Project and Outreach Manager
WHEELING, W.Va. – Wheeling Heritage has received a first-place, $8,000 grant from the West Virginia Development Office. The organization was chosen due to the success of Show of Hands, its community support crowd-funding event.
The Development Office noted that the economic impact, community engagement, and uniqueness of the Show of Hands were reasons for this award.
To date, Show of Hands has given a total of $28,145 to eleven community projects. For-profit and non-profit organizations, as well as individuals, can present projects to attendees. Then, members of the crowd vote on the project they would like to support. The winning project is guaranteed at least $2,000, but as the program gains popularity and more funding, the prize has grown. The latest winner, Vigilant Books and Coffee, received $3,740.
Funding for Show of Hands is provided by those in attendance, as well as Orrick, the event’s corporate sponsor, and many Friends of Show of Hands, who donate to each event.
Alex Weld, project and outreach manager at Wheeling Heritage, noted that the Show of Hands model depends on community involvement.
“This event does something much more important than give funds to a project: It creates a sense of energy and positivity around downtown Wheeling,” she said. “Community members see first-hand how their neighbors are working to shape the future of Wheeling. They leave feeling great about their community, and also with a new outlook and understanding of how they can be part of its success.”
The next Show of Hands event is scheduled for May 27 at 5:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Artisan Center, located at 1400 Main Street in Wheeling.
Wheeling Heritage was eligible to apply for this award as the facilitator of Wheeling’s Main Street program. Main Street West Virginia is a program of the West Virginia Development Office and focuses on economic development of historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts using the National Main Street Center’s Main Street Four-Point Approach, which includes comprehensive work in organization, promotion, design and economic vitality.
About Wheeling Heritage
Wheeling Heritage, a nonprofit organization formed in 1994, leads community efforts to preserve, enhance and communicate the natural, cultural, and historic resources that form Wheeling’s story. We have helped to shape the city’s development by making key investments such as the award-winning riverfront park, Heritage Port, and the Artisan Center in the heart of downtown. As champions of capacity-building, we have many public- and private-sector partners, and we engage the community to actively participate in Wheeling’s revitalization and growth. Our knowledge of development, historic property restoration and preservation of heritage makes Wheeling Heritage a conduit for education, technical assistance and advocacy.