Main Street Chillicothe hosted delegates from Main Street organizations across the country on Tuesday as part of a mobile workshop session of the National Main Street America Now Conference taking place in Kansas City this week.
Main Street Chillicothe hosted delegates from Main Street organizations across the country on Tuesday as part of a mobile workshop session of the National Main Street America Now Conference taking place in Kansas City this week. There were 35 guests from 25 communities across America visiting Chillicothe and learning how the community has taken steps to enhance the vitality of the downtown area by preservation of its architectural, commercial and cultural heritage. Chillicothe was chosen as a mobile workshop session because it was a Great American Main Street Award finalist the last two years. The workshop brought Main Street officials to Chillicothe to experience the vitality of downtown and provide them with inspirations to take back home to exercise in their communities, said Ben White, Main Street Chillicothe director. Among those visiting Chillicothe were representatives from communities in Florida, Wyoming, Washington, Iowa and Maine... “all quadrants of the United States,” White said. While in downtown, attendees learned about Chillicothe’s heritage through a mural tour, were introduced to local artisans at the Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery, and interacted with the downtown shops and businesses on the square. “We were honored to have them here to be able to show our community to people from all over the nation,” White said. Chillicothe artist and muralist, Kelly Poling, and his wife, Angela, led the group on a walking tour of downtown’s 20-plus murals. On Monday, a session of the conference focused on “Painting the Town: Preserving Your Town’s History Through Art” presented by the Polings and Micah Landes, North Central Missouri Development Alliance and former director of Main Street Chillicothe. “No matter small or large, urban or rural, art transcends boundaries,” the brief synopsis stated. The session focused on the work in Chillicothe which highlights the development of the town’s mural program through community involvement and buy-in. The session focused on unique fundraising techniques, learning how to work within one town’s systems and the impact that art has brought to Chillicothe. “Attendees will gain valuable lessons to implement in their own communities, no matter the art media,” the session description stated.