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Everybody, have you heard? We’re gonna buy you a mockingbird!


No. No, we’re not. But…

 

We’re going to Kansas City. Kansas City, here we come!

 

We’re bringing a national event to the Heartland in March! Mark your calendars for March 26-28 to join us in Kansas City for the 2018 Main Street Now national conference for three exciting days of learning innovative solutions, exploring unique neighborhoods, and networking with peers.

 

Power & Light District, Kansas City. Credit: VisitKC

 

On the local (aka Missouri) home front, the Missouri Main Street committee for the national conference is working hard to plan an outstanding conference for downtown professionals in Missouri and nationwide. We expect upwards of 1500 individuals passionate about re-energizing local businesses, refurbishing historic buildings, and building vibrant, sustainable local economies.

 

The Elms Hotel & Spa, Excelsior Springs

 

Registration is open now and offers early bird registration rates through January 12, 2018. Don’t worry, registration will be open up to the event – but it’ll cost you more. Our advice – register early! The hotel block at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown (conference location) is also open. We advise you reserve that early, too!

 

Liberty, MO

 

Check out the mobile workshops we’re planning around downtown Kansas City and in some great Main Street communities in the area – Liberty, Excelsior Springs, Chillicothe (ahem, 2018 GAMSA semifinalist!), and Emporia, KS. Tickets for mobile workshops and special events are available now for purchase with registration.

 

Chillicothe, MO

 

Don’t forget about the big party – the Big Bash – thrown by Downtown Lee’s Summit (ahem, 2010 GAMSA winner!). Buy a ticket for the Big Bash and get a $25 gift card to spend on dinner, shopping, and lots of other great stuff!

A preliminary schedule of session topics is available. Detailed descriptions of sessions will be on the conference app soon.

 

 

Of course, an event this epic needs the help of volunteers. Opportunities are available before, during and after the conference including educational session monitors and mobile workshop assistants plus a variety of other positions. And volunteers who work at least 8 hours receive $160 off a full conference registration! See all available opportunities and sign up here. 


Well, we might take a plane, we might take a train
If we have to walk, we're going just the same...
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Throughout 2016, we have celebrated 10 years of Missouri Main Street Connection. We have accomplished a lot in these first 10 years and hope to have as much success in the next 10! In 2017, we officially kick of the next 10 years of MMSC with some exciting projects.

 

We began working on the first of these projects in October 2016. Earlier this year we received a grant, from the State Historic Preservation Office to conduct a study on the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri. These initiatives include the Missouri Main Street program, SHPO’s Certified Local Government program, and the use of state and federal historic tax credits. We have visited several communities to collect data and stories on their experiences with these initiatives. The study will also examine stats that we have collected over the past 10 years from our Main Street communities. We are very excited to see the results of this study and hope it will be a tool to showcase the impact of Missouri Main Street and other preservation initiatives.

 


Cape Girardeau visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

Another amazing opportunity we are looking forward to in 2017 is partnering with USDA on two different projects. First, through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG), we will be able to focus our revitalization efforts in the southeast region of Missouri in order to help those communities establish a revitalization organization. When examining our work with Missouri communities, we noticed that few communities in the Southeast region of Missouri had taken advantage of the assistance we had to offer. We felt that it was important to expand our reach to communities in this area and with assistance from USDA, we will be able to offer communities in this region specialized training and mentoring.

 


Lee's Summit visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

The second great partnership opportunity we are working on with USDA is through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant. This three-year project allows us to provide in-depth training and assistance to 12 communities throughout Missouri. This assistance will help them strengthen and expand their Main Street organizations. We are very excited to work with USDA on both this project and the RBDG project.

 


Jackson community visit to study the economic impact of historic preservation initiatives in Missouri.

 

The final project that we are very excited about is partnering with the National Main Street Center to bring the Main Street Now conference to Missouri in 2018! The Main Street Now conference boasts many educational opportunities to learn and connect with Main Street groups throughout the country. Currently we are still working with National Main Street to confirm the details of the 2018 Conference in Kansas City, but are so excited to have the opportunity to showcase the great revitalization work happening throughout Missouri.

 

And finally, we couldn’t take on all of these exciting new projects without a fresh new look to go with it! With the assistance of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and their local design firm, Fossil Forge, we have a new logo to usher in the next 10 years of Missouri Main Street Connection. Read more about the new logo and the competition we hosted for its design here

 

Missouri Main Street's fresh, new look beginning in 2017!

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It is has already been a busy start to the new year of Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). January saw us planning for a year full of events, trainings and celebrating our 10th Anniversary!

On the 25th of January we held our first event of 2016 in Jefferson City. Each year MMSC hosts a showcase of our Main Street communities for all of the state legislators in order to not only illustrate the impact and power of Main Street but also to highlight, once more, the outstanding work completed by our 2015 Missouri Main Street award winners. Guest enjoyed the reception while sharing their experiences in Main Street. The showcase was held at Revel Catering in downtown Jefferson City.


The beginning of February was spent finishing program visits to many of our Main Street communities. With the assistance of the National Main Street Center’s (NMSC) Norma Ramirez de Miess, members of our staff were able to visit some of our community organizations and assess their use of the Main Street Four-Point Approach®. After touring the downtown districts, they met with staff, the board of directors and committees to see what each community is working on.

March is proving to be a very busy month at MMSC. We are hosting our Main Street Summit on March 3-4 at our office in Branson. The summit is a free, invite only event for communities wanting to learn more about advancing their community and downtown using the Main Street Four Point Approach®. Two participants per community, one from the city and one from the downtown organization must be in attendance. Presented by the National Main Street Senior Program Officer Norma Ramirez de Miess, this event will focus on board, volunteer and fund-raising development as well as identifying key players and organizations to assist in each communities revitalization goals. Attendees will also learn practical tools for success of their organizations. For more information, please call our office at 417-334-3014.


At MMSC we offer three matching grant programs that help communities advance their downtown organizations. One of these, the Affiliate Grant, helps communities in the beginning stages of developing their organization. To apply for this grant, community representatives must attend one of the Affiliate Grant Workshops that we host throughout the year. The first of these workshops will be on March 9th in Jefferson City. Attendees will receive an introduction to the Main Street Philosophy of Revitalization, information on how to apply for the grant as well as the application materials. This is one of only two Affiliate Grant workshops that we are hosting in 2016, so reserve your spot today!

We begin April on a high note with our Quarterly Workshop on April 1st in Grandview, one of our Affiliate Main Street communities. This workshop titled Nuts and Bolts of Commercial District Real Estate Investment will teach attendees how, given the right tools and fundamental understanding, they can influence the market dynamics that impact local real estate investment as part of an overall Economic Vitality strategy. Speaker Matt Wagner from the National Main Street Center will use case studies and hands on examples to showcase how organizations can improve their success by understanding how to create a more attractive community environment conducive to district property development.

As you can see, our 2016 calendar is full of events to help communities across the state continue their work in revitalization. For more information and to register for these and many other events go to our upcoming trainings page. Also, stay tuned for updates on each opportunity by signing up for our newsletter. And don’t forget, early bird registration for the Main Street Now conference hosted by NMSC on May 23-25, 2016 in Milwaukee ends on February 29th. Register today in order to hear about great revitalization work happening in communities of all sizes throughout the country!

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