Main Street Track

Session One: Diverging Views Producing Positive Change

September 19 | 10:00 am to Noon

Disrupting entrenched Community habits to find healthier and more productive ways to reach short and long term goals. Look beyond traditional views of community conflict.  Traditionally, downtowns have viewed conflict as a negative force which needs to be eliminated by imposing more structure or uniformity. Today, though, successful towns are more likely to embrace diverging views, realizing that they can lead to increased creativity, opportunities to improve, and greater productivity.  Rather than eliminating conflict, the goal is to better manage the conflict that inevitably comes with the open exchange of ideas.

Speaker: Carole Martin, Independent Consultant, Carole Martin Consulting

Session Two: Rural Downtown: The Land of Opportunity

September 19 | 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Rural Regions offer inexpensive and attractive places to live with a quality of life one can enjoy. The majority of the United States remains rural yet research shows we are preparing our gifted young people to leave their small towns, never to return. Meet a group of individuals who chose rural and in the process transformed their downtown into a vibrant economic hub! Recognizing a need or lack of belonging, these entrepreneurs thought radically, pushed social boundaries, capitalized on geographical opportunity and embraced change and their community! Get ready to take inspiration and ideas back to your community!

Speaker: Geoffrey Sewake, Community & Economic Development Field Specialist, Univeristy of NH Cooperative Extension

Panelists: Breanna Neal, Master Barber, Instructor/Owner, Polished and Proper; Emmett Soldati, Owner, Teatotaller; Marty Parichand, Founder, Outdoor New England

Session Three: Crazy Good First Impressions

September 20 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am

A newspaper contains pages of news and information, important stories and happenings from the first page to the last, each page worth reading. But what page gets the most attention? The front page, of course. The bold print headlines, top stories and most intriguing photos…the first impression. Main street is your community’s front page. Does your main street represent your community to the best of its ability? Does it engage and inspire further exploration into the streets and neighborhoods beyond?

A vibrant downtown serves as a gathering place, a place for people to dine, shop, and conduct business. First Impressions is an assessment program that examines your main street through the eyes of potential residents, visitors, and businesses, helping communities learn about their opportunities and empowering them to take steps to improve their downtown.

Attendees will learn skills to assess their own main streets for vibrancy and will hear examples of how communities have revitalized their downtowns through art, business retention, and connecting with trails.

Speakers: Casey Porter, Community & Economic Development Program Manager, UNH Cooperative Extension; Molly Donovan, Community Economic Development State Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension

Session Four: Bridgeable Gaps: The Fuel for Rural Change

Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Keynote Speaker: Art Markman, Executive Director of IC2 at the University of Texas at Austin


Main Street Sponsors

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners