Main Street Innovation Lab

InnovationLabWebinar Slide

Upcoming Online Training

Market Your Main Street: Low-Cost, High-Impact Strategies to Get Out Your Message

May 21, 1-2 pm CDT - Register Today!

Your Main Street program is tasked with meeting the needs of many different stakeholders: Visitors, business owners, municipalities, donors, volunteers, etc. How you communicate your message to a wide audience with different interests requires segmenting them and then having separate conversations unique to their interests. In this webinar led by best selling author and customer experience maven, Pamela Herrmann of The Paragon Effect, you will learn a new tactic that few businesses know about that will help you do pinpointed marketing that is low cost, highly pinpointed and hugely effective.

Past Online Training

Main Street Member Benefits 101 - webinar recording coming soon!

Are you making the most of your Main Street membership? Tune in for this webinar and learn how to take advantage of the all benefits NMSC has to offer. Tali Jamir, Membership Assistant at the National Main Street Center, will review your member benefits and walk through how to utilize the tools and resources available on This is a particularly great opportunity for new members to get acquainted with the program, but all are welcome!

Volunteer Managment on Main Street

April is volunteer month and given the crucial role volunteers play in making succesful Main Streets we thought it would be great to provide you with some tips for managing your volunteers. This webinar will be lead by two National Main Street Center staff: Kathy La Plante, Senior Program Officer and Director of Coordinator Program Services, and Jodie Hiveley, Program Assistant.  They will cover tips on volunteer management and will also unveil the new Volunteer Handbook that was compiled by the Center. Members may view the free online training here.

Your Questions Answered: ArtPlace America Community Development Investments Grants

Is your Main Street organization interested in the value that arts and cultural strategies can bring to your work?  If so, you are invited to attend a grants workshop to learn more about a new grant program offering $3 million and guidance from national experts over a 3-year period.

ArtPlace America is accepting applications from place-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a primary mission of community planning and development for its Community Development Investments program.

This one-time grant program will provide up to $3 million in funding per organization. Each selected organization will also work with national creative placemaking experts, a Financial Capital Consortium, a Federal Grants Advisory Team, and a Community Documentation and Research Team. 

In this grant workshop, Lyz Crane, Deputy Director of ArtPlace, will:

Provide an overview of ArtPlace America and how creative placemaking can contribute to your organization’s goals

Introduce ArtPlace’s new Community Development Investments grant program.

Answer any questions you may have about the program and its application process

Time Management for Main Street Directors

It seems there are never enough hours in the day. For Main Street directors, how do you manage the day-to-day demands of leading an organization, juggle board and committee responsibilities, engage with volunteers, and get in the all-important face-time in your downtown district? It's never easy, but it can be easier! Join the National Main Street Center for this online training, led by seasoned Main Street Director and Marketing Consultant Jacqueline Wolven, as she shares her practical tips for managing your time to be a more effective leader. Members may view the free online training here.

New Main Street Director Orientation

New to Main Street? Be sure to check out this online training, hosted by Norma Miess, National Main Street Center's Director of Leadership Development and Senior Field Officer. In it, Norma addresses the intangible value of the Main Street Approach for communities, outlines the resources available to new Directors from the National Main Street Center, and discusses the key roles of an effective Main Street Director. This training is especially useful for Directors with less than 2 years in Main Street to participate, but all Main Street Directors are encouraged to check it out. Members may view the free online training here.

The Great American Main Street Awards: An Insider's Guide to Applying for and Winning GAMSA

This online training provides an insider's perspective on how to put together a great application for the Great American Main Street Awards. Patrice Frey and Steve Amraen from the National Main Street Center and Eddie Bumbaugh from the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance share details on the application process, tips for putting together a great application, and a firsthand account of what winning GAMSA can do for your community. Members can view the free online training here.

Park Smart: Best Parking Practices for Your Main Street, presented by DESMAN Parking

Parking is a topic – or often, a problem - that nearly every Main Street community deals with at some point. Not enough parking supply? Is your parking lot an eyesore? Do employees park in coveted spots close to your Main Street businesses? In “Park Smart: Best Parking Practices for Your Main Street,” experts from DESMAN Parking address these critical questions and share best practices topics from shared parking to sustainability to and rates and time limits. Members can view the free online training here.