New director names goals for Main Street Cultural District

Tom Drenthe

Tom Drenthe

Morgan Shepherd

Main Street Cultural District‘s new director, Tom Drenthe, has many goals for his position and the district. 

Drenthe joined the Cultural District last February as event coordinator and Farmers Market manager and recently took over for former Executive Director Angela Moore in September. Drenthe’s new duties as director consist of overseeing Main Street’s Board of Directors and managing day-to-day operations.

“I like being involved with the community through Main Street. I wholeheartedly believe that a healthy downtown benefits the entire surrounding community,” Drenthe said.

Drenthe has three main goals for the cultural district for the upcoming year.

Continuing Downtown Sit Down

Downtown Sit Down was one of Main Street’s biggest fundraisers this past year. The event sold 18 benches for sponsorships of $1,000. Once purchased, the benches were painted by local artists. Proceeds went toward Main Street, with a portion going to the artist. This year, nine of the 18 benches were purchased.

“Our goal is to get all 18 finished this year. These amazing benches are an extra cultural piece to an already vibrant district,” Drenthe said.

Extending Ames farmers market

Next year, the Ames Downtown Farmers’ Market will convert to a full 26-week market season. Last year, a trial run of 14 weeks was set to see if objectives were met.

“The season will last from May to October,” Drenthe said. “This is a huge project, and we are really excited about it.”

Continuing to build goodwill with community

Main Street aims to continue extending membership to its Board of Directors, increasing its volunteer base and communicating with the community.

In the upcoming years, Main Street also will perform a complete inventory and analysis to see what businesses the district should be recruiting to continue improving the area and help the community.


“By continuing promotions, exciting events and beautification and improvement of businesses, we hope to keep our downtown vibrant and thriving,” Drenthe said.