What does the Cornbread Festival, Better Block Project and StudioMAIN have in common…community resurgence


What do you imagine to fill the empty lots and stores along Main St.? would you like your favorite store to open in our area? It may – for a weekend of festival.

Led by StudioMain and an offshoot of the LR Chamber of Commerce called Create LR, our community will make our visions real – for that weekend of Nov. 3, as we celebrate at the Cornbread Festival, and visit new retail outlets, cafes and service outlets on display on Main from 12th to 16th St.  DNA voted to occupy a booth at the event, and we encourage all subscribers to drop by and say Hello.

Taking over vacant blocks and installing storefront cafes with tables on the sidewalk, opening a children’s art studio in a vacant garage, chalking bicycle lanes on the pavement, and adding a water fountain at an intersection, making it a roundabout, are among ideas suggested Wednesday at a workshop for activists seeking to revitalize Main St.

The sheets of plans were put on display Friday evening at StudioMain at 1423 S. Main St.

We want to know:

What do you want? For examples of what has been done elsewhere, check out:



The “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that revisions an area to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. The project acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage in the “complete streets” buildout process and develop pop-up businesses to show the potential for revitalized economic activity in an area. Better Blocks are now being performed throughout the country, and have helped cities rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes.

Submit your ideas to Ask a Question at StudioMain at:


speak to managers of your favorite stores, and invite them to participate.

Want to know what’s happening in the neighborhood?

One of the best ways to discover what is happening in our neighborhood is to attend community meetings and forums devoted to the health and progress of our community.  Here’s a short list of some standing neighborhood meetings whose focus is downtown Little Rock.  These groups play a large role in shaping and sustaining our community.  Come.  Bring your family.  Listen.  Participate.  All are welcome and needed.

Pettaway Neighborhood Association: Meets Monthly (3rd Thursday, 6:00 p.m.) at East Broadway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st Street www.pettawayneighborhoodassociation.com (Officer: Carol Tabron, President; Kwadjo Boaitey, Secretary) For more information call 501.376.3406  Next Meeting: January 19, 2012

Downtown Neighborhood Association: Meets Monthly (2nd Thursday, 6:00 p.m.) at East Broadway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st Street http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lr-dna/ (Officers: Tony Curtis, President; Chuck Heinbockel, Vice President; Kathy Wells, Secretary; Jim Wierdsma, Treasurer)  For more information call 501.375.1701   Next Meeting: January 12, 2012  (note: U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin will be in attendance)

Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation: Meets Monthly (1st Tuesdsay, 6:00 pm) at 1923 South Main Street (Mahlon Martin Apartments) www.dlrcdc.org (Executive Director: Scott Grummer.  Officer: Stacy Williams, President; Kathy Wells, Secretary) For more information call 501.372.0148  Next Meeting: February 7, 2012

SoMa: Southside Main Street: Meets Monthly (2nd Tuesday, 12pm) at 1423 S. Main Street (Village Commons) www.southsidemain.org  For more information call 501.412.3768  Next Meeting: January 10, 2012

Quapaw Quarter Association: Meets Monthly (2nd Wednesday, 5:30pm) at 615 E. Capitol Avenue (Curran Hall) www.quapaw.com (Executive Director: Rhea Roberts; Officers: Lynn Hamilton, President; Lakresha Diaz, VP of Ed; Cheri Nichols, VP of Advocacy; Tom Wittenberg, VP of Development; Amanda Sobel Driver, Secretary, Lia Lent, Treasury) For more information call 501.371.0075  Next Meeting: January 11, 2012

Little Rock Mayor’s Meeting-Public Safety: Meets Bi-Monthly (1st Wednesday, 4pm) at 615 E. Capitol Avenue (Curran Hall)  For more information call 501.375.6987  Next Meeting: March 7, 2012

City of Little Rock Board of Director’s Meeting:  Regular Board Meetings are held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM, unless otherwise noted.

Agenda Board Meetings are held on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:00 PM, unless otherwise noted. During the months with five (5) Tuesdays, the Agenda Board Meeting will be held on the fifth Tuesday.

All Meetings are held at Little Rock City Hall, 500 West Markham, Board of Directors Chambers, 2nd Floor. http://www.littlerock.org/boardofdirectors/calendarofmeetings/