Downtown Joplin Alliance Awarded Outstanding Economic Impact Project, Accredited/Associate Tier Community

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) presented downtown awards recognizing performance excellence during Missouri’s Premier Downtown Revitalization Conference in St. Louis on July 28, 2023. The event was hosted at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.

The ceremony on Friday night honored communities, individuals, businesses, and organizations from across the state that have completed exemplary work in downtown revitalization. Competitive nominations were submitted for projects, activities, and individuals in 13 different categories that covered aspects of design, economic vitality, organization, promotion, and other efforts in downtown revitalization.

Missouri Main Street Connection is the leading statewide nonprofit organization devoted to preservation-based economic development. Through the Main Street America™ movement and our partners, we empower community revitalization by celebrating, supporting, and sustaining Missouri historic commercial districts in both rural and urban settings.

In 2022 Missouri Main Street communities have created 332 net new jobs, 146 net new businesses, saved 303 buildings, received $105.5 million dollars in public and private investments, and accumulated 62,165 volunteer hours in their districts. The cumulative total investment between 2006-2022 surpassed $1.26 billion or adjusted for inflation $1.63 billion!

Downtown Joplin Alliance Awarded Outstanding Economic Impact Project, Accredited/Associate Tier Community
Downtown Joplin was once the cultural heart of the tri-state district, with many theaters and music halls that hosted world-class performers. However, urban renewal and the decline of small businesses led to the loss of these gathering spaces and the notion that downtown was no longer the place to be.

Connect2Culture, a group dedicated to enhancing community through culture, opened the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex in November of 2022, after more than 10 years of planning and fundraising. The complex is a 46,000 square foot building that includes a performance hall, gallery space, an outdoor plaza with an amphitheater, and more. The complex is located on the site of the former Shubert Theater, one of the most glorious theaters in downtown Joplin’s history.

The opening of the complex was celebrated with a weekend of performances and gallery openings for donors, supporters, and the community. The complex has hosted or scheduled over 18 live performances for the spring and summer already. The complex is a boost to the downtown economy, as patrons visit restaurants and bars before and after the shows.

The Cornell Complex showcases downtown Joplin’s cultural heritage and potential, attracts world-class visual and performing artists from all over the world, and fosters a sense of community and fun among the participants.

Submitted  by:
Lori Haun
Downtown Joplin Alliance’s
417-529-3888 or

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