Jax Main Street to hold Interactive Visioning Workshop

By Nick Kovatch on March 3 at 1:24pm

Have an idea on how to improve downtown Jacksonville? The city’s Main Street organization wants to hear from you.

Jacksonville Main Street is holding an Interactive Visioning Workshop on Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 to 8:30 at Hamilton’s at 110 North East.

Main Street executive director Judy Tighe says the workshop is a follow up to the first one more than 15 years ago when community leaders, local business proprietors, property owners and concerned citizens gathered to share ideas.

“We took this vision – all the ideas and all the suggestions that came about from this meeting – and created a vision for downtown,” says Tighe. “Fast-forward 15 years later, as you read through our vision statement we’ve really accomplished a lot of the goals that were set forth at that time and we know there’s a lot of work still left to do.”

Tighe says Jacksonville Main Street is ready to tackle new challenges, face new issues and expand on events like the Downtown Celebration, Munch Madness, Art Fair on the Square and Pumpkin Festival.

“All of these things occur because somebody actually spoke and said ‘I got an idea’,” says Tighe. “It’s amazing because if somebody tells me about an idea chances are there’s three other people that have a similar thing going on in their mind. So, we can get those people together, let them brainstorm and Jacksonville Main Street is the vehicle by which they can make things happen.”

Valecia Crisafulli, former Illinois Main Street director and acting director of the National Main Street Center, will return to host the open workshop session. The workshop is open to the public and free of charge.

Since 1999, Jacksonville Main Street has worked with hundreds of volunteers and community partners to help bring nearly $30 million in public/private reinvestment to downtown, reduce vacancies from 27 percent to less than 6 percent and encourage dozens of building renovations and business expansions.

You can RSVP for the March 18th workshop by e-mailing info@jacksonvillemainstreet.com or calling 245-6884.