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We Bring the Bonfire

We Bring the Bonfire

By Chris Elisara and John Paget. Elisara and Paget are co-founders of First+Main Films and the producers of the Better Cities Film Festival The last time we drank a cocktail at 30,000 feet, we certainly made it count.  We were en route to Abu Dhabi in February 2020 to produce our Better Cities Film Festival in partnership with the United Nations.  The occasion was the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum  (aka WUF10). World Urban...

The Privilege of Shopping Local

The Privilege of Shopping Local

My dog needs a new collar. Last weekend, I decided to get him a new one, and I decided to do it locally. There are two independent pet shops within walking distance. Both shops are amazing, with loving attendants...

Everybody Loves an Underdog

Everybody Loves an Underdog

Buffalo is a tertiary city that often gets ridiculed and overlooked. There have been countless times that I say “I live in Buffalo” only for people to respond... Buffalo? Why? Isn’t it cold up there? Ohhhh... but the snow!...

Real Topeka People

Real Topeka People

In Cameron Crowe’s movie “Almost Famous”, fifteen-year-old budding rock-and-roll journalist William Miller is waiting near the back entrance of a concert venue, hoping to snag an interview with a new band, Stillwater. A pack of groupies (a pod? A...

Planning for Places

Planning for Places

The college, the hospital, the manufacturer, the school system, the foundation, the bank, the insurance agency, the United Way, service clubs, small businesses, big businesses, local government, nonprofits and on and on. Every single one of these institutions in...

10 Truths About Tackling Your Own Development

10 Truths About Tackling Your Own Development

Creating spaces and places for people is my passion. From creating beautiful downtown living spaces to the storefronts and offices where their businesses can flourish, being a developer is all about making a positive impact for others. Development can...

Main Street: The Navel of Your Heartbreaking Town

Main Street: The Navel of Your Heartbreaking Town

It’s time to take back your Main Street. Time to fight to restore it. Time to fight for its safe return. I know Main Street hasn’t been stolen, it hasn’t been whisked away in the middle of the night....

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