Main Street Newsletter - February

Main Street logo

Main Street Monthly

A monthly publication from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Grey Bar
Humanitites - LG

Preserving Women’s Legacy: A Main Street Grant Opportunity

In last month's newsletter, we mentioned a new partnership with Indiana Humanities which has produced a new grant program: Preserving Women’s Legacy. The goal is to catalyze Main Street communities to discover, preserve, and activate locations that tell stories about women’s contributions in Indiana.

This grant pool will be offered exclusively to Indiana Main Street communities. Grant funding will focus on projects promoting or preserving the legacy of women’s history in Indiana Main Street communities. Full grant details and guidelines will be announced on March 10, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, register for the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial newsletter online here.

IAC Mural

Photo courtesy of Indiana Arts Commission and Tippecanoe Arts Federation.

Spark conversation and transform public spaces with art!

Artists, arts organizations, arts activities, and other cultural goods and services are a key component of quality of life. When these “cultural assets” are integrated into the public spaces and become an everyday part of communities, it’s called creative placemaking. Creative placemaking can make a space safer, healthier, more beautiful, and interesting and more fun!

That’s why this year, the Indiana Arts Commission teamed up with OCRA to provide additional funding for Quick Impact Placebased grants. The IAC will provide additional funding to support public art projects that meet the following funding priorities:

  • Main Street must be lead applicant;
  • Located in a county with a population of 50,000 or less;
  • Has never been a grantee of the IAC;
  • The public art project involves an artist(s), with at least some project funds directed to support their effort; and,
  • First (or one of the first) public art initiatives in the community.

Want to make your application even more competitive? Partner with an artist, arts organization, or arts provider in the planning stage and we’ll give your project top priority.

The project funding range is $2,500 to $5,000 and for every dollar in grant funds awarded, 50 cents must be matched, via cash or in-kind, by the applicant. All program information is now available including an instructional video. Please contact your respective community liaison to discuss project eligibility and competitiveness. Applications are due March 6.

IMPACT training leads to hands on workshops to address a current challenge

Five of the pilot IMPACT communities will participate in a IMPACT Ideas Sessions on March 13 and April 8 at Indiana Landmarks. These sessions are a hands-on experience designed to help communities address a challenge or pursue an opportunity in downtown.

Here’s how it works. Each community has identified three relevant downtown challenges or opportunities, ones associated with economic vitality and the built environment—directly or indirectly. Examples include a building rehab, improved streetscapes, better connectivity, integrated public spaces, bolstering sense of pride in place, etc. The identified challenges or opportunities should be based on data, including community feedback gathered from the IMPACT process. One of three challenges/opportunities were assigned to each community to ensure diversity in scope and alignment with available expertise. Then, each community created a team of up to three members including the Main Street executive director/board director or designee, a high ranking community official in a leadership position, and one more designee at the community’s discretion.

Below is the list of each participating community and the selected topic:

  • Dillsboro: gateway, access to downtown.
  • La Porte: Farmers Market plaza, surrounding redevelopment/connectivity potential;
  • Seymour: TBD;
  • Sullivan: Rehab/reuse of old gym property;
  • Tipton: Infill development of empty downtown parking lot including potential use as public space.

Best of Indiana

Thank you to Downtown Angola Coalition (top) and Discover Downtown Franklin (bottom) for setting aside time to celebrate recently being named one of the 2019 Best of Indiana Main Streets, sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism.

Grants help two Main Streets continue to grow

During the last round of Community Development Block Grants, two communities were awarded $600,000 Main Street Revitalization grants for downtown façade improvement and streetscapes.

The City of Logansport will use the grant funding to restore eight buildings façades in the two historic districts within the city’s Main Street district. The project will address blighted building conditions, restore original and historical façade features, and create a more aesthetic appearance within the Main Street district to improve quality of place.

The City has a long history of downtown planning and implementing community development projects dating back to the creation of the Main Street organization in 1996. Together with contributions from the city, the Redevelopment Commission, Logan’s Landing, and the building owners, an estimated $995,650 will be spent on improvements. With the completion of the project, every building on the 300 block of Market Street will be restored.

The Town of Remington will use the grant funding to replace sidewalks and curbs along North and South Railroad Street with decorative crosswalks/sidewalks which connect parking to local businesses. Both Streets will be repaved, and additional seating areas will be added around the Remington Depot, as well as street trees and improved pedestrian crossings.


According to Town Manager Jonathon Cripe, the town and the Mainstreet Committee has hopes to extend the project further down the Ohio Street corridor, but there are no plans for that right now.

"We are very excited to partner with OCRA on the streetscape," he said. "A lot of time and energy was spent planning this to make sure we got it done right. We look forward to making the depot area more dynamic and pedestrian friendly.”

For further information on these grant, contact the assigned Community Liaison for your region.

Important Dates

Friday, March 6 − QuIP applications due

Friday, March 6 − IMS Annual Reports are due

View our 2020 calendar.

Don't miss

IMS Annual Reports update

As a reminder, information on how to access the required annual reporting was emailed on Thursday, Jan. 30 to the program addresses on file. That evening, the same email address would have received a separate email from “Indiana Grants Management Portal” with a link to register an account on the Grants Management System. If you have not received this information, please check junk and spam folders. If you still cannot find the email(s), or are experiencing issues accessing the reports, please contact Jackie Swihart. The completed report must be submitted by March 6, 2020.

If you are unable to access reporting due to technical difficulties, reference the list of questions to begin preparing data, which can be found here

Where Women Made History

This year, the United States commemorates the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, providing an important opportunity to celebrate the place of women in American history. The National Trust wants to tell the full history, to uncover and uplift women across the centuries whose vision, passion, and determination have shaped the country we are today. The goal is to discover 1,000 places connected to women’s history, and elevate their stories for everyone to learn and celebrate.

What places have you encountered where women made history? They can be famous or unknown, protected or threatened, existing or lost. No matter their condition or status, these places matter, and we encourage you to share them with the world. Submit a photo and a short description here. Thank you for helping tell these stories!


Main Street Now Conference: latest Dallas details

Main Street Now, allows you to network with peers, find innovative solutions to common problems, and discover techniques and tools to help your community thrive. Get inspired by Dallas and surrounding Main Street communities as you learn from their revitalization successes and challenges.To get all the latest details for this conference, visit here.

The volunteer registration is now open. There is a registration discount for eight or more hours of volunteer effort, but any amount of time is welcomed and appreciated.

Win a free trip to Denton, Texas! Sweepstakes runs through Feb. 29 by visiting this website.

MS Contest

Nominate a Main Street to win $25,000

The 5th Annual America's Main Street Contest is now underway! Nominate your favorite Main Street for a chance to win $25,000 in cash and sponsor related prizes.

Anyone is eligible to nominate a Main Street including formal Main Street and business organizations, business owners, and local residents. To nominate a Main Street, please complete the online form.

AARP Community Challenge

This is for small funds, community-based, “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities, and public spaces. The goal is to spark change and build momentum to improve livability for people of all ages. Apply now through April 1, 2020. Click here for more information.

Attend preservation conference in April

From April 14-17, join the Preserving Historic Places, Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference in South Bend, where new enterprises in historic factories, showrooms and office buildings contribute to a revitalized and vibrant city. Be inspired by an entertaining mix of tours, education sessions led by experts, hands-on workshops, and fascinating speakers. View the agenda or register now for the early bird special.

From the National Main Street Blog

Fighting Back Against Apathy: The Beatrice, NE, Approach to Defeating Negativity

The 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalists

Main Street Year in Review

Be a part of a national network of Main Streets. Visit or call 312-619-5611 to join Main Street America.