Representatives from communities of all sizes, rural to urban, attended the 2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference to discover the power of People-Centered Revitalization. This framework empowers the transformation and successful change of a downtown district’s physical, social, economic, and civic components. Attendees learned that People-Centered Revitalization, is community vision in action and that they can be a catalyst to create partnerships, build community, foster entrepreneurs, and boost the local economy while preserving and promoting the culture of your district and downtown.

Economic Development Credits Were Available!

Missouri Main Street Connection invited Certified Economic Development professionals seeking a unique and new perspective on economic development to Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference. For economic development professionals, this conference provided a time-tested approach to economic development through People-Centered Revitalization, which is used as a catalyst to foster entrepreneurs and boost the local economy. This was achieved by utilizing the Main Street Approach™ framework which unites people, preservation, and economic development. All of the conference sessions and educational tours counted towards their requirements for recertification as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD).

The 2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference was recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counted toward the recertification of CEcD.


Attendees can access photos from the 2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Confernce as part of their complimentary photo pass that comes with each registration. Click the link below to view the pictures by MMSC staff. If there are other pictures you think our photographer captured and are not included in the photo pass selection please contact Logan Breer at

Please use these when reporting to your local Main Street board or promoting your attendance at our conference in your newsletter or social media posts.

Wednesday, July 26th
Thursday, July 27th
Friday, July 28th
Blog Roll

Leading up to and following Missouir’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference, Missouri Main Street Connection published a series of blogs that highlighted the various things to do at the conference and wrap up the wonderful time attendees had:

Session Materials

You can access conference sessions’ handouts and slide decks in our Dropbox folder by clicking on the button.

Conference Program
Fun Highlights from the 2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference

Deep Dive – Missouri’s New CDBG Program: Successful Projects that Revitalize Downtown

Held on Wednesday, July 26, attendees could hear about Missouri’s Department of Economic Development’s newly revamped Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Downtown Revitalization Fund.  Brandon Jenson, CDBG Program Manager, shared the details of the new program and how it can be used.  This program has $1.5 million allocated to the downtown fund. Iowa CDBG Program was the model for Missouri’s “new” Downtown Revitalization Fund. Iowa Main Streeters, led by Jim Thompson, a familiar face to Missouri Main Street, shared how they have successfully used CDBG grant funds to jump-start their Main Street efforts in communities small and large.

Urban Forum – A Special Invite Event

MMSC invited select representatives from urban areas in Missouri to hear about the journey of the three pilot St. Louis Main Streets programs: Dutchtown Main Streets, Laclede’s Landing, and Delmar Main Street. Lisa Thompson, Senior Program Officer for Revitalization Service with Main Street America, moderated the discussion that highlighted the accomplishments the St. Louis Main Streets programs have made and best practices they have learned over the past three years including gathering community input, studying market and demographic information, and adopting economic transformation strategies to further urban revitalization.


Sponsored by SLDC

Main Street 5 & Dime

Attendees got to shop Main Street even at Conference! This year MMSC offered a selection of locally-made or Missouri-sourced items from vendors alongside MMSC merch. The Missouri Main Street 5 & Dime worked with local Main Street organization and their small business to bring a little bit of Main Street to the conference during breaks, between sessions, or at breakfast.

Evening Opening Reception – Ballpark Village Crown Room

A kick-off party for the conference allowed attendees to enjoy a fun atmosphere while they connected with old friends and make new ones during a fun game of Human Bingo! Three winners took away gift baskets full of treats.

Main Street Clinic

The Main Street Clinic returned again this year to allow attendees to talk with Main Street and historic preservation professionals and answer questions like: Do you need to develop an idea for your downtown or the organization? Do you need advice from Main Street professionals? There were no appointments needed!

ShowMe Bash & Pitch Party – Armory STL

The ShowMe Bash & Pitch Party was held at Armory STL in downtown St.Louis, MO. Conference attendees experienced a fun-filled evening with friends old and new! They listened to five finalists “pitch” their project and helped judges award $10,000 to Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc. for their project. Following the Pitch Party, attendees were able to explore the 250,000 square feet historic Armory that offers a variety of immersive, fun, unforgettable entertainment experiences as a new third place in St. Louis. This venue was a great place for attendees to envision new uses for their district’s own vacant buildings.

Pitch Party Sponsored by: Artificial Ice

ShowMe Bash Sponsored by: BOLD Marketing & US Bank

2nd Annual Conference Raffle

During the conference, attendees could participate in the conference raffle to win an ARCY mural, a big chair, or lots of other great prizes. Tickets were able to be purchased at the Main Street 5 & Dime, or from MMSC Board members Julie Turnipseed or Russ Volmert for $10 per ticker or 3/$25.

When three tickets or more were bought, attendees could become an artist on their own special part of the “Love Where You Live” coloring board mural at the conference. Markers and a sample piece fo the “Love Where You Live: coloring Mural were included with their purchase of three or more as well to take home!*

*While supplies last.

Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony & Dinner

The annual Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony and Dinner provided an elegant opportunity for attendees to recognize and celebrate each other’s use of the Main Street Approach™ to revitalize traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts. This evening was also the announcement of Diane Hannah’s retirement from Missouri Main Street Connection.


Sponsored By Greater St. Louis Inc.

2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference Sponsors
2023 Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference Partners

This conference is a private and public partnership with Department of Economic Development, State of Missouri, USDA, National Trust, Missouri Humanities, Missouri Arts Council, and MMSC.