Did you know that Marietta Main Street has seven different committee meetings a month, not including board meetings? Yep. We do. Our committees range from Public Art to Operations to Promotions and more. If you've ever been on a committee of Marietta Main Street, you've probably experienced a few things, listed below.
+ Balancing measurable outcomes with the passion of our volunteers has been challenging
+ Recruiting a diverse body of volunteers has been challenging due to the varied times, days, and locations of our meetings
+ Knowing the action items, projects, and programs of each committee has been difficult, simply due to the abundance of work ongoing in different committees as well as a lack of transparency
+ Building relationships with the full body of Main Street volunteers has been challenging because of a lack of shared spaces
Well, Marietta Main Street isn't alone. In fact, during the 2017 National Conference for Main Street America, Main Street organizations across the U.S. sympathized with each other during a conference session on the "Main Street Refresh" - an updated version of the 4-Point Approach that encourages Main Street communities to collaborate more on focused outcomes, instead of dividing across committees and becoming segmented.
In our Board meetings, we brainstormed, strategized, and dreamed up a solution. If segmented committees, each meeting at different times, each working on different goals, each communicating with a limited group of people, has presented all of these issues, then why not bring them all together? We want to build community, after all, and the more energy and enthusiasm we can muster for downtown, the more hands are on deck to help build our community's vision, and the stronger our downtown will be!
This August, each one of our committees held their final meeting in separate spaces and, starting this month in September, we are launching our Main Street Community Meetings.
Main Street Community Meetings are once-a-month spaces for each committee to gather together, in the same space, as a large group with a common agenda. We will share a common space as a Main Street team of volunteers, dividing into small groups based on focus area to discuss specific items, and then joining together again in the large group to report out, find points of collaboration, and move forward together.
Thanks to a strong partnership with Marietta College, each Community Meeting will be housed on the 2nd floor of Andrews Hall, using the Great Room and each conference room for large and small group time. This incredible space offers the ability for our Community Meetings to grow and for each small group to have the tools they need - white boards, conference tables, TVs, easels with paper pads - to create strong work plans full of action items and measurable outcomes.
The structure is in place, the vision has been set, and the opportunities that lie in front of us are abundant - all we need is you! Mark your calendars for Main Street Community Meetings the 3rd Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at Marietta College. Follow along on Facebook and stay tuned for our agendas, minutes, work plans, and more as an active volunteer with Main Street!