Imagine Main Street prepares for new season of arts and events

MANCHESTER — With a new chairwoman at the helm, Imagine Main Street is getting ready for an exciting upcoming season.

Joyce Hodgson took over the position in January when previous chairman, Steve Gates, stepped down. Hodgson was the volunteer-organization’s program director.

Imagine Main Street is an organization that puts together monthly street festivals on Main Street from May through September.

Hodgson foresees a bright future for the organization.

“This gives us an opportunity to take a step back and look at the organization and figure out if the monthly events are all we want to do, or if there’s more we want to accomplish as an organization,” she said.

Her ultimate goal for Imagine Main Street is to have a space on Main Street completely dedicated to the arts that could serve as a headquarters for the organization, which, at the moment, Hodgson said, is being run out of her home.

“I love the idea of having an opportunity to help shape the future of an organization that I clearly love so much,” she said.

The arts have always been a part of Hodgson’s life, long before Imagine Main Street came to formation. She has always been interested in photography, and worked for her school newspapers both in high school and college as a photographer.

Music has also always been part of her life. Her parents were Salvation Army ministers, and she says she was always listening to symphonic music when she was little. Now, she works as a grant writer for the Hartford Symphony and has previously worked for the Hartt School of Music. In Manchester, Hodgson was the executive director at the Little Theater in Cheney Hall.

She encourages people to volunteer with Imagine Main Street, which needs volunteers with skills in marketing, fundraising, and event planning.

“There’s a wonderful domino effect that the arts bring to any community,” she said. “IMS is a way to engage people.”

Volunteer opportunities can be found on the group’s website at

Originally published by the Journal Inquirer

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