Main Street America (MSA) has announced the River District Association (RDA) as a 2023 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalist, one of eight organizations recognized for excellence in transforming downtown districts. This prestigious award is the nation’s top award recognizing communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. A jury of professionals and leaders in the fields of community and economic development and historic preservation convened to review a nationwide pool of applicants. After thoughtful deliberation, the jury unanimously selected eight semifinalists that demonstrate exemplary use of the Main Street Approach™ to lead community-based transformation strategies in their downtowns.
RDA, formerly known as the Downtown Danville Association, was formed in 1999 to coordinate efforts to revitalize the downtown Danville, Virginia community, now called the River District. Since 2016, RDA and the City of Danville have enjoyed accredited status under the National and Virginia Main Street Programs; the program and accreditation are recognized nationally as one of the most successful formulas for downtown revitalization.
“We are very grateful for the team at the National Main Street Center for recognizing the hard work that has been done in the River District for the past decade. We are thrilled to be selected once again as one of the eight semifinalists nationally. This is a very prestigious honor that I hope will help our long-term residents recognize that Danville is nationally recognized as a model for revitalization. We look forward to the continued success of our downtown that will illuminate a bright path to move forward and share the improvements and opportunities to all areas of our city and our region.”
– Diana Schwartz, Executive Director, River District Association
The 2023 GAMSA Semifinalists are:
River District Association – Danville, Virginia
Denison Main Street – Denison, Texas
Downtown Florence Main Street – Florence, South Carolina
Metuchen Downtown Alliance – Metuchen, New Jersey
Mills 50 Main Street – Orlando, Florida
Ruston Main Street – Ruston, Louisiana
Downtown Sheridan Association – Sheridan, Wyoming
Downtown Sykesville Connection – Sykesville, Maryland
From small towns with traditional downtowns to commercial corridors within larger cities, the 2023 GAMSA represents the diversity of the MSA network and the power of the Main Street Approach™. Semifinalists have generated over $872 million in local reinvestment, helped open 863 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 4,706 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 1,922 historic buildings, and leveraged 178,452 volunteer hours.
“The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor that we grant to organizations within our network. We are proud to recognize RDA and seven fellow organizations as 2023 GAMSA Semifinalists for their excellence in transforming their downtown districts through strategically implemented economic vitality, design, promotion and organization initiatives.”
– Hannah White, Interim President and CEO, Main Street America
The 2023 GAMSA winners will be announced at the Opening Plenary of the 2023 Main Street Now Conference in Boston, Massachusetts on March 27, 2023.
Photo Credit: Main Street America