By: Marianne Lods, Executive Director
With a reinvigorated program, there’s a need for volunteers to join the committees that put the planning into action.
Millville’s Glasstown Arts District is also a Main Street New Jersey community and a part of National Main Street organization via the National Trust in Washington, DC. Since our beginning in 2000, the organization began following the 4-Point Approach to revitalization offered by Main Street NJ. In 2004 we became a certified Main Street town after a rigorous application process and town meetings.
There were many benefits for our town and about 25 others in New Jersey. Some of the projects we offered or completed from 2004 to 2016 included:
• Complete façade makeovers with preservation architects provided by Main Street.
• Some of our businesses received services to create or change their branding with logos, websites, signage, etc.
• Totally redesigned website for the Arts District.
• Many speakers provided on the ins and outs of retail business.
• Crosswalks painted with unique arts district feel.
Being able to network with peers in other New Jersey towns was also invaluable to us.
Early in May this year, we received notification that Governor Murphy is reinstating the Main Street program in the Department of Community Affairs. We supplied the necessary paperwork and have a letter of agreement with the City of Millville that it will work cooperatively with us to take advantage of new programs that will benefit our downtown.
One of the new offerings from the state has given our organization the opportunity to apply for Creative Placemaking grant funds that will benefit all the stakeholders in downtown. It will appeal to the residents and visitors who enjoy the art galleries, college courses, Levoy Theatre, small shops and many excellent restaurants that line High Street. We will be announcing these creative projects in the near future when we are notified of the grant approval.
With the reinvigorated Main Street program, we will soon be asking for volunteers to join the committees that put the planning into action. They are:
• Organization Committee – plans fundraising events and communications programs
• Design Committee – looks at façade grant applications and recommends to the board of directors; will oversee public art proposals and recommendations; work to enhance appearance in downtown.
• Economic Development – works with other agencies in government and non-profit organizations to retain existing businesses and recruit new entrepreneurs and investors.
• Promotions Committee – works with stakeholders on traditional special events and plan new events.
Working on these committees, you will be joining board members and the executive director. A lot of the early planning will take place in July and August. A regular schedule of meetings and events will be launched in the fall. Much of the event planning for 2020 will revolve around the upcoming 20th anniversary of Millville Development Corporation, the Glasstown Arts District and Main Street Millville.
To whet your appetite for the remainder of 2019, we have partnered with the Millville Recreation Department to host a city-wide Scavenger Hunt in August and the Ghost Tour in October. Also, we will be promoting the national “Small Business Saturday” event in November followed by Holiday Extravaganza.
If you have interest in getting involved or would like more information of what to expect and the amount of time you may be able to give, e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at 856-293-0556.
To keep informed about the programs and events that we host, visit our website and check the Events tab regularly. Our Facebook and Twitter pages are always active with postings and sharing specials and information from the businesses. Like us @ Millville Glasstown Arts District.