From the Main Street Director’s Desk
Refresh will allow changes and goals to be achieved faster
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Executive Director
Over the last several weeks I have had the pleasure of sharing with you the history of Grayling Main Street (GMSt). Everything from AuSable Artisan Village artists inviting Michigan Main Street to entertain our application, gaining momentum with volunteers and donors, to presenting new events and partnering with other community agencies to keep the growth going, has been shared. Now, we get to watch the history unfold before our eyes, and be an active part of it.
One of the most valuable tools we have as a Main Street community is the backing of the Michigan and National Main Street Centers. They provide the content of our tool box, for staff and volunteers, to actualize development and preservation in our community. These contents include strategies, services, guidance, support, and encouragement.
As I have spoken to previously, the core of the program is the Main Street 4-Point Approach. In 2016 the National Main Street Center began to roll out a Refresh of the 4-Point Approach with select communities across the nation. In Michigan three communities took part. Grayling was not part of the initial roll-out. Coming into 2017 Michigan Main Street has elected to be the first statewide program to complete the Refresh with all of their participating communities. Additionally, they will focus training and expectations for new communities to be more in line with the concepts of the Refresh.
What does this mean for Grayling you ask? It means we are getting a great pick-me-up by way of slight changes in programming and visioning. The core of the program will remain intact. The four points are unchanged; they are: Design, Organization, Promotion, and Economic Vitality. What the Refresh is aiming to do is to create more consistency of each of the points in every event and project GMSt produces. By eliminating some of the inadvertent silo effect that is commonly created in Main Street programs, which we are not immune to, overall changes and goals can be achieved faster.
The difference will be seen primarily internally, as we look at each event more critically and with a slightly different lens. Previously the committees, separated by the 4-points, would target projects that effected their point, or committee. Now, we will work more diligently to make each project and event incorporate elements of each point, and the overall mission of the GMSt program. The result will be more rapidly actualized change in our community. When we are working collectively we will finally be leveraging the power of our whole program.
This spring we will begin to make small changes in the planning process. In the summer, we will begin the “official” Refresh programming with Michigan Main Street and National Main Street. This will entail shifting our programs current planning schedule by several months and we look forward to allowing ourselves more time to better execute events and projects within Grayling.
Want to know more about the Grayling Main Street and how our program is evolving? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Grayling Main Street Executive Director. She has been with the program since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her eye shadow and hair will be next.