AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Region is Requesting Applications

The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Southwest Region is requesting applications for team-based community service projects in Arizona.  AmeriCorps NCCC is seeking projects that engage members in service for 40-45 hours per week for 6-13 weeks from April 13- July 13, 2019.   Projects Concept Forms are due December 19, 2018.

Click here for the detailed instructions for creating the concept form.

Click here for Project Concept Form in Word.

Click here for Project Concept Form in PDF.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. By implementing several programs including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund, CNCS provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country. More than two million Americans will serve through these programs to support thousands of national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to meet community needs in economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veteran and military families and other critical areas. National and community service programs work closely with traditional volunteer organizations to broaden, deepen, and strengthen the ability of citizens to contribute not only to their  communities, but also to our nation.

Check out the accomplishments of graduating class 24B Sun Unit in this video from the October 18 graduation ceremony: https://youtu.be/TxXC8aX_m1U.  For additional information, contact Jennifer Manhoff at 202-815-5783 or email jmanhoff@cns.gov

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Vibrant Downtowns Stem from Community Efforts

Source – Kingman Daily Miner, Kingman, Arizona – June 24, 2018

First Friday events, the Welcome Arch, efforts of Kingman Main Street and the Economic Development Department are all working to make downtown Kingman a vibrant place to socialize and do business, and Lani Lott, of Arizona Downtown Alliance, a coordinating program with Main Street America, says making downtown a priority is the first step to achieving that vibrancy.

(Photo by Travis Rains/Daily Miner)

Lott told Council at its meeting Tuesday that downtown revitalization like what Kingman has started is really “economic development with a twist.” She said downtown is important because it holds many of Kingman’s historical assets, and how it is managed shows the degree of pride the community has for its city. “A thriving downtown is the community’s gathering place, and that’s becoming very obvious with your new Friday event, your events, your park, people strolling on sidewalks,” Lott said. “It is a natural community gathering place, and that is one of the key aspects of a very vibrant downtown that is really looked at and managed well.”

She said downtown is also a business incubator, and that retention of those businesses is a component potential investors and developers will look at when considering moving to downtown Kingman. How downtown is perceived by the community and the shape it is in “is an indicator of the health of your city,” Lott said. “If it’s well-kept, if it’s got lots of different types of independent businesses there, if there’s people on the streets, they will come and look at your downtown’s central core,” she continued.

Properly maintaining downtown can be helped along by utilizing the Main Street America’s four-point approach that looks at areas necessary for helping sustain and revitalize that area of a city. Lott said it is an approach, a way that a community can come together with the public and the private to make downtown a destination for both residents and visitors. Those efforts pay off, as National Main Street statistics cited by Lott show that for every $1 reinvested downtown there is more than a $26 return on investment.

Community support and engagement, economic and entrepreneurial development, marketing and promotion, and placemaking comprise the four points, which need to be community driven to be successful. Lott explained the approach requires a comprehensive plan, like what Kingman Main Street has embarked on, a vision, leveraging of a community’s resources and reinforcement of community partnerships and collaborations.

“The one thing that keeps the Main Street four-point approach moving forward is consistency and a coordinated effort,” Lott said of the first pillar in particular. “So the key piece is having someone who’s dedicated to really rallying the troops, herding the cats and keeping those activities moving forward.” Kingman is doing just that, with multiples groups, individuals and City departments working together to progress its efforts in revitalizing downtown.

For more information on Main Street America visit www.mainstreet.org and/or the Arizona Downtown Alliance. To see what is happening with downtown Kingman revitalization efforts visit kingmanmainstreet.com.

Made on Main Street Project Grants Announced

Source – Main Street America Press Release – May 16, 2018

OneMain Financial and Main Street America Announce Six Winning Cities to Receive $25,000 ‘Made on Main Street’ Project Grants.  “Made on Main Street”, a partnership program between OneMain Financial and Main Street America that provides community action grants for innovative beautification projects, today announced six cities from across the nation that will each receive a $25,000 grant to help improve their local communities. The six winning cities are Mesa, Arizona; Brunswick, Georgia; Charlotte, Michigan; Painesville, Ohio; The Dalles, Oregon; and Prosser, Washington. These cities join Goldsboro, North Carolina, which was awarded the first grant in March, for a downtown revitalization project that is currently underway.

“We are deeply committed to the communities we serve, and it’s an honor to help local citizens revitalize their downtown areas,” said Jay Levine, President & CEO, OneMain Financial. “Celebrating these transformational projects alongside neighbors and friends is a key element of these projects. Our local branches offer community members assistance in improving their financial health, and “Made on Main Street” is an extension of our positive footprint to help make meaningful changes. Together, we hope to build stronger communities by improving the places where we live and work.”

“Made on Main Street” organizers encouraged local changemakers to submit proposals for innovative ideas that would enhance their community. The winners were selected by Main Street America, a program of the National Main Street Center, whose mission is to build vibrant neighborhoods and thriving local economies. The winning organizations are RAILmesa (Ariz.); Main Street Brunswick (Ga.); Charlotte Rising (Mich.); Downtown Painesville (Ohio); The Dalles Main Street (Ore.); and Historic Downtown Prosser Association (Wash.).

“We received nearly 60 applications, and it was exciting to see the level of creativity, and thoughtfulness that went into the proposals for each project,” said Patrice Frey, National Main Street Center President & CEO. “While it was difficult to select only six communities, our decisions were based on the ability of local leaders to roll up their sleeves and engage with community members to create long-term economic improvement through a small, creative revitalization project.”

The winners’ proposals outlined how they will invest the money. RAILmesa in Mesa, Arizona, will help expand access to their all-volunteer community maker space, Heartsync Labs, by holding community classes, upgrading the physical space, and purchasing new tools. Main Street Brunswick in Brunswick, Georgia, plans to improve streetscapes by installing aesthetically pleasing planters, new trash receptacles, and bike racks for their bicycle-enthusiast community. Charlotte Rising in Charlotte, Michigan, outlined a proposal to transform a vacant lot into a pocket park that will host events and public programs including outdoor classes, yoga, open mic nights, and more. The Ohio- based organization Downtown Painesville, will create and manage a landscaped public space, with designated seating in and around their community’s beloved historic Gage House, thereby creating the only park and seating area in that part of the downtown district. The Dalles Main Street in The Dalles, Oregon, will improve their downtown aesthetics by restoring historic neon signs, partnering with local businesses to display them, and creating a walking tour app to connect the various sites. Finally, in Prosser, Washington, the Historic Downtown Prosser Association will work with a variety of local partners, and a large group of volunteers, and lead a two-day downtown beautification blitz, replacing non-functioning elements with new banner poles, planters, and trash receptacles.

“Made on Main Street” organizers will work with winning organizations to host a community celebration event in each community. The events, hosted by OneMain Financial, will take place this summer and fall, and will include free, family-friendly activities, food, and fun.