Montana has been selected, as one of only five states, to host an intensive workshop focused on empowering communities to revitalize their downtowns and public places.
The two-day workshop, titled “Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities,” will bring national downtown and Placemaking experts to Montana this spring. The Department of Commerce (DOC) will extend invitations to member communities of the Montana Main Street Program to attend at no charge.
“In small towns and large cities across the country and in Montana, the key to building robust and resilient local economies is in creating unique, vibrant communities,” Director Meg O’Leary of the Department of Commerce said. “Our Montana Main Street Program supports these efforts. This new training will be a valuable addition to all of our other program resources.”
The National Main Street Center (NMSC) and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) have jointly launched the new training program to help revitalize towns and communities through Placemaking — a citizen-led process that helps activate downtowns and community gathering places.
Placemaking provides a powerful set of tools for change that communities can apply to the revitalization of downtowns, making immediate and affordable changes to public spaces while also building local support and demonstrating to stakeholders the potential for further long-term projects and investments. Attendees will plan community projects and identify potential funding resources in order to implement successful projects following the training.
Generous funding by the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Foundation will cover all expenses of the training, including lodging costs.
The Montana Main Street Program, established in 2005 and currently serving twenty-five communities across the state, helps communities strengthen and preserve their historic downtown commercial districts by focusing on economic development, urban revitalization, and historic preservation through long-range planning, organization, design, and promotion.
Montana Main Street staff are working with NMSC and PPS to finalize training details, location, and agenda.