Downtown revitalization grants presented to cities in the 501

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), announced its 2020 Downtown Revitalization Grant recipients at an awards presentation on June 25 at the DAH headquarters in Little Rock. The grants are administered by Main Street Arkansas. 

Malvern Downtown Development Corporation: Hunter Windle (from left), DAH director Stacy Hurst, Dara Casey and Carrie Dudley.

“I am constantly impressed with our Main Street and Arkansas Downtown Network programs and the work they are doing to revitalize their communities,” said Stacy Hurst, DAH director and state historic preservation officer. “We are pleased to present these grants to worthy programs, knowing the funding will protect the state’s historic fabric and generate economic development activity across Arkansas. The improvements will enrich the experience of all who walk through the streets of these downtowns.”

Main Street Morrilton: DAH director Stacy Hurst (left) and Morgan Zimmerman.

This year, $309,500 in grant funding was presented to 37 projects on Main Streets and in downtowns across Arkansas.

Programs in the 501 receiving grants: 

  • Conway Downtown Partnership, Conway/Faulkner County- $15,000
  • Main Street Searcy, Searcy/White County- $15,000
  • Southside Main Street Project Inc., Little Rock/Pulaski County- $15,000
  • Argenta Downtown Council, Argenta/Pulaski County- $15,000
  • Malvern Downtown Development Corporation, Malvern/Hot Spring County- $1,000
  • Main Street Morrilton Inc., Morrilton/Conway County- $1,000
Main Street Searcy: Amy Burton (from left), DAH director Stacy Hurst and Kristi Thurmon.

City of Conway representatives were also on hand to receive a $25,000 Certified Local Government Grant. CLG Grants represent a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS), the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), and local governments around the state to preserve historic resources at the local level. These grants are specifically pass-through grants funded by the Historic Preservation Fund Grants-In-Aid program, which is administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

Recipients of Downtown Revitalization Grants are allowed to use the money for a wide range of projects, such as building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area. To be considered for the grant, the community must be certified as part of the Main Street Arkansas program which is governed by guidelines set out by Main Street America.

Conway Downtown Partnership: Kim Williams (left), DAH director Stacy Hurst and Jack Bell.

“While some programs work in partnership with their local governments to give micro-grants to small businesses or provide signage for their downtown, one of the more unique uses from a past grant winner was the installation of security cameras in a busy downtown,” said Scott Kaufman, director of the AHPP. “The cameras served as a crime deterrent and made people feel safer. We are proud of be part of lasting change in communities across Arkansas.” 

Main Street Arkansas staff works closely with the local programs. Staff members include: Greg Phillips, director; Susan Shaddox, interior designer; and Mark Miller, small business consultant. Learn more about Main Street Arkansas at 

City of Conway: James Walden, DAH director Stacy Hurst, Levi Hill and Jack Bell.