News & Updates

Winter Garden Plaza Project Nearing Completion

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is pleased to announce that construction at Winter Garden Plaza is nearing completion. The second phase of construction at the site included the addition of a permanent tensile structure at the west end, extended pavers, additional lighting, landscaping, benches, and bike racks.

Phase 2 of the project was made possible with funding from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, as well as local support from the Gebbie Foundation. Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2011 to replace the former Winter Garden Theater with programmable public space.

Winter Garden Plaza features the Active Artists Alliance’s Third Thursday Concert Series, held on the third Thursday of each month from May-September. In addition, the Whirlybird Music & Arts Festival will make use of the space from July 18-20, and Friday night shows will be put on by the Wine Cellar throughout the summer.

GROW Jamestown Front Garden Recognition Program Returns

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s GROW Jamestown Front Garden Recognition Program, returns in 2019 as a way to acknowledge city gardeners who contribute to the curb appeal of Jamestown’s neighborhoods.  It is a project designed to encourage everyone to take part in making Jamestown a more beautiful place.

A front yard garden that was recognized in 2018

The program began in 2011 with the distribution of 250 garden signs given to gardeners who were nominated by the public. In the summer of 2018, 12,000 Jamestown front yards were canvassed by a team of volunteers that recognized over 839 front gardens by providing owners with signs.

With growth comes change. While the program will be run similarly to years past, yards will now be assessed in two separate seasons and groups as follows:

1. The city is divided into 37 sections, with each section encompasses approximately 325 front yards each.

2. Each section is assigned to a volunteer team comprised of a navigator, a photographer, and a data entry person. The navigator is the driver, the photographer takes photos of the selected front yards, and data entry is assigned as the scribe to document the process and list placement locations of the signs. Volunteers DO NOT canvass their own neighborhoods.  Volunteers DO NOT canvass the same area they surveyed in the previous years.

3. This year, the city will be divided from north to south using an imaginary line, beginning at the city’s northern boundary. The imaginary line continues down Lakeview Avenue through downtown and continues to South Main Street reaching the city’s southern boundary.

New boundaries with season to be surveyed

4. The spring season canvassing begins June 3rd and ends June 24th.  Of the total 37 sections, 18 sections located west of the imaginary line, will be surveyed. The volunteers will determine what an “average front yard” looks like for that area.  Front gardens excelling in their efforts to improve curb appeal, will receive a GROW Jamestown sign. Each team is provided a limited number of signs to distribute – making decisions difficult. 

5. The fall season canvassing begins September 9th and ends September 30th. The remaining 19 sections, those located to the east of the imaginary line, will be surveyed. The volunteers will again determine what an “average front yard” looks like for that area.  Front gardens showing exceptional efforts to improve curb appeal, will receive a GROW Jamestown sign.

6. In 2020, properties surveyed in the spring of 2019 will be surveyed in the fall and those surveyed in the fall of 2019 will be surveyed in the spring.

At a minimum, volunteers look for front yard gardens with healthy plants that are well maintained and actively managed. Is the lawn healthy lawn, neatly mowed? Are the shrubs and trees pruned and trimmed? Edging is a plus, along with a balanced garden that is appropriate to house and lot size. House numbers need to be clearly displayed.

As a project of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts, the goal is to encourage everyone to contribute to a more beautiful Jamestown. The increase in yearly front yard garden acknowledgements demonstrates how well the program is working.

Would you like to volunteer for this project? It is an excellent way to see the city as you have never seen it before, meet some old friends and make some new ones, and have a chance to make some front yard gardeners very happy. Volunteer workshops will be held the 4th and 5th week of May. For more information, contact Mary Maxwell at or (716) 489-3493.

Jamestown Public Market Winner of National Contest

The Jamestown Public Market will be using a new online management tool to provide a more organized 2019 season.

In 2018 Farmspread partnered with the Farmers’ Market Coalition (FMC) to help farmers’ markets celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week, annually the second week of August. FMC’s campaign provided more than 8,600 farmers’ markets nationwide with tools, guides and materials used to promote events at their markets during the weeklong celebration. As part of this campaign, Farmspread and FMC created a NFMW directory to highlight farmers’ markets around the country.

During this celebration event, the Jamestown Public Market was selected as the winner of the Farmers’ Market Coalition’s National Farmers Market Week Contest.

The Farmers’ Market Coalition, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is “dedicated to strengthening farmers’ markets across the United States so that they can serve as community assets while providing 


real income opportunities for farmers”. A member of the coalition, the Jamestown Public Market has access to resources that help improve market programs, including curriculum ideas that provide the basis for the market’s SPROUTs Club. 

To win, the Jamestown Public Market had to claim a profile on Farmspread by registering on the National Farmers Market Week directory; over 205 markets were represented on the directory, with representation from over 39 states. As a winner, the market has received free access to FarmSpread, a newly established marketplace platform supporting a community of farmers, local food vendors, market managers and consumers by providing a wide range of tools to help cultivate and scale alternative food distribution and consumer access.

Features the Jamestown Public Market will have access to include a fully configurable online vendor application, auto invoicing to vendors for market fees, publicly searchable profile, and the ability to invite vendors to sell at the market, accept credit/check payments, and view a market map online. 

“This is exciting for the market for two reasons”, explains Public Market Manager Linnea Carlson. “First, the Jamestown Public Market has received national attention due to this contest. We are thankful to the Farmers Market Coalition for their ongoing support of farmers markets, and the advocacy they provide on issues that affect agricultural communities in our country. Second, we get to be a part of this innovative platform that is helping bring farmers’ markets into the 21st century. We are thrilled to partner with Farmspread for the 2019 season so our vendors have an easier communication process and consumers can find more information on what is available.”

Farmspread provides tools to help manage, promote and sell farm fresh food and artisan products while connecting consumers with farm direct food outlets. Whether you manage a farmers’ market, are a direct food vendor, or operate a CSA, they can help you manage your business and connect you to customers. Farmspread also directly connect farmers and local food vendors to communities of buyers, using technology to scale the age old relationship between local producers and consumers and to reinvest in the power of local communities.

Farmers and local vendors interested in participating in the 2019 Jamestown Public Market season can visit to apply (creating a vendor profile is free of cost) or For more information on National Farmers Market Week and issues affecting the agricultural community visit

UPMC Chautauqua Sponsors Paint Jamestown


UPMC Chautauqua, part of a world-class healthcare delivery system, will be lending a paint brush to improvements in the Jamestown neighborhoods. Managed by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC), and with support from Sherwin Williams and the Jamestown Department of Development, a new program called Paint Jamestown will provide Jamestown residents with a booklet containing 50 historic color schemes to select from for painting the exteriors of their homes.

In addition, UPMC has provided a $10,000 grant for up to 10 home owners with property located within the Allen Park/UPMC Chautauqua Jamestown Renaissance Block Challenge (RBC) target area. They will have the opportunity to apply for funding to assist them in their home exterior painting projects. Property owners in the target area must first pick from the Paint Jamestown color booklet containing a selection of 50 historic color schemes and then fill out an application with the JRC.  If their project is approved and the work completed by October 30th, 2019, they have the opportunity to receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement in matching funds . Awardees will have a photo of their home featured on JRC’s website and Facebook page.

(From Left) Randy Sweeney, Chair of JRC’s Neighborhood Committee, Cecil Miller, UPMC Chautauqua VP of Operations, Mary Maxwell, JRC Neighborhood Project Manager, Brian Durniok, UPMC Chautauqua Interim Executive Director

“UPMC Chautauqua is proud to partner with JRC in the Paint Jamestown program.  We are excited that our neighborhood was selected.  This southside neighborhood is rich in history and means so much to the city of Jamestown.  UPMC Chautauqua is committed to continuing to make a positive impact on our community,” says Cecil Miller, VP of Operations at UPMC Chautauqua.

Sherwin Williams graciously agreed to assemble the historic color booklets to insure the true to life colors where shown.

“We are excited to be part of Paint Jamestown and appreciate the working with UPMC Chautauqua and the JRC. We are looking forward to seeing the initial projects completed. Sherwin-Williams is ready to be part of this project for many years to come”, says Rod Jones, Second Street Sherwin Williams Store Manager.

2019 Target Area

Any property owner living anywhere within the Jamestown city limits may use the historic color schemes booklet as a reference to paint their homes. Property owners within the Allen Park/UPMC Chautauqua Jamestown Renaissance Block Challenge target area may apply for the funding grant.

The application can be found online at Maps of the target area can be found in the booklet.

“The entire house must be painted using the selected scheme and multiple colors. Only the colors within a single scheme can be used. Property owners are free to rearrange the recommended placements (body, trim, accent) in any manner they choose”, says Neighborhood Project Manager, Mary Maxwell. “We’ll need a before and after-the-project-is-finished digital photograph of the property and copies of all receipts for paint, supplies or contracted labor. Work done by the owners (sweat equity) is not reimbursable. “

After processing incoming materials, a reimbursement check for up to $1,000 in matching funds will be issued. If $1,000 in reimbursement funds is sought, the documented cost (labor and or materials) must meet or exceed $2,000.  If the entire project cost less than $2,000, the lower amount will be matched. A $1,600 project would receive $800 in matching funds.

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action and celebration. They are a community that values integrity, collaboration, inclusivity, visionary thinking informed, stakeholders. The JRC has a six-person staff who report to a 17-member board of directors. The board of directors is comprised of city leaders and representatives from local businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

For more information on Paint Jamestown, an application, and/or to view the Historic Color Booklet, contact: Mary Maxwell 301 East 2nd Street, Suite 301, Jamestown, NY  14701  (716) 489-3493  E mail:

Jamestown Up Close Shop Small, Win Big Winners Announced

Jamestown Up Close and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) are excited to announce the winners and results of this year’s Shop Small, Win Big contest. In an effort to boost local commerce during the 2018 holiday season, Jamestown Up Close encouraged shoppers to shop downtown from Small Business Saturday through December 17th.

This year, 67 downtown Jamestown businesses participated. In an effort to award more prizes and keep the money local, 13 winners received gift cards to a Jamestown restaurant or retailer of their choice, with the Grand Prize being $250 in gift cards. The Grand Prize purchase was made by Michelle Maher at the Jamestown Emporium.

(From Left) Rita Sullivan, Abbie Merchant, Michelle Maher, Barbara Briggs-Webb, Zach Agett, Amber Hurd, Arthur Dahlgren, and Skylar Carlson

Other award winners included Barbara Briggs-Webb, Elizabeth Brown, Skylar Carlson, Arthur Dahlgren, Amber Hurd, Abbie Merchant, Lynnsey Olson, Marlene Piatz, Phyllis Robertson, Rita Sullivan, Martha Wirsen, and Karen Yeversky, who made purchases at Alexis Rae Fashions, Allen Street Diner, El Jarocho, Farm Fresh Foods, Gypsy Moon Cake Co., Jamestown Emporium, Jamestown Nutrition Shake IT Daily, Labyrinth Press Company, Liquid Monkey, Nouveau Boutique, Oriental Star, and Video Games Plus. Winners chose to receive their gift cards from Alexis Rae Fashions, Allen Street Diner, Chautauqua Brick, Cherry Lounge, Farm Fresh Foods, Forte, Jamestown Emporium, Jamestown Nutrition Shake IT Daily, Labyrinth Press Company, Landmark Restaurant, Lena’s Pizza, Liquid Monkey, and Shawbucks.

Based on ticket entries, over $78,000 was spent at local retail shops and restaurants that participated in Shop Small, Win Big, an increase of $13,000 from last year’s results.

“It’s awesome to see how many people got out and supported our local businesses this holiday season! Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone that made a commitment to shop local this year,” said Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager at JRC.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information about Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, please visit or call 716-489-3491. You can also learn more about the organization by visiting their Facebook page.

JRC Announces 2018 Storefront Holiday Decorating Contest Winners

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) has announced the winners of the annual Downtown Jamestown Storefront Holiday Decorating Contest. The contest began in 2015 as a way to encourage business owners in downtown Jamestown to dress up their businesses for the holidays and to increase the curb appeal for visitors shopping and eating downtown during the holiday season. 25 businesses participated in 2018 and were judged by members of the Jamestown area community.

“Congratulations to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, our first place winner!  There were many beautiful windows this year.  Thank you to all of the businesses who decorated, and thank you to all of the judges for volunteering their time to carefully check out each window,” said Kristy Kathman, Deputy Director for JRC. “Between the window decorations, the tree in Tracy Plaza, and the decorations on the streets, downtown Jamestown looks very festive!”

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, 1st Place Winner

The second place winner was Crown Street Roasting Company, and third place went to The Jamestown Gazette. Each business that participated in the holiday decorating contest had a chance to win an advertising grant from the JRC and Jamestown Up Close to use in the coming year ranging from $1,000 to $250.

“Our staff is very excited to have won this year’s Storefront Holiday Decorating Contest! We would like to thank all who voted for our window this year and to all the other businesses who participated with their beautifully decorated windows. So many businesses came out and decorated our town so beautifully for the season to come! Our staff looks forward to this event every year as it really gets the town into the holiday spirit,” said Sarah Snavley, Retail Coordinator for the Museum.  “This contest is a huge team effort and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to help me decorate it. Thank you again, Jamestown and Happy Holidays from the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and the National Comedy Center!”

The storefront decorating contest ran from November 30 to December 9. The People’s Choice award was determined via Facebook vote which ran from December 3 to December 9.  Patient’s Pharmacy won the People’s Choice award, and chose The Cherry Lounge as the place they would like to receive a $100 lunch voucher to for their staff. 

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, please visit or call 716-489-3491. You can also learn more about the organization by joining their Facebook page.

2019 Renaissance Block Challenge Applications Available

The Renaissance Block Challenge (RBC) program will be available in 2019 for the ninth consecutive year. Sponsored by Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC), the RBC encourages groups of neighbors to collaborate on exterior improvements to their properties in order to boost confidence in Jamestown’s neighborhoods and inspire others to reinvest. Since 2011, 45 neighborhoods have participated in JRC’s Renaissance Block Challenge with 450 property owners investing more than $1.3 million in exterior improvements and repairs.

In the past, all neighborhoods in Jamestown had the opportunity to apply for this grant. In 2017, a Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy study was performed by czb LLC. This study suggests focusing on specific areas of the city for housing revitalization. After many discussions with community partners, including Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI), Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC), Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation, the City of Jamestown, and local foundations, the area around Allen Park and UPMC- Chautauqua was chosen as the 2019 target area. (See map)

Property owners in the target area who wish to participate in the 2019 RBC need to form a neighborhood cluster with a minimum of five property owners that can include homeowners, landlords and businesses. Once a group is formed, the pre-application process can start.

Pre-applications for property owners will be available on JRC’s website, under “Healthy Neighborhoods” starting Saturday, December 1st. The pre-applications will be due Friday, February 15th, 2019.

Each property is eligible for a match up to $2,000 to facilitate their exterior projects. Projects funded in the program include painting, porch repair, soffit repair, sidewalk repair, new mailboxes, exterior lighting, front-yard landscaping, front doors/windows, driveways, driveway aprons, and gutters.

Aside from matching grant funding, participating homeowners have access to discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers as well as discounts on coordinated purchasing of materials, services, and design.

The RBC pre-applications will be reviewed, and invitations to the final applications will be announced in March. In the final applications, participants outline exterior improvements they wish to complete and skills they can bring to projects in their cluster. The neighborhoods with the best chance of being approved for the program are those that can demonstrate a commitment to cultivating strong communication between neighbors and a shared sense of identity so that momentum gained in 2019 can be carried forward and result in a sustainable impact on the community.

“While the Renaissance Block Challenge financially assists homeowners with curb appeal improvements to their properties, the real benefit is an increase in pride of ownership within each of these neighborhoods,” says Mary Maxwell, JRC’s Neighborhood Project Associate. “And on top of that, and more importantly, there is an increase in communication among the neighbors.” Block parties, neighborhood sales and group participation in volunteer activities become annual events.

Learn more about the Renaissance Block Cluster application process by attending one of the informational workshops (see the facts box). All the workshops are the same. Interested property owners only need to attend one, not all.  Attendance is not required but it is highly recommended.

Renaissance Block Challenge Dates

  • Thursday, January 10th, 2019: Application informational workshop at 6 p.m. at the UPMC-Chautauqua auditorium (WCA on Foote Ave.)
  • Saturday, January 12th, 2019: Application informational workshop at 10:00 a.m. at the JRC offices, 301 East 2nd Street, Suite 301.
  • Friday, February 15th, 2019: Deadline for pre-applications.
  • March 2019: Invitations to the final applications will be announced in March.
  • April 2019: Final applications are due Friday, April 19, 2019

Funding for the Renaissance Block Challenge program is being provided by the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust and The Lenna Foundation, with support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation.

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. Find the pre-application HERE or email with any questions.

Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration Fireworks Brought to You By Chautauqua Region Community Foundation


Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to continue their partnership with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and once again bring fireworks to the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. The parade will be held tonight, November 30th with live music at 5pm by We Speak Canadian, the parade kickoff, tree lighting, and National Anthem at 6pm, and the Santa-led fireworks celebration at the conclusion of the parade.

Lisa Lynde, CRCF, Dr. Gregory Jones, OD, CRCF, and Kristy Kathman, JRC

The fireworks, which are produced by Young Explosives Corporation out of Rochester, are possible thanks to the generosity of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. “We have a great partnership with the Community Foundation, and we are excited to continue that partnership for this year’s Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. The fireworks are the perfect way to conclude the parade, and the Community Foundation’s support has allowed them to continue,” said Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager at JRC.

The fireworks will be launched from the Spring Street Parking Garage, and do require the weather and wind to cooperate. If all goes as planned, they will be launched with a countdown from Santa between 8 and 8:30pm.

Christmas Parade Grand Marshal, Jeff Smith, to be Transported by Elite Kreations

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (November 28, 2018) – Elite Kreations has once again partnered with Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to provide the transportation of this year’s Grand Marshal, Jeff Smith. Jeff, currently the Director of Food Service for Jamestown Public Schools, served our community as the Executive Director at the St. Susan Center for the past four years.

(From Left) Elite Kreations Staff: Juan Santiago, Mike Patterson, Colton Rowley, Robert Reedy, Debbie Reedy, Sean Conley, Tracy Lang, Justin Martin, (James Gorton), and JRC’s Zach Agett

“I am extremely humbled to have been chosen to be the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade,” remarked Jeff. While Jeff accomplished many great things during his time at the St. Susan Center, he is most proud of the summer lunch program. Started three and a half years ago, the program has provided over 40,000 lunches for the children who attend all the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club summer parks, playgrounds, reading programs, in addition to the 120,000 meals prepared annually at the Soup Kitchen.

    Jeff Smith

Linnea Carlson, Jamestown Public Market Manager asserted, “Jeff is a true pillar in our community, holding a deep passion for giving back to his home city. This has been exemplified during his tenure at St. Susan Center, and his dedication will shine as he moves on to the Jamestown Public School District. Jeff’s commitment to others has helped bring the Summer Meals Program to children in need, led significant efforts to combat hunger in Jamestown, and built successful community partnerships. His kindness extends to each and every person, young to old, and I can think of no one better to honor this year as Grand Marshal.”

The Jamestown Christmas Parade starts tomorrow, Friday, November 30th at 6:30pm. Elite Kreations is sponsoring  the Downtown Jamestown  Christmas  parade for the 4th year in a row as the official transportation of the Grand Marshal. In their 10th year of business, Elite Kreations offer everything from auto detailing and services to landscaping, snow removal, and a moving company. The also maintain their status as the top rated U-Haul dealer in the Jamestown area. Elite Kreations is a local family owned business that cares for its customers and employees and is always willing to give thanks to the community that has helped them grow to where they are today.

Shults Auto Group Will Provide Santa’s Transportation for Jamestown’s Christmas Parade

Shults Auto Group has been announced as the official transportation of Santa Claus at the Candy Land Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration scheduled for Friday, November 30, in downtown Jamestown. Shults will provide transportation for Santa Claus through the holiday parade to City Hall.

Matthew Kahm, Shults Auto Group & Pete Miraglia, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation

Matthew Kahm, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Shults Auto Group said, “We are once again excited to sponsor this annual event that brings joy to so many children and families as the official kick off to the holiday season.  Thank you to all of our customers who make it possible for us to continue sponsoring local events in our community.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Shults Auto Group!”

Shults Auto Group creates multiple parade vehicles each year using vehicles available for sale or lease throughout their network of dealerships. This is the fifth year in a row they have been the official transportation of Santa Claus. “Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is excited to welcome Shults back as Santa’s official transportation. They have continually stepped up to support downtown events and our community as a whole,” said Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager at Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

After the parade, Santa will be visiting the Jamestown YMCA, where Santa’s Workshop will be running from 7-9pm. The YMCA has planned many fun holiday activities and will give families the chance to visit with other holiday favorites like Frosty and Rudolph. 

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s special events, please visit, or email