PreservINg Main Street program opens for new applications
INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2023) – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today announced the PreservINg Main Street program is open for applications. In partnership with Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities, the program is designed to create a sustainable historic preservation model while building local capacity and a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan. The program additionally provides funding for the preservation of downtown Main Street buildings.
“The PreservINg Main Street program is a success story of how collaboration between state government, local officials and non-profits can produce worthwhile, sustainable projects,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Not just a historic preservation project, the PreservINg Main Street program can enhance quality of life and economic revitalization in Hoosier communities.”
Non-entitlement communities with an established Nationally Accredited or Indiana Accredited Main Street organization are encouraged to apply if the community has a National Register of Historic Places downtown district.
"The PreservINg Main Street program aims to encourage historic preservation in our rural communities," said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. "Preservation efforts help to stimulate job creation, community revitalization, improve quality of life and more. I encourage our interested Main Street communities to apply and take advantage of this program."
Three finalists will be selected based on the submitted application, community support and 2022 Main Street annual report data. Site visits will be scheduled for each finalist, which includes a presentation outline of their partnerships and a high-level vision for downtown development.
The selected community will be eligible for implementation funds of up to $2 million through OCRA’s Community Development Block Grant program. Additionally there will be multiple capacity building opportunities through a partnership with Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks.
Spinner said a partnership with Indiana Landmarks was important to create and continue this program. Indiana Landmarks will:
Offer workshops to building and business owners to encourage creativity.
Conduct conditions assessment or recommend design and improvements to building owners.
Provide education opportunities on preservation.
Provide technical assistance to the community foundation on developing a long-term downtown endowment fund.
Provide staff for a historic preservation commission with local ordinance.
"PreservINg Main Street inspires excellence in communities and demonstrates that preserving historic character is a powerful tool for economic revitalization," said Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis.
Indiana Humanities will also provide a $10,000 grant to the selected Main Street organization to implement humanities-based programs and activities focused on historic preservation. The Main Street organization may use these funds for short- and long-term humanities efforts in downtown. The funds can also be used for communications and storytelling around the program. Indiana Humanities will also assist and support the community in developing its plans for humanities-based programming and activities.
“Indiana Humanities is pleased to partner again with OCRA and Indiana Landmarks in offering the PreservINg Main Street program,” said Indiana Humanities President and CEO Keira Amstutz. “With Indiana Humanities funding, previous grant recipients have engaged their communities in downtown preservation and revitalization work through history-related exhibits, walking tours, video projects and more. Our goal is to help PreservINg Main Street grant recipients utilize the humanities to share the stories of the people and businesses behind their downtown commercial districts, so that the community better understands the value of the grant-funded preservation work and feels a connection to the project.”
An informational video on the overall program, timeline and application process are available on OCRA’s website. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on July 13, 2023, through eGMS. Visit in.gov/ocra/preserving-main-street/ for more information.