The next time you are in downtown Greenville, close your eyes and open your ears. Quickly, you will notice background music now fills the air of the historic district.
Main Street Greenville, the non-profit organization created to help revitalize the downtown district, typically plays holiday music throughout downtown from the end of November through the first of January. Now, music will be offered all year-round for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“Our Design Committee works to create a welcoming environment in the downtown area. They felt offering music all-year would make the district more inviting,” said Amber Garrett, Executive Director of Main Street Greenville. Shortly after coming up with the idea, the YOLO Organization and the Greyson James Steyer Fund through the Darke County Foundation partnered to provide the financial support to make the project possible.
The YOLO Organization was created by Phillip & Jodi Pierri, through their passion to give back to their community. The Pierri’s established a funding source through the festival of races the organization has created and managed. Proceeds from their events are used to assist with local projects to help build a better place to live.
When asked why YOLO made the decision to get involved with the project, Phillip said, “Our family loves downtown Greenville and believes in the work that Main Street Greenville is doing. This is the first project YOLO has donated to. We look forward to helping with many more future community projects similar to this one.”
The Greyson James Steyer Fund was created by Matt & Mindy Steyer, in memory of their son. “Thank you to our family and friends who continue to remember our son,” said Matt. “As a supporter of downtown Greenville, our family is happy and honored that Greyson is able to partner with us on this music project.”
In March, the YOLO Organization and the Greyson James Steyer Fund donated $3,500 to Main Street Greenville, for the purpose of updating the downtown speaker system. The upgrade allowed for new equipment and wiring the sound system into Main Street Greenville’s office.
Music played in public places and shopping districts is much more than just simple background music. Studies have shown it can encourage a longer visit, reduce crime, and even increase sales. “We want downtown Greenville to be a destination where people will want to visit, time and time again. We feel this is one more step in the right direction,” said Garrett.
Before moving forward with the project, Main Street Greenville asked for the downtown business owner’s opinions and suggestions about the days and hours in which music would be played. The organization also contacted the city about any potential concerns or issues.
Work for this project was completed by local businesses, Greg Peck Sound, 3-Way Electric, and Doss Business Systems. At this time, Main Street Greenville is testing different volume levels to find the best fit for the district. They also plan to change the type of music offered each day, ranging from oldies to current hits.