The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), announced their 2020 Downtown Revitalization Grant recipients at an awards presentation on Tuesday, June 25, at the DAH headquarters in Little Rock. The grants are administered by Main Street Arkansas.

According to a press release, “I am constantly impressed with our Main Street and Arkansas Downtown Network programs and the work they are doing to revitalize their communities,” said Stacy Hurst, DAH director and state historic preservation officer. “We are pleased to present these grants to worthy programs knowing the funding will protect the state’s historic fabric and generate economic development activity across Arkansas. The improvements will enrich the experience of all who walk through the streets of these downtowns.”

This year, $309,500 in grant funding was given out to 37 projects on Main Streets and in downtowns across Arkansas:

  • Conway Downtown Partnership, Conway/Faulkner County- $15,000
  • Downtown Jonesboro Association, Jonesboro/ Craighead County- $15,000
  • Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Little Rock/Pulaski County- $15,000
  • Main Street Batesville, Batesville/Independence County- $15,000
  • Main Street Dumas, Dumas/Desha County- $15,000
  • Main Street El Dorado, El Dorado/Union County- $15,000
  • Main Street Eureka Springs, Eureka Springs/Carroll County- $15,000
  • Main Street Helena, Helena/Phillips County- $15,000
  • Main Street Osceola, Osceola/Mississippi- $15,000
  • Main Street Ozark, Ozark/Franklin- $15,000
  • Main Street Paragould, Paragould/Greene County- $15,000
  • Main Street Russellville, Russellville/Pope County- $15,000
  • Main Street Searcy, Searcy/White County- $15,000
  • Main Street Siloam Springs, Siloam Springs/Benton County- $15,000
  • Main Street Texarkana, Texarkana/Miller County- $15,000
  • Main Street West Memphis, West Memphis/Crittenden County- $15,000
  • Southside Main Street Project Inc., Little Rock/Pulaski County- $15,000
  • Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc., Pine Bluff/Jefferson County- $15,000
  • Argenta Downtown Council, Argenta/Pulaski County- $15,000
  • Main Street Blytheville, Blytheville/Mississippi County- $7,500
  • Arkadelphia Downtown Network, Arkadelphia/Clark County- $1,000
  • Clarksville Downtown Network, Clarksville/Johnson County- $1,000
  • Forrest City Downtown Revitalization Project Inc., Forrest City/St. Francis County- $1,000
  • Smith Downtown Network, Ft. Smith/Sebastian- $1,000
  • Main Street Hardy, Hardy/Fulton County- $1,000
  • Malvern Downtown Development Corporation, Malvern/Hot Spring County- $1,000
  • Monticello Downtown Network, Monticello/Drew County- $1,000
  • Main Street Morrilton Inc., Morrilton/Conway County- $1,000
  • Newport Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort, Newport/Jackson County- $1,000
  • Paris Downtown Network, Paris/Logan County- $1,000
  • Pocahontas Downtown Network, Pocahontas/Randolph- $1,000
  • Rector Downtown Central Inc., Rector/Clay County- $1,000
  • Warren Downtown Network, Warren/Bradley County- $1,000
  • Wynne Downtown Revitalization Committee, Wynn/Cross County- $1,000
  • Hope Downtown Network, Hope/Hempstead County- $1,000
  • Mena Downtown Partners, Mena/Polk County- $1,000
  • Main Street Prairie Grove, Prairie Grove/Washington County- $1,000

Recipients of Downtown Revitalization Grants are allowed to use the money for a wide range of projects such as building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area. To be considered for the grant the community must be certified as part of the Main Street Arkansas program which is governed by guidelines set out by Main Street America.

“While some programs work in partnership with their local governments to give micro-grants to small businesses or provide signage for their downtown, one of the more unique uses from a past grant winner was the installation of security cameras in a busy downtown” said Scott Kaufman, director of the AHPP. “The cameras served as a crime deterrent and made people feel safer. We are proud of be part of lasting change in communities across Arkansas.”

Main Street Arkansas staff works closely with the local programs. Staff members include: Greg Phillips, director; Susan Shaddox, interior designer; and Mark Miller, small business consultant. You can learn more about Main Street Arkansas at arkansaspreservation.com.