Issue IV

Registration Opens for Main Street NOW 2016
posted by: Darrin Wasniewski
As the calendar turned to December, we entered the home stretch for Main Street NOW 2016. From May 23-25, Wisconsin will open its doors to 2,000 downtown professionals and volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada. While Milwaukee is our host city, it really is an opportunity for us to showcase all of the state. 
Second Time in Milwaukee
This is a return trip for a Main Streets conference, which was first held in Milwaukee in 1993. Back then it was called the National Town Meeting, and it welcomed about 400 to the city. Some in the Main Street ranks will return for a second time, but there will be many more new faces who will experience Milwaukee for the first time. There has been a flurry of activity already, as the National Main Street Center, Milwaukee Downtown and Wisconsin Main Street worked toward a Dec. 1 deadline for registration to open.
Mobile Tours Highlight Wisconsin’s Main Street Success
Joe Lawniczak, Wisconsin Main Street’s design specialist, must have been dreaming about hosting his Main Street counterparts for some time, because as soon as the idea was floated, he produced a list of suggested mobile education sessions. In the ensuing months, he worked diligently making arrangements for showcasing the best of Wisconsin’s downtown development efforts in Milwaukee and within a short bus ride. The results are 14 mobile education sessions offered during the conference, to include Milwaukee’s downtown, breweries and Avenues West, but also Fond du Lac County, Sheboygan County, Port Washington, Madison and Beloit. (All mobile education sessions are an extra cost ticket for conference attendees.)
Peer-to-Peer Learning
The soul of the conference, though, is the sharing of ideas between practitioners and communities. A committee, whose members included Wausau River District’s Elizabeth Field, reviewed a record number of educational session proposals and selected the top 80 to present to conference attendees. These sessions highlight best practices in commercial district management in the Four Points of Main Street: Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion.
Main Street NOW 2016 registration opened on Dec. 1, with early-bird registration rates in effect until Feb. 29. For more information or to register for Main Street NOW 2016 click here.


Webinar: Wine Walks
December 18
Registration Link

Tourist Information Center Grant Application Deadline
January 1
Application link

Connect Communities Regional Roundtable
January 13
9:30 – 3
Registration Link

Cultural Organization Planning Grant Application Deadline
January 13
Application Link

Wisconsin Main Street Awards Nomination Deadline
January 15

Connect Communities Regional Roundtable
January 27
9:30 – 3
Registration Link

Monroe County Economic Development Conference
February 25
Ft. McCoy
Registration Link

Main Street Open House Submission Deadline
February 26

Local Government Center Webinar Series on Current Issues Affecting Local Government
October – February
Registration Link

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Wyoming Main Street Best Practices Bus Tour

In advance of each Main Street NOW conference, Wyoming Main Street sponsors a bus tour in the host state for its conference attendees. While in Wisconsin, our friends from the Equality State will tour Wisconsin Main Street and Connect Communities by bus on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21. They will use this time to learn from our local communities and tour their downtowns.


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