#MSConf: Following the National Main Streets Conference

Posted on: April 13th, 2013 by Priya Chhaya

Starting tonight the National Main Streets Conference kicks off in New Orleans, LA..  This year's theme is Main Street and the Cultural Economy and there are a few ways in which you can follow the events online if you can't be here in person.

Main Street and the Cultural Economy

The collision of heritage tourism, the arts, and entrepreneurism on Main Street can spark a “Big Bang” that produces a thriving cultural economy. We can build this economy on the foods, music, people, stories, and traditions that make a place special. The fusion of innovative minds, dedicated hearts, and creative souls creates an atmosphere where authenticity is king and distinct assets can be found in our backyards. This creative economy engages entrepreneurs, culinary artists, performing and visual artists, crafters and artisans, nonprofit organizations, museums and historic sites, filmmakers, and technology startups to create new jobs, stimulate the economy, kindle innovation and new partnerships, attract talent and tourists, and contribute to livability.

How to Follow the National Main Streets Conference


Opening Plenary
Sunday, April 14 from 4-6pm

The opening plenary will be a high-energy, inspiring and thought-provoking session. You'll hear from the new leadership of the National Main Street Center, Inc., a newly launched subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation including: National Trust President Stephanie Meeks, National Main Street Center Board Chair Barbara Sidway, and Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center. Each will share their exciting vision and plans for Main Street going forward.

The keynote speaker for the plenary is Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.  With sharp observations and real-world examples, Jeff will lay out a practical, essential, and eminently achievable vision that explains how to make the right choices to make our normal American cities great again. The plenary will conclude with a celebration of the three new Great American Main Street Award Winners.

Closing Plenary
Tuesday April 16 from 4:30-6pm (CT)

Southern Culture, southern food, hometowns and downtowns...Robert St. John incorporates them all into his food, his restaurants, and his writing. He grew up and still lives in a small town in South Mississippi and his work embodies the cultural economy and Main Street, so who better to close the 2013 Main Streets Conference? Join us on Tuesday afternoon and let Robert St. John introduce you to new food finds, new foodie friends and show you how to eat your way to happiness!

About Priya Chhaya

Priya Chhaya is an associate manager for online content in the Preservation Resources department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Follow her on twitter @priyastoric.

Main Street