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16th Maine Downtown Conference in Bar Harbor

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BAR HARBOR- The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) hosts the 16th annual Maine Downtown Conference at The Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor onMay 13. The theme of this year's conference is Economic Vitality Basics, Gateways and Centennial Thinking.

'The conference will explore techniques and practices for downtown revitalization and economic development in our Maine communities,' said Lorain Francis, senior program director of MDF. 'Communities just beginning downtown revitalization or those that are well on their way will hear success stories, best practices and innovations from experts from Maine in all Four Points of the National Main Street model. Our annual conference is a fantastic way to energize your community's revitalization and learn new ways to succeed.'

The conference will begin with a keynote address by Kathy LaPlante, a senior program officer and director of coordinating program services at the National Main Street Center with expertise in building organizational capacity and developing promotional programming. The following conference sessions are divided among the three tracks, each focusing on an aspect of the theme.

The Economic Vitality Basics track focuses on the Main Street Four-Point Approach, with an emphasis on economic development and vitality. These sessions will explore whether a community is ready for new businesses. This track is taught by Main Street directors, and those working directly in communities, on the street, every day in Maine. The Gateways track looks at how a community prepares for the next steps of development with entrepreneurs, tourism and bridging the natural and built environment, while the Centennial Thinking track looks at visioning, historic districts and preservation, and 100 years of Acadia National Park.

'We're hoping many join us in beautiful downtown Bar Harbor to enjoy inspiring breakout sessions and networking with those interested in downtowns,' added Francis.


For more information on the Maine Downtown Conference, to see the conference schedule, to track sessions or to register, please visit www.mdf.org.

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