(Hartford, CT – December 2, 2014) – Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) has announced the selection of Downtown New Britain as the host for the 2015 CT Main Street Awards Gala. The event is scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2015. A gathering reception and presentation of awards will take place at Trinity-on-Main, the former Trinity United Methodist Church which was preserved and repurposed to serve as a cultural center for the advancement of the arts, to foster cultural diversity, to encourage community revitalization and to aid in the economic development of downtown New Britain. Following the awards presentation, gala attendees will then be able to take advantage of a “menu” of New Britain Experiences that are planned to help the 200 attendees from throughout the state get to know Downtown New Britain. Walking tours, performance art, and a selection of food and beverage unique to New Britain will be included in this showcase event.
“When selecting the host city for our gala event, we look for town centers and neighborhood districts that have both a compelling story of community-led revitalization efforts and recent strategic achievements in placemaking and economic development,” said Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker, Associate Director of CMSC. “New Britain is a city that is coming back from the loss of manufacturing in the latter part of the 20th century by capitalizing on its unique assets of a vibrant arts community, a culturally diverse population of entrepreneurs, and an ethic of working together to find solutions,” she said.
Internationally recognized as the home of invention and manufacturing for over 200 years, New Britain’s downtown is itself being reinvented with the coming CTFastrak, the State’s innovative mass-transit initiative that will serve as the spine of Central Connecticut’s regional transit system. Capitalizing on the coming transportation hub, the city of New Britain is implementing a comprehensive and robust Complete Streets Master Plan and wayfinding projects to revitalize and energize downtown from the State Courthouse to Columbus Park. The first phase of this plan was completed with work around New Britain’s new state-of-the-art 87,000 sq. ft. public safety and retail complex.
“New Britain is thrilled to have been selected as the location for the 2015 CT Main Street Awards Gala,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “We’ve been working hard to improve our downtown through many forward-thinking initiatives, like our Complete Streets work, and by holding great events in downtown, like Oktoberfest and Main Street USA, which will be making a comeback in 2015. It’s wonderful that our efforts are being recognized, and we are excited to show them off at the CT Main Street Awards Gala,” said Mayor Stewart.
The Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence program was created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, individuals and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically. The Connecticut Main Street Awards annually celebrate and communicate the most successful and innovative efforts in Main Street revitalization in Connecticut. Submissions are judged on criteria which included innovation, replication, representation, partnerships utilized, and outcomes. The 2015 award winners will be announced to the public on May 1, 2015.