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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
Always Changing, Always Growing, Always Grateful
June is an exciting time for us - not only do we have our annual awards event, but it's the end of our fiscal year and the time when we begin looking forward to the new year ahead. Around Connecticut, it's much the same as we see constant change, progress, and promise. This June, we are again thankful for the many people, sponsors and volunteers who support our work. And we're equally thankful and supportive of the many positive Main Streets elements we see coming together to have an impact all over the state, like the work of our award winners and the new Hartford Line which will help so many towns and residents. Read on to learn more about the many components of a vibrant downtown coming to CT!

The Hartford Line is Here!
Credit: Patrick Raycraft, Hartford Courant
Like most of the state, CMSC is thrilled to welcome the new Hartford Rail Line, whose ribbon cutting is today, with an official start this weekend. The rail line (like CTfastrak before it) embodies many of the ideals CMSC stands for: transit that provides a convenient, cost-effective alternative to cars; development around that transit for people to live, work and play; and increased mobility leading to increased opportunity for jobs and housing.  
Just the anticipation of the expanded rail service is generating the type of development CMSC espouses through its educational and technical assistance programming, and we stand at the ready to help communities understand how to take advantage of their own transit opportunities. In the meantime, read on for helpful information on the new rail line.

What You Need to Know Before Riding
Check out this helpful article from the Hartford Courant for everything you need to know about the Hartford Rail Line from fares, to train station locations to train times.

Hartford Line is Music to Meriden's Ears!
Meriden will hold a live concert event to welcome the new rail and downtown train station. On Friday, June 22nd, the uproarious music of CJ West and The Downtown Train will entertain travelers on the Meriden Green on State Street. Join the fun and explore the newly revitalized downtown district with its beautiful, newly built modern housing, new rail station and a sprawling town green. With lots of train-themed song on the playlist, it'll be a night to remember as you hear the whistle blow and watch the trains roll in! 
CMSC Bids Farewell to Board Members
As the end of June approaches, so too does the end of CMSC's fiscal year. For the CMSC Board, it's also the time when we elect new board members, while others step off due to the end of their term or to pursue other endeavors.

Outgoing Board members Bernard Kavaler & Bob Santy are presented with plaques thanking them for their years of service during a recent Board meeting.
CMSC would like to acknowledge and thank the following outgoing Board members for their time on the CMSC Board of Directors. Together, they brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and helped guide our organization through a change in executive leadership. We hope you'll join us in wishing them all the best!

Glendolyn Thames
Glen is the Executive Director of CTNext, and provided CMSC with a valuable perspective on entrepreneurship, startups and growth-stage businesses in the State of CT. Her already full plate became much fuller this year, when she was elected President of the Hartford City Council in January.
Jamie Brätt
From her involvement with a Washington, D.C. Main Street program, to Planner in Trumbull, to Deputy Director of Planning & Development in City of Hartford, Jamie's experience was invaluable to the CMSC team, and her thoughtful insights will be missed by CMSC staff.
Bernard Kavaler
From his time as a leading official in Public Affairs for the CT State University System, to Founding Principal of Express Strategies, his experience as a journalist and writer was incredibly helpful as he advised CMSC staff on government affairs, marketing & communications and higher education. He was also very helpful during the planning of our 2017 Awards Celebration at the Legislative Office Building, where Governor Malloy was our keynote speaker.
Robert Santy
One of our two longest serving Board members, Bob is well-known to many through his work at CERC. His experience in state and federal government - including as Deputy Commissioner at DECD, and as assistant administrator and chief of staff for the U.S Small Business Administration for President Ronald Reagan - made him an invaluable partner to CMSC. We're also happy to report we'll continue to benefit from his expertise as he has agreed to continue serving on our Finance Committee.
Be sure to look out for our July Downtown Update when we introduce our new Board members!
Meriden Event Matches Entrepreneurs with 
Downtown Space
Mark your calendars for an upcoming event on June 28th at the Silver City Ballroom in Meriden. A casual, interview style format will feature charismatic social entrepreneurs and influencers in the urban planning industry. The event will focus on "Finding Your Space (and Place) on Meriden's Entrepreneurial Map" and learning why small business is the backbone of a thriving downtown district. The agenda also includes a walking tour of nearby commercial spaces, a business match-up session, cocktails and networking
Click for more info & to register!
Re-Mains of the Day
▪  CT
Office of the Arts Accepting Applications for State Poet Laureate -  As the state's representative poet, the Poet Laureate serves as an advocate for poetry and promotes the appreciation of, and participation in, poetry and literary arts activities among Connecticut citizens. A poet must be nominated by a CT resident; self-nominations are not accepted. The deadline to submit is Friday, July 6th.

▪ Congratulations to Friend of Main Street, Carl Amento -
 Carl Amento, Executive Director of the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG), was recently awarded the 2018 Hamden Education Foundation Distinguished Service AwardCarl has been serving his community for the past 35 years, including serving on the Boards of Directors and as President of the Hamden Chamber of Commerce, the UNITAS Club, the Eli Whitney Museum, and the Yale Club of New Haven. Carl was also elected to the Hamden Legislative Council in 1997, and as Hamden's Mayor three times serving from 1999 to 2005.  In 2003, Carl became the first President of the statewide CT Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) which brought a landmark lawsuit against the State seeking more equitable funding for K-12 education.

Meditation Mondays Comes to HartfordA new weekly meditation series is taking place on Constitution Plaza every Monday from June 11-September 24, and the Hartford Business Improvement District recently announced. The "Meditation Mondays" series takes place from 12-1 pm and consists of three 15-minute sessions led by instructors from the Hartford Mindfulness Center. All sessions are free and open to the public.  Studies have shown that meditation helps to reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, improve areas related to positive thinking and optimism, enhance self-awareness, and lengthen attention span.

Main Street Waterbury Executive Director Carl Rosa leads a tour of the downtown at the recent developer forum. Credit: Harrison Connery, Republican-American
Downtown Waterbury Showcase a Success -   The Downtown Development Showcase hosted by Main Street Waterbury on May 24th was a success, with over 80 developers, a rchitects, city officials, engineers and landscapers from around the state gathered at the Mattatuck Museum. Webster Bank CEO Jim Smith gave a rousing opening, and the event was positively reported on in the Waterbury Republican-American.  
2018 VIBRANT MAIN STREETS Awards Celebration
Thank you to everyone who made our 2018 VIBRANT MAIN STREETS awards celebration in Danbury such a success!

We had a blast at our VIBRANT MAIN STREETS event in Downtown Danbury, celebrating with our many wonderful sponsors and award winners. All of us at CMSC would like to thank the attendees, award winners, volunteers and sponsors who came out and made it a terrific night
. A big thank you also to our host, CMSC Main Street member CityCenter Danbury, as well as Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton for welcoming our attendees.

Connecticut Main Street Center

The Sponsors of our  
Main Street Forums for the 21st Century

And our Partner Organizations:
CT Chapter, American Planning Association
Institute for Sustainable Energy
CT Economic Development  Association
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
CT Economic Resource Center
Main Street America
CT Preservation Action
Partnership for Strong Communities
CT Urban Legal Initiative 
Pro Bono Partnership
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County 
Young Energetic Solutions