Main Street Batesville
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Main Street Batesville
The mission of MSB is to promote our downtown district as the center of our community, offering places to shop, live, work, play and worship in a safe and attractive historic environment.
The Main Street Batesville Organization was charted in 1984 to perform the following purposes:
To promote historic preservation of the region; To educate the public on the importance of preserving the area’s historic features through architectural tours, lectures on town history; and seminars on rehabilitation of historic buildings and places; and to lessen the burdens of local government by researching common community problems by identifying, planning and funding restoration projects which create jobs, augment the local tax base and protect the public’s investment in infrastructure.
To accomplish this work, raising awareness and funds is critical to provide our historic town the resources necessary to preserve the homes, businesses and community centers central to a vibrant and thriving city. Main Street Batesville has led this charge for 38 years by providing over resources to local businesses to renovate their spaces and grow their business. Cultural preservation and enhancement are also a key component to quality of place and living especially for our growing Hispanic population and LGBTQ+ community to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in a town that is 200 years old. We want more and more minority owned businesses established. It would be easy for the city to ignore these groups and avoid seeking their perspectives and ideas when planning for growth and innovation to move the city forward economically and culturally in the 21st century. The Levitt AMP Music Series can be a catalyst for bringing everyone to the table to plan for a summer of fun and fellowship that brings all backgrounds together for a greater purpose in the end…the survival of rural towns in America through the ingenuity and heart of its people!
How will your town or city benefit from a Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series and how will the series reflect the three main goals of Levitt AMP: 1) Amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; 2) enrich lives through the power of free, live Music; 3) illustrate the importance of vibrant public Places?
The music series will launch Main Street Batesville’s (MSB) initiative to engage the area’s growing Hispanic and Latino population into cultural performances and music events that blend our ethnicities and connect us through the art of music and live performance. MSB recently started a Hispanic Events Committee to create programming that teaches our rural residents about the Hispanic/Latino culture. The Levitt AMP Music Series would become central to this endeavor and take programming to an exponential level of excitement where food, music, and fellowship becomes a learning experience and diversity thrives. Since 2019, MSB has been a strong supporter of Batesville PRIDE’s annual festival that has grown from 500 attendees to 5,000 in 2022. The festival has become a dynamic part of the area’s annual events that not only celebrates diversity but encourages acceptance for young teens and adults struggling to find a sense of place and belonging. Adding LGBTQ+ performers would create an even bigger platform to showcase inclusion and equity in our rural region. Our area of Arkansas is extremely rural and serves a large market area for tourism and trade with 150,000 residents.
AMP Goals: Batesville, the oldest surviving city in Arkansas, draws tourist from around the state for outdoor recreation and seasonal events like MSB’s Halloween festival and the city’s holiday lights. Adding a free music series would add variety to the area’s events and create a year-long schedule to compliment the region’s history of outdoor entertainment. Marginalized groups like our LGBTQ+ community and minority populations tend to be poorer with less opportunity to experience live music events. MSB in partnership with the City of Batesville will target our minority and LGBTQ+ communities to not only attend the free Levitt AMP concerts, but also take part in the selection of performers. Batesville is located on the banks of the beautiful White River. The public space selected for the series is an amphitheater that sits just below the White River bridge coming into town at Riverside Park. The space is used frequently for picnics and its playgrounds but most live music at this location is very sporadic and typically not free and/or restricted for private functions. The Levitt AMP Music Series would be the first serious endeavor to bring the public out regularly for entertainment and enrichment.
Explain how the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series will play a role in enlivening the selected public space and surrounding areas.
Riverside Park sits on the banks of the picturesque White River and should be a thriving space for ongoing concerts and festivals. Unfortunately, the space is mainly used for family picnics, children recreating on the playgrounds, and 1-2 concerts per year. Outside of the crowds of people that walk or drive through the park at Christmas to view the holiday lights and participate in the holiday activities. The park as a music venue has materialized. Main Street Batesville’s CEO and Board of Directors feel this is the time to launch a concert series intentionally geared to promote diversity, bring our Hispanic and native cultures together, and take our tourism to the next level. The park itself as many amenities—golf course, pavilions, walking trail and playgrounds. The amphitheater sits empty most days of the year. The greatest challenge in utilizing the area is adequate funding to showcase a lineup of new music genres that would energize our community and the region’s residents in surrounding counties and from across the state to come to our rural town in the White River valley of the Ozarks. Being rural also means most families experience greater poverty. The neighborhood that surrounds the park experiences 15% poverty. It would be incredibly impactful to see these families and their friends attend concerts free of charge and feel a part of the community at-large.