Main Street Corydon director position ‘dream job’ for Amy
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
Since volunteering to work with Main Street Corydon in 2016, under then-director Catherine Turcotte and later Angel Frizzell, who succeeded Turcotte three years ago, Janelle Amy developed a passion for promoting Harrison County’s county seat.
She thought that some day she would like to serve as Main Street Corydon’s executive director, saying it was her “dream job.”
“Catherine took me under her wing,” Amy said of her mentor. “She also pushed academics.”
Amy graduated from North Harrison High School in 2018 and decided to attend Indiana University Southeast to earn a dual major — marketing and sales — with a minor in public relations. She was able to graduate early, thanks to North Harrison’s dual-credit program, and received her degree last month.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my degree,” Amy said.
While in college, she eventually stepped away from Main Street and worked part time at some businesses, which were in downtown Corydon.
Then, when Frizzell announced her resignation last fall, Amy applied for the position and was subsequently hired. She began her duties earlier this month.
The daughter of Jerry and Joanne Amy, Janelle was born in New Albany and resided in her early years in Georgetown. The family moved to Ramsey when Janelle was 6.
However, she was quite familiar with Corydon, as her grandparents, Geoff and Wendy Cooper, lived about a block off the Corydon town square in a house that also served as Wendy’s business, The Posey Bowl.
“I have a lot of childhood memories in Corydon,” Amy said. “I remember riding my bike from my grandparents’ house to Emory’s (ice cream shoppe), walking the (Indian Creek) trail and going to Town Square Gallery.”
It was through her grandfather’s volunteerism with Main Street Corydon’s Umuganda clean-up program that Amy first met Turcotte.
It wasn’t long afterward that she helped showcase Corydon and its business owners through a video series called Community Conversations, which was produced by Tyler Best and Taylor Johnson.
“I love talking to people,” Amy said.
While she’s only been in her new position a couple of weeks, Amy has several items of interest on her list, including bringing more outdoor dining opportunities to downtown Corydon, improving the lighting of the town and building relationships with those who work and/or own a business in Corydon.
“There are a lot of opportunities for partnerships in the town,” she said. “Our town is so special.”
Also on the horizon is offering more festivals, which are designed to bring more people to town who would, hopefully, shop and dine while here.
One such event is the Popcorn Festival, which was once a Harrison County staple. The dates will be July 1 and 2 this year.
Amy said her grandparents were involved in the Popcorn Festival in previous years.
A music festival is being discussed as is an art festival, which “won’t necessarily be like the Art on the Old Capital,” a prior event, Amy said.
Main Street Corydon was restructured a couple of years ago and operates with numerous volunteers.
“We have a lot of good people in leadership roles,” Amy said.
Anyone is welcome to become involved, choosing a level of involvement that suits them, from helping set up and/or tear down for an event, work an information booth or serve on a committee.
“They can also offer suggestions of things they’d like to see happen in downtown Corydon or provide feedback about what we’re doing,” Amy said.
Amy also hopes to get youth involved in Main Street Corydon.
“I would like to see more things for kids to be involved with as well,” she said.
Main Street Corydon’s mission is “To make downtown Corydon a place that attracts, welcomes and refreshes residents, business owners and visitors with its excellence and energy, through historic preservation, cultural vitality and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Monetary donations are welcome to help fund Main Street Corydon, which is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Additional information about Main Street Corydon can be found online at www.mainstreetcorydon.org.
“My priority now is to meet everyone I can,” Amy said, to include merchants and non-profit leaders, and to rebuild any relationships that need attention.
She will work closely with the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Harrison County Parks Dept., which has been developing more of a presence in downtown Corydon.
“I’m excited to hit the ground running,” Amy said.
Amy can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling 812-738-0120.