PHOTO #1: This still image from a Victoria Main Street Program promotional video shows “Wake,” an art installation by Houston artist Mel Chin hosted by the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Victoria.
PHOTO #2: Local artist Trent Rickman displays his work during the Downtown Art Walk on Sept. 10, 2021, in downtown Victoria.
The Victoria Main Street Program has been recognized by Main Street America as one of the nation’s 863 accredited programs, the top designation conferred by Main Street America.
Accredited status reflects a strong commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the four-point Main Street Approach of economic vitality, promotion, organization and design, according to Main Street America’s website.
In recent years, the Main Street Program has expanded downtown event programming in collaboration with community partners and expanded its use of incentives and other support to encourage development.
Main Street Manager Kate Garcia said the community’s interest and investment in downtown helped make the accreditation possible. She cited the high number of applications for the façade grant program and an increase in the percentage of buildings that are being used or actively marketed, rather than lying dormant.
“It’s been so exciting to see downtown go from a ghost town to a destination,” Garcia said. “I’ve talked to longtime business owners who remember when downtown was empty on the weekends, and now we’re seeing increased foot traffic and hosting events almost every month.”
Accredited programs enjoy increased access to networking opportunities, exclusive conferences, webinars and other program development tools.
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, that share a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
To learn more about the Victoria Main Street Program, visit www.victoriatx.gov/mainstreet or follow Victoria Main Street Program on Facebook.