Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

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Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

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Three Main Street America Staff members standing in front of a mural in Marion, Iowa.

Marion, Iowa © Tasha Sams

About

We work in collaboration with thousands of local partners and grassroots leaders across the nation who share our commitment to advancing shared prosperity, creating resilient economies, and improving quality of life.

Overview Who We Are How We Work Partner Collaborations Our Supporters Our Team Job Opportunities Contact Us
Two community members in Emporia Kansas pose with a sign saying "I'm a Main Streeter"

Emporia, Kansas © Emporia Main Street

Our Network

Made up of small towns, mid-sized communities, and urban commercial districts, the thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders that make up Main Street America™ represent the broad diversity that makes this country so unique.

Overview Coordinating Programs Main Street Communities Collective Impact Awards & Recognition Community Evaluation Framework Join the Movement
Dionne Baux and MSA partner working in Bronzeville, Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois © Main Street America

Resources

Looking for strategies and tools to support you in your work? Delve into the Main Street Resource Center and explore a wide range of resources including our extensive Knowledge Hub, professional development opportunities, field service offerings, advocacy support, and more!

Overview Knowledge Hub Field Services Government Relations Main Street Now Conference Main Street America Institute Small Business Support Allied Member Services The Point Members Area
People riding e-scooters in Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa © Main Street Waterloo

The Latest

Your one-stop-shop for all the latest stories, news, events, and opportunities – including grants and funding programs – across Main Street.

Overview News & Stories Events & Opportunities Subscribe
Woman and girl at a festival booth in Kendall Whittier, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kendall Whittier — Tulsa, Oklahoma © Kendall Whittier Main Street

Get Involved

Join us in our work to advance shared prosperity, create strong economies, and improve quality of life in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Overview Join Us Renew Your Membership Donate Partner With Us Job Opportunities
Two people remove a cloth revealing a sign for a crowd that has gathered.

Shaw District — Washington, D.C. © Shaw Main Streets

Shaw Main Streets, located in Washington, D.C., is one of the three winners of the 2016 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). Selected by a national jury of community development professionals and leaders in the fields of economic development and historic preservation, the award winners serve as exceptional models for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Shaw Main Streets was recognized for actively involving its multicultural community, cultivating tech businesses, and supporting the arts.


Main Street America Program: Shaw Main Streets
Coordinating Program: DC Main Streets
Year Organization Founded: 2003
Population: 9,842
Public and Private Reinvestment: $2,615,535,000
Net New Businesses: 173
Buildings/​Structures Rehabilitated: 317

Visit Shaw Main Streets
A small group of people accept an award.

Innovation on Main Street Award Presentation in Atlanta, Georgia. © Main Street America

Video

Shaw’s transformation in the last 13 years has been truly remarkable,” said Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America. To bring the neighborhood back from the devastating 1968 riots and the decades of disinvestment that followed while infusing the district’s historic character with new energy and resources, is a tremendous testament to Shaw Main Street’s effective leadership.” 

  • A new construction building rises behind a historic brick building.

    City Market at O Development incorporates the historic Public Market Building (b. 1881). © Shaw Main Streets

  • Ceremonial ribbon cutting event.

    Ribbon cutting for one of the district’s newest restaurants, Baby Wale. © Shaw Main Streets

By actively involving its multicultural community, cultivating tech businesses, and supporting the arts, since its founding in 2003 Shaw Main Streets has reduced the retail vacancy rate from 20 percent to 1 percent, helped over 200 new businesses open, and attracted approximately $3 billion in private and public investment. Under Shaw Main Streets’ leadership, Shaw has earned nationwide attention as a fast-rising arts, cultural, and dining destination while maintaining affordability and ties to its proud past as an African-American entertainment district.

  • Drummers perform for a crowd at night.

    Batala Washington drummers draw a crowd to Watha T. Daniel Shaw Library during the 2013 Art All Night DC event. © Shaw Main Streets

  • People wear hi-vis vests while shoveling show from a sidewalk.

    Shaw’s Clean and Safe Team removes snow from sidewalks after a major storm. © Shaw Main Streets

I’m proud that the District of the Columbia is the first urban Main Street program to include three Great American Main Street Award winners,” said Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia. As a fifth generation Washingtonian, I have witnessed the Shaw neighborhood’s growth and progress – of which Shaw Main Streets has played an important role. Shaw is one of our treasured communities, with a rich cultural history that reflects the diversity and vibrancy of Washington, D.C. I congratulate Shaw Main Streets’ board of directors, including Chair Gretchen Wharton, Executive Director Alexander Padro, and hundreds of local volunteers for a job well done.”

Highlights of Shaw Main Street’s 13-year efforts include the rehabilitation of the Howard Theatre, once the largest venue in Washington’s segregation-era Black Broadway,” the creation of flexible work space for 400 start-up tech businesses in a former Wonder Bread factory, maintenance of the district’s affordable housing, and the creation of Art All Night DC, a popular overnight arts festival that won an Innovation on Main Street Award in 2015.