Town of Millinocket One of Three Communities Nationwide Selected for Prestigious Community Design Program

The Town of Millinocket is one of three communities nationwide selected to take part in a multi-day design workshop put on by the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design (CIRD).

Millinocket, September 10, 2019 — The Town of Millinocket is one of three communities nationwide selected to take part in a multi-day design workshop put on by the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design (CIRD).  Millinocket will also participate in CIRD’s inaugural peer learning cohort for rural leaders from 23 communities. These designations are part of ongoing support of rural communities by the CIRD in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Housing Assistance Council and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP .

“It was inspiring to see overwhelming interest in the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design program this year,” said Arts Endowment Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Jen Hughes. “Rural and tribal communities across the country are putting forth ambitious visions for their future and view design and creative placemaking as a way to not only celebrate their cultural history, but also to drive economic development.”

Since 1991, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design has worked in communities with populations of 50,000 or less to enhance quality of life and economic viability through planning, design, and creative placemaking. To date, the Arts Endowment has convened more than 80 workshops in all regions of the country, bringing together local residents with teams of design, economic development, and creative placemaking professionals. Together, professionals and citizens leverage local and regional assets to guide the design of their communities.

“The Town of Millinocket is extremely honored to have been selected from this highly competitive national pool of applicants. We think it’s affirmation for the potential Millinocket has in its revitalization. The energy is high right now in the Katahdin region as we continue to work with our partners and community in redevelopment, and we’re ready to make some impactful change,” said Cody McEwen, chair of the Millinocket Town Council.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshop will bring architects, urban planners, and facilitators to Millinocket for a visioning session with local residents focusing on improvements and guidelines for downtown’s Penobscot Avenue and adjacent parks. Each year, an estimated 60,000 tourists drive past Penobscot Ave on their way to Baxter State Park. Millinocket’s downtown suffered from decades of vacancy and disinvestment following Great Northern Paper’s decline, but emerging signs of growth and potential in Maine’s forest economy have town leaders and business owners looking forward to investments in the downtown district. In addition to the Town of Millinocket, partners on the visioning project include Our Katahdin, Thrive Penobscot, Millinocket Memorial Library, Eastern Maine Development Corp, the Northern Forest Center, and Maine Development Foundation.

For more information on this program announcement, visit or

# # #


Cody McEwen, Millinocket Town Council Chair, (207) 731-8023;

John Davis, Millinocket Town Manager, 207-723-7000*5;

Lucy Van Hook, Community Development Director, Our Katahdin 207-370-9456