CWU Students help tell the story of downtown

Students Making Documentary on Main St. in Ellensburg

By Ian Cull. Published Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 KAPP-TV (view story)
Ellensburg Main Street

Main street in Ellensburg is covered with buildings, built on generations of local family business. Now, two Central Washington University students have set out to show how important one city street can be.

Stefanie Burger said “and we have been spending every minute of spare time down on Main street ever since.”

Burger first heard of the idea with her classmate Matthew Ballantyne at their public relations club. Hours later, they took on the duty to document Main street. They are interviewing ten businesses learning how they’ve survived, and how they’ll continue their success.

Tuesday the students were at Fitterer’s furniture, open since 1896.

Matthew Ballantyne said, “those kind of stories are really what make the small independent businesses throughout America very unique is that, they’re very giving people and they help out the community in any way they possibly can.”

The project is gaining national attention from media outlets and foundations doing similar work. Some think the reports can help main streets across the country.

Timothy Bishop, of the Ellensburg Downtown Association, said ” We have them really look at Ellensburg and tell this story about what’s happening on Main Street as it really relates to that National Perspective of whats happening on Main street across America.”

The students are hoping other cities in america will tune in to their project, and to the idea of keeping local businesses alive and well.

Ballantyne said, “I believe that its the biggest place in terms of business in America that can grow.”

“Its inspiring and it gives other people something to strive for. I can only hope that I would leave a legacy as strong as some of these businesses when I’m gone,” Burger said.

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