Main Street to renovate community center spaces

Thursday, June 3, 2021
Eureka Springs Community Center board treasurer Adam Biossat, left, accepts a $10,000 donation from Main Street Eureka Springs board treasurer Dee Bright to rehab two spaces for Etsy makers to use.
Samantha Jones / Lovely County Citizen

Main Street Eureka Springs is renovating two spaces on the Eureka Springs Community Center property.

The organization presented a $10,000 check to the community center foundation on Thursday, May 27, to renovate the areas which will serve as the maker spaces for two Etsy artists. Main Street executive director Jacqueline Wolven said the organization received the grant from Main Street Arkansas to be used for entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We looked at lots of little projects and then we had the opportunity to look at a large project which was the renovation of these spaces to attract two different maker businesses to come to Eureka Springs,” Wolven said.

Wolven said the two makers are relocating to Eureka Springs from California. The spaces that will be renovated, Wolven said, are the shop and the art space at the community center. Wolven said those spaces were not in the community center’s original plan to renovate this year.

“But these were two spaces that those two makers wanted, so we have the money to do it and we are renovating it,” Wolven said.

Wolven said it’s a similar idea to what other nonprofits are doing. The Northwest Arkansas Council recently gave $10,000 to attract one person to move to Northwest Arkansas, Wolven said, and the city of Tulsa gives $10,000 to one person to move to the city.

“So we basically gave $10,000 to renovate two spaces to attract two businesses,” Wolven said. “It’s not an unusual project in the economic development sphere. We’re excited about it.”

Community center board treasurer Adam Biossat said the board is thankful for the donation.

“We really, really appreciate it,” Biossat said.

Wolven said Main Street will have a long-term lease with the community center, which will help stabilize the foundation. Biossat said the community center is not supported by the city, saying the community center’s tenants and members keep everything moving forward.

Wolven said the community center is in Main Street’s district.

“It’s important to us that this property continue to be the community center and we want to help as much as we can,” Wolven said. “It’s within our mission to help entrepreneurs and this seemed like such an easy thing to do.”

Biossat said it’s “amazingly expensive” to run a community center.

“Donations like this reassure us that everybody’s on board with our mission,” Biossat said. “We feel deeply that this is something that the Eureka Springs community needs and there are a lot of people out there who support us. It’s great to have the organization show its support.”

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