Main Street Champion

NEWTON, N.C. (March 23, 2017) – The Downtown Newton Development Association named Jill Towery as its Main Street Champion for 2016.

Towery was instrumental in bringing the Foothills Folk Art Festival to Downtown Newton in October 2016. She is dedicated to ensuring the festival remains a signature event in Downtown Newton for years to come and is an avid supporter of the arts in Catawba County.

“I am honored to be selected as Newton's Main Street Champion,” Towery said. “This city’s future is bright, and the successful collaboration that brought the Foothills Folk Art Festival to Newton is a testament to our city’s commitment for growth and progress including the arts. The heart of Newton is her downtown, and as that strengthens so follows all of Newton.”

Main Street Champions are individuals who work and advocate for downtown revitalization across the state. They are named through the N.C. Main Street Center, which provides technical assistance, guidance and training to 61 participating communities, including Newton. The Main Street Program aims to help selected communities restore economic vitality to their historic downtowns through a process developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The process, known as the Main Street Four-Point Approach, includes organization, promotion, design, and economic vitality.

Main Street Champions from across the state were recognized for their commitment to downtown improvements and strong communities during the N.C. Main Street Conference in Shelby on March 16.

“Downtown districts are important economic engines in our state,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “The men and women we’re recognizing today are the people who keep those engines running, generating prosperity for communities all across North Carolina.”

“Jill’s vision for Downtown Newton is truly an asset to our community,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said. “She is always ready to tackle any task that will help make Newton a better place for residents and visitors.”

Shannon Johnson, Newton’s Main Street Program manager, said advocates like Towery play a large role in making Downtown Newton a desirable location for businesses and a vibrant destination for visitors.

“The DNDA is thankful for Jill’s contributions to our organization. She is a constant promoter of Downtown Newton, and the great ideas she brings to the table are clearly making our downtown a better place,” Johnson said.

For more information about the Downtown Newton Development Association and Newton’s N.C. Main Street program, contact Shannon Johnson at or 828-695-4360.

Newton Main Street Champion

Jill Towery was recently named the Downtown Newton Development Association’s Main Street Champion for 2016. Towery (above center) was presented with the honor by N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland and N.C. Department of Commerce Chief Economic Development Liaison Susan Fleetwood at the N.C. Main Street Conference in Shelby on March 16. (Photo credit: Garry E. Hodges)