Mark Your Calendars - Upcoming Rural Development Webinars

Looking beyond the Rural Policy Forum, those of us a part of Arizona Rural Development Council (AZRDC) want to continue the conversation on issues commonly faced within rural development. Spurring from this idea came the initiation of a webinar series specifically addressing these outcomes. “Generating Solutions for Rural Development" is a webinar series that will address a number of topics pertaining to development issues, specifically in the context of rural communities. Topics will rotate on a monthly basis with new speakers, examples, and ideas coming from all corners of the state. 

Our rural development coordinator, Maya Azzi, will be facilitating these, hour to an hour and a half webinar presentations. Maya comes from a background of working with rural communities, specifically with a focus on community development, sustainable tourism development, and natural resource management.

Each webinar is free to attend, however, you must register because space is limited and it is on a first come first serve basis. Be sure to register soon and make sure you take good notes because there will be approximately half and hour for Q&A at the end of each webinar presentations.

"Generating Solutions for Rural Development: A 'Refresh' of the National Main Street Framework - Part 1"

JANUARY 25TH, 10:00 - 11:30 AM

This month we will be addressing a refreshed take on revitalizing rural main streets, with our three speakers are: Lani Lott, Lara Serbin, and David Crummey.

Over the last couple of years, the National Main Street Center has developed a "Refresh" of the Main Street framework to ensure that it remains the country's most effective approach to traditional commercial district revitalization. Primary among these methods are the use of Community or Economic Transformation Strategies – a plan of action to achieve specific economic results that transform the community to a desired state. Communities typically will find two to three Community Transformation Strategies are needed to help reach a community vision. These strategies will focus on both long and short-term actions that will move a community closer to achieving its goals. Work on these strategies would align with the four key areas Main Streets have been using as a guiding framework for over 35 years: Economic Vitality, Promotion, Design, and Organization, known collectively as the Main Street Four Points.

This two-part webinar series will provide an overview of refreshed Main Street framework and the new Community Transformation Strategy model, highlight how Arizona rural communities are currently implementing the four-point approach and discuss next steps and resources to support your downtown revitalization efforts. The goal of this webinar is to generate conversation, address issues, and facilitate solutions.

Lani Lott, Arizona Downtown Alliance will introduce the refreshed National Main Street approach – "Community Transformation Strategies" and outline the next steps for how communities can start to define their vision, assets and economic opportunities. Ms. Lott has over 20 years’ experience in the field of downtown development and economic revitalization working with local governments, Main Street programs, redevelopment agencies, business associations, chambers of commerce, business improvement districts, community development corporations, downtown organizations and other non-profits throughout the Southwest. 

Eric Vondy, Coordinator of the Preservation Incentives Program with Arizona State Parks

David Crummey, Founding Member, RAILmesa: Retail, Arts, Innovation & Livability will discuss how small-scale, achievable public art projects can have large-scale impact. Mr. Crummey will share simple, easy-to- accomplish projects that include the community, create a more attractive marketplace, beautiful your neighborhood and can be completed in weeks, not months. Studying in Tucson, Guanajuato and Tempe, David has worked directly with cities, businesses, community organizations, and nonprofits to strategize and focus work at both the large and small scale to benefit residents and support small-business. Bringing community back into the public realm is a grounding force for his efforts.

Save the date for these upcoming webinars:

"Generating Solutions for Rural Development: Bringing Education and the Workforce for Strong Communities"

FEBRUARY 22ND, 10:00 - 11:30 AM

"Generating Solutions for Rural Development: A 'Refresh' of the National Main Street Framework - Part 2"

MARCH 15TH, 10:00 - 11:30 AM