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  • Lori Gagen

Critical communications for Main Street program

I became involved in an incredible opportunity for the City of Kendallville through my work in local economic development in summer 2021. Following the development of a critical "pitch" presentation and helping to facilitate the production and showing of an accompanying video, my work expanded to include ongoing volunteer work to benefit Experience the Heart of Kendallville, that city's Main Street™ Affiliate organization.


The collaborations involved in making that pitch bore fruit when the City of Kendallville was awarded a $2M PreservINg Main Street grant and named a Pilot Community in the new funding initiative. One of the primary expectations laid out by grantmakers was a communications plan. Having recently donated a 5-page website development package, which was purchased by a key leader in the PreservINg Main Street project, we decided the best use of the free website launch would be a new Main Street website. The result is a new Wix website titled Experience the Heart of Kendallville with a URL of kendallvillemainstreet.com.



A key component of this project is the website's blog, which serves as a stakeholder communication tool. Stakeholders can easily subscribe to receive updates each time a new blog is posted so they stay "in the loop" as the grant program rolls out. This helps deliver easy access to grant guidelines, application for funding, a related resource library, and upcoming events and meetings.


As a big fan of the free calendars (that provide incredible customization options and functionality) offered by Brown Bear Software, I once again designed a companion calendar for this Main Street organization. I opt not to embed calendars, to maintain the integrity of built-in responsiveness, but do include a link from the website to the calendar, making it easy to find and accessible 24/7 from any internet connection. Brown Bear Software's calendars provide phenomenal options for users and administrators to subscribe and share updates, and self-manage their own interactions and entries. Additionally, a small fee removes all ads (which I highly recommend and opted to do on this project.)





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