who uses his unique skills, experiences, and personal characteristics to contribute to Main Street and his community. His expertise, leadership, and affiliation with the Missouri Master Gardeners makes him a huge asset to Downtown Joplin Alliance.


Eric is not the only one volunteering with Downtown Joplin Alliance. They reported 1,425 hours of volunteer time in 2021 equating to $38.774.25, which is a huge community investment in downtown! The Independent Sector values volunteer time in Missouri at $27.21 an hour (as of April 2022).


Missouri Main Street Connection recognizes the time and sacrifices it takes to volunteer at a nonprofit. Along with our local Main Street programs, we thank everyone who has volunteered with Main Street. Nominations for this year’s “I Spy…Great Work” have concluded, but if you see individuals in your community that are completing great work by volunteering for Main Street, contact your local Main Street program and recommend they be highlighted in the future.

  


If you want to find resources on how to recruit, train, and recognize your volunteers, look through our resource library which is open to MMSC investors. Not an investor? Email Staci at staci@momainstreet.org to find out how.

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This year at Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference’s ShowMe Bash & Pitch Party, Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) will be awarding the Creative Space Activation Grant to one local Main Street organization. As Missouri communities continue to evolve in response to the changing circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic, MMSC sees a continued need to activate outdoor spaces through placemaking projects in historic districts as a way to support small businesses, local citizens, and community vibrancy for all ages.


The Missouri Main Street Connection Creative Space Activation Grant has been designed to support one local Main Street organization in activating their historic district’s public spaces to build community connections and create activity that encourages customers to support local small businesses. Creative solutions to promote places and fill them strategically with opportunities for citizens to enjoy their community, enhance civic and community pride, and create a place for visitors to linger and to enjoy local businesses and restaurants at their leisure has a huge impact on your community’s economic vitality as well as sense of place. From small to big, every project matters when it comes to creating a vibrant community for all ages.


Applications are being accepted for this grant opportunity until July 8, 2022. If you are a Missouri Main Street program that has an agreement with MMSC, and are in good standing, you are eligible to apply. Five communities will be selected as finalists to attend the Pitch Party where they will have time to present their project to the live audience and a panel of judges. Each of the five finalists will receive a box of placemaking materials that may include lawn games, paint/chalk, signs, lights, placemaking educational materials, etc., but only one will walk away with the grant of $10,000 to implement their project!


If you are eligible to apply and interested in getting the application email info@momainstreet.org

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Through “$1 Billion and Rising” Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) has featured completed projects across Missouri. These projects have won awards at Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference, been recorded in Missouri Main Street communities’ quarterly economic data submitted to MMSC, developed into reports by the local programs to showcase their impact, and transformed their downtown in numerous ways from their local economies to downtown offerings. Now to conclude “$1 Billion and Rising,” we will focus on the rising future Missouri Main Street sees in our communities as they continue to champion their Main Streets from the old historic buildings to the businesses that inhabit them and people who live in and visit downtown.

 


 

Elevate 114 is an ongoing large-scale housing development that is located at 114 NE Douglas St. in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. This property spans a full city block encompassing four acres, which became vacant after the Methodist church moved to another site a few miles away about five years ago. Ryan Adams, Vice President of Cityscape Residential and lead on this development remarked, “[We saw this] as an opportunity to bring some class A, upper-end apartments to the downtown Lee’s Summit area.” To put it into context, Donnie Rodgers, Executive Director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street remarked on the impact of this project coming to Lee’s Summit as, “[ending] a decade long drought of new apartment development.” While many would see new housing coming downtown as a good thing since more people living in an area will raise the tax base and grow the economy, there was some initial hesitancy in the community that took partnerships and rallying community members to make this happen. This community collaboration with Cityscape and Elevate 114 representative is what forged the community buy-in and garnered the city’s approval as Adams adds:


“The retailer association and downtown business owners were hugely supportive… [and] we met with Donnie and his group early on… and [were] involved in our city planning commission and zoning meetings. It’s a great relationship. One of the best experiences with Main Street because of the level of vested interest from all the local owners.”


 

While the development is in the middle of construction, the effort the community put in to support bringing this development to Downtown Lee’s Summit is starting to see its returns as Elevate 114 is already welcoming residents into downtown with the completed apartments buildings. The renovated church houses the leasing office and amenities which add to the uniqueness of this property and draws tenants in as construction work continues on the rest of the apartment buildings. There are major benefits to having a growth in population downtown as Rodgers adds:


“The new residents bring a breath of fresh air… they are at the farmers market and walking their dogs down 3rd Street. It’s just great to have. We estimate that the new residents will generate an additional $5 million in taxable revenue for the district.”


 

The returns to the community are no accident. This is the economic outcome from a community coming together to support the development of housing, which had been identified as a need in the community. Coupled with the natural economic outcome of more residents living downtown, which at this point has increased by 400 according to estimates by Downtown Lee’s Summit, Elevate 114 has a commitment to the community. Craig Ladines, the Property Manager of Elevate 114 shared, “This is our community. One of [our] main goals in being involved in the neighborhood is to collaborate with local businesses and thank them for the support they have shown us.” This symbiotic relationship between development and downtown is exactly how sustainable development is supposed to go. As the Main Street district grows and strengthens, there becomes more vibrant and attractive places for development and as development comes to Main Street, there are more resources, both financially and with increased residents, to strengthen the community, district, and organization. Ridgers adds to this sentiment by stating, “This has proven downtown as a vibrant place [and shows that Elevate 114] saw the strength we had here in downtown Lee’s Summit with our restaurants and retail and knew this was a community ripe and ready.”


This development wasn’t recorded in Downtown Lee’s Summit quarterly data submitted before the end of 2020 which resulted in MMSC’s network of local Main Street communities reporting $1 billion in public and private investment raised in 15 years, but has started to be reported as the project is nearing its completion. Projects are reported in economic data submissions to MMSC during the quarter when the project has been completed, with multi stage projects like this development reporting data each quarter a stage is completed. The gravity of this development is summed up by Rodgers as, “upon the completion of the project the over $50 million investment… [will be] the largest single private investment we have seen in downtown.”  


Local Missouri Main Street communities will continue to see development and investment in their downtown further contributing to “$1 Billion & Rising.”

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Main Street is all about the collective effort of the community to develop and implement downtown revitalization. It takes dedicated volunteers that work hours on end to make Main Street work because success never comes easy.  While Main Street is only one facet of peoples’ lives alongside their family, job, hobbies, and more, volunteers are impacted through volunteering with opportunities to grow and explore new callings.


In appreciation for his work, Love the Harrisonville Square has nominated Barrett Welton for “I Spy…Great Work”. This nomination enters Barrett into the running for Volunteer of the Year at the 2022 Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference in August. The nomination was submitted by Amanda Stites, Executive Director from Love the Harrisonville Square:


“Barrett has been an enthusiastic member of the Promotion Committee for the past several years, and we think he truly discovered his volunteer calling over the summer of 2021 when he took on the role of event emcee for our Bicentennial Birthday Block Party on August 7, 2021. Barrett did a great job introducing the performances during the event, while also leading the effort in booking and managing the acts and arranging for the sound equipment that was needed. His hard work over many months culminated in a public bluegrass concert by three regional acts (Matchstick Sellers, Unfit Wives, and Whiskey Mash Band) which was well received by the community and well attended.”

 

Love the Harrisonville Square also submitted a second nomination for “I Spy… Great Work.” This nomination came from Jesica Junge, Board Member of Love the Harrisonville Square who nominated Amanda Stities:


“She’s the driving force behind the Love the Harrisonville Square organization.  She puts in more hours than anyone else even though she has a full-time job and a baby.”


Barrett and Amanda are not the only ones volunteering with Love the Harrisonville Square. Love the Harrisonville Square reported 955 hours of volunteer time in 2021 equating to $25,985.55, which is a huge community investment in downtown! The Independent Sector values volunteer time in Missouri at $27.21 an hour (as of April 2022).


Missouri Main Street Connection recognizes the time and sacrifices it takes to volunteer at a nonprofit. Alongside our local Main Street programs, we thank everyone who has volunteered with Main Street. Nominations for this year’s “I Spy…Great Work” have concluded, but if you see individuals in your community that are completing great work by volunteering for Main Street, contact your local Main Street program and recommend they be highlighted in the future by the local Main Street program or Missouri Main Street Connection.

 

If you want to find resources on how to recruit, train, and recognize your volunteers, look through our resource directory which is open to MMSC investors. Not an investor? Email Staci at staci@momainstreet.org to find out how.

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