The 2008 Downtown Cushing Main Street membership drive has begun. Renewal letters went into the mail recently and solicitation letters for new members have gone out as well.

The Downtown Cushing Main Street program has been in place since 1998. It is a part of the National Main Street network as well as the Oklahoma Main Street network. It is completely locally funded through member contributions, fund raisers and an investment from the city of Cushing. Its mission is the revitalization of Downtown Cushing using the Main Street Four Point Approach. It operates with one paid staff member, executive director Rick Reiley, under the direction of the board. The primary work of the organization is done by volunteers.

Downtown Cushing Main Street keeps tabs on and offers assistance in downtown progress. It provides that information to the state and national database which tracks such items as private reinvestment, public reinvestment, volunteer hours, net jobs created, etc. It also offers business, architectural, design and promotion guidance to downtown business and property owners at no cost, through the affiliation with the Oklahoma Main Street Center.

The director’s job is to work to coordinate the direction of the board with the efforts of the committees, to carry out the work of the organization. The director must also assist with work plan development, committee and board training, monitor and track progress, create regular press releases on downtown activity, keep the public and civic organizations informed and keep the photo files updated and current.

The Main Street Four Point Approach.

These Four Points are: Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring. Here’s a brief explanation-

Design: Helps identify design elements and issues with our historic downtown buildings. It provides guidance on maintaining historic features, façade treatments, interior design. For over 100 years Downtown Cushing has played a large part in portraying Cushing’s image. Sprucing up that image and calling attention to its historic character is an investment in its future. (The state Main Street architect provided insight into Design training last week, spending most of the day with the Design committee and downtown property owners). The Design committee is also responsible for design elements at the new Centennial Park.

Promotion: Works to promote downtown businesses and the downtown area in general as a vital place to be. This committee is in charge of the Alumni Welcome, Downtown Rodeo Roundup, Old Fashioned Christmas, Kids Town and other such events.

Organization: Is in charge of taking care of the organization, fund raising, hiring staff and seeing to all the details of operating this 501© 3 organization. It is also in charge of Downtown Cushing’s booth participation at the Oklahoma state fair in Oklahoma City and Main Street Day at the Capitol as well as the membership drive, Piccadilly Auction and the Holiday Home Tour.

Economic Restructuring: This committee seeks to remove barriers to and improve the downtown business climate, work with property owners to find more productive use of their property and to identify new business opportunities in the downtown area. The ER committee directs maintenance of the Downtown Cushing website and is instrumental in the Downtown Cushing Farmers Market.

An active downtown provides goods, services, jobs and opportunities to citizens. It also produces revenue to the city in the form of sales taxes and from the sale of utilities while working to provide atmosphere of its own distinct character and charm.

Downtown Cushing is an asset well beyond its boundaries.

All contributions to Downtown Cushing Main Street are tax deductible.

For more information call the Main Street office at 225-2100.