Annual Main Street Conference Returns to New Orleans to Examine the Revitalization Power of the Cultural Economy, April 14-16, 2013

The 28th National Main Streets Conference will take place from April 14-16 in New Orleans, attracting more than a thousand city planners, community revitalization professionals and elected officials to explore the theme, “Main Street and the Cultural Economy.” The conference—the largest of its kind in the country—brings together nationwide practitioners of the National Trust’s Main Street Four-Point Approach® which, since 1977, has been used by more than 2,000 communities nationwide to stimulate more than 235,000 building rehabilitation projects and create 475,000 jobs. The conference also features the announcement of the 2013 Great American Main Street Award winners.

Through field tours, education sessions and peer networking, conference-goers will explore how Main Streets can benefit from the cultural economy to remain viable and competitive in today’s marketplace—essentially, how heritage tourism, the arts and entrepreneurism can revitalize historic downtowns. New Orleans is the perfect backdrop for examining this subject as it offers attendees a firsthand look at an economy built on the foods, music, people, stories and traditions that define the city’s unique character. From tours of the warehouse arts district, to the opening reception at the French Quarter Festival, to sessions on local examples of cultural preservation through community involvement, attendees will use New Orleans as a living laboratory and learn how to apply these lessons to their own community.

Other conference highlights include: 

Over 50 educational sessions, workshops and tours, on topics including mentoring youth in small businesses and using local food to revitalize downtowns;

  • Introduction of Patrice Frey, the first president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, Inc., subsidiary of the National Trust—the organizational body that supports the national network of Main Street revitalization professionals;
  • The announcement of the prestigious 2013 Great American Main Street Award winners;
  • Field tours, including a tour of New Orleans’ many successful adaptive use projects, a look at the rebirth of the city’s Upper Canal Street and a visit to towns along the Great River Road.

The 2013 National Main Streets Conference is co-hosted by Louisiana Main Street in partnership with Mississippi Main Street and Main Street Arkansas. 

PUBLIC: On-site registration begins on Saturday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street. Tickets may be purchased for field tours based on availability.

PRESS: Registration for the media is free. On-site registration for press begins Saturday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton New Orleans.

More information on the conference program is online at:



The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces