2018 Upper Mississippi Main Street Conference

Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 9 am - 10:30 am

The Business of Winter

Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center

Paul Jordan is the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership, a historical beloved public space in the heart of Winnipeg where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet.
Recognizing Winnipeg’s unexpectedly interesting qualities as a river city, a winter city, and in the very centre of North America, Jordan has been instrumental in the creation of waterfront access and activity, connecting neighbourhoods through placemaking and various modes of active transportation, cultivating and inviting collaboration with Winnipeg’s creative community, and reframing the way we see winter – from a burden, to an asset; something that sets us apart.
Jordan’s focus on tapping into the local creative community and embracing change has led to some of The Forks’ most noteworthy activations, including the annual international Warming Huts Art + Architecture competition and RAW: almond a world-class dining experience on a frozen river.

Breakout Sessions - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 11 am - 12 pm

How to be Successful at Sponsorship Sales

Briarcombe Room, Winona County History Center

The last thing in the world a Main Street Manager wants to do is go out and raise money.  However, it is the most important aspect of his/her job in order to enable the continued growth of the Main Street.  Sponsorship is one way to do this and it is something that is mutually beneficial, to the community, to the sponsor, to the Main Street.  Come to this session and find out how to do it ... what do you say,  who do you talk to, how do you do it!  Taught by Main Street favorite, Sylvia Allen, come prepared to learn AND have fun.

Sylvia Allen, Allen Consulting

A Tale of Two Cities: The Life and Times of the CW Staples Building and the North Des Moines Hall

Home and Community Options, 66 E 3rd St., Winona

This engaging session shares stories of the triumphs and travails of rehabilitating two historic Main Street district buildings – the CW Staples building in Osceola, Wisconsin and the North Des Moines Hall building in Des Moines, Iowa. In Osceola, business partners Nancy Beck and Cindy Thorman embarked on an epic journey of renovating an old building, weathering a year of vacancy after completion, and ultimately being awarded the Wisconsin State Main Street Historic Restoration Project. In Des Moines, weary of nearly two decades of an absentee owner and vacancy of the district’s most important historic structure, the 6th Avenue Corridor Urban Neighborhood Main Street Program took a leap of faith and acquired the North Des Moines Hall to spur rehabilitation. The session will include practical, realistic advice of what working on a building entails. Topics covered include: design planning with state Main Street offices; securing funding (both locally and regionally); utilizing historic tax credits; being an owner/landlord for an historic building; dealing with vacancy of a completed project; and rehabilitation as a catalyst for sensitive redevelopment. Expect twists, turns, and a fair amount of humor.  

Nancy Beck, Osceola Main Street (Wisconsin)

Breann Bye, Des Moines 6th Avenue Corridor (Iowa)

Placemaking as Change-making (hands on!)

Wanek Hall and Lobby, Winona County History Center
How can small actions lead to big changes? In this session you'll get practical instruction on how you can use small-scale placemaking projects to create the momentum to overcome long-standing barriers and do great things. The session will culminate by putting theory into practice, with participants creating an installation within the confines of the conference - watch out!
Max Musicant, The Musicant Group

Breakout Sessions - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Levee Park Renovation: Creating a public space for all occasions

Mobile Session. Meet in Winona County History Center Lobby.

Artists-led Engagement: An Approach to Proactive, Creative, and Inclusive Community Engagement

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center

“Ready Go” is an online resource that connects neighborhoods, cities, businesses and organizations to artist-created, mobile tools that are purpose-built to pique curiosity. The roster consists of 21 mobile tools that range from a teardrop trailer containing a pop-up park to a bike-towed mobile drawing station to a screenprinting cart modeled on a paleta/popsicle cart. Participants will learn about the impact of these projects, receive information about how to start or bring similar programs to their community, and will be given the opportunity to reflect on how artist-led engagement can help their own public processes be more proactive, creative and inclusive. Throughout the conference, participants will also get the opportunity to interact with a selection of Springboard’s Ready Go toolkits, which will help spark fun and meaningful conversations with fellow conference participants.
Peter Haakon Thompson, Springboard for the Arts (Minnesota)

Using a Business Walk to Connect to Your Main Street

Briarcombe Room, Winona County History Center

In 2017, Mankato and North Mankato’s City Center Partnership launched a new program designed to enhance connections between the organization, its volunteers, City staff and downtown business owners. In its first year, the program conducted more than 80 visits and received national recognition in the Downtown Promotion Reporter. In this session, participants will learn how to recruiting and training volunteers for a business walk, How to prepare businesses for your visit, What to say (and not to say) during your walk, Dealing with hostile or reluctant business owners,  Reporting and following up on your visits, How to continue growing your relationships with business owners,  Creating a market analysis – how to find and present information that sells your downtown, Tips for keeping an up-to-date business inventory. At the end of the session, participants will have the knowledge and inspiration to start a business walk program in their Main Street.

Megan Flanagan, City Center Partnership (Minnesota)

John F. Considine III, Greater Mankato Growth (Minnesota)

Downtown Design Standards That Are Accessible to All

Home and Community Options, 66 E 3rd St., Winona

Design standards, and the guidelines to put them into practice, help shape unique neighborhoods with historic character that can set a community apart.  Learn from three different communities on how they developed design standards and ordinances. Also learn about the communication tools created to convey them resulting in dynamic, thriving downtown districts.

Joe Lawniczak, Wisconsin Main Street, (Wisconsin)

Emily Kurash, Winona Main Street (Minnesota)

Carol Lilly, Cedar Falls Community Main Street (Iowa)

Breakout Sessions - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

From the Ashes: Rebuilding an historic building after fire nearly destroyed the corner of the last intact block in historic downtown Winona

Mobile Session. Meet in Winona County History Center Lobby.

Artists on Main Street: A Model of Creative Community Development

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center

Artists on Main Street was launched in 2018 by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in partnership with Springboard for the Arts and support by the Bush Foundation in three Minnesota Main Street communities. The program is based on Springboard’s creative community development approach, which is rooted in the principles of community organizing and focuses on a "lots of little" strategy that surfaces unrecognized leaders in communities, builds public narratives from a multiplicity of perspectives and voices; and creates low-risk opportunities for collaboration. In this session, you will learn how Main Street programs in partnership with cities, chambers, and arts organizations, worked with artists to address local community challenges through creative placemaking strategies, resulting in dozens of projects that help activate downtowns, increase pedestrian activity and create welcoming spaces.

Sarina Otaibi, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

Emily Kurash, Winona Main Street (Minnesota)

Kelly Nygaard, Faribault Main Street (Minnesota)

Megan Flanagan, City Center Partnership (Minnesota)

Leveraging Social Media to Tell Your Main Street’s Story

Briarcombe Room, Winona County History Center

Learn how to use social media to get more attendees at your events, sell more memberships, and raise awareness for your downtown issues. Cindy and Megan will use examples from their social media to show you how storytelling can up your social media game.

Megan Tsui, Red Wing Downtown Main Street  (Minnesota)

Cindy Hicks, Ames Main Street (Iowa)

Party at the Museum - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5 pm - 7 pm

Minnesota Marine Art Museum, 800 Riverview Dr, Winona, MN 55987

Ticketed networking event with hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and tour of museum

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is an inspiring, meaningful, and exciting experience. The MMAM exhibits 10 or more historical or contemporary exhibitions, and hosts educational experiences for thousands of people each year. The Museum's initial collections focused on traditional marine or maritime art, however, through a collection on long-term loan, today the MMAM is home to a large variety of the greatest European and American masters. The MMAM is the public home to masterpieces by Turner, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cassatt, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, O'Keeffe, Homer, Wyeth, and many more. It is through this surprising diversity that the Museum is not only describing what marine art is, but pushing the boundaries of what marine art can be.

Roundtable Discussions - Thursday, Oct. 25, 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center
Community Engagement - Michael Tolan
Dementia-Friendly/Accessible Communities - Joe Lawniczak
Events to Make the Register Cha Ching -Terry Poe Buschkamp
Main Street Director Succession - Darrin Wasniewski
Volunteer Recruitment and Recognition - Robin Bostrom
Advocacy and Historic Tax Credits - Erin Hanafin-Berg

Breakout Sessions - Thursday, Oct. 25, 9:45 am - 10:45 am

Repurposing Our Past: Using new mixed use spaces to make way for new opportunities

Mobile Session. Meet in Winona County History Center Lobby

Main Street Makeover Contest

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center

Wisconsin's Main Street Makeover program provides $10,000 and a team of professionals to 'make-over' one deserving small downtown business. The 2018 winner was the Fountain City Cafe, in Fond du Lac. The two year old business entered the contest in hopes of improving their storefront visibility, signage and customer flow, as well as increase sales of the artisan goods available and provide a quality performance space for weekly open mic nights. Learn more about the project process, community engagement and business impacts that arose from the transformation, as well as tips for planning your own makeover event.

Amy Hansen, Downtown Fond Du Lac (Wisconsin)

Business Succession on Main Street: How Can You Help?

Briarcombe Room, Winona County History Center

It is estimated that a business owner turns 65 every 57 seconds, and that 70% of privately held businesses will change hands in the next decade!  Come learn how your Main Street organization can create a program to assist in preparing the key anchor businesses in your community to transition to the next generation.

Robin Bostrom, Main Street Iowa (Iowa)

Closing and Keynote Speaker

Thursday, Oct. 25, 11 am - 12 pm

Creating Safe and Vibrant Places to Socialize

Jim Peters, Founder and President of Responsible Hospitality Institute

Wanek Hall, Winona County History Center

Jim Peters is Founder and President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute and oversees development of programs, events and publications. He is a global thought leader who offers comprehensive insights on trends and effective strategies on managing night time economies.