Downtown Update

Newsletter of the Connecticut Main Street Center 
Special Awards Gala Edition


Vol.15, Issue 5              

Inspiring great Connecticut downtowns, Main Street by Main Street.
The 2015 Awards Gala  
Streamlined Program & New Events Take Center Stage 

This year's Awards Gala promises to be a spectacular event with a slew of new offerings to give attendees an in-depth perspective on our host city, New Britain. The new format has been carefully designed to showcase the downtown while providing an array of interactive experiences for attendees.  


The evening will begin with a Welcome Reception, generously sponsored by UIL holdings, held in the stunning Trinity-on-Main. Once a United Methodist Church, Trinity-on-Main was converted into "a cultural center for the advancement of the arts, to foster cultural diversity, to encourage community revitalization and to aid in the economic development of downtown New Britain." Guests will have the opportunity to mingle throughout the beautiful space while viewing displays on the many positive changes transforming downtown New Britain, including their Complete Streets plan, new downtown signage and an artful new Main Street overpass. There will also be a display on CTfastrak, the bus rapid transit system opened earlier this year.


After a welcome from New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, we'll begin our streamlined, but chock-full awards presentation, where we'll present our 2015 Awards of Excellence. Celebrate with us as we present the most innovative approaches to downtown management and revitalization from the last year. This year's winners include a new downtown built from the ground up thanks to a fruitful public/private partnership; a duo of business owners revving up interest and tourism in downtown New London, an internationally successful businesswoman who got her start in part due to local technical assistance and loan programs, and more. We'll also present our Founder's Awards, presented by Eversource, and the Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service - the first time it's been awarded since 2008.


After our brief awards presentation it's on to the highlight of the night - our tours showcasing downtown New Britain. Guests will walk and ride around the city during one of three tour options:

  • Tour 1: Downtown Arts, Heritage & Culture - Highlighting the vibrant and unique performance and visual arts & culture organizations in the heart of Downtown New Britain. Includes South Church, Hole in the Wall Theater, New Britain Artists' CO-OP, and several examples of outstanding downtown architecture. Walking tour, approximately 4 city blocks. Tour limit: 40
  • Tour 2: Walnut Hill Park & New Britain Museum of American Art -  Highlighting the urban oasis at the western gateway to downtown: a world-class combination of this Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park and its ravishing Rose Garden, and the first museum of American Art in the country. Bus to Walnut Hill, then walking through Rose Garden and downhill to Museum. Tour limit: 30
  • Tour 3 - CTfastrak in New Britain: Transportation, Housing & Main Street - Highlighting the operations of the CTfastrak and the related opportunities for investment in Downtown New Britain. Experience a ride on CTfastrak, while visiting downtown mixed use development projects in New Britain and West Hartford. Multi-modal and bike facility connections at the station locations will be explained, and local artists will entertain attendees along the way. Bus to station, then a short ride on CTfastrak, walking back to Trinity-On-Main. Tour limit: 55 (plus standing room)

After the tours we'll return to the Stockman Gallery (at the rear of Trinity-on-Main) for a special Champagne & Dessert Reception hosted by Greater New Britain Arts Alliance.  


With so much going on, this is sure to be a can't-miss event. We look forward to sharing it with you as we celebrate our member communities and this tremendous time for our downtowns.

There's an App for That!


Can't remember if the reception begins at 4:30 or 5:00? Want to know if the dress code is casual or fancy? Need to know where to park? Maybe you just want to connect further with one of our many sponsors. Well, now there's an app for that!


We created an app for our event that provides all the information you'll need about the night's activities. It also provides links to our sponsors, as well as a gallery of photos on sights you'll see during your visit in downtown New Britain. And when you're at the Awards Gala on June 8th, you can keep your friends and colleagues updated using our virtual guestbook.  


The app can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet, or viewed on your desktop by clicking this link: . It's hosted by Yapp, so look for the Yapp icon on your device. And remember to check often, as we'll be updating the app with additional information as the event nears.  

Planning for Success 

This event is the result of a committed, enthusiastic group of people who comprise our Planning Committee. Representing various New Britain organizations including multiple city departments, as well as members of the CMSC Board of Directors, CMSC, and the CT Office of the Arts (Dept. of Economic & Community Development) this group has worked hard to create a memorable event.


We would like to thank the following individuals for their dedication, support, and excitement in organizing this year's Awards Gala.

  • CMSC's Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker meets with Joe Marturano from Trinity-on-Main about setting up the event space.
    Mark Moriarty - City of New Britain
  • Stephen Hard - Greater New Britain Arts Alliance
  • Zeena Tawfik - City of New Britain
  • Melanie Carr Eveleth - New Britain Museum of American Art
  • Gerry Amodio - New Britain Downtown District
  • Ted DeSantos - Fuss & O'Neill/ CMSC Board President
  • Tamara Dimitri - CT Office of the Arts
  • Christine Schilke - Connecticut Main Street Center
  • Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker - Connecticut Main Street Center

We would also like to thank the following organizations for partnering with CMSC, providing resources, guidance and inspiration.  

  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Trinity-on-Main
  • CT Department of Transportation
Many Thanks


We would also like to thank our generous event sponsors. Their support is an investment in our downtowns, creating authentic, engaging places for people to live, work, learn and play all across Connecticut.


Taste of New Britain Reception Sponsor

UIL Holdings


Downtown New Britain Tour Sponsors

Baywater Properties     CWPM     Downes Construction Company     Fuss & O'Neill     McPhee Electric LTD


Award Sponsors

Webster Bank

Colliers International    Farmington Bank    Liberty Bank      

Richter & Cegan


Main Street Sponsors

CDM Smith     CEDAS     Corporation for Independent Living      

Express Strategies     Pirie Associates Architects, LLC      

STV Incorporated     Svigals + Partners

See you June 8th in New Britain!


Connecticut Main Street Center

c/o Eversource

PO Box 270 

Hartford, CT 06141



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Awards Gala
June 8, 2015

Schedule of Events
4:30 PM
Taste of New Britain

5:30 PM
Awards Presentation

6:15 PM
Downtown New Britain Tours Begin


7:45 PM

Champagne & Dessert Reception

Stockman Gallery

hosted by

Greater New Britain Arts Alliance 


This event is free, but registration is required.

Click here to reserve your space today.
Photo Credit:
Eva Gryk
New Britain


Erin E. Stewart

Official Nickname
Hardware City 
because of its history as a manufacturing center and as the headquarters of Stanley Black
& Decker


Home to
Central CT State University

The New Britain Industrial Museum

and the

New Britain Museum of American Art

The wire coat hanger was invented in 1869 by O.A. North of New Britain.

The basketball technique of dribbling was developed at the New Britain YMCA in 1895

*Information Source: Wikipedia