We have a terrific training coming up in Troy later this month (register here) on the arts as a driver of community economic development. Arts professionals from across the state will share their insights on building arts programs from scratch, pairing arts programs with comprehensive revitalization strategies, securing program funding, and creating arts programs in small towns.
Kathy Cain of the Ohio Arts Council will share information about funding opportunities for local arts initiatives and arts programs. Robb Hankins will share his experiences with starting a local arts program, and funding the program on a shoestring budget. Linda Parsons will guide attendees through the process of creating a local arts program in a small town.
If your community could benefit from injecting life into your existing arts program, or starting a new arts program from scratch, then plan on joining us in Troy on June 26th.
Incorporating the Arts in Urban Revitalization
June 26, 10AM-5PM
The Market Square Community Room
405 SW Public Square, Third Floor
Free to Main Street programs and Downtown Affiliates as a benefit of membership
$75 for Heritage Ohio Members
$125 for non-Members
Join Heritage Ohio today to start receiving member benefits!
Added bonus! While you’re here for the training, check out Troy Main Street’s special event, Sculptures on the Square. The sixth installment of this popular event features sculptor Seward Johnson’s bronze statues. Sculptures on the Square brings art into the public realm, encouraging people to come downtown and experience everything downtown Troy has to offer.
About our speakers
Program Coordinator, Ohio Arts Council
Kathy Cain joined the OAC in September 1984. During her tenure at the OAC, Ms. Cain has worked in several program areas. Currently, she is a program coordinator for organizations in the eastern and central sections of the state, including Ohio’s entire Appalachian region, Columbus and central Ohio. Ms. Cain also coordinates the Ohio Artist on Tour program and the International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour. The Ohio Artist on Tour program enables Ohio’s arts organizations to tap into the creative potential of Ohio artists to enrich their programming and the vitality of their communities. The International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour program provides the opportunity for organizations to bring international performing arts to their communities. Ms. Cain is a past recipient of the Ohio Arts Presenter Network’s Award of Merit for service to the performing arts. Ms. Cain lives in Lancaster with her husband, Gary, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
President & CEO, ArtsinStark
Robb Hankins has spent the last 30 years directing city, county and state arts agencies in eight different states. He has managed annual arts campaigns, arts festivals, public art projects, arts education programs, and downtown arts districts.
Robb arrived in October 2005 to become the President & CEO of ArtsinStark, the County Arts Council. The organization called ArtsinStark today was founded in 1968 to build the Cultural Center for the Arts. ArtsinStark’s mission is “to use the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities.” ArtsinStark gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign. For the last 7 years ArtsinStark’s Annual Arts Campaign has made its fundraising goal every year, and has increased giving to the arts by nearly 75%. In May 2013 it raised $1.7 million, the highest amount in its 40 year history. ArtsinStark is the winner of the 2012 Governor’s Award for the Arts.
CEO and Artistic Director, ArtWorks
Tamara Harkavy is the founding director of ArtWorks. Since its launch in 1996 as a job-training and employment program for talented teens, ArtWorks has become a leader in employing artists of all ages, creating public art and initiating innovative arts programming for the city of Cincinnati. Under her leadership, ArtWorks has employed more than 2,500 youth and over 500 professional artists to work on countless arts projects. Many of these works of art remain in public and private venues, as testaments to the artistic talents of the participants. Tamara and her team were also the creative force behind the Big Pig Gig in 2000 and again in 2012. ArtWorks is now hard at work on its many initiatives, including its community mural program, its entrepreneurial training program, SpringBoard, and its ArtRX offerings, in which they create art for and with hospital patients and their families.
ArtWorks was the winner of the 2010 City Livability Award, by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for its mural program. Tamara was invited by U.S. Representative Steve Driehaus to be the Key-note speaker to address the winners of the 2010 Congressional Art Competition. ArtWorks has also been awarded three prestigious Post-Corbett Awards, the Ambassador Award from the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a Community Impact Award from the American Marketing Association, and recognition from Hillary Rodham Clinton for ArtWorks’ leadership and vision.
Tamara, a 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, serves on the board of Tender Mercies and was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund. She has co-chaired two major events celebrating Israel’s 50th and 65th birthdays for Cincinnati’s Jewish Federation and acts in an advisory capacity for many smaller arts organizations. She has recently joined the group CEOs for Cities. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. She is the mother of jazz drummer Ben Sloan, and is married to artist and real estate guy, Matthew Kotlarczyk.
Trustee, Yellow Springs Art Council
Appraiser & Art Dealer, Linda L Parsons Art Sales
Linda owns and manages an art appraisal service near Yellow Springs. She began appraising and dealing art in Denver, Colorado, with offices at the historic Zang Mansion. She later opened a business in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was a silent partner in the now defunct “Denver Rio Grande” gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her current business maintains connections in Denver, Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Linda has served as board member and president of the “American Art Society” in Cincinnati, whose mission involves research and preservation of American painters and sculptors. She brings arts gallery management and business skills to YSAC.
Heritage Ohio staff and about 40 Ohioans, including Main Street Managers, and downtown revitalization advocates attended the conference, hosted this year in New Orleans. Having just completed 5 days of inspirational and educational sessions, I thought I would share my top ten things learned, in no particular order:
1. The JOBS Act of 2012 allows for locavesting and crowd funding, providing more options for financing businesses to create jobs. There are many more platforms than I realized, and they are all slightly different, so finding the right match is important.
2. The Entrepreneur – the term is thrown around so much we’ve begun to lose sight of who we mean. It can be anyone: a car mechanic, a gardener, a knitter, a computer geek. Think small, not so big. Make your downtown welcoming to anyone with a business idea; create an environment of support where business can thrive.
3. Sponsorship – believe in the value of your program and its activities. Develop relationships with your sponsors with as much thought to the follow-up as to the ask.
4. Streetscape projects can be challenging for downtown businesses. Effective communication, frequent progress meetings and a creative attitude will get the community through the process.
5. Business Enhancement Committees can create a Recruitment Manual to give them structure month after month to make the best use of your market analysis data and help you find the new businesses that belong in your community. Court your new business candidates.
6. Fundraising isn’t so hard when everyone is able to share the story of your downtown. Use your revitalization statistics. Tailor your story to the listener’s style.
7. What is trending in 2013? Diversity, young talent, young women, deliberate spending, shortened commutes, health and wellness, main stream technology.
8. Transportation – Reduce our car-centric decisions. Walkable communities are the future. Healthy and hip, they attract the young people, your town’s future.
9. Millennials (under 30 yrs.) – get them on your board and committees, or you may go the way of the dinosaurs.
10. New Orleans is a party city.
Thousands of communities across the country are doing creative work in revitalizing their downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers. You too can be part of this amazing process, it’s all about the can-do attitude.
Last week I spent an afternoon with the City of Painesville Economic Development Director and the Downtown Painesville Organization Executive Director. We were out meeting with business owners to discuss the upcoming streetscape construction project scheduled for this summer.
I learned a great deal regarding streetscape projects and what it takes to prepare for a project. It seems the main theme of the day was communication. The Painesville representatives have already done a great job of communicating the details of the project with the business owners. Projects like this are enormous undertakings and have so many moving parts that they can be hard to keep under control. While city leaders and downtown folks are typically very excited about these projects, they can be very daunting for business owners and it is imperative that they are kept in the loop. In Painesville, the business owners were contacted early regarding the project and given some rough ideas what to expect. When plans were complete, business owners were visited and construction plans were reviewed in person. This gave the business owners a chance to understand the process and how it would impact them, it also gave the city and downtown representative a chance to hear property owners concerns and address any questions. This also gives the project leaders ample time to make adjustments to suit the business owners and address concerns.
Business owners were informed when the construction would take place and how it would impact them. These impacts included reduced parking, reduced store visibility, increased noise and dust and reduced customer access. By better understand when and what was taking place, business owners are better able to prepare. Preparation most often included communication with customers to make them aware of the impending construction and let them know the store would be open, or in some instances have them enter the store from the rear. Some business owners were also making plans for temporary signage, changes in lighting or valet parking.
We also discussed the importance of finding the right contractor for the project. There are plenty of horror stories from other towns where a contractor was not sensitive to the needs of business owners and communicated poorly. In one of the worst cases, this situation lead to business owners suing the city over lost revenue during construction. Finding a contractor that has experience with streetscape construction is a must. This contractor must be willing to do the project in phases and try to keep the impact on business owners to a minimum. The contractor must also be willing to communicate on nearly a daily basis to keep everyone informed on the progress of the project.
Streetscape projects can and should be a tremendous benefit for a downtown or commercial business district, but if mismanaged, can be a potential debacle. I was very appreciative of the time I spent with Jen Reed and Cathy Bieterman of Painesville. I learned a great deal about what it takes to prepare for a streetscape project and feel confident that Painesville’s project will run smoothly. As always with Main Street Communities, advice and suggestions were shared from communities that have already been through the process and Painesville will share their experience with cities going through the process down the road.
Every month, ever year, since 1998, we have required the Ohio Main Street Communities to submit monthly reinvestment statistics. We do this because we stand behind the Ohio Main Street Program and we know the numbers will justify the effort. We also do it, so when we seek new legislation from our state legislators, we can prove the impact of downtown revitalization. The Ohio Main Street Communities use these figures to garner local support and for their own advocacy efforts.
In 2012, 26 Ohio Main Street Communities reported their reinvestment statistics. There were 104 facade improvements undertaken, totaling over $5 million. Eighty buildings were rehabilitated at the cost of amost $15.5 million. Over $40 million was invested in new construction in these districts and 44 pubic improvement projects added another $2.8 million to the totals. Two hundred and eight new business opened adding an additional 536 full-time employees and 600 part-time employees. Amazingly 84,536 vollunteer hours were logged in these 26 communities. The total investment was over $63 million. Considering the average Main Street budget of around $130,000, for every $1 invested in a Main Street Program, there was $18 reinvested in the district.
When we compile the numbers from 1998 to 2012, they tell a pretty amazing story of the impact of the Main Street Program. Ohio Main Street Communities have added over 1000 net new businesses. Those businesses have created over 4,000 net new full-time jobs and over 3,000 net new part-time jobs. A stunning total of $821,738,306 has been invested in these districts. More than 660,000 volunteer hours have been donated to these organizations which is valued at $12,454,200. Other economic development programs would be hard pressed to boast such numbers as 1 new full time job for every $8,500 invested. The average investment per community is almost $2.5 million and that for every $1 invested in the local budget, $23 is reinvested in the district.
These statistics are a testament to the power of the Ohio Main Street Program. When considering we have experienced two recessions in the last fifteen years and the last five have been historically bad, we can unequivocally say, downtown revitalization is an investment every community should make.
I lamented the sad news this past weekend when my parents showed up from Michigan to my house in Columbus, empty-handed.
“Did you know Butler’s Bakery closed?” was their surprised greeting.
Butler’s Bakery was a locally-owned, Main Street, bakery located in Van Wert, Ohio, that sold a garden-variety of baked goods, but what we really loved were their egg noodles. First introduced to them at a Main Street training back in 2008, I chuckled when our host announced we would have the privilege of eating “life-changing” noodles with our chicken lunch. While I’ve never had “life-changing” anything before with a meal, these noodles *were* excellent and I made a note to ask about them.
Finding out they were made at Butler’s, and available for sale, I bought some the next time I was through Van Wert, and have stopped at least a couple times a year to pick some up each time I traveled to Van Wert, or was passing through to Michigan.
Unfortunately, as with so many things, Butler’s wouldn’t be here for forever, and there would come a day when I was passing through (or my parents were) and we’d find Butler’s closed.
Downtown Van Wert still has a lot of great amenities, not the least of which is their recently restored historic courthouse, but there’s one less downtown business providing its unique character to a unique downtown. And there’s one more former patron looking for a new source of life-changing noodles.
The Ohio Department of Development recently released the pre-assesment worksheet for the Discretionary Targets of Opportunity for Downtown Revitalization Grant. The Discretionary Grant Program provides funding for “target of opportunity” community development, housing, emergency shelter and special projects and activities that do not fit within the structure of existing programs and to provide supplemental resources to resolve immediate and unforeseen needs. Please find the worksheet HERE
Part of Main Street’s Four-Point approach to revitalization comprises the businesses located downtown, the entrepreneurs who operate them, and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Where does Heritage Ohio come into the picture? We work to connect the downtown stakeholders to the resources that will make them successful.
Our Revitalization Committee has been active in collecting resources on entrepreneurship, so we thought we’d share some of the best online resources that could help today’s (or tomorrow’s) entrepreneurs.
Braintree Business Development Center (www.braintreepartners.org) is based in Mansfield and has been active since its founding in 1986. Among its offerings: regular events (you can learn about co-op enterprises in an upcoming workshop), basic resources for entrepreneurs on their website, and its Appleseed Micro-Loan Program.
The National Business Incubation Association (www.nbia.org) based in Athens, has a handy incubator search feature on its website and features a free webinar on April 25.
The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (www.oeockent.org) a nonprofit outreach center located at Kent State University offers resources for business succession planning, for transitioning to an employee-owned business, or to assist current employee-owned businesses. They also offer an annual employee-owned business conference, coming up this year April 20 in Akron.
The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet, www.acenetworks.org) is another Athens-based resource offering business incubation and business loan services. It’s well worth your time to contact ACEnet directly to set up a tour of their innovative kitchen incubator.
If you have an idea for a successful business, Ohio University’s SBDC (sbdc.voinovichschool.ohio.edu/boss/boss.aspx) offers its BOSS Program (Basis of a Successful Start), an online training tool to help you evaluate your plan’s potential while learning about moving from a business idea to business execution.
Finally, Lake Erie College (lec.edu/entrepreneurship/business_plan_clinic) offers its Business Plan Clinic, an online resource that covers the basics of creating a successful business plan.
Do you know of other Ohio-based entrepreneurial resources we should be aware of? Tell us about other great resources for Ohio-based entrepreneurs in the comments section below.
Aaron Domini of OHM & John Grossmann with EG&G Inc. discuss the importance of education, regulation, public spaces and the role of the Design committee in Ohio Main Street Communities at our Annual Revitalization Conference May 8-10 in Toledo. For more information on our conference sessions visit our website here.