November 3, 2017 | Network Spotlight | Edward Jones Placemaking on Main Crowdfunding Challenge
Through the Edward Jones Placemaking on Main Crowdfunding Challenge, the National Main Street Center and Edward Jones awarded 10 Main Street America programs $2,500 each in match funds to implement their lighter, quicker, cheaper-type placemaking projects. Selected participants worked closely with crowdfunding experts at ioby, engaging new partners, raising funds within their communities, and activating underused public spaces. Edward Jones generously supported the match funding, and the local Edward Jones financial advisors engaged directly in the projects’ implementation in a myriad of ways, including: onsite volunteering, advisory board membership, design committee participation, reception hosting, and sponsoring.
As a site of activation and gathering space for community input, the pop-up park will shape the design of the Washington Boulevard Gateway Project, a long-term major redesign of the intersection of Washington Boulevard and MLK to make it more pedestrian friendly, safer, and aesthetically pleasing.
The Mobile Interactive Literary Exhibition Space (M.I.L.E.S.) is a mobile mini-museum that provides pop-up, street-level, ADA-accessible, immersive experiences highlighting the local literary legacies of the region.
The first exhibit, features poet Lucy Terry Prince, demonstrating how words, and one person’s voice, can change the course of history and shape the future. This project is being led by a team of committed people and organizations, including: Brattleboro Literary Festival, Brooks Memorial Library, Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, and a local business owner. Launched as part of the annual Brattelboro Literary Festival, MILES will be the first project to launch the brand new three-year National Endowment for the Humanities backed program “Peoples, Places and History of the Word in Brattleboro”. Watch a video.
Main Street Enid is creating a Maker Trail through their downtown district, featuring themed stations on art, circuit, robotics, music, and more. In addition, the Maker Trail will create an additional draw for their First Friday events, bring more attention to the district, make more connections between businesses and residents, and encourage creative learning through discovering and making.
Created in partnership with building owners, business owners and the community, this greenspace pop-up park project uses formerly vacant land in Fremont’s historic downtown. This program is part of a larger strategy to create vibrant outdoor spaces and generate public awareness and involvement in the city’s future development. Events and activities for people of all ages will include: art shows, outdoor movie night, concerts, unique recreational experiences, and even potential social, ethnic, and cultural events.
The Mural Project at Ground Floor Farm
Ground Floor Farm in partnership with Stuart Main StreetStuart, Florida
In Downtown Stuart, Florida, Ground Floor Farm, Stuart Main Street, and the Arts Council of Martin County are transforming their urban farm’s fence into a canvas for professional, amateur, and student artists to paint murals in a wide variety of styles and techniques. Taking inspiration from public art projects like Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, new murals will replace older ones as they fade, creating an ever-evolving street gallery made for repeat visits and viewings.
As part of a multi-building rehabilitation project, newly established Metuchen Main Street has created an outdoor patio space in a downtown parking lot, featuring seating, lighting, and programming for community members of all ages. Informed by input from a wide variety of local stakeholders, this public space aims to draw customers and support the four new businesses there by creating vitality on the street and sidewalks. This project will demonstrate a process for creating quick and low-cost improvements—which can be replicated throughout the downtown.
Art In The Alley
Main Street Van WertVan Wert, Ohio
Art in the Alley transforms a simple pedestrian alley into an open air art gallery and programmed public space, with picnic tables, games, and live music events in all seasons…even winter. Main Street Van Wert is bringing to life this crucial connector between their main street district and the community cultural hub, the Wassenberg Art Center, for all community members to gather in and enjoy. Launching this winter.
Historic Downtown Wilson’s Artsy Alleys take the arts to new locations in forgotten places through four variously themed alleys link the community together, filling downtown with special small places in alleys and walkways and drawing visitors and locals alike to navigate through the entire district. Artsy Alley themes include: Tobacco Road: Painted Heritage Mural Alley, Golden Leaf Lane: Visual Arts and Sculpture, There and Back Again Lane: Literary Arts Mixed Media, and Tin Pan Alley: Musical Mosaic Tile Passageway.
Downtown Las Cruces Partnership and its Community Task Force for Family Activities are creating a downtown “Chalk Park”, featuring a welcoming area with benches, landscaping, and several black board stations with wooden frames where children and adults alike can create chalk masterpieces. Chalk Park will also serve as a wayfinding system: by placing Chalk Park in an underused callecita on the south end of the district, families will be encouraged to walk the entirety of Main Street, passing the downtown retail shops and restaurants on the way. Launching spring/summer 2018.
Downtown Hermiston Pocket Park
Downtown Hermiston DistrictHermiston, Oregon
With its new pocket park activating vacant downtown lot, the Hermiston Downtown District is cultivating the downtown they envision - a more livable, lively, and connected place that offers new amenities, promotes economic growth, and demonstrates the spirit of entrepreneurship on Main Street. The courtyard currently solely functions as a walkway, so the Hermiston Downtown District will diversify its potential by adding seating and landscaping, creating a public, open, inviting space to socialize could encourage downtown visitors to stay longer and increase foot traffic.
We will be showcasing individual projects over the next few months—stay tuned!