Join Main Street Alabama August 21-23 in Decatur for the 6th Annual aLABama Downtown Laboratory as we bring all the elements of the Main Street Four Point Approach® together. Explore how working in all areas of the approach simultaneously can be the most significant method to move the needle in your downtown. Learn about Ideas in Action from across the state with other downtown enthusiasts and how to build a vital network for your local efforts.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
PreLab Session 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM: Rural Communities Luncheon with David Leckey, Executive Director of the Orton Family Foundation.Simp McGhee's, 725 Bank Street
Session Description: The Orton Family Foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with towns to develop a community development model that empowers residents to shape the future of their communities. Community Heart & Soul® projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven, recognizes the value in the unique character of each place, and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there. This session will explore the rich set of tools to create conversations, involve people who may not otherwise be involved, and delve deep into what makes each place special.*Separate Ticket Required - Limited Seating
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Conference Registration Open Princess Theater, 112 2nd Ave NE
New! 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Ideas in Action with Main Street Alabama Directors, Princess Theater, 112 2nd Ave NE
Main Street Alabama Directors share their experiences in each of the Four Points that resulted in downtown success:
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM: Conference Welcome
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Opening Plenary with Charles Marohn, Founder and President of Strong Towns: Curbside Chat. Princess Theatre, 112 2nd Ave NE *Included with conference registration or separate ticket available
Session Description: During the Curbside Chat, gain understanding of how many American cities have found themselves in decline after decades of “growth” and learn a revolutionary way forward that could create enduring prosperity with these three core concepts: Continuous building (“growth”) is not the measure of a successful town; When planning for our cities’ futures, we need to look to the history of how resilient cities have been successfully built for centuries; And any citizen can participate in making their town stronger, and no town will truly be made stronger without building a culture of people who care.
Social! 5:15 PM - 7:00 PM: Downtown on Tap hosted by Downtown Decatur Redevelopment Authority. Enjoy beer and bites with conference attendees at the Crossed-Eyed Owl Brewing Company, 105 1st Ave NE *No fee to attend but registration is required.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Conference Registration and Coffee, Magnolia Room, 216 Moulton St E
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: General Session with Charles Marohn, Founder and President of Strong Towns: Neighborhoods First. Magnolia Room, 216 Moulton St E
Session Description: Risky, low returning projects too often become expensive boondoggles that haunt a community for decades. Public officials everywhere are desperately seeking an alternative. This talk will cover the "Neighborhoods First" approach to show how a community can grow stronger by making small, incremental investments over time. By observing how neighbors live their lives, by asking them where their daily struggles are, by getting out on the street and discovering what is actually going on, any local government can discern what their community’s pressing needs are. These projects are the high return investments and they are all around us.
10:30 AM – 12:00 NOON: General Session with Mike Jackson, FAIA, Illinois Historic Preservation and Dennis Madson, AICP, Manager of Urban & Long-Range Planning, City of Huntsville: Codes and Historic Buildings- Working Together, Magnolia Room, 216 Moulton St E
Session Description: Adapting Building Codes, Zoning Regulations and other Requirements to fit the realities of Historic Downtowns and Neighborhood Commercial Districts. How can code officials use their discretionary powers when dealing with unique, historic properties? Hear about communities that are doing creative interpretations of the code as it relates to historic preservation for a win/win for development and preservation.
12:00 NOON – 1:30 PM: Urban Luncheon with International Downtown Association's David Downey. Simp McGhee's, 333 East Broad Street *Separate Ticket Required - Limited Seating
Session Description: The International Downtown Association is a world leader and champion for vital and livable urban centers. Through its network of diverse practitioners, its rich body of knowledge, and its unique capacity to nurture community-building partnerships, IDA provides tools, intelligence and strategies for creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities and regions of the world. Discussion will include addressing homelessness and clean and safe issues.
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch and Retail Therapy on your own, Downtown Decatur
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM: General Session with Kathy LaPlante: Retaining Leaders, Magnolia Room, 333 East Broad Street
Session Description: Changeover in staff can be costly for an organization: in the loss of partners and funder relationships, institutional knowledge and momentum in project implementation and program management. Recruiting and keeping effective board members is also critical for a downtown organization to thrive. This session will identify some reasons for executive director turnover and will offer ideas and actions for boards to take to secure longevity in staff, as well as provide ideas to keep board members engaged and active.
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Lab Talk with Jim Purcell: At the Intersection of Education and Economic Development in Alabama. Magnolia Room, 333 East Broad Street
Session Description: The revitalization of Alabama’s communities requires the availability of a workforce skilled and credentialed for the jobs needed in the modern economy. The current situation throughout Alabama is reviewed and recommendations are made that could assist communities in controlling their own destiny.
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Lab Talk with Elba Mayor Micky Murdock and Main Street Elba's Sandy Bynum: How Did They Do That?: Magnolia Room, 333 East Broad Street
Session Description: Elba was recently awarded a $450,000 Community Development Block Grant for Downtown Revitalization. Community leaders can use this program to rehabilitate blighted downtown buildings. The program is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The goal of this program is to provide economic opportunities for people, especially those of low-and moderate income. Hear from Mayor Mickey Murdock, Chamber/Main Street Director Sandy Bynum and Jim Byard of Byard & Associates on how they applied for the funds and their plans for implementation.
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Lab Talk with Chris Roquemore, Communications Assistant Manager, AIDT: Getting Your Community Film Ready, Magnolia Room, 333 East Broad Street
Session Description: Work with Hollywood and the New York film industry to develop camera-ready towns to meet the needs of movie and TV producers. As a result of preparation and promotion, Nicholas Cage, Bruce Willis, and Liam Hemsworth have repeatedly filmed in south Alabama. How do you conduct municipal and community relations to prepare towns for their close up? Find out!
6:15 PM: A Toast to Excellence, Join Regions Bank and raise a glass to celebrate the best projects on Alabama's Main Streets. Cook's Museum Patio, 133 4th Ave NE *This event is included with Awards for Excellence Ticket
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Awards for Excellence: Join Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Main Street Alabama and our special guests as we celebrate the successes of our local Main Street programs with a dinner and awards program. Cook's Museum Ballroom, 133 4th Ave NE *Separate ticket required - Limited Seating
Friday, August 24, 2019
8:00 AM - Registration and Breakfast, Alabama Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 133 2nd Ave NE
8:30 AM - 11:15 AM: Lab Talks covering topics of interest from funding mechanisms to trails and everything in between. Alabama Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 133 2nd Ave NE
How to Fund Your Organization, Kathy LaPlante: Is your organization tapping into every possible funding source? This fast-paced session will cover all aspects of income streams for downtown revitalization efforts, laying it out in a simple, yet necessary plan. Planning strategies for municipal support (new and continuing), annual campaigns, sponsorships, special projects income, promotional income, grants, merchandise sales and fundraising events will be provided.
Tying Agriculture to Downtown
Public Art &Trails: Find out how trails and public art can impact your district. From the Tulotoma Snail Trail in Wetumpka, the Pinhoti NRT Trailhead Heflin Spur to the Literary Capital Sculpture Trail in Monroeville – we got you covered! Executive Directors; Jenny Stubbs, Wetumpka Main Street, Tanya Maloney, Heflin Main Street and Anne Marie Bryan, Monroeville Main Street
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Conference Closing
*All separate ticket items may be purchased as a single transaction using the link below.
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Our Main Streets tell us who we are, who we were and how the past has shaped us.