Friday, September 25, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - September 28, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Calendar September 28 – October 2, 2009
MONDAY Cary & Susan – annual leave
TUESDAY Cary & Susan – annual leave; Greg – Russellville (branding)
WEDNESDAY Greg – Russellville (branding)
THURSDAY all staff – Russellville (branding unveiling 5:30)

Main Street Hardy Press
Fire in Downtown Texarkana
A Talking Head Imagines the Perfect City
HOME Funds
The World’s (Arguably) 10 Greatest Urban Parks as Seen from Above
6 Key Lessons from Portland’s Urbanism
A Plan to Add Supermarkets to Poor Areas, with Healthy Results
Pavement to Parks
Elkhart Project
Detroit: The Death & Possible Life of a Great American City
Grant Opportunity
Smith, Rypkema Named Top to 100 Urban Thinkers List

Main Street Hardy Press:

Fire in Downtown Texarkana

A Talking Head Imagines the Perfect City

HOME Funds to Purchase & Rehab Buildings
HOME funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may be used to purchase and rehabilitate buildings that will provide affordable housing.

Here’s a little information on eligible uses for the grant funds:

The World’s (Arguably) 10 Greatest Urban Parks as Seen from Above

6 Key Lessons from Portland’s Urbanism

A Plan to Add Supermarkets to Poor Areas, with Healthy Results
“the city would offer zoning and tax incentives to spur the development of full-service grocery stores that devote a certain amount of space to fresh produce, meats, dairy and other perishables.”

Pavement to Parks

Elkhart Project
Stories of struggle and recovery in America is focusing long-term coverage on the city of Elkhart, IN

• take a look at the Downtown Elkhart video on this page:

Detroit: The Death & Possible Life of a Great American City,8599,1925796,00.html

ULI Memphis Will Use Greenways to Begin Connecting Region’s Dots
- the chapter includes members from West Memphis

APA Urban Design and Preservation Division has extended our grant application deadline to October 15th

The Division's Grant Program is an outstanding opportunity for members. The grant program provides funding for members to infuse the urban design and historic preservation professions with new ideas, explore innovative design solutions outside the realms of everyday practice, and start a dialogue with colleagues about the future of the professions and the built environment.
Members in good standing of the Urban Design and Preservation Division are eligible to apply. Membership is easy, you do not need to be a member of the APA to join the Division.
For applications and more information contact
or visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn

Smith, Rypkema, Among Top Urban Thinkers
both placed above Vitruvius and Price Charles, among others. Congratulations to our friends.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - September 21, 2009

Thanks to everyone for a great Destination Downtown conference. We have so many partners, I hesitate to list anyone for fear of leaving someone out. However, the citizens of El Dorado, including the city, A&P & Main Street El Dorado really stepped up to make the conference extraordinary. Again, thanks to all.

On a sad note, there was a terrible fire in historic downtown Morrilton last week. Five buildings were lost and more received exterior smoke damage. Our thoughts are with our friends in Morrilton.

Main Street Arkansas Calendar September 21-25, 2009
TUESDAY Caroline, Susan & Mark – Texarkana
WEDNESDAY Caroline, Susan & Mark – Texarkana
THURSDAY Caroline – off
FRIDAY Cary – LR Sustainability Summit; Susan – Dumas; Caroline – off

Fire in Historic Downtown Morrilton
Just Because it’s LEED, Doesn’t Make it Green
Main Street Texarkana Press
Livability Forum
For Festival & Event Producers
Preserving Arkansas’s Heritage
Twitter for Businesses

Fire in Historic Downtown Morrilton

Just Because It’s LEED Certified, Doesn’t Mean It’s Green or Energy Efficient

MST Warns of Scam

MST Mural Discussion

Livability Forum
The Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration will host a webinar to discuss the new transportation and livability initiatives of the Obama administration including the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
The webinar will be held September 24 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT. More information and a link to register can be found by clicking this link:

Festival & Event Producers

Since 1985, the Southeast Tourism Society has published the Top 20 Events publication. Through a nomination process, the society chooses the Top 20 events going on in the Southeast for each month of the year, and publishes this list of winners quarterly. This publication is sent to over 300 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, and others, as well as 125 AAA publications. The combined circulation runs into the millions. Current Top 20 Events are listed online at

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is a member of the Southeast Tourism Society. As a result, festivals and events in Arkansas may be submitted for the Top 20 Events publication, if they meet the following requirements set forth by the Southeast Tourism Society:

• 1,000 in attendance
• 3rd year in existence
• Payment of $10 nomination fee per event

Top 20 Events strongly encourages you to strengthen your nomination by providing supporting material such as:

• Photos
• Posters
• Brochures
• Press Releases
• News Clippings
• Volunteer Programs
If you would like to nominate your event, contact the Tourism Development Section at (501) 682-5240 or e-mail kristine.puckett at

Deadlines for Applications:

Event Occurring In: Submit by:
April/May/June 2010 October 9, 2009
July/August/September 2010 January 8, 2010
October/November/December 2010 April 9, 2010
January/February/March 2011 July 9, 2010
April/May/June 2011 October 8, 2010
July/August/September 2011 January 7, 2011
October/November/December 2011 April 8, 2011
January/February/March 2011 July 8, 2011

Preserve Arkansas Heritage Project

In the spring of 2009, Arkansas received a Connecting to Collections Planning Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This project, titled the Preserve Arkansas Heritage Project, brought together the Arkansas History Commission, the Arkansas State Library, The Arkansas State Parks, and Amigos Library Services. This project will provide the opportunity for these institutions to work together in a collaborative effort to reach all cultural institutions in Arkansas.

As part of this IMLS planning grant, the project Preserve Arkansas Advisory Board will review a statewide survey to select an initial 25 institutions to receive a one day, free, site survey to assess the conditions of artifacts and historical records statewide. The first set of surveys and preservation workshop will take place in Little Rock in late October. Other workshops will be held in state park facilities in the Ft. Smith area, the Mountain View area, the Powhatan area and the Bismarck area until June 2010.

Whether you are a museum, library, archive, historical group, historic house or scientific organization, an onsite conservation survey of your institution and its collections is one of the best ways to either lay a foundation for good collection care or improve good practices that are already in place. Any size institution can benefit. Conservators are trained to find sustainable long-term and short-term solutions to problems faced by institutions of all sizes, budgets and staffs. The solutions to better collection care will be matched with your capabilities, resources and potential.

When it comes to securing funding to address your needs, whether you appeal to your governing authority or apply for a grant, the recommendations of a professional conservator are strong tools for justifying your requests and supporting your goals.

After a conservation survey, your staff, board and governing authority will have a clear road map to a future of better collection care and have common objectives that will result in being able to better realize your short-term and long-term goals.

If you are interested in receiving FREE site survey as part of this project, please complete the project survey at

The deadline for institutions in the Little Rock area to apply for the free site survey is Friday, September 18.
The deadline for all other locations throughout the state is Friday, October 16th.


by Timothy Lee, Associate Extension Specialist, UALR Lead Center
Twitter, the popular social messaging tool, has launched a new site just for small businesses. is a start-up resource for businesses wanting to learn about Twitter and how to begin to use Twitter in their marketing mix.

Twitter 101 is an online tutorial which explains Twitter to a small business owner in simple language. The tutorial advances into best practices and case studies.

Among the best practices, Twitter recommends making sure your tweets provide some real value. Here are a few examples to spark ideas:

• Offer Twitter-exclusive coupons or deals
• Take people behind the scenes of your company
• Post pictures from your offices, stores, warehouses, etc.
• Share sneak peeks of projects or events in development

Learn more at

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - September 8, 2009


Caroline – out all week – annual leave

Main Street Arkansas Calendar September 7 – 11, 2009
MONDAY Labor Day – office closed
TUESDAY Cary – Downtown organization’s meeting, NLR; speaking at Low Income Advocates & Community Development conference, pm; Susan – Dumas
WEDNESDAY Cary – speaking at ACHANGE conference, pm
THURSDAY Nancy – Rogers – Sustainability Conference
FRIDAY Nancy – Rogers – Sustainability Conference
We depart for El Dorado Sunday. See you there.

Main Street Paragould Press
Recognize an Inspiring Small Business
Turning a Corner on Main Street, Little Rock
More Paragould Press
Get Down, Downtown Searcy
Main Street Batesville Press
Walkability Improves Property Value
Big Boxes Become ‘GreyBoxes’
Cheap Ways to Revitalize Your Downtown
Common NonProfit Facebook Mistakes
3 Funding Opportunities

Main Street Paragould Hosts Annual Community Meeting

and announces a new & improved Loose Caboose event for 2010

Recognize an Inspiring Small Business
- they could win up to $100,000 grant & marketing support. Nominators could win up to $3,000

Turning a Corner on Main Street, Little Rock
- one note here: the team did not actually call for more parking. By last count there were 8,200 surface parking spots in downtown LR c. a 2001 study. They noted that by restriping you could yield 15-20% more spots.

Fa├žade Work in Historic Downtown Paragould

Get Down, Downtown Searcy

Main Street Batesville Press

Neighborhood’s Walkability Increases Property Values

Big Boxes Become ‘GreyBoxes’

hit tip to Heritage Ohio for this one
Cheap Ways to Revitalize Your Downtown

Five Most Common Mistakes Made by NonProfit Admins on Facebook
- most of this advice can be applied to small businesses on Facebook, as well

Funds for Services in Company Communities
TJX Foundation

The TJX Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in the communities where TJX Companies, Inc. divisions operate stores, including locations in every U.S. state except Alaska and Hawaii. (The company also has operations in Puerto Rico, Canada, and Europe.) The Foundation's primary focus is on programs that provide basic needs services to disadvantaged women, children, and families. Funded programs should promote strong families, provide emergency shelter, enhance education/job readiness, and/or build community ties. Specific grant categories include: Civic/Community, Domestic Violence Prevention, Education, Health, and Social Services. Applications are reviewed quarterly; the final application deadline of 2009 is December 4. Visit the company's website for detailed funding guidelines.

NEW! Institute of Museums and Library Services Museums for America Program 11/2/2009 Supports high-priority activities that advance the institution’s mission and strategic goals All types of non-profit museums – large and small; award range $5,000-$150,000; project period up to 2 years; cost sharing is 1:1 match TA calls scheduled for 9/17 and 10/1

USDA Rural Housing Service Rural Community Development Initiative 9/24/2009 Provide financial/technical assistance to projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development Private, nonprofit, including faith-based, and Mr. Jerry Virden
community organizations; award range $50,000-$300,000; matching funds are required; number available will vary Arkansas State Rural Development Office
700 W. Capitol Ave., Rm. 3416
Little Rock, AR, 72201-3225 501-301-3250

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

English Flare at Vintage Square

Arkansas Downtown Network town Siloam Springs just celebrated the grand opening of The English Tea Room in July. Owners Dawn and Rob Cork, of England, opened their doors in the historic Vintage Square building in downtown. Friends and fellow downtowners joined in on a merry toast to the “Queen Mum” and sang “God Save the Queen,” to officially announce high tea on Main Street. Read more about the English Tea Room and downtown Siloam Springs at the “The Word on Main Street” blog:

Award-Winning El Dorado to Host Destination Downtown Conference

Main Street Arkansas is hosting Destination Downtown in El Dorado on September 14-16. Destination Downtown is the south’s premier conference on downtown revitalization, and is organized by the state Main Street programs of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. This year, we can’t think of a better place to host it than in the 2009 Great American Main Street Award-winning city of El Dorado.

“El Dorado’s boom to bust and back to boom again story is an inspiration to small town America,” said Doug Loescher, the director of the National Trust Main Street Center, who will open the conference on September 14. “The downtown has come full circle. The 20-block district boasts 65 specialty shops, restaurants, and accommodations with an exciting nightlife that includes a classic European pub as well as venues that support one of Arkansas’s strongest music scenes.”

Downtown El Dorado will serve as a living laboratory for conference attendees, who typically range from city mayors and chamber directors to downtown merchants, Main Street directors and dedicated volunteers. “We’re changing it up this year,” says Main Street executive director Cary Tyson. “In the past, we’ve hosted the event at a conference center. This year, attendees will walk the streets and actually engage in downtown on their way to the educational sessions.”

The conference sessions revolve around the four points of Main Street with specialized sessions on downtown housing, storefront design, and retail entrepreneurship. The speakers boast many years of work in the Main Street field and come from all over the country.

Director’s Picks: Tyson is looking forward to “It’s a Circus Out There: Better Work on Your Balancing Act,” a session about how non-profits can avoid overwork and burn-out. Tuesday night, the citizens of El Dorado will re-enact Showdown at Sunset, the historical reenactment of a courthouse duel that has earned them national recognition.

The Main Street Arkansas staff and citizens of El Dorado cordially invite you to register for Destination Downtown conference. For more details, contact Greg Phillips at (501) 324-9887 or email See you in September!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Main Street Arkansas Update - August 31, 2009


Main Street Arkansas Calendar August 31 – September 4, 2009
MONDAY Susan, Mark & Nancy – Blytheville
TUESDAY Susan, Mark & Nancy – Blytheville
WEDNESDAY all staff – 530p – reception for new NTHP SW Director
THURSDAY Cary – 10a-3p Volunteerism Commission

LR Main Street Design Charrette
Rogers Frisco Festival
Main Street El Dorado Events Press
Mapping Main Street
AR Service Commission Survey
2 Grant Opportunities

LR Main Street Design Charrette

and a report from the final presentation

On this note, take a look at the visual preference survey for downtown NLR’s masterplan

Rogers Frisco Festival Changes with the Times

Main Street El Dorado Super Saturday Events Planned

Mapping Main Street

Arkansas Service Commission Survey

The Arkansas Service Commission is working to produce a State Service Plan for submission to the Corporation for National and Community Service. This State Plan is produced every three years and will cover 2010-2012 activities. It will determine the priorities for national service programs in Arkansas, in conjunction with our partners such as Learn and Serve, VISTA, Senior Corps, City Year, Delta Service Corps, etc.

You play a vital role in your community and are in touch with opinion leaders and constituents every day. You hear what the people of Arkansas feel are the most important issues for them-what really touches their lives.

Please take a minute or two and link to the survey and let us know what you hear about the needs for service areas in Arkansas. Feel free to send this survey to others you believe would be interested in sharing their opinion, as well.

The survey is at:

National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs funds public projects at museums, libraries, historic sites, and other historical and cultural organizations. The grants support historic site interpretation, exhibits, reading or film discussion series, symposia, and digital projects. For more information contact the Division of Public Programs, 202-606-8269 or The application deadline for funds from America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations and Interpreting America’s Historic Places programs is January 13, 2010.

Partnership in Scholarship Grants for African American Historic Places
These grants will support collaborative projects between African American historic places and college/university scholars. This year, four grants of $15,000 each (no match required) will be awarded in the fall of 2009 to projects that help sustain current or attract new audiences at historic sites or enhance the interpretation of challenging topics at historic sites. Guidelines for the Partnership-in-Scholarship Grants are available at For additional information contact Max van Balgooy at The application deadline is September 30.