Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good press from yesterday's visit to Jonesboro

Check out the nice article in Arkansas Business about yesterday's visit here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - April 27, 2009

We had three excellent “Bring Your Organization into the Web 2.0 World” sessions in Blytheville last week. We spoke to over 130 people. If you’d like us to give this 1 hour class to your organization, or an organization in your community, just let us know. Thanks again to Anita, Liz and all the others in Blytheville for helping promote and organize these sessions.

MAY 14-16: ARKANSAS PRESERVATION CONFERENCE, EUREKA SPRINGS (next quarterly meeting – hard copy memo sent out in early April)


Main Street Arkansas Calendar April 27 – May 1, 2009
TUESDAY Greg, Mark, Susan – Jonesboro (board development, small biz & interior asst.); Cary & Caroline- El Dorado A&P for Destination Downtown
WEDNESDAY Greg, Mark, Susan – Jonesboro (board development, small biz & interior asst.);
THURSDAY Cary – Volunteerism Summit; Susan – Searcy
FRIDAY Cary – Volunteerism Summit; Mark – Ozark; Susan – Searcy

Main Street Rogers Press
Batesville Press
Stimulus Providing Leg Up For Artists
Foundation Changing Strategies
Smart Growth Conference Presentations
Meeting with Fayetteville Leadership
Best of Arkansas 2009 Voting
Arkansas Historical Report
Grant Opportunity

Main Street Rogers Press:

Main Street El Dorado’s Bug, Bands & Bikes Festival
- this is routed from proving that web 2.0 is a strong outreach tool for organizations

Main Street Batesville/Volunteerism Press

Stimulus Providing a Leg Up For Artists
- Arts organizations have different channels to apply for stimulus money. If an organization received an NEA grant in 2006-2009, it is eligible to apply for direct NEA stimulus funding. This group includes seven organizations in Arkansas, Pennington said. All other arts nonprofits may apply through the Arkansas Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, which has another $444,100 to distribute. Ultimately, each organization can receive only one grant.

Ford Foundation New Generation Strategies
Eight new (or, more accurately streamlined) focus areas for giving in the 21st century. Ford’s the second largest foundation, behind Gates. It’s worth checking out to see where major foundations are altering their priorities & strategies for the 21st century.

Presentations Available from the 2009 Smart Growth Conference

MSA, AHPP, DAH meets with Fayetteville Leadership

Buying Local &

Best of Arkansas 2009
- vote for places/merchants, etc in your community & particularly in your downtown

Arkansas Historical Report

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels will release the 2008 edition of the Historical Report of the Secretary of State, published in partnership with the University of Arkansas Press.

Copies will be available to the general public free of charge.

The Historical Report of 2008 will be accessible to the public for the first time through the Secretary of State's website at Bound copies may be obtained free of charge through the UA Press Office by calling 1-800-626-0090 or emailing

State law requires the Secretary of State to publish the historical report every ten years. The 2008 edition features essays by C. Fred Williams, Jay Barth, David Ware, Ann Early and George Sabo III that provide insight into the state's history, politics and state capitol construction, as well as Arkansas's Native American tribes.
Target Stores Accepting Applications for Arts, Literacy, and Family Violence Prevention Grants
Target offers store grants to support nonprofit programs that impact the arts, early childhood reading, and family violence prevention in the locations where the company does business.
Most grants average between $1,000 and $3,000 each. Applicants may be 501(c)(3) organizations or schools, libraries, or public agencies.
Target only accepts grant applications online. Visit the company's Web site for complete program guidelines and application.
Link to Complete RFP

Friday, April 17, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - April 20, 2009

THIS WEEK - National Volunteer Week April 19-25. Tips on celebrating your volunteers here:

MAY 14-16: ARKANSAS PRESERVATION CONFERENCE, EUREKA SPRINGS (next quarterly meeting – memo mailed & emailed last week. More info at )


Main Street Arkansas Calendar April 20 - 24, 2009
MONDAY Cary, Susan & Mark – Blytheville: Social Networking Presentation & Window Display Workshop
TUESDAY Cary, Susan & Mark – Blytheville Social Networking Presentation & Window Display work
WEDNESDAY Susan – annual leave
THURSDAY Susan – annual leave
FRIDAY Susan – annual leave

Virginia Main Street’s Blog
Non-Profit Blog with excellent info
Community Development Institute
Good Rogers Press
AHPP Holds Historic District Meeting in Walnut Ridge
Parking as Art
Vacancies @ Malls Hits 10 Year High
Jane (Jacobs) Walk
Sprawl: Changing Geography
2 Grant Opportunities

I want to plug my colleagues in Virginia’s blog:
Lots of good information here.

Excellent blog on non-profit issues

Community Development Institute
- this would be a good training to consider

Main Street Rogers Environmental Day

AHPP Holds Historic District Meeting in Walnut Ridge
- historic district survey & nomination is a benefit of the Downtown Network

Parking as Art

Vacancies at Malls Hits 10 Year High

Jane’s Walk
In honor of Jane Jacobs
Jane's Walk is a coordinated series of free neighborhood walking tours given by locals who care passionately about where they live, work and play. Jane's Walk is about raising urban literacy by offering a pedestrian focused event that combines insights into urban history, planning, design and civic engagement with the simple act of walking and observing.

Sprawl: The Changing Geography of the Metro Employment

Funding Available for Neighborhoods to Improve Pedestrian Safety
The Highway Safety Research Center has funding available for up to ten communities or neighborhoods to pilot test the use of "A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities", a newly developed guidebook that details ways to improve pedestrian safety and the walkability of local neighborhoods.
Each selected pilot site will be provided $2,000 as well as technical assistance from pedestrian safety experts.
Only government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations and neighborhood groups (e.g., PTAs, homeowner's associations, advocacy groups, etc.) are eligible to apply. Project funds will not be awarded to individuals.
The complete Request for Proposals is available at the program's Web site.
Link to Complete RFP

Conservation Fund Accepting Applications for Greenways Grants

The Conservation Fund, in partnership with Eastman Kodak and the National Geographic Society, provides small grants to stimulate the planning and design of greenways in communities across the United States. The annual grants program is designed to help establish a national network of greenways.
Grant recipients are selected according to a number of criteria, including importance of the project to local greenway development efforts, demonstrated community support for the project, extent to which the grant will result in matching funds or other support from public or private sources, likelihood of tangible results, and the capacity of the organization to complete the project.
Grants may be used for activities such as mapping, ecological assessments, surveying, conferences, design activities, developing brochures and interpretative displays, public opinion surveys, hiring consultants, incorporating land trusts, building foot bridges, planning bike paths, or other creative projects. In general, grants can be used for all appropriate expenses needed to complete, expand, or improve a greenway project, including planning, technical assistance, legal, and other costs. Grants may not be used for academic research, general institutional support, lobbying, or political activities.
Awards will be made primarily to local, regional, or statewide nonprofit organizations. Public agencies may also apply.
Most grants will range from $500 to $1,000 each. The maximum grant amount is $2,500.
Applications may be submitted from March 31 through June 30 of each calendar year. Visit the Conservation Fund Web site for complete application guidelines.
Link to Complete RFP

Monday, April 13, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - April 13, 2009

Next Week - National Volunteer Week April 19-25. Tips on celebrating your volunteers here:

MAY 14-16: ARKANSAS PRESERVATION CONFERENCE, EUREKA SPRINGS (next quarterly training – memo mailed & emailed last week)


Main Street Arkansas Calendar April 13 -17, 2009
MONDAY Cary & Susan – Helena (Window Display Workshop & tech visits w/ merchants)
TUESDAY Cary & Susan – Helena (RHDI wrap-up w/ NTHP, tech visits w/merchants & speak @ annual meeting); Greg & Caroline – El Dorado: GAMSA presentation by Mark Givens at Chamber luncheon (Gov Beebe & Rep Ross speaking, as well)
WEDNESDAY Susan & Mark – Paragould: tech visits w/merchants
FRIDAY Mark – Russellville, sm. biz asst. visits
Film Production Bill Becomes Law
PB 400k Small Biz Incubator
Russellville Taste of the Valley
2nd Friday in Batesville
MS Helena Receives Heritage Month Grant
This Old Wasteful House
Celebrate A Place That Matters
Review Heritage Sites & Win A Trip to NYC
Online Volunteer Coordination Site
Grant Opportunity
Mico Mentor

Film Production Bill Becomes Law

Pine Bluff Receives $400,000 for Small Business Incubator

Russellville Taste of the Valley Press

2nd Friday’s in Downtown Batesville

Main Street Helena Receives Heritage Month Grant

This Old Wasteful House
- Richard Moe, President, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Commentary

Celebrate A Place That Matters

The National Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to tell us about a place that matters to you through our This Places Matters campaign. The campaign helps people call attention to special places in their community before they are endangered -- the small, famous and infamous, and even some relatively obscure, that collectively represent the nation's cultural consciousness.

Simply visit to download a This Place Matters sign, take a picture or make a video at the place that matters to you and post it to our slide show. Don't have a picture? Plant your flag on our This Place Matters Google map.

So celebrate a place you love, sound an alarm about a place that is threatened or just start a conversation about places that matter.

Review Heritage Sites & Win A Trip to NYC
Through my travels for business and pleasure, I’ve visited over 500 cities in 35 countries and nearly every state in the U.S. I’ve learned the value of traveling with the information necessary to get to the “must-see” sites. In the old days, I would ask family and friends for recommendations. Occasionally, I found their definition of “must see” differed markedly from mine.
Times have changed. Now, gathering information about travel destinations is as simple as logging onto the Internet. But it’s often difficult to find reliable information about heritage- and culture-rich experiences.
Heritage Travel, Inc. , a new subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is being designed with this purpose in mind. This exciting new online community will enable consumers to find, book and share experiences that match their interests.
This includes reading reviews from people who share your interests. As we build this new online community, we are seeking reviews of heritage destinations and sites, and we are offering an exciting incentive to encourage submissions. Your review could win you and a guest an amazing tour of New York City Broadway theater. Heritage Travel’s “reviews” contest deadline is now May 1st.
The tour highlights include:
• A private performance by current Broadway entertainers.
• A behind-the-scenes tour of Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater (you can even perform on stage!)
• Tickets to two Broadway shows of your choice.
• Privileged access to the New Amsterdam Theater.
• A special visit to The Players, the theater world’s most prestigious private club.
• A private meeting with the president of the National Arts Club.
Each review earns you another chance to win
If you haven’t submitted a review yet, now is your opportunity. It’s free to sign up and share your reviews - all you need to do is login (or sign up if you haven’t already), choose a destination or site, and submit your review. You can submit as many reviews as you like, and each one will earn you one entry into the “Reviews” contest.
The reviews submitted to date range from a few sentences to the maximum of 2,000 words. Provide as much information as possible about the site or destination, such as recommended local hotels and restaurants, must-see’s, best times to go and other helpful tips.
Keep in mind that the winning review will be the one that best embodies the spirit of heritage travel: engaging, informative, and inspiring.
Don’t miss out–submit your review today.
Great New Online Resource for Local Volunteer Coordinating

VolunteerSpot ( is a free online sign-up tool that simplifies grassroots volunteering. The site makes it easy for anyone to quickly mobilize and coordinate volunteers in their community, congregation or social network. This is a wonderful tool for all-volunteer group officers, committee chairs, special event planners, and others who need to schedule and organize many other volunteers.

Grants Enhance Comprehensive Capital Campaigns
Kresge Foundation: Capital Challenge Grant Program
The Kresge Foundation supports communities in the United States and around the world by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that serve them. The Foundation's six major areas of interest are health, environment, arts and culture, education, human services, and community development. Through the Capital Challenge Grant Program, the Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that are engaged in comprehensive campaigns designed to support institutional growth through the construction of new facilities as well as the acquisition or renovation of existing facilities, the purchase of real property, and the purchase of major integrated equipment systems. Because environmental conservation is one of the Foundation's values, challenge grant applicants are encouraged to consider green construction issues. The Foundation accepts online letters of intent for this program throughout the year. Visit the website listed above to review the Capital Challenge Grant Program guidelines.

Free Online Service Connects Entrepreneurs with Experienced Mentors to Grow Successful Small Businesses

MicroMentor 2.0 supports local small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with access to one-on-one mentoring
Mercy Corps announced the launch of MicroMentor 2.0, a free online social networking tool designed to easily connect entrepreneurs with people who have the skills they need to grow and improve their businesses.

It has become apparent that America's economic recovery will be driven in large part by small businesses. Responsible for half of all private-sector jobs, small businesses have "created roughly 70 percent of all new jobs in the past decade." (White House statement 16 Mar 2009).
At a time when the US economy is shedding jobs at an alarming rate, connecting small and micro businesses — businesses with five or fewer employees — with one-on-one mentoring is a proven economic growth strategy. MicroMentor focuses on reaching traditionally underserved small-business owners (women, minorities, and those in rural and lower-income communities), helping them increase their revenues, create jobs, and ultimately strengthening local economies.

The improved 2.0 version of MicroMentor, available today, automatically matches skilled business volunteers with entrepreneurs, based on each person's industry and expertise. This ensures that mentors are in a position to provide meaningful advice to their mentees on their most pressing issues, from creating business plans to addressing cash flow problems. And because MicroMentor is a nationwide network, entrepreneurs can choose to be matched with business mentors who live right in their own communities or even on the other side of the country.

"MicroMentor's enhanced usability and smart matching engine make it easier to connect the right volunteer with the right entrepreneur," said Jeff Jones, Program Director, MicroMentor. "Our program offers a win-win solution - entrepreneurs receive advice to help their businesses succeed and mentors find a meaningful way to share their experience and unique skills."

MicroMentor 2.0 builds on the service's strong base of more than 1,015 mentors and 1,380 entrepreneurs participating in the program across 48 states. These relationships have helped small business owners achieve a median 74 percent business survival rate (8% higher than the national average) and increase annual business revenues on average by 63 percent.

"MicroMentor's commitment to helping micro and small business owners start and grow their enterprises successfully, is directly aligned with the Citi Foundation's commitment to the economic empowerment of individuals in need, so that they can improve their standard of living," said Amy Feldman, Program Officer, Citi Foundation. "We are very pleased to be the primary funder of MicroMentor 2.0."

To participate in MicroMentor, mentors must have significant business experience (usually three or more years of management), and mentees must be actively starting or growing a small business. For more information about the program or to become a mentor or mentee please visit:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - April 6, 2009

This issue is early due to my being out of the office Monday & Tuesday.

April 8 – next grant quarterly report due

National Volunteer Week April 19-25. Tips on celebrating your volunteers here:

MAY 14-16: ARKANSAS PRESERVATION CONFERENCE, EUREKA SPRINGS (next quarterly meeting – details to follow)

Main Street Arkansas Calendar April 6 -10, 2009
MONDAY Cary - annual
TUESDAY Cary – annual; Mark, Searcy
WEDNESDAY Caroline, Susan & Mark – Batesville
THURSDAY Cary, Greg & Boyd – El Dorado
FRIDAY Nancy – annual

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants
Complete the Street
Reinventing America’s Cities
New Urban Agenda in AR
Main Street Helena, Rogers & El Dorado Press
AHPP Offers National Register Training
4 Grant Opportunities

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Allocations- Arkansas
Central Arkansas to receive $3.2 mill from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

Complete the Streets
Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5) have introduced the Complete Streets Act of 2009 into the US Senate (S. 584) and House (H.R. 1443), to ensure that federal transportation infrastructure investments provide safe travel for Americans whether they are driving, bicycling, walking, or taking public transportation.

Reinventing America’s Cities

New Urban Agenda in Arkansas

Main Street Helena Press:

Main Street Rogers Hummingbird, Butterfly Park

Helena Blues Fest Considers Charging for 1st Time
(subscriber only, sorry)

Main Street El Dorado Press:

ANCRC/RETT comments

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will offer a free training session Wednesday, April 22, for anyone interested in nominating a property to the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant sites, AHPP Director Frances McSwain announced today.
The training session will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 170 of the Tower Building at 323 Center Street in Little Rock. The session will include background information on the National Register, the criteria for listing properties on the National Register, and instruction on completing a successful National Register application.
For more information on the free session, call the AHPP at (501) 324-9880 [TDD 501-324-9811] or send an e-mail message to Registration is limited to the first 20 applicants.

Enterprise Community Partners Opens Application for Spring Round of Green Communities Grants
Green Communities is a five-year, $555 million commitment by Enterprise Community Partners to build more than 8,500 healthy, efficient homes for low-income people and to make environmentally sustainable development the mainstream in the affordable housing industry. Green Communities provides funds and expertise to enable developers to build and rehabilitate homes that are healthier, more energy efficient, and better for the environment
Through its spring grant round, Enterprise will award a total of $500,000 to developments committed to providing green affordable housing. Grant awards will range between $20,000 and $75,000 per project. In general, Green Communities grants will be made as part of a package of favorable financing intended to improve the feasibility of integrating green building items throughout affordable housing developments.
Grants may be used for a variety of costs, including planning related to the integrated design process (architectural work, charrette, engineering, site surveys, analysis of energy use, and environmental reviews), green construction items, construction review and performance testing, and energy services.
The grant program is open to 501(c) (3) nonprofits, public housing authorities, tribally designated housing entities, for-profit entities, and for-profit entities participating through joint ventures with qualified organizations. The applicant and the development team must demonstrate their qualifications to successfully carry out the proposed development.
Visit the Green Communities Web site for complete grant program information and eligibility criteria.

Tony Hawk Foundation Announces Deadlines for Skatepark Grants

Deadline: October 1, 2009

The primary mission of the Tony Hawk Foundation is to promote high-quality, public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States by providing grants to encourage and facilitate the design, development, construction, and operation of new skateboard parks and facilities.

The foundation primarily considers funding for projects designed and built by qualified and experienced skatepark contractors and that include local skaters in the design process, are in low- income areas and/or areas with a high population of at-risk youth, can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, have a creative mix of street obstacles and transition/vert terrain, do not require skaters or their parents to sign waivers, encourage skaters to look after their own safety and the safety of others, are open during daylight hours 365 days a year, do not charge an entrance fee, and are in areas that currently have no skateboarding facilities.

Grants range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000 each. The foundation may also offer technical assistance on design and construction, promotional materials, training materials, and safety information, and facilitate support from vendors, suppliers, and community leaders.

The applicant must be a 501(c) (3) public charity or a state or local agency (including public school systems or public projects).

The foundation anticipates approving grant requests twice a year (spring and fall). Applicants may apply for a grant a total of two times. Grant recipients that have received no more than $1,000 may also re-apply once.

Visit the Tony Hawk Foundation Web site for complete program information.

National Geographic and Changemakers Announce Geotourism Innovation Competition

Deadline: May 20, 2009

National Geographic and Ashoka Changemakers ( ) have announced the second annual global Geotourism Challenge. This year's theme is Power of Place - Sustaining the Future of Destinations.

This collaborative competition is designed to identify and showcase innovators, both individuals and organizations that directly or indirectly promote tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place -- its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

The competition is open to all types of organizations (charitable, private, or public) from all countries. Entries must describe how a program or activity is new and different. Projects must be beyond the idea stage and able to prove success on the local, regional, or global level. The innovation should demonstrate the potential to be successfully replicated in other places and to become self-sustaining.

Competition entries will be posted online and made available for anyone to view and collaborate with by providing new ideas and connections to new resources, and by asking insightful questions.
A panel of judges will select finalists from the entries, and the Changemakers community will then vote online to select three award winners. The three winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Funds for Local Company Communities
Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation supports local nonprofit organizations that make a positive impact on the quality of life in company communities around the world. The Foundation provides grants through the following funding categories: Making a Difference in Children's Lives supports activities that serve, teach, and inspire children, youth, and families. Building Communities focuses on civic organizations and activities that serve the needs of the community. Disaster Relief funds recognized national, regional, and local relief agencies. Requests must be submitted online through the Foundation's website by April 30, 2009, with the exception of Disaster Relief requests, which are accepted throughout the year. Visit the website listed above to take the required eligibility test.
The application period for 2009 grants will be open from December 29, 2008, through April 30, 2009.