For Monroeville Main Street (MMS), 2021 was another outstanding year as the organization reached its seven-year milestone in June. Once again, local people and projects were recognized at the state level by Main Street Alabama. Awards included Excellence in Adaptive Reuse for the Shop at 66 / Loft at 66, Excellence in Placemaking for the creation of the Literary Giants Mural, and a Main Street Hero Award was presented to Boyd Robinson for his leadership and many contributions to the MMS program.
2022 will see the completion of the smART Moves Mural Trail, a collaborative project between Monroeville Main Street and the Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce which utilizes grant funds provided by the AL ProHealth grant through the Monroe County Extension office. The trail features 15 small selfie-style murals in downtown Monroeville with an additional 11 murals throughout Monroe County. All of the murals were painted by Monroe County artists! The project will be completed this spring when each mural is double sealed and trail icons and hashtags are added.
March 3rd – 5th, MMS will host the second Paint the Town Paint Out with Alabama Plein Air painters as an addition to the Monroeville Literary Festival, a project of Monroe County Museum. MMS will kick things off on Thursday evening with a Meet the Artists event. On Friday and Saturday, artists will take to the street and the countryside to paint in the open air. Everything will wrap up on Saturday afternoon with a Wet Paint Sale and Reception at the Monroe County Museum.
Downtown Monroeville has seen a number of beautiful renovations over the last year and you may have noticed a small shipping container next to the city parking lot on West Claiborne. Monroeville Main Street is one of two lucky recipients of a Small Box Shop from Main Street Alabama. MMS will use the space as a Pop-Up Shop / Small Business Incubator. MMS and the Monroe Council for the Arts will host a Pop-Up Gallery featuring Monroe County area artists during March, April, & May and all profits will support the Monroe Council for the Arts. More details are available at the Monroeville Main Street office and the MMS website.
Monroeville Main Street has partnered with Yolanda Johnson of the Small Business Development Center and Main Street Alabama to create B.U.O.Y. (Business Understanding and Ownership for Youth) – a Young Entrepreneur program for rural communities. Aspiring entrepreneurs meet monthly October – April and, upon completion of the class, will participate in a Pitch Competition for financial assistance to help get their business off the ground. Over $11,000.00 was raised through grants and financial support from ALA- Tom RC&D, the M. W. Smith Foundation, United Bank, and the City of Monroeville enabling this program to be offered at no charge to the participants. The goal of B.U.O.Y. is to promote informed, responsible business ownership education for young entrepreneurs.
Monroeville Main Street has received national exposure for receiving one of AARP’s 2021 Community Challenge Grant. MMS’s application competed with more 3500 entries across the country and only 255 grants awarded. MMS’s grant was chosen as one of the “2021 Outstanding Projects” and a video will be produced for the AARP website highlighting the completed work. The grant project includes 6 wheelchair accessible picnic/game tables which will be placed in strategic locations across city where chess and checker pieces will be available for check-out; 2 new benches; and 5 trash cans for the downtown area plus a custom designed tourism kiosk to be placed on West Claiborne Street. MMS has a special event planned and details will be announced once the furniture arrives and is in place. MMS received an additional grant from Main Street Alabama to a second tourism kiosk at Lyle Salter Park.
Mark Tuesday, June 21st on your calendar as Monroeville Main Street will host its second Farm to Table Dinner at the Shop at 66. The event will feature a meal with seasonal offerings, music, an art auction and more. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to support the MMS program mission along with the Monroe Council for the Arts.
Monroeville Main Street is grateful for the local entrepreneurs who have seen the potential of investing in downtown Monroeville and are making their dreams a reality. Since 2014, there are 25 new businesses (net) and 60+ new jobs. Over $200,000 in public investments and more than $8,000,000 in private investment has occurred in the Main Street district. MMS board members and volunteers have logged over 5,700 volunteer hours.
Whether you are interested in opening a business or volunteering your time and talents, we invite you to be a part of the positive changes taking place in our downtown! If you would like more information about Monroeville Main Street, their projects or events, or downtown Monroeville, stop by the office at 86 North Alabama Avenue, visit the website www.monroevillemainstreet.com or call Executive Director Anne Marie Bryan at 251-743-2879.