The Bright Buzz: Kindling entrepreneur-focused transformation in Winchester

Many communities have decided that supporting local entrepreneurs is key to a thriving Main Street and one Virginia initiative is receiving national attention! The National Main Street Center’s Main Street Story of the Week takes a look at how a local property owner created an innovative community space for entrepreneurs and entertainment to thrive.  Jennifer Bell, … More The Bright Buzz: Kindling entrepreneur-focused transformation in Winchester

Small City Placemaking Conference and Festival to happen in Roanoke

Cityworks (X)po, a conference and festival about creating energetic places in small cities, will take place in Roanoke on October 27-30. The event, spearheaded by entrepreneur and placemaker Ed Walker, will highlight best practices in creating, governing and participating in a vibrant cultural life in small cities. Some of the nationally-recognized speakers and performers include James Howard Kunstler, Kennedy … More Small City Placemaking Conference and Festival to happen in Roanoke

Downtown Improvement Grants Awarded

Five Designated Virginia Main Street (VMS) Communities have been awarded 2011 Downtown Improvment Grants.  This year, VMS communities served by CSX Transportation rail lines were eligible for a match of up to $5,000 from the corporation, pushing the awards from $2,500 to a total of $7,500.  Waynesboro and Winchester will receive CSX Transportation VMS Downtown Improvement Grants. Communities … More Downtown Improvement Grants Awarded

Heartwood opens doors as regional gateway

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is now open.  The facility welcomes visitors to the region and connects lifelong residents with the artisans and musicians that surround them in the 19-county region of Southwest Virginia. Perched on a knoll adjacent to I-81 on the campus of Abingdon’s Virginia Highlands Community College, the unique structure, by Roanoke’s Spectrum Design, should attract curious … More Heartwood opens doors as regional gateway

Staunton rallies for the Sears Hill Bridge

The creative spirit of the Downtown Staunton community is driving a playful public engagement strategy around the restoration of the Sears Hill Bridge. The pedestrian bridge, which had linked the Sears Hill neighborhood and Downtown Staunton for more than 100 years, was condemned in January 2010. Restoration of the bridge will cost about $200,000, and the community is pulling together to make … More Staunton rallies for the Sears Hill Bridge

Classic settings for classic films

Community members working to revitalize their downtown often reminisce of Saturdays when residents poured into the streets. Frequently the movies are part of those recollections, and the black and white photos show it to be the case. People crowd the sidewalks, and on the marquee above them: Double Indemnity, Singing in the Rain, Some Like it Hot.  These classic … More Classic settings for classic films

Bedford’s arts strategy at work

Bedford’s arts-and-antiques strategy to give Centertown a retail identity builds on the community’s existing assets–the entrepreneurs who have establisthed retail and restaurant businesses in the district. Earlier this month Lynchburg’s News and Advance featured the district  in a story, “Downtown Bedford venues add life to arts scene“, profiling artists at work at the Electric Company studio spaces, diners … More Bedford’s arts strategy at work

Making your work uniquely you

Fast Company recently highlighted the award designed for this year’s graduating class at the top Dutch design school. Instead of a simple hood or diploma, The Design Academy Eindhoven has a special graduating trophy each year.  This year, the trophy was actually a set of medallions–one for each of the graduates–that created a pig’s head when stacked. It’s not as undignified as … More Making your work uniquely you

Dog Park Powers Public Art

If you want to lure residents downtown, you’ve got to have basic amenities, like access to groceries and green spaces. Those green spaces are important, because as, one luxury apartment developer in Roanoke discovered, if folks move downtown, they’ll bring their pets with them. With at least one dog in every new condo of this particular building, the … More Dog Park Powers Public Art