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Celebrating 20 Years of inspiring great Connecticut downtowns,  
Main Street by Main Street.
State Budget Captivates
Like many of you, we're carefully watching events unfold at the Capitol. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the state budget, CMSC continues to progress and move forward. Read on to learn more about our recent workshops and exciting upcoming opportunities.

CMSC Chosen to Host AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
CMSC's VISTA Volunteer will help develop the online component of a new Downtown Resource Center.
has been approved as a host site for the AmeriCorps VISTA program at Connecticut Campus Compact (CTCC). The VISTA Volunteer will spend a year with CMSC helping to develop the online component of a new Downtown Resource Center and exploring new partnerships between universities and communities. This position is designed to increase the capacity of CMSC and the University of Connecticut's Department of Extension to work with low income communities and to strengthen our partnership.

Know someone who would make a good VISTA Volunteer? Click here for more information. 
SNEAPA Issues Call for Session Proposals
Help make this fall's SNEAPA conference a terrific event by submitting a session proposal.
2016 Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) conference will be held October 20-21 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. The theme of this year's conference is: Engage * Plan * Grow: Cultivating Great Communities.  The conference will explore the region's relationship with agriculture and development, focusing on how municipalities and organizations engage stakeholders to bring the farm to the table and cultivate the urban/rural relationship. 
Session proposals are due by May 6. Click here for more info.
CMSC Hosts Placemaking Training Resulting From National Grant
Placemaking helps make downtowns and village centers more attractive and engaging through citizen-led activities that activate gathering spaces.
The National Main Street Center and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) brought the third of five Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities trainings to New Britain, Connecticut, last week. These intensive, two-day trainings are designed to strengthen and expand Main Street's capacity for implementing Placemaking strategies and public space improvements.

Main Street managers, economic development professionals, city and state agency representatives, and various community leaders from across Connecticut came to learn and share their own projects, challenges, and ideas. New Britain Mayor Erin E. Stewart co-presented a session about the award-winning projects New Britain has been working on over the past few years. Participants also had the chance to engage in live placemaking assessment at three sites in New Britain - the CTfastrak station, the public library and in Central Park.  

Click here to view photos from this event, and here to view materials from the Placemaking Training, sponsored by Anne T. and Robert M. Bass.
Budget Proposes to Eliminate Legislative Commission on Aging 
The Appropriations Committee's April 6th budget eliminates the Legislative Commission on Aging.
Commission leads the state's Livable Communities initiative, which CMSC has signed on to as a partner.
Aging was the only legislative commission targeted for elimination among the 6 including: children, women, Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs, African American Affairs and Asian Pacific Affairs. 

The Commission on Aging is urging its supporters to contact policymakers on their behalf. Visit the Commission's website for talking points on the Commission's value, find legislators' contact info and learn more about the work they do on behalf of older adults in Connecticut.
Re-Mains of the Day
▪ Treat Yourself to New London Spring Food Stroll
ew London Main Street continues its most popular tradition of celebrating New London's Historic Waterfront District at its Annual Spring Food Stroll on Wednesday, May 11 from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Stroll through dozens of different restaurants, shops and arts and cultural institutions in downtown New London, tasting bite-size samples of dishes or drinks that range from seafood to sweets, organic to ethnic and everything in between.

▪ FREE Webinar on Implementing Complete Streets
the National Complete Streets Coalition for a free online discussion about Complete Streets implementation and design on Thursday, April 28 from 12:00-1:00 pm. The event is designed to help transportation planners, engineers, and practitioners turn policies on paper into changes on the ground. Speakers include Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, and Mike Rutkowski, Coalition Steering Committee Member, will discuss how Complete Street projects can help people and communities, and what practitioners need to consider when designing and implementing those projects.

BRIDGE Series: Kristina Newman-Scott Presentation Now Available
CT Director of Culture Kristina Newman-Scott recently told CMSC members and Professional Affiliates about her vision for the department, including how she wants art to have a deeper, inherent place in economic development, and to teach artists to see themselves as small business owners. She also provided a brief overview of the many programs and grants available through the Office of the Arts, and State Historic Preservation Office. CMSC members and Professional Affiliates can click here to view her presentation.

▪ Disaster Preparedness Training 
used effectively, social media can provide rapid, real-time information about events as they unfold.  This course focuses on the use of social media in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and how to incorporate social media into current communication plans. There are two training dates available, May 24th or 25th, both located in East Haddam. Click here for additional information.
Spotlight on 2015 Awards of Excellence
The Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service  
Honoring public servants who exemplify a deep commitment to Main Street.

Established in honor of John ("Jack") W. Shannahan, former State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of the Connecticut Historical Commission, this prestigious award recognizes individuals from the public sector who demonstrate an exemplary standard of leadership with a deep commitment to history and Main Street revitalization.
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority 

Unique in their design and approach to reaching an underserved population of small downtown properties,CHFA contracted CMSC in 2012 to create the Come Home to Downtown program. CHFA demonstrated a long-term commitment to this program by securing multi-year funding and creating a loan fund to help building owners re-awaken their underutilized buildings. They are helping educate people about possible solutions, both directly through presenting at conferences and workshops, and indirectly, by enabling CMSC to provide municipal leaders with guidance and assistance through the program.

Connecticut Main Street Center