Over the past decade, Imagine Main Street has taken on a variety of initiatives and held many events – always in the pursuit of our goal to support Historical Downtown Manchester through an emphasis on The Arts. A few of our past accomplishments are outlined below. We look forward to new and creative endeavors to come!
Imagine Main Street unveiled phase one of the Main Street ART Benches project during the May 1st 2014 Imagine Main Street happening. Sponsors were paired with local artists to produce one-of-a-kind benches that are exhibited along Main Street. The wonderful bench art continues to be added and updated as funds and needs are revealed. Some benches from the original project had to be removed because they were worn out by the weather. We are grateful to the artists and to the Town for their continued support of this project. Phase 2 of the Main Street ART Benches will be announced in 2021!
Imagine Main Street hosted the Runners ART Parade 2014, a public art project of fiberglass runner sculptures hand-painted by jury-selected artists exhibited on Main Street to meet, greet and entertain all those who visited the historic district of Downtown Manchester. The Runners ART Parade took place during the June 2014 Imagine Main Street event. While most of the runners are no longer visible along Main Street, they can be found in various businesses around town and in Town Hall for the enjoyment of all.
Imagine Main Street began its very exciting arts and cultural events in June of 2012. An ever-growing number of artists, artisans and musicians have participated in the Imagine Main Street happenings drawing thousands of visitors to the Downtown area. The collaborative spirit and vision of these events have increased the vitality of the downtown and the cultural vibrancy of the area. These events have often been street-wide festivals including art vendors, horse-drawn carriages, music, Zumba demonstrations, dance performances, street performers, ceramic demonstrations and sales, garden displays, poetry readings and magician performances, a pub crawl, wine tasting, and restaurant specials.
The collaborative efforts of the events have inspired many new projects and programs including Young@Art CT (a youth-oriented arts program specializing in mural art) who now produce “Art in the Park’ on the first Sunday of June in Center Memorial Park, and the Silk City Fest, an edgy maker and music series held in the Forest Street parking lot, has now morphed into a new organization called Art Fud, with emphasis on art and feeding the community. Art Fud held its first event in the newly-renovated Purnell Place parking lot in September of 2017 and its 2018 and 2019 events were bigger and better!
Imagine Main Street facilitated the painting of all the street planters and garbage receptacles and benches along Main Street a historic green color. This added color palette to the landscape of Main Street has given a fresh look of vitality and renewed possibility.
Imagine Main Street organized and implemented a successful Holiday Wreath project for all the Main Street business for Holiday 2012.
Imagine Main Street received a grant from the Manchester Road Race committee to help support the Downtown Special Services District with the Holiday Decorating Project for 2013 and from Fuss & O’Neill for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 marketing materials. We are so grateful for all of our supporters!
Imagine Main Street has received support from a number of organizations including the SBM Charitable Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Fuss & O’Neill, the Town of Manchester, Panera Bread, Frame Dimensions, Primary Residential Mortgage, Key Bank, ECHN, Marty Shea, Allstate Insurance, and volunteer support from the Rotary Club of Manchester and the Fire Police.
Imagine Main Street envisions and implements the pop up store idea for Downtown Manchester, and conducts an Imagine Inside Market on the first Saturday in February for mid-winter, pre-Valentine’s Day shopping at WORK_SPACE. In 2019, Imagine Main Street went back to full year programming and added adventures outside of the Downtown area, and instruction in the arts, as part of its service to the community. In 2020 its going back to just four events per year, and there’s great reason for that — downtown arts are alive and well! The Library has an amazing array of arts activities as does WORK_SPACE, The Firestone and another craft and arts ‘do it yourself’ store have opened, and there are two other art galleries for your enjoyment. Live music can be found at Silk City Coffee, Filomena’s, Urban Lodge, and the Angry Egg!
Imagine Main Street has assisted DMSSD with the Business Recruitment Initiative and marketing efforts for Downtown Manchester.
Imagine Main Street is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and encourages donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to keep the energy, artistry and excitement going! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!