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RACINE — The Downtown Racine Corporation (DRC) has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America program, the highest national recognition available to a community revitalizing its downtown district through the Main Street Approach.

The Main Street Approach is a community-driven, comprehensive strategy for revitalizing downtowns. It involves the preservation of historic buildings, the promotion of public-private partnerships, and the support of small businesses.

“We are honored to be recognized as an Accredited Main Street America program,” said Kelly Kruse, executive director of DRC. “This designation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our community partners, volunteers, and staff.”

Downtown Racine Corporation Executive Director, Kelly Kruse
Kelly Kruse – Credit: DRC

DRC is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1982. The organization’s mission is to create a vibrant and sustainable Downtown Racine. DRC works to achieve its mission by:

  • Attracting new businesses to Downtown Racine
  • Supporting existing businesses
  • Preserving historic buildings
  • Promoting public-private partnerships
  • Engaging the community

DRC has been successful in revitalizing Downtown Racine. In the past decade, the organization has helped to attract more than 60 new businesses to the downtown, support the growth of existing businesses, and preserve more than 10 historic buildings. DRC has also been successful in promoting public-private partnerships and engaging the community.

“We are proud to see the progress Downtown Racine has made under the leadership of DRC,” said Hannah White, interim president and CEO of Main Street America. “This designation is a recognition of the organization’s commitment to revitalizing Downtown Racine through the Main Street Approach.”

A community must meet performance standards to be designated as an Accredited Main Street America program. These standards measure the community’s progress in economic vitality, historic preservation and community development.

DRC is one of 862 communities designated as Accredited Main Street America programs across the country. The designation recognizes DRC’s commitment to revitalizing Downtown Racine through the Main Street Approach.

“We are excited to see what the future holds for downtown Racine,” said Tim Mason, the DRC board of directors chairman. “With this designation, we are poised to continue our progress and make Downtown Racine a vibrant and thriving community.”

Downtown Racine Corporation awards

In addition to the National accreditation, Downtown Racine was recently recognized on the State level by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for three awards.

  • Best Special Event: Party on the Pavement
  • Best Cooperative Business Marketing for their Fashion Show on Monument Square
  • Co-winner of the Diversity & Inclusion Award for their  Black History Month campaign


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.