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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
Downtown is for Everyone
At CMSC, we have long believed downtowns are at their best when they are authentic, walkable and diverse. Having a dynamic mix of uses, from housing and offices to restaurants and parks, in addition to a wide array of people - welcoming those of all ages and abilities, varied backgrounds and incomes - is a main street tenet we value deeply. Doing so not only helps these areas be economically strong and resilient, but it allows for creativity and innovation by facilitating spontaneous interactions and the germination of new ideas. We hope all of you will join us in continuing to advocate for strong main streets, downtowns, village center and commercial corridors that are welcoming to all people.

BRIDGE Series Connects Members, State Officials

Nearly seventy people joined CMSC for our most recent BRIDGE Series, Strengthening Relationships & Focusing on Main Street Problem Solving with CT DOT. CMSC members, planning professionals, CT DOT staff, several Fuss & O'Neill employees, and many others joined us for a panel discussion on creating a dialogue that leads to mutual understanding of the processes involved and how to effectively communicate the community's vision.

The BRIDGE Series is generously sponsored by United Illuminating, Fuss & O'Neill and CDM Smith. Our Main Street Forums for the 21st Century sponsors are Webster Bank and the NewAlliance Foundation.
CT Office of the Arts Unveils New Strategic Plan
COA charts a path for a stronger arts ecosystem in Connecticut 
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) unveiled a new five-year strategic plan, as a guide to creating a more vibrant, far-reaching and impactful arts and culture sector in Connecticut. Some highlights include:
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    COA's first-ever equity, inclusion and access statement, which places an emphasis on engaging with a diverse array of community members in arts policy, practice and decision making.
  • A strategy to maintain continuous collaboration across the cultural, public, private and social sectors, as well as members of the communities served.
  • A committment to investing in arts education to provide a pathway for future artists and audiences who will support and invest in the arts in the coming decades.
Read the entire plan here.
Creative Communities Exchange: Call for Workshops
Here's your chance to promote your community and share your creative economy strategies.

Are you engaged in projects that leverage your local creative sector for economic and community development? Share your successes and challenges with peers by leading a workshop at the next Creative Communities Exchange (CCX).
Selected workshops are eligible to receive a NEFA Creative Economy Award. Find guidelines and the application process on the NEFA website. The deadline is December 16th.  
2017 Heart of the Community Grant Applications Open
Southwest Airlines and Project for Public Spaces are now accepting applications for the 2017 Southwest Airlines  Heart of the Community grant -- see their announcement here.
New Meriden Green Celebrated in EPA New England Blog
Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office wrote about his inspirational experience at the opening weekend of the Meriden Green in August.

Read his blog here.
Re-Mains of the Day  
  New London Main Street Hires New Interim Director NLMS recently announced Kristin Havrilla Clarke as the organziation's new interim director. Ms. Clarke is the former director of the city's Office of Development and Planning, and was most recently the economic development specialist for the town of Groton. She replaces outgoing director Annah Perch, who served as NLMS's part-time director since 2013.

▪ CMSC Coming to Burlington -  Join the Town of Burlington Economic Development Commission and CMSC for a conversation around "What Makes a Vibrant Town Center" Monday, December 12 at the Burlington Town Hall Auditorium. The evening features light refreshments, a presentation by CMSC, and opportunity for interactive discussion. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

CTNext Awards Announced - CTNext, the State's resource for entrepreneurial support, recently announced the 12 communities awarded planning grants for the Innovation Places program, several of which are CMSC member communities. The Innovation Places grants are to "support community efforts to build out a plan that will highlight the strengths of each community, assess the needs of entrepreneurs and talent, and create an action plan that will be submitted for additional grant funding through the Innovation Places program." Click here to see the list of awardees and learn more about the program.
Spotlight on 2016 Awards of Excellence
CT Main Street Property Owner of the Year, sponsored by Colliers International
Tony Silvestri, Developer & Property Manager, New London City Flats   

The overarching goal of this project, the brainchild of developer Tony Silvestri, is quite simply, "the complete transformation of a neighborhood." 

A neighborhood pockmarked with foreclosed properties, abandoned buildings and badly dilapidated houses with no long-term tenants, and in one case, a historic home badly damaged by arson and then abandoned, was at the center of Tony Silvestri's audacious goal to construct a large-scale housing restoration project that would provide opportunity and stability in the heart of downtown New London. The result? Quality housing that's affordable, a renewed sense of pride in the neighborhood, and increased property values for homeowners and the town.

Connecticut Main Street Center