This Lewiston Sun Journal article reports that the Farmington Downtown Association recently held a well-attended public forum to discuss downtown revitalization efforts. Today's Morning Sentinel also features this story about a series of facade improvements and public space investments beginning in Waterville funded by a community development block grant. Great news for vibrant downtowns!
These are also examples of the kinds of economic and community development that will be featured at the Revitalizing Maine Communities Conference on June 3 & 4 in Augusta. Last year, I attended a great session that Shannon Haines, Executive Director of Waterville Main Street (and prominently featured in the Sentinel article) and Rachael Weyand, of Heart of Biddeford, presented at the Maine Downtown Conference in Rockland. They shared the successes and challenges of some of Waterville and Biddeford's respective efforts to foster and grow their creative economies. The session, held in a downtown Rockland gallery, resulted in an engaging conversation with all of the participants about the importance of the creative economy in communities of all sizes. Shannon will be leading a workshop again this year at the Revitalizing Maine Communities Conference about Barrels Community Market, a nonprofit market that sells locally produced wares, that Waterville Main Street developed and founded.
Visit the conference website for the full listing of workshops.