June 3, 2018 (from previously article published September 22, 2017)
Pictured L-R: Katie Tyson, PA Downtown Center; Naomi Naylor, Vice Chair, PA Downtown Center; Larry Newman, Chair, PA Downtown Center; Julie Fitzpatrick, Assistant Director, PA Downtown Center; Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director, West Chester BID; Maria Wherley, Conference Coordinator, PA Downtown Center; former West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley; State Representative Carolyn Comitta.
HARRISBURG PA — The Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s (PDC) 2018 Annual Statewide Community Revitalization Conference is now being held through June 6, 2018 in Historic downtown West Chester PA. The theme is EMBRACING CHANGE – Empowering the Future of Your Community’s Revitalization Effort.
State Senator Andy Dinniman, 19th District, Chester County, said: “West Chester is a prime example of a community that has and continues to embrace change for the benefit of businesses, consumers, families, and residents. The Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s annual three-day conference will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the borough’s ongoing and highly successful revitalization efforts, from supporting small businesses, to utilizing smart growth principles, to harnessing the power of the arts. I look forward to welcoming representatives from neighboring downtowns to the conference in June and discussing what we can learn from each other as we continue to grow together.”
The conference theme relates to many factors including innovation, technology, diversity in all its forms, and constantly evolving life style preferences – how we shop, how we play, how we engage in our communities and how we interact as a society, will all be taken into account. Conference attendees are provided opportunities to participate in mobile workshops, educational sessions, and meetings on a variety of relevant topics.
“West Chester’s transformation over the past 17 years has been truly remarkable,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, Chicago. “The town has always had great architectural heritage but under West Chester Business Improvement District’s leadership, it has grown into a haute-cuisine mecca, drawing not just locals but visitors from surrounding areas.”
The conference is taking place in downtown at the Chester County Historical Society and Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.
The highlight of the conference will be the annual Townie Awards gala taking place on the evening of June 5. The Townies, as the event is known, recognize Pennsylvania communities that have developed and implemented outstanding programming and events contributing to PDC’s overall mission. Winners will be publically announced immediately following the awards ceremony.
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Founded in 1987, the mission of Pennsylvania Downtown Center is to build and support the capacity of local nonprofit organizations, municipalities and individuals to enhance the overall well-being and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s communities.
For more information about the accredited communities, the Main Street or Elm Street programs, contact Maria Wherley at (717) 233-4675 ext. 116 or email Maria Wherley.
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The West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) was established in 2000 as a revitalization and resource agency for historic downtown West Chester. It is nationally accredited by the National Main Street Center and Pennsylvania Downtown Center and Designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. In 2017, the West Chester BID was presented the Great American Main Street Award by the Natonal Main Street Center. It is the first such award to be given to a Pennsylvania community in nearly twenty years. Malcolm’s session notes.
Contact Malcolm Johnstone