Downtown Joplin Alliance is a not for profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown community as a thriving, safe, and attractive center of art, history, enterprise, commerce, culture, residence, and entertainment.


Downtown Joplin Alliance is a 501c3 originally formed in 1989. We guide community-based revitalization efforts focusing on Downtown Joplin. We follow the National/State “Main Street” model to harness the social, economic, physical, and cultural assets that set Joplin apart and ultimately lead to tangible outcomes that benefit the entire community.

If you’d like to learn more about the National Main Street Model: mainstreet.org

We leverage both the art and science of downtown revitalization to create a better quality of life for all. The result of these efforts is a community with strong social cohesion and economic opportunity; a downtown that supports and sustains innovation and opportunity; places where people of diverse perspectives and backgrounds come together to shape the future.

Ultimately, we strive to create a place where people love to be. A place that values its history, but looks forward, ready for the future.


In the late 1980’s Missouri organized a Main Street organization at the state level to help revitalize historic downtowns. They chose five cities around Missouri to be pilot programs for the Main Street Program. Joplin was one of those. Main Street Joplin was formed in 1989 by a group of downtown merchants and property owners.

The organization has been through ups and downs and more or less active periods. Some key things that Main Street Joplin or Downtown Joplin Alliance has been instrumental in is Main Street streetscaping (circa 2005) and managing Third Thursday as it grew from an indoor art walk event to a street festival. Incredibly, in 2008 when Third Thursday was started, the downtown core was 75% vacant! In 2017, during its 10th season,  downtown vacancy had shrunk to only 7%.

As commercial spaces filled up, and visitors began returning to downtown, DJA began to look for other opportunities to enhance the downtown experience: in 2018, the Empire Market (a four-season indoor farmers market) was opened and now has expanded to include a rentable commercial kitchen and gardens; a sizable grant from the 1772 Foundation led to the creation of the Endangered Properties Program, which has helped preserve important historical structures in and around downtown, such as the Olivia Apartments; and a focus on developing new residential properties.

The organization is largely self-funded through events, donations, and sponsorships, and has a contract for services with the city for the Endangered Properties Program.


The Main Street Approach offers community-based revitalization initiatives with a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation. Transformation Strategies are implemented through comprehensive work in four broad areas, known as the Four Points.

  • ECONOMIC VITALITY focuses on capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools to assist new and existing businesses, catalyze property development, and create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.
  • DESIGN supports a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart.
  • PROMOTION positions the downtown or commercial district as the center of the community and hub of economic activity while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics.
  • ORGANIZATION involves creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort, including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and resources for the district.

A two-year grant with Missouri Main Street Connection gave us mentoring and guidance to build our organization and reframe our goals and ultimately led to us achieving Accredited status for the first time in our organization’s history in 2022.


Downtown Joplin Alliance is a volunteer and community driven organization. We currently operate with four full-time staff:

  • Lori Haun–Executive Director
  • Ivy Hagedorn–Programming & Marketing Director
  • Kristina Kosiorek–Operations Assistant
  • Our board consists of 9-13 members made up of downtown property owners, business owners and managers, residents, and other community stakeholders. We also have a city representative and council representative ex-officio.
  • The work of the organization is accomplished through the four committees: Promotion, Design, Economic Vitality, and Organization.


  • Third Thursday (8 events per year) is Joplin’s signature event and brings approximately 5,000 people to Main Street every month.
  • First Friday WineShare (12 events per year) averages 60-100 attendees for a networking and community building event in businesses throughout downtown.
  • Empire Market (weekly four-season market) brings around 500 people per market day and brings fresh, local food to the greater Joplin community. 
  • Holiday Events/Small Business Saturday
  • Downtown Loft Tour
  • Quarterly Downtown Now Presentations
  • Business assistance and promotion
  • New Business resources
  • Empire Market Office space
  • Empire Market Community Gardens
  • Bunny & Jane Newton Community Kitchen @ Empire Market
  • Resources for historic property owners and developers

How Can I Get Involved?

We have many opportunities available for those of you who want to lend a hand and volunteer your time. Click the button below to find out how you can get involved in contributing to the improvement of our community!