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Heart & Soul Talks: Restoring Pride, Renewing Communities

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No matter where you live, there is something to love about the place you call home. Yet, the common narrative about small towns focuses on what is wrong or what needs to be fixed—vacant storefronts, political differences, young people moving away. Hear how three Heart & Soul® towns are renewing community spirit by drawing on their unique history and heritage and, in turn, sparking revitalization.

Speakers:

--Delilah Poupore, executive director, Heart of Biddeford in Biddeford, Maine

A former textile mill town, Biddeford struggled with stagnant population growth and limited job opportunities. Biddeford’s renaissance began when residents used the Community Heart & Soul® model to create a forward-looking plan that took stock of the town’s unique history and what mattered most to everyone. As the executive director of the Heart of Biddeford, Delilah has played a pivotal role both in implementing the Downtown Master Plan and maintaining momentum beyond the plan’s completion.

--Alice Trowbridge, project coordinator, Heart of Williamsport in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Downtown Williamsport is booming—attracting a younger population along with nightlife and art galleries. However, the city’s outlying neighborhoods are still struggling economically. Alice heads up the Heart of Williamsport project, which is collecting stories from all neighborhoods to bridge divides and provide opportunities for every resident.

--Janeane Hopkins, Heart & Soul team member, McComb Region Heart & Soul in McComb, Ohio

Not long ago, McComb had a vibrant downtown with thriving local businesses. When the town’s anchor retail store closed, it left a hole on Main Street and in the local economy. By drawing on memories of the past while looking toward the future, Community Heart & Soul is renewing a sense of hope. Today, residents are investing in existing businesses and starting new ones, contributing to a new chapter for McComb.

This FREE event takes place on Thursday, May 25 from 1-2 p.m. Eastern.

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