News & Updates

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

Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration Scheduled for Friday, November 30, 2018

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is pleased to announce that the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration, presented by The Resource Center, will feature pre-parade musical entertainment, a traditional tree lighting ceremony with Mayor Sam Teresi, and a fireworks display above the Spring Street parking ramp. Applications to participate in the parade are now being accepted and are available for download online.

(From Left) Nikki Brunecz, TRC, Steve Waterson, TRC, Heather Brown, TRC, Kristy Kathman, JRC, and Bruce Main, TRC

The Candy Land Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration will be held on Friday, November 30, beginning at 6:30 pm. This year’s Candy Land theme was decided through a community vote held on Facebook. The parade itself will begin on the Third Street Bridge and continue down Third Street toward City Hall. Parade line up will begin at 5:00 pm on West Third Street between Hallock Street and Porter Avenue (Farm Fresh Plaza).

The downtown Jamestown holiday parade has been a long standing tradition in the city for decades. Dozens of area businesses, social organizations, and nonprofits come downtown the evening of the parade to celebrate the holidays, attend one of many area holiday events, and support local business. One of these nonprofits, The Resource Center, has returned again as presenting sponsor, and JRC is proud to continue its partnership with this great community organization.

Heather Brown, Assistant Executive Director at the Resource Center said, “The Resource Center is proud to sponsor the Christmas Parade in downtown Jamestown again this year.  It is the true spirit of community, which brings us all together to celebrate as well as give back to family and friends throughout the holiday season. The Parade is just one example of an amazing community of partners and we are so pleased to provide our support.”

“The parade is a wonderful tradition, and we are happy to sponsor the parade as a way of giving back to our community and thanking everyone for the support they give to The Resource Center throughout the year,” remarked Steve Waterson, Director of Community Relations, Marketing and Development for The Resource Center.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation special events or to sign up for the Candy Land Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration, please visit to download the application or email

JRC Appoints Interim Executive Director

Peter Miraglia has been appointed interim executive director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) following the resignation of Lisa Hatch, effective October 9th. The JRC is a non-profit organization that supports the implementation of downtown, waterfront and neighborhood revitalization strategies in Jamestown.

Peter has been an active member of the JRC board of directors for the past 3 years and serves on the urban core and neighborhood revitalization subcommittees. He also serves on the Mayor’s ad-hoc downtown parking study.

In 2001 Peter purchased and began renovations of the former Nelson’s Department store building located on East 2nd Street in Jamestown. The building currently houses several prominent businesses including Chautauqua Music, and Studio D Catering.

Peter was born in Jamestown and grew up in the local area. He holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College and completed 30 hours of graduate studies at George Washington University. Peter gained extensive project management and supervisory experience throughout a career that spanned more than 30 years in federal government agencies, including 5 years as an active duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

In 2012, Peter moved back to Jamestown with his wife Melissa. As native of the Jamestown area, Peter is excited to take an active role in the revitalization of his hometown.

At Jamestown Renaissance Corporation we make Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information about JRC, please visit

Jamestown Public Market to Table Dinner Set for September 17

The Jamestown Public Market announces their annual Market to Table event, set this year for September 17.

Public Market Manager, Linnea Carlson, is excited to work with market farms, vendors and the local fine dining scene to ‘raise the bar’ this year.

“We are collaborating with Chef Brian Kiendl of The White Carrot. Chef Kiendl puts together a spectacular farm to table menu each evening at his beautiful restaurant and we wanted to bring that atmosphere to downtown Jamestown”, says Carlson.

Held at and sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Market to Table dinner will begin at 6:30 pm with a cocktail hour complete with hors d’oeurves, followed by a four-course meal at 7:30. Each course will be artfully prepared by Chef Kiendl utilizing ingredients supplied by farmers and vendors of the Jamestown Public Market.

The goal of this year’s event is to celebrate local farmers and their products that create a lively market each Saturday. “The White Carrot understands what it truly means to let local ingredients shine. We will be working with our farmers and vendors to supply specifically chosen ingredients needed to create four spectacular dishes.”

The meal will also feature wine pairings selected by The Bag and String Wine Merchants and farm to table cocktail specials created by the White Carrot. A detailed presentation discussing the inspiration behind each dish and farms highlighted will accompany the meal.  

Farmers that will provide product for the dinner include: For Peate’s Sake Homestead, Sunshine Honey, The Biodome Project and Love Your Weeds. Ingredients will include pasture raised proteins, locally grown vegetables and heirloom garlic.

Carlson is thrilled for Jamestown to celebrate a new dining experience. “This is an opportunity for our community to thank the farmers that dedicate their livelihood to our market, and work diligently to bring fresh, local products to our table, while understanding what amazing culinary delights can be created with their products. We are thrilled to partner with a Chef that understands these ingredients, and will create an experience like no other.”

Tickets are priced at $100 per attendee, with all proceeds benefiting the continued programming of the Jamestown Public Market. Sales will begin Tuesday, September 4 at noon. Visit for more information.

Jamestown Public Market Set for June 9th Opening

Continuing on Saturdays along Cherry street between Second and Third streets in downtown Jamestown, the Public Market will run later in the day this season, open from 10am to 2 pm. A recent recipient of the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant, the public market is once again partnering with Univera Healthcare to sponsor a variety of fun and unique events.

Public Market Manager Linnea Carlson is thrilled to be a part of the market’s ‘renaissance’ season. “We are excited to utilize the funding we were fortunate to receive through the USDA, and our sponsorship partners, to expand our programming and educational opportunities. The past four months have been spent planning an exciting season dedicated to our local community. Our 2018 lineup includes LEGO STEM activities, a community pig roast, local wine and craft brew tastings, a soup contest, and our annual 1k Kids Run. We want the Public Market to be so much more than a retail venue, but rather a celebration of our farmers and a gathering space for community members of all ages and interests. ”

Located along the Pearl City Arts building, the market is proud to highlight local food, wellness, and retail related businesses. “The community has really come together to create an exciting market event each Saturday. Local business owners have been nothing but supportive, and we hope to continue to showcase all that downtown Jamestown has to offer. We need individuals and families to attend each week, shop local and support our community”, said Carlson.

The Jamestown Public Market will feature free live entertainment from local musicians and community groups, along with outdoor seating and prepared food offerings. The market has also partnered with various community organizations to highlight local programs. Organizations that will be offering activities and information throughout the season include the YWCA, the Chautauqua ASPCA, the Audubon Community Nature Center, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, New Directions Youth and Family Services, Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Coalition (CASAC) and JamestownNY Rocks.

In addition to community organization spotlights, the 2018 market will also premiere the Jamestown Public Market ‘SPROUTS’ Club, free weekly children’s activities and educational opportunities. Sponsored by Jamestown Pediatric Associates, all children who participate in market activities will receive a $2 voucher that can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. Children won’t be the only ones who have the chance to learn while at the market; cooking demonstrations featuring market products will be featured, hosted by passionate ‘foodies’ of the area. Eat Smart NY will also continue to offer community food tastings.

Opening day events include a 10:30 children’s story-time, celebration of ‘World Knitting in Public Day’ in partnership with the Mental Health Association’s Knitting for Wellbeing Group, and live music by Russel & Hamels. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 11 AM to celebrate the market’s USDA funding. Chautauqua County Executive George Borello and Senator Cathy Young plan to be in attendance.

Events and programming scheduled for the 2018 season have been based on community feedback and an effort to expand market offerings. Featured vendors include Abers Acres, Scott’s Farm & Greenhouse, Hidden Valley Produce, Alpacaville, Becki’s Bakery, Eden’s Herbs, The Biodome Project, Gardens of Eternity, and For Peate’s Sake Homestead. The market continues to offer organic produce, locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat products, artisan goods, homemade baked goods, local honey, handmade soap products and much more.  

The Jamestown Public Market accepts EBT, credit and debit. More information on nutrition benefits can be found at the Market information tent. For those interested in vending, contact Carlson at 716-489-3497 or email For additional information on all market events visit or the Jamestown Public Market Facebook page.

Recognition of Jamestown’s Gardens Set for July

JAMESTOWN, NY, May, 2018 —Jamestown’s front yard gardens have been filling neighborhoods with eye-catching textures and colors. To acknowledge the value that these gardens and their caretakers add to the city, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is continuing the GROW Jamestown Front Yard Garden Recognition Program for an eighth straight year. 

“The GROW Jamestown Front Yard Garden Recognition Program is a way to acknowledge home gardeners who contribute to the curb appeal of Jamestown’s neighborhoods—and to encourage all residents to take part in making Jamestown a more beautiful place. This program was created to encourage pride and acknowledge the efforts made by many of the residents of Jamestown. It is not set up as a competition.” said Mary Maxwell, Neighborhood Project Associate at the JRC.

This year the survey will return to the summer gardens of Jamestown with an all-time maximum number of signs to disperse – 780! 

The 12,000 front yards of Jamestown have been divided into 37 sections, with each section containing approximately 325 front yards. 37 volunteer teams will form to complete the garden survey. Each team will be assigned to cover one section of the city, and is comprised of a navigator (the driver), a photographer (to take a photo of the property), and a data entry person to document the process (a list of where the signs were placed).

Between Monday, July 9th and Monday, July 30th, each team will survey their section of the city, determine the “norm” for that section, and then decide which front yard gardens they wish to acknowledge and encourage by bestowing a 2018 yard sign.

“Attractive gardens take time and effort, but they add tremendously to the appearance of homes and entire neighborhoods,” said Maxwell, noting that the program stems from recommendations in the city’s neighborhood revitalization plan. “It’s a signal that people care about their homes and neighborhoods, and it sends a powerful message to neighbors and visitors,” said Maxwell.

The program is a part of GROW Jamestown, a city-wide initiative that promotes gardening as a tool for neighborhood revitalization, healthy living, civic engagement, and the productive reuse of vacant land. Other GROW Jamestown projects include community gardens, an annual Garden Fair and Home Show in the spring, and the Great June Seedling Giveaway.

“This year’s program is possible because of over 100 volunteers who will canvass our city to find gardens they wish to recognize. Their interest in devoting time to this project shows the level of enthusiasm that people have for gardening and celebrating Jamestown’s beauty,” said Maxwell. “This project is the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s way to say thank you for the color, character and beauty the residents bring to our wonderful city.”  A big thanks also goes out to the volunteers of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for helping to collate and organize the informational materials. 

At Jamestown Renaissance Corporation we make Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on GROW Jamestown and the garden recognition program, visit the JRC website at To sign up as a volunteer, contact Mary Maxwell at 489-3493 or e mail

JRC Adds New Public Market Manager

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is proud to announce the hiring of Linnea Carlson as their new Jamestown Public Market Manager.

“We are so excited to add Linnea to our team. She brings a fresh perspective and a lot of great new ideas that will take the Jamestown Public Market to the next level,” said Lisa Hatch, Executive Director at JRC.

Linnea, a native of Frewsburg, has always enjoyed all that Chautauqua County and Jamestown in particular have to offer. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from SUNY Fredonia, and started her education with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services at Jamestown Community College.

Linnea currently resides in Frewsburg with her boyfriend, Ben, and their three cats. They love to try new restaurants and explore all that Jamestown has to offer. In her spare time, she volunteers as a Girl Scout troop leader, and enjoys cooking using locally sourced ingredients.

Linnea was most recently the Creating Healthy Communities Coordinator at Chautauqua County Health Network where she worked on promoting healthy retail and healthy worksite development. She has also spent the last two years volunteering at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market, where she improved their social media presence, worked on outreach to attract SNAP recipients, and conducted cooking demonstrations and videos.

Her background and training will allow Linnea to enhance the Jamestown Public Market, with plans to have more cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, new market events, and fresh entertainment. Linnea is also looking to grow support for local agriculture and encourage community interaction with local farmers.

“I love that Jamestown has so much that a larger city can offer, but still maintains that small community feel,” said Linnea. “My biggest goal for the Market is to transform it into a community destination that will make people wake up on Saturdays and know that the Jamestown Public Market is the place to be!” The market will run every Saturday from June through October, 10 am to 2 pm.

In addition to the Jamestown Public Market, Linnea will also manage a new Mobile Market that will bring fresh produce to three locations within Jamestown. This program will allow individuals who are not in close proximity to a grocery store the opportunity to purchase locally grown foods. The Mobile Market will kick off this summer – details will be announced as they become available.

At Jamestown Renaissance Corporation we make Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on the Jamestown Public Market, check it out on Facebook at, Instagram at or call Linnea at 716-489-3497.