The Nebraska Main Street Network recently announced their 2022 Inspiring Excellence Award winners, recognizing outstanding businesses, individuals, projects and activities that contribute to the economic and social vibrancy of downtown business districts in communities throughout the state.
Local winners include:
Business of the Year - Vel’s Bakery, Vel and Sue Temme
Volunteer of the Year - Jamie Anderson, W.W. Galore
Streetscape/Public Improvement Project - City of Wayne Inaugural Sculpture Walk
Interior Improvement (Residential) - 210 1/2 A Main Street, Amy and Corby Schweers.
“The hard work and steadfast dedication to downtown revitalization shown by Nebraska’s designated Main Street and Network Member communities is important for us to celebrate because it has had a huge positive impact on the state but is often overshadowed by larger projects,” said Jeff Ray, President of the Nebraska Main Street Network Board of Directors. “These communities are not only supporting small businesses, but are helping property owners re-utilize historic buildings for new uses while building strong downtown management organizations, and promoting what their districts have to offer. That’s a lot to work with!”
Volunteer of the Year
Jamie Anderson, WW Galore
When it comes to organizing a vendor event, Main Street Wayne’s go-to expert is Jamie Anderson. Through her business, WW Galore, a boutique consignment store; she has accumulated an extensive contact list of boutique market vendors and craft artisans. With her personal knowledge of these contacts, we are able to expand our vendor search and customize our vendor invitations for each of our events. Jamie has also helped us to create inviting spaces for the vendors to set up their booths, and faithfully promote the local events.
Jamie helped Main Street Wayne create a new fall event in 2021. Coming out of COVID, the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism group wanted to recreate some of the themed seasonal events of years past.
She encouraged other downtown businesses, and more outside the district, to provide a Trick or Treat and/or Harvest activity at their business location. Pop-up vendors were also solicited and paired up with business owners to provide another layer of engagement on the third Saturday in October. A free sponsored movie, Casper, was shown in the afternoon. The event was subsequently deemed worthy of repeating again in 2022.
Jamie also serves as a cheerleader for our Retail, Hospitality Tourism group, attends and sometimes hosts our meetings, and always reminds us to use our community assets-the people-those who create and those who shop our downtown, and helps create a web to connect the business community to whatever event we happen to be organizing.
Streetscape or Public Space Improvement
Wayne Sculpture Walk
A goal to increase the quantity and quality of public art in Wayne had been identified by Mayor Cale Giese when he took office in 2018 with the intent to bring additional opportunities for residents and visitors to experience the talents and inspirations of professional artists, while beautifying the community.
The first project was the Illuminated City Mural that was installed summer 2020. (Main Street Award Winner Streetscape or Public Space Improvement 2020) Based on the enthusiastic reception, the next project was identified as an annual sculpture walk that would be installed along the Highway 15 Main Street corridor. Up to 10 artists/exhibits were chosen to provide a work of art that would be displayed for 1 year. At the end of the year, the pieces would be returned to the owner and new sculptures installed so that a perpetual sculpture series would result.
The inaugural sculpture walk was installed in May 2021 and consisted of 9 of the 10 selected sculptures and 1 alternate (one selected piece was sold as part of a previous display so an alternate from that artist was used) created by local artists from Wayne and Wayne State College, as well as artists from New Jersey, Iowa, New York, South Dakota, Minnesota, Maryland, and Missouri. As the variety of sculpture styles and materials were installed, lively conversations regarding art and what constitutes art ensued.
Commercial & Residential
210 1/2½ A Main Street Second Story Apartment, Corby and Amy Schweers
From the National Register Application 2009: Constructed of brick masonry, this two-story structure sits just to the south of an alley. The exterior first floor has been modified with an aluminum storefront and brick masonry knee walls. The second story still exhibits stylistic influence of the Neo-Classical Revival style. Two brick pilasters with ionic column capitols divide the façade into three bays each exhibiting a rectangular window.
The building was purchased in August of 2020 by Wayne residents and business owners Amy and Corby Schweers. The entire building had been the first location of Rustic Treasures, a thrift and consignment store that had outgrown the main floor space, expanded to the second story and then relocated to a larger location across Main Street.
Business of the Year
Vel’s Bakery, a Main Street mainstay owned and operated by Vel & Sue Temme, just celebrated 50 years in business at their Main Street location at 309 Main Street. Six days a week they put in a full days work before noon baking donuts, cakes, breads, rolls, catering events, and hosting their morning customers for daily coffee and news of the area.
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