A familiar face has taken the reins as Corsicana’s Main Street Program Director and her downtown business experience and arts background make her a perfect fit.
Amy Tidwell was born and raised in Corsicana. The former captain of the high school drill team went on to become a Kilgore College Rangerette and graduated from Texas Woman's University with a major in arts and a minor in business. She and husband Aaron, Mildred High School’s principal, have a 1-year-old daughter.
The Tidwells returned to Corsicana after a stint living in Dallas, and Amy said the experience gave her a different perspective on her hometown.
“We got a taste of the big city but when it came time to settle down and start a family, we wanted to come back to the small town life,” she said. “What I missed most was a closeness to my community. You feel very separated in a big city.”
After she moved back, Amy worked as a manager for Carmen Austin, owner of Sweet Tangerine gift shop downtown, which she said gave her insight into the importance of marketing and self-promotion.
“I kick-started Sweet Tangerine’s social media presence and it really took off,” she said. “I built it over four years and it is what carried us through the COVID shutdowns.”
Amy said she didn’t grasp the importance of shopping local until she saw it first hand while working for the downtown business.
“Working in a retail store showed me how much these small business owners give back to their community,” she said. “With so much investment in inventory and overhead, they have to be very strategic. They are up against huge challenges and have had to change their mindsets on what they were selling and how they were selling it. I’m proud of the Corsicana business that showed they can survive almost anything.”
Designated an official Texas Main Street City in 1985, Corsicana’s Main Street Program supports downtown revitalization through a focus on historic preservation and economic development, in order to boost the quality of life for residents and tourists alike.
Tidwell said her first order of business is to meet with the Corsicana Visitors Bureau, The Landmark Commission, and the Main Street Advisory Board and start talking about plans for the year. She acknowledges the program’s momentum under previous directors and plans to keep it going.
“There are already some great ideas in the works that were put on hold due to COVID, so I want to see if any of those ideas can be carried out,” she said. “We are moving forward with our Second Saturday Mimosas at the Market program. I plan to work closely with the Parks and Recreation Department and Director Sharla Allen is a great asset for the city and a big help to me.”
She also brings some new ideas to Main Street.
“I want to bring new businesses downtown and continue to revitalize it while preserving history,” she said. “I want to bring in new events and increase tourism. Part of my job is getting residents to come downtown while also drawing people from outside Corsicana. Right now people feel safer visiting small towns than big cities and I want them to feel comfortable here.”
Tidwell said with her arts background she brings creativeness, inventiveness and an ability to look at things in a different way. She is also business-minded, which allows her to access what’s working, or not, from a marketing standpoint.
“I bring those skills to the Main Street office,” she said. I am passionate about this job because I am from here and I want everyone to see how beautiful and special this town is. I will do everything I can to be successful and look forward to a fresh 2021.”