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Texarkana selected as winner in "Paint What Matters" contest - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Texarkana selected as winner in "Paint What Matters" contest

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TEXARKANA (KTBS) -

This year, Texarkana was selected as a winner in the National Benjamin Moore "Paint What Matters" contest. That means, at least three to five blocks of buildings in both Texas and Arkansas will soon be repainted downtown. But Main Street organizers don't want the revitalization efforts to stop there. The recently hosted a gala event to benefit downtown.

With each stroke of paint, these guests at the "Paint the Town" gala were working together to create a replica of Union Station. It's that same kind of team work Main Street organizers want to see in the revitalization of downtown.

"We've been excited to see the people being excited" says Josh and Diana Morriss.

The Morriss' decided to invest in the Texarkana Arts and Historic District about six years ago. They believe that "downtown is the heart of Texarkana."

The Morriss' opened the Silvermoon on Board Event Center and have already brought life back to the corner of Broad and Texas Streets. And, so many others, aren't far behind.

Andy Franks opened his engineering company on East Broad Street about two years ago.

"Without the preservation of downtown, you lose downtown, empty buildings are available for people to move into for professional buildings or retail without that it dry's up" says Franks.

"Just the brick and mason work that will be here for years, we've just got to put roofs on them and preserve as much as we can" says Amanda Horton.

Horton owns a catering business on Pine Street called "Flour Child." She says downtown is a great place to grow business.

"With Main Street, they even have facade grants and things like that, who've helped businesses that have done things, Main Street has assisted them" says Horton.

The Morriss' say opening a business in downtown has been an adventure and they hope to be a catalyst to even more growth and revitalization efforts.

"You have character in the old buildings, you have history that lives and we're just glad to have a chance with God's help to help bring that back to life" says Morriss.

Twenty Main Streets across the U.S. and Canada were selected as winners from the "Benjamin Moore" online voting contest. All of the projects are due for completion by next July.

Painting in Texarkana is expected to start in early spring.

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