At the Heart of Everything: Foundation Awards $28,000 to Wayne County Main Street Organizations

Main Street Richmond

The Wayne County Foundation, through Forward Wayne County, is pleased to announce that four Wayne County-based Main Street organizations have received funding for improvements and beautification.

Between the four local Main Street groups, the amount granted totaled $28,000. The funds were made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. implementation grant that the Wayne County Foundation received last fall.

Those awarded:

Cambridge City Main Street -$7,000 for economic vitality improvement: historical signage repair,
building fa├žade repair, etc.
Main Street Centerville – $7,000 for design and promotion improvements: commercial planters and
an art mural.
Heart of Hagerstown – $7,000 for design improvement: streetscape, multi-seasonal banners, trash
receptacles, etc.
Main Street Richmond (DBA Center City Development Corporation) – $7,000 for design improvement:
accessible rear access points for businesses impacted by Phase 2 of the Loop project.

Main Street Centerville

So, why Main Street?

Main Street empowers communities to set their own destinies. While revitalization is challenging work, the Main Street program offers a road-map for locally-owned, locally-driven prosperity. Across the country, thousands of communities have used the Main Street Approach to transform their economies, leverage local leadership, and improve overall quality of life.

Main Street America

In looking across many communities across Wayne County, not only do Main Streets offer a diverse cast of employers and services for their respective areas, but they also tend to serve as cultural and historical epicenters for their communities. For example, Centerville’s five famous Main Street arches were built almost two centuries ago. Did you know that Charles Francis Jenkins showcased the first motion picture in history at a downtown Richmond jewelry store in 1894? Main Streets provide a strong sense of place, while also offering identity to a community.

Not only do Main Streets often serve as the economic, cultural, and historical centers of Wayne County – but the social as well. This can be attested to by the many patrons of Hagerstown’s Willie and Red’s and Cambridge City’s No. 9 Grill. Countless places of worship reside on Wayne County Main Streets.

In many respects, Main Street can offer a glimpse of the community’s vibrancy.

‘We believe that improving our Main Street across the county will make Wayne County stronger and more
attractive to incoming business and potential residents,’ said Acacia St. John, Forward Wayne County’s Program Manager. ‘These groups have been working collectively since November 2020 as a Main Street Coalition on asset-based community development and strengthening their footprints in the county.’

‘It has been exciting to see these groups come together, share their aspirations for their communities, and work hard to achieve their goals. And now their communities will visually benefit from their work,’ added Wayne County Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Gilliam.

Cambridge City downtown
Main Street Cambridge City

Please click here to read the Foundation’s original press release. Questions about how to involved in your local Main Street organization? Email Alex Painter at Alex@WayneCountyFoundation.org

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Posted on

August 5, 2021