The Main Street Grand Forks: Longest Table, a community dinner meant to foster conversations and friendship brought over 700 guests to downtown Grand Forks in early September. Today, the results of those conversations continue to build momentum with funding awards for ten projects set to launch in 2019.
The event featured an uninterrupted table spanning 750 feet along North 3rd Street. Organized by the Community Foundation and the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, participants gathered for facilitated discussions. Following the event, residents of Grand Forks were invited to apply for seed funding of up to $3,000 with the goal of getting ideas off the table and into the community.
Ten grant recipients were selected to receive funding. Among those projects residents will soon see the creation of an outdoor jam lot to build a local music scene; murals designed by local artists to beautify downtown Grand Forks; a specialized nutrition education program to enhance the Town Square farmer’s market; a program designed to provide free tickets to theater performances for homebound seniors; enhancements to infrastructure resulting in increased accessibility for individuals who have disabilities; and a series of performances created by an African Arts group designed to share cultural experiences.
“We are incredibly excited to see these projects unfold in 2019,” said Becca Cruger, president of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. “From the beginning, this collaboration has been about inviting people to envision their community in new ways and to have a hand in building it.”
Becca Bahnmiller, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region echoes Cruger’s sentiment. “The amazing ideas brought forward prove that a simple community conversation can spark a world of possibilities.”
The Longest Table is part of the Main Street GF initiative, a program that works to address Governor Burgum Main Street Challenge of creating healthy, vibrant communities as well as smart, efficient infrastructure and a 21st century workforce.
Funding for the Longest Table was provided by the Knight Foundation Donor-Advised fund at the Community Foundation. Funding for the seed grants was provided by the City of Grand Forks. More information can be found at mainstreetgf.com.