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Vienna Heritage and Cultural Tourism Grant

Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism Grant Community Highlight: Vienna

April 11, 2023 | Logan Breer

Missouri Main Street Connection Inc. (MMSC) partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through ARPA in awarding $5,000 grants to 12 communities selected through a competitive process to fund projects focused on strengthening heritage and cultural tourism in rural Missouri. The grant helped each community implement a project and market itself to prospective visitors. These heritage tourism projects gave added value to the economies in each community through a range of projects from murals to walking tours to new monuments and building plaques that all highlight each respective community’s history for residents and visitors. One of the Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism grants was awarded to the Vienna Chamber of Commerce in March 2022 with completion of the project in October 2022.

The Vienna Chamber of Commerce is currently participating in the Community Empowerment Grant (CEG) program. Through the CEG program they are working with Ben White, Missouri Main Street Connection’s Senior Program Specialist, to develop a Main Street program that serves their community through adapting the Chamber into a Main Street program for Vienna, Missouri. Vienna is a small village almost smack dab in the middle of the state, south of Jefferson City, sitting next to the Gasconade River. They consider themselves to be in the “Heart of Missouri” as they are surrounded by rich, lush Missouri foliage. As for heritage and culture, Vienna falls into the same category as many Missouri small towns whose community is interconnected to the outdoors which means their history, heritage, and culture that they promote and identify with, is both outdoors and indoors. Their Main Street district provides the indoor activity with small-town charm where you can shop “Quite corner [shops]” and eat your fill, and their outdoors is the many opportunities for you to become an explorer and uncover the treasures of Missouri’s land and the Gasconade River.

Vintage Storefront Entrance

 Photo taken by Katie Crum of Katie Crum Photography.

The Vienna Chamber of Commerce used the Marketing Heritage and Cultural Tourism Grant to implement phase one of their three phase plan to attract tourists to return to Vienna after the pandemic affected their tourism. They developed a “Plan Your Trip” virtual experience on their website (Visit Vienna) and created a Tourism Guide that highlights the places to eat, shop, stay, and play in Vienna and its surrounding area. They achieved this by working with their businesses through commercial branding photography sessions by Katie Crum, which were used for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce’s project as well as by the business itself (Vienna’s Plan).

Visit Vienna Tourism Guide image

In the digital world we live in, a hybrid approach to communication is the best route; where you feature your information in an accessible way to digital nomads as well as strategically use printed materials to capture those who prefer the tactile experience. Therefore, printed tourism materials are a very important promotional tool that allow a wide range of people to learn about your community that may not have their digital algorithm attuned to you specifically, but their driving habits put them in the right place at the right time. Vienna took advantage of that. Their tourism guide can be found in Vienna’s Welcome Center, the local area businesses, as well as tourism centers and gas stations across the state. As for digital content, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce composed a video commercial, featuring the photos and videos their photographer captured. It is featured on their website and promoted as an ad on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram as well as on a television at the Welcome Center.

Photo taken by Katie Crum of Katie Crum Photography.

The promotional efforts of Vienna’s places to eat, shop, stay, and play are still going on. Maybe you have seen them already! Check out what they put together and book a stay to see what their community has to offer (Visit Vienna). They have seasonal events that are great experiences of what makes Vienna special such as the Vienna Sausage & Wine Festival in the Spring.

Just One More Time Bar and Grill interior

Photo taken by Katie Crum of Katie Crum Photography.

Missouri Main Street Connection awarded the Marketing Heritage & Cultural Tourism Grants in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act.

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