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Great Lakes Main Street Conference

About the Conference

“The conference will explore techniques and practices for downtown revitalization and economic development in our communities,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “Communities will hear success stories, best practices and innovations from experts from the field focusing on the National Main Street model. We are thrilled to offer an opportunity for our Midwest Main Street partners who may not have the ability to attend the national conference.”

Organized by OCRA, Oakland County Michigan Main Street Program and Downtown South Bend, the conference will bring together leaders in downtown and historic commercial district revitalization from all over the Great Lakes region to highlight asset-based strategies to community and economic development. The conference is scheduled for Sunday, August 18 through Tuesday, August 20 in downtown South Bend, Ind.

Multi-track sessions will occur throughout the two-day conference focusing on sustainability, economic vitality and cultivating quality places. Local tours and networking opportunities are also components of the conference.

$75 early bird registration is available through May 1. After May 1, the cost is $100 per person. Registration includes attendance of the breakout and keynote sessions as well as breakfast and snacks.

A block of rooms are reserved at the Aloft Hotel in downtown South Bend for $97 a night. Use this link to reserve your room at this price. The rate is only good for Sunday, August 18 and Monday, August 19, 2019.

INspire Idea competition

The goal of the Main Street INspire Idea! competition is to encourage the Indiana Main Street network of communities and professionals to design creative projects for the benefit of their communities. The submitted projects should:

  • Connect to the community’s vision to create vibrant, people-centered places to live, work and invest;
  • Support at least one of the four key points Main Street programs have been using as a guiding framework for nearly 40 years: economic vitality, effective promotion, quality design and sustainable organization; and
  • Focus on highly visible changes, measuring progress and results that will demonstrate the revitalization effort is successful.

Any active Indiana Main Street community is eligible. Two $5,000 minimum prizes will be distributed at the Great Lakes Main Street Conference.

All submissions will be reviewed and five finalists will be announced on Friday, July 12, 2019. Presentations of projects will take place during a Great Lakes Main Street conference session. Two $5,000 grants will be awarded on the final day of the conference.  Finalists will also receive two free conference registrations. Apply online by 4 p.m. ET, Friday, June 28, 2019.

How to Apply

Applications must be received via SurveyMonkey by 4 p.m. ET, Friday, June 28, 2019.

Five finalists will be announced on Friday, July 12, 2019.


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