That one magic evening when downtown came to life ✨ 

Have you had one of those magic evenings in your town? One where the downtown just blossomed? 

I can picture it so clearly. Stores are open late. People are walking around downtown. Musicians are playing. Special displays have popped up inside the stores. A home-based jewelry seller has her items on sale in the furniture store just for tonight. The farmers market is set up in booths on the sidewalks in front of businesses. An artist has set up a temporary gallery in the foyer of another business. An upstairs apartment is hosting an open house, and everyone is talking about how they’d love to live downtown. 

All the things I have described have happened in my town of Alva, Oklahoma, just at different times. It’s at its best when the once-a-month art walk coincides with the once-a-year evening shopping event and the stars seem to align for downtown. Our downtown is getting more lively. It’s been a slow cumulative change, as first one little thing and then another adds up. And now that I think about it, I’m surprised at how much it has changed in just a few years.  

Deb Brown and I want to make this a reality for your downtown, too. That’s why we recorded Downtown After 5 at SaveYour.Town. We talked about how stores can be open later profitably and how events add life without killing your volunteers. The recording is available through Nov 2. 

What about your downtown? Can you combine things that have happened and things that could happen, to picture it at its best? Hit reply and describe it to me. I’d love to hear about it. 
Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – A listener asked me for 3 actions to start a local business. I answered in just 5 words. Read those 5 words plus a short explanation here.

PPS – Feel like the only one who is thinking about arts, creativity and I,proving lives in your town? There are more people interested than you know. In fact, lots of types of people are having the same conversations around creativity and placemaking, but they are having them separately. We want to bring you together.