Martin gears up to celebrate downtown

Martin gears up to celebrate downtown
To celebrate the constant evolution of downtown Martin into a place of enjoyment for the entire community, the steering committee for Martin’s Tennessee Downtowns has planned an event for Thursday known simply as Tennessee Downtowns Celebration.
Much like the family fun night held earlier in the month and the family fun night planned for June 4, this event highlights the calendar to provide information and promotion about Tennessee Downtowns while hosting entertainment by Wyatt and Jeremy Spain and refreshments for the community to enjoy.
According to Kimberly Craddock, Martin Community Development Director and Tennessee Downtowns Director for Martin, the event will begin at 6 p.m. at The Gap, located between The Opera House and General Supply on Lindell Street. The celebration will be kicked off  by a visit from Kimberly Nyberg, director of the Tennessee Main Street program; and Laura Todd, director of the Main Street program for Collierville — the mentor for the Martin program; and Martin’s Tennessee Downtowns committee members speaking on the four-point program.
“Under the Main Street program is the four-point program, that includes organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. We have a Tennessee Downtowns committee and there is a chair of each point. Tracy McGehee is over organization, Lynette Wagster is over promotion, Warner Pace is over design and Leslie Haywood-Moore is over economic restructuring,” Ms. Craddock said.
A new banner will be introduced and a sign design will be presented showcasing Martin’s Tennessee Downtown designation.
A presentation will also be given on the soundscape project, an idea fueled by UT Martin student Joel Flowers’ imagination and hope to create “playable art for the young and young at heart to enjoy generation after generation” in downtown Martin. The project is in its infancy as it has a proposed schedule of two years and needs grant funding.
In addition, the businesses and groups that have served as partners with the Tennessee Downtowns community for family fun night as well as other events will be recognized and thanked.
“It will be a night of music and food. It will be a nice get together,” Ms. Craddock added.
The Main Street National Trust for Historic Preservation stresses the need to place importance on the downtown area of a community as a symbol of community economic health, a partnership between private and public sectors and promotes local quality of life, community pride and community history.
It emphasizes the downtown area as an important factor for industrial, commercial developers and professional recruitment.
Tennessee Downtowns seeks to explore the idea of downtown revitalization by understanding the four points, learning from other communities, empowering local volunteers to get involved and thinking in terms of accomplishing its goals in incremental steps.       

wcp 5/24/11

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