Monday, January 28, 2008

Main Street Arkansas Update - January 28, 2008

Main Street Arkansas Calendar – January 28 – February 1, 2008

MONDAY Greg, ill; Nancy, out
WEDNESDAY Susan, Mark, Nancy – Hardy; Greg, Eureka Springs
THURSDAY Greg, Eureka Springs; Susan, Mark - Searcy

Jacksonport wants RETT and 1/8 cent funds
Heber Springs Press
2008 Awards for Municipal Excellence Nominations
Ivory Billed Woodpecker Article in NY Times
Foundation Grants for Preservation in Libraries, Archives & Museums

Jacksonport State Park wants RETT and 1/8 cent funds

Today's Newport Independent reports that Jacksonport State Park Superintendent Mark Ballard is seeking funds for the construction of a new "collection management" facility to house collections of artifacts when they are not on display and to aid in their preservation and care with humidity and lighting controls. Ballard also wants a new visitor center. He's hopeful that the funds for the collection management facility will become available through the real estate transfer tax and the funds for the visitor center from the 1/8 ¢ conservation tax (Amendment 75). Any proposed allocation must come through us in 2009. They, of course, won't be alone.

As most of you know, MSA receives apx 90% of its funding (particularly grant funding) from RETT funds. As Rep. Harrelson notes, Jacksonport won’t be alone in looking for this funding. We’ve seen interest in altering the funding formula over the last six years. He expressed this sentiment when he attended the recent Main Street Texarkana annual meeting that I was privileged to speak at. Rep. Harrelson has been a strong supporter of Main Street & historic preservation throughout the years.

Heber Springs Press

2008 Awards for Municipal Excellence – Call for Nominations
The Awards for Municipal Excellence identify and showcase outstanding city and town programs that improve the quality of life in America's communities. These awards are presented at the annual Congress of Cities and Exposition. For more information and to download an application packet visit Nominations deadline is May 1, 2008

Without Proof, Ivory-Billed Boom Goes Bust

Foundation Grants for Preservation in Libraries, Archives & Museums - a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the Foundation Center. This publication lists 1,725 grants of $5,000 or more awarded by 474 foundations. Click here to view article.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Main Street Arkansas Update - January 22, 2008

MSA Calendar January 22-25, 2008
Monday office closed in honor of MLK Day
Tuesday Greg, Jonesboro, MS presentation to Downtown Jonesboro, Cary, Texarkana, annual meeting
Wednesday Mark, Susan, Caroline & Nancy – Batesville, site visits with business owners
Thursday Mark & Susan – Russellville – window display workshop
Friday Caroline – Wynne, Delta Byways Banquet

Cary & Marian - New Orleans Wed - Sat - Main Street Executive Committee Meeting


Rogers Press

Good Main Street Batesville Marketing Press:

Rector working on ADN application

Texarkana Press

Forrest City Works on Downtown Revitalization

Main Street Ozark Press

MSA nominated for Arkansas Delta Byways Awards

Delta Stories – nice RHDI mention

Congratulations to the Main Street related finalists for the Henry Awards ">
Finalists in various categories include:
 Phillips County Museum, Helena-West Helena
 MusicFest, El Dorado
 Carriage Square, Helena-West Helena
 Harrison Convention & Visitors Bureau, Harrison
 Mayor’s Tourism Task Force, Eureka Springs
 Russellville Advertising & Promotion Commission, Russellville

The 2008 Henry Awards winners will be revealed at the 34th Annual Arkansas Governor’s
Conference on Tourism. The ceremony will take place during the Governor’s Banquet on the final night of the conference, Tuesday, March 11, 2008 beginning at 7:15 p.m. at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers
saw this one on P&T’s website
Publisher Seeks Fabulous Facilities for Upcoming Issue
New or Improved Meeting Facilities and Programs: Small Market Meetings, a national monthly newspaper for meeting planners, is seeking meeting-related news from small cities for its March 2008 issue. Please send news about new or improved meeting facilities, unusual off-site venues, out of the ordinary meeting themes and special offers aimed at meeting planners. Please note if photos are available. Email Vickie Mitchell at Deadline: January 30.

Arkansas Farmers Market Conference February 29 in Jonesboro

Growers, vendors and market managers of Arkansas farmers’ markets will gather in Jonesboro Feb. 29 to learn about how they can better meet the increasing demand for locally-grown produce in their communities.

The “Come Grow With Us” conference is being conducted by the ASU Regional Farmers’ Market in partnership with the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA).

The 1-day conference will be in the Arkansas State University Convocation Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The $20 registration fee includes lunch. Advance registration is recommended, but walk-in registrations will be accepted.

The conference will feature a variety of speakers addressing issues relative to growing, marketing and consuming locally-grown crops. Topics will include the benefits of growing alternative crops; how to increase direct sales to local and commercial markets; exploring new market opportunities for food and agricultural products; techniques for showcasing farm products; specialty crops and production methods for extending the growing season; techniques for growing major vegetable crops, flowers and herbs; best practices in growing greenhouse vegetable and flower transplants; and good handling practices.

For more information or to access a registration form, log onto or call Bob Young at (870) 972-4671

National Urban Initiatives Competition

Clark University is hosting the National Urban Initiatives Competition. They are seeking proposals that have practicality, creativity, and are well rooted in theory. Proposals should translate from theory to model or vice versa. Furthermore, it should be feasible to enact into legislation.
An award of $20,000 will be given to each winner of the three categories:
1. Affordable and sustainable housing.
2. Neighborhood based economic development.
3. Financial services to low income communities.
All applicants must be from an institution of higher education and must team with one or more of a local government entity and/or non-profit organization.
Submission of Step 1 proposals are due January 25, 2008.
For more information please click here.

I’m passing this along as I thought it might be appropriate for various partner organizations and/or those organizations working with Farmers Markets or Community Gardens
New American Farm Conference: Advancing the Frontier of Sustainable Agriculture
March 25-27, 2008, Kansas City, MO
A limited amount of funding is available for scholarships. Our priorities are to fund farmers/ranchers and nonprofits, particularly those from under-served/minority audiences and those who are new to SARE and/or sustainable agriculture: emerging leaders, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those who have never attended a SARE regional or national conference.
Scholarships will be awarded as free registration (including registration for a tour), plus up to $700 allowance that can be used for any of the following expenses: up to three nights’ lodging at the conference hotel, mileage to and from the conference reimbursed at a rate of $0.485 per mile, or air travel arranged and paid directly by SARE.
To apply for a scholarship, complete and return the Scholarship Application Form (Word | PDF), by February 15, 2008. For questions, contact SARE Associate Director Kim Kroll, or 301-504-5199.

My Community Project

Deadline: April 1, 2008

Student filmmakers (K-College) are invited to submit digital videos (2-10 minutes in length) about their communities. Awards ceremonies will take place at the Governor’s Mansion on April 30. For more information contact or call 501.682.7306

Your Town RFP
The deadline for proposals for the NEA’s Your Town workshops has been extended to February 4, 2008, and the RFP is available on the website. We hope to receive another excellent round. We’ll keep you posted on the sites selected via our web site

Places, Spaces Chairs on Southside Main

Southside Main Street is accepting entries for its 2nd Annual “Places, Spaces, Chairs” public art project until Feb. 1, 2008. Southside is looking for artworks that combine sculpture with the idea of the chair as an object and reflects the SoMa (Southside Main) neighborhood experience. Each artist chosen to participate will be sponsored by a local business that will provide money to build the “chair.” Artist renderings are due March 1, 2008; the completed chair should be ready for installation April 1, 2008. For more information and project description go to or call 537-9032, ext 11.

Mardi Gras Parade on South Main
The 2nd Annual SoMa Mardi Gras Parade will be on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m. from 17th Street to 12th Street.

NEA Challenge America Fast-Track Review Grants, FY2009

This category supports focused, distinct projects that take place over limited periods of time and involve limited geographic areas. All projects must extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The involvement of professionally trained, experienced artists and arts professionals is essential. Each applicant must present a simple, straightforward project that reflects only one of the project types below. Fast-Track Review Grants are available only for: An arts event that will feature one or more guest artists. The project (such as a festival, exhibit, recital, reading, performance, screening, broadcast, lecture) must include the participation of guest artist(s).

Institute of Museum and Library Services Invites 21st Century Museum Professionals Grant Applications

Deadline: March 15, 2008

The Institute of Museum and Library Services ( ) seeks grant applications from museums, museum service organizations, and universities for proposals that will enhance the professional development of museum staff. The 21st Century Museum Professionals grants are intended to have an impact on multiple institutions by reaching broad groups of museum professionals in cities, counties, states, regions, or the nation.

Funding will support projects involving core management skills such as planning, leadership, finance, program design, partnership, and evaluation. Project focus areas may also include collections care and management, interpretation, marketing and audience development, visitor services, governance, and other areas of museum operations. Proposals may also focus on projects that help museums attract and retain staff and improve the capacity of museums to address the rapidly changing demographics in many communities.

Applicants may request from $15,000 to $500,000 each for a grant period of up to three years.

Complete guidelines and application forms are available at the IMLS Web site.

Friskers' Project Orange Thumb Offers Grants to Support Community Gardening

Deadline: February 15, 2008

Fiskars Brands, Inc. ( ) seeks to inspire and encourage creative expression through gardening with Project Orange Thumb. To promote sustainable agriculture, horticultural education, community involvement as well as neighborhood beautification, the program will offer ten grants in 2008.

Community organizations, schools, gardening clubs, senior centers, or other groups interested in fostering gardening within their community are invited to apply.

Awardees will each receive up to $1,500 in Fiskars garden tools and $800 for plant materials to cultivate their garden vision.

For grant application materials and additional information on Project Orange Thumb, visit the Fiskars Web site.

Kellogg Foundation Accepting Final Applications for Rural People, Rural Policy Initiative

Deadline: January 25, 2008

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation ( ) is now accepting request for participation proposals for 2008 grantees of the Rural People, Rural Policy Initiative. This is the last year new grantees will be invited to join Rural Policy Networks.

Rural People, Rural Policy is a multi-year national initiative based on the idea that rural America has many assets and that the brightest potential for rural America is possible when a critical mass of rural people are more organized as policy actors.
The grantees are a diverse group in terms of programs, locations, and strategies, but all share a common concern for building a stronger voice for public policies that help rural communities.

Through RPRP, participating organizations coordinate as networks to shape policy that improves the lives of rural people and the vitality of rural communities. Throughout 2006 and 2007, networks participated in dynamic peer-learning sessions, where they covered topics such as framing social issues to build public support and the policy change process. Organizations participating in 2008 will join existing networks and continue the learnings that aim to strengthen their abilities to advocate and act in the rural policy arena.

To apply for participation in the initiative, please visit the WKKF Web site and consider submitting a proposal/request for participation. Among other things, the Web site provides an overview of the initiative and its Rural Policy Networks component, an Online Participation Request Statement Grant Application form and a hard copy version of the grant application, and an FAQ. The foundation prefers applicants to apply online if possible.

Social Science Research Council and Van Alen Institute Announce New York Prize Fellowship in Sustainable Cities and the Social Sciences

Deadline: March 7, 2008

Organized by the Social Science Research Council ( ) in partnership with the Van Alen Institute ( ), the Sustainable Cities initiative is an effort to enable exchange and collaboration between the social sciences and architecture around critical issues of sustainability that are facing contemporary cities.

In 2008-09, SSRC and VAI, through the initiative, will support the New York Prize Fellowship in Sustainable Cities and the Social Sciences. SSRC and VAI seek proposals for programs in a range of formats that function to convene social scientists and spatial practitioners for debate and dialogue on the topic of sustainable cities, with a focus on New York City.

All candidates for the fellowship must apply through the Van Alen Institute. The institute welcomes proposals for public projects from emerging scholars and practitioners in the design and planning disciplines as well as other fields in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The institute will award up to five Van Alen Institute Resident Fellowships and one Partnered Fellowship with the Social Science Research Council for residency periods of three months in the fall, spring, or summer of 2008-09. Fellowship awards include project support, work and gallery space at the institute, publication in Public Practice, a stipend, and a range of project production, research, and programming resources.

See the VAI Web site for complete program information.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Main Street Arkansas Update - January 14 - 18, 2008

We’ve opened an application period for Arkansas Downtown Network communities. It closes March 21. We’ll be issuing a formal press release today in our e-newsletter. Post cards went out to all city governments and Chambers of Commerce last week. We also had a booth at last week’s Arkansas Municipal League conference.

Main Street Arkansas Calendar

Monday Mark, Heber Springs (pm)
Tuesday Caroline, Russellville (visioning); Cary, Mt. Ida – ADN presentation
Wednesday Susan & Nancy – Texarkana (site visit)

Various Press Links
AHPP Free Grant Writing Seminar
UALR’s Annual Conference on Regionalism
Scenic America Slideshow (good 3 minute presentation)
MSA Awards Recap
Grant Opportunity

Main Street Harrison Press

Downtown Heber Springs Press

Main Street El Dorado Press

Main Street Rogers Press


The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will hold a grant-writing workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, at the Historic Arkansas Museum at 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock for people interested in applying for any of the agency’s grant programs.

Admission is free, but reservations must be made by Tuesday, February 5, by calling Joia Burton at (501) 324-9883 or sending e-mail to

UALR’s Annual Conference on Regionalism

The fourth annual UALR Regionalism Conference is set for Feb. 13 at The Peabody Little Rock. "Help Wanted: Who will fill Arkansas' jobs in the future" is the theme. The keynote speaker is Edward Gordon, author of "The 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis." Also on the agenda are Jim Clinton, executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, and Mike Cassidy, executive director of the Georgia Research Alliance. To register, go to or call Autumn Henry at (501) 683-7355.

Scenic America President Slide Show

Recap of the MSA Awards:

• Best Creative Fundraising Effort – Main Street El Dorado’s Union County Rock, Paper, Scissors championship
• Best Public/Private Partnership – Money for Main Economic Incentive Program, Main Street Blytheville and Blytheville/Gosnell Chamber of Commerce
• Best Façade Renovation over $10,000 – Garrett Building, Main Street El Dorado
• Best Façade Renovation under $10,000 – Bass Music, Main Street Paragould
• Best Downtown Public Improvement Project – Dickey-Stephens Park, Main Street Argenta (North Little Rock)
• Best Interior Design Project – Garrett Building, Main Street El Dorado
• Best Window Display – (tie) Hoffman Architectural, Main Street Searcy, and Flowers by William, Main Street Dumas
• Best New Exterior Signage – Daisy BB Guns, Main Street Rogers
• Best Special Event – Downtown Blues and BBQ, Main Street Texarkana
• Best Promotional Publication – “Showdown at Sunset” Trading Cards, Main Street El Dorado (The Main Street Advisory Board gave an Award of Merit in this category for Main Street Paragould’s new program brochure.)
• Best New Downtown Business – (tie) Elm Street Bakery, Main Street El Dorado, and Cotton and Kudzu, Main Street Helena
• Best Upper Floor Development – Larry and Joy Pennington, Main Street Argenta
• Outstanding Main Street Merchant – Mary Gay Shipley, Main Street Blytheville
• Best Business Commitment to Downtown – (tie) Beth Guest, Main Street Rogers, and Rivertowne BBQ, Main Street Ozark
• Royce Bolding Volunteer of the Year – Ron Bird, Main Street Rogers
• Judy Thacker Board Member of the Year – Ed McClure, Main Street Rogers
• Spirit of Main Street – (tie) Ed Hollar, Main Street Batesville, and Ramona Clower, Main Street Blytheville
• Executive Director of the Year – Michael Drake, Main Street Argenta (This award winner is selected by vote of all of the Main Street Arkansas executive directors).

Congratulations to all the nominees & winners.

Save Our History
The Save Our History Grant Program provides funding to history organizations that partner with schools on a local community preservation project. Since launching the Save Our History Grant Program in 2004, The History Channel has awarded $1,000,000 in grants to organizations and schools large and small, urban, suburban and rural, in the northern, southern, eastern, western and central United States.

During the 2008-2009 school years, The History Channel will again award grants of up to $10,000 to historical organizations to fund hands-on, experiential educational projects that teach students about their local history and actively engage them in its preservation.

For guidelines and criteria, important dates, and to apply, please visit, and click on grants. Applications are due Friday, June 6, 2008.

Slide Show of the 2008 Main Street Arkansas Awards

Monday, January 7, 2008

Main Street Arkansas Update - January 7, 2008

January 7 – 11, 2008
Wednesday Orientation with Jann Farmer of Dumas, Sandi Thomas of Harrison, Susan Fetsch of Osceola & Kym McFadden of Heber Springs; Municipal League Banquet/MSA Awards
Thursday Roundtable & State Report; Cary, Mark, Susan, Nancy, Marian & Missy depart for Blytheville
Friday Cary, Mark, Susan, Nancy, Marian & Missy – Blytheville; RHDI Year 3 Planning + site visits

Susan Fetsch is the new executive director of Main Street Osceola & Kym McFadden is the new executive director of Downtown Heber Springs Network. They will be attending the upcoming roundtable. Please make them feel welcome when you see them.

FINAL REMINDER – Main Street Arkansas Awards January 9, 2008 7pm in conjunction with the Arkansas Municipal League Conference. Quarterly Training (roundtable & state report) is January 10 8 a.m.

We have been able to secure reserved tables for MSA attendees (all 94 of you!). I believe they will be down front. Please look for the place cards when you arrive Wednesday night.

Parade Giving Challenge

I’ve set up a ‘give button’ to vote for the National Trust’s Main Street Center on our blog – more information on the Parade Giving Challenge below & on the website

Take the Giving Challenge. It’s your chance to get $50,000 for your favorite charity.
This is your chance to mobilize your network and champion your cause. The Case Foundation is awarding a total of $500,000 in grants through the America’s Giving Challenge presented by Parade. You could get $50,000 for your favorite charity. It’s fun and easy. Take the Challenge. Go to today!

Good Arkansas DeltaMade Press
Arkansas Urban Forestry Conference
High Cost of Free Parking Video
Creative Economy Grants
Rialto Theater in El Dorado Closes
Small Shops See Their Smallness As Selling Point

The Death of the Shopping Mall – Long Live Lifestyle Centers

Blueprint for American Prosperity – Brookings Institute Plan for Urban America

4 Grant Opportunities

Good Arkansas DeltaMade Press

Arkansas Urban Forestry Commission 2008 Conference
AUFC will be partnering with the Arkansas Recreation & Parks Assoc (ARPA) February 19-21, 2008 at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, sponsored by the Chesapeake Energy Corporation. For more information, contact AUFC at 1-800-958-5865.
To register, click here: REGISTER

Great embedded video on the High Cost of Free Parking with Professor of Urban Planning Donald Shoup


SeedAmerica asks corporations to donate vacant industrial buildings so the space can be rented to small businesses.

SeedAmerica uses what's called the 561 Exchange or the RIM (replacement, market, income) Exchange. Those terms refer to IRS Publication 561, which spells out appraisal rules for donated property.

Regional Technology Strategies recently awarded several Creative Economy Grants including awards to

Eureka Springs $7,960 to expand its creative economy

Phillips County Community College $6,000 to support the Delta Center for Traditional Arts & Crafts

Historic Rialto Theater in Downtown El Dorado Closes, Owners Weighing Options

Small Shops See Their Smallness As Selling Point

The Death of the Shopping Mall – Long Live Lifestyle Centers

Blueprint for American Prosperity

The Brookings Institute proposed a Blueprint for American Prosperity in November. It’s entitled Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation.

Here’s Arkansas’s metro standings

According to this report:

All eight of Arkansas’s metro areas constitute 59 percent of the state’s population, 66 percent of the state’s jobs, and 69 percent of the state’s GDP.

4 Grant Opportunities

Interpreting America's Historic Places Planning Grants Grant

Interpreting America's Historic Places Implementation Grants Grant

We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture

Apply for 2008 CARE Grant: deadline of March 17
Around $3 million will be available in 2008 to support community-based partnerships to reduce pollution at the local level through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program.

EPA anticipates awarding CARE cooperative agreements in two levels. Level I cooperative agreements range from $75,000 to $100,000 and will help establish community-based partnerships to develop local environmental priorities. Level II awards, ranging from $150,000 to $300,000 each, will support communities which have established broad-based partnerships, have identified the priority toxic risks in the community, and are prepared to measure results, implement risk reduction activities, and become self-sustaining. In 2007, $3.4 million in cooperative agreements were made available to more than 20 communities through the CARE program, a community-based, community-driven program that builds partnerships to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources.

Examples of projects include addressing abandoned, contaminated industrial and residential properties in Gary, Ind., dealing with agriculture-related toxics in Yakima County, Wash., and reducing air emissions from diesel trucks and buses in Woonsocket, R.I. Since 2005, the grants to reduce toxics in the environment have reached almost 50 communities in over 20 states. Eligible applicants include county and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations and universities. EPA will conduct three conference calls, Jan. 18, Feb. 11 and 27, for prospective applicants to ask questions about the application process.

Visit the CARE web site or download the RFP. To register for the upcoming CARE Internet Seminars go to

Thursday, January 3, 2008