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: Celebrating the Townie

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. But have you been asked why you are still in your town or why you came back? Did you choose to stay in or return to your hometown because of potential, passion and room for radical change and exciting opportunity? The majority of the United States remains rural today yet research shows we are preparing our gifted young people to leave their small towns, never to return. Learn how to engage our younger generation by showing them the opportunities that exist in your small town!

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: Solutions and Success Consistent with Rural Values

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

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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