Bastrop News

Bastrop Main Street Program farewells former director, welcomes a new one

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Change is the name of the game in today’s world and the Bastrop Main Street Program is under-going its own transition this spring. Funded by the City of Bastrop in 2007, the Main Street Program’s mission is to preserve and enhance our historical downtown business core. For the last eight years, these efforts were guided by Nancy Wood, Bastrop’s first and only Main Street Program Director, at least until April 30 of this year when she retired.

Wood created a program that has placed Bastrop on the map as an historic community. She has put a whole new “face” on downtown Bastrop. By encouraging creative, cooperative ventures among the economic and cultural leadership of the area, Wood has helped downtown businesses restore, repaint and re-roof buildings up and down Main Street.

As early as 2008, the program received national recognition and accreditation for its preservation work and has gathered about a dozen more awards since then.

Through the investment of thousands of volunteer hours and the development of valuable partnerships in its eight-year journey, the Main Street Program has spear-headed revitalization efforts, historic preservation projects, and programs that increase the economic health of businesses. “The program is the only direct link between the City and downtown business,” says Wood, “and this primary connection must continue to be recognized and be used to enhance our city’s heritage and downtown economy.

After making Bastrop’s Program the “gold standard” for Main Street Programs across Texas, Wood says it’s time for her own transition into the role of citizen volunteer. “The Program has reached a place where a newer vision is needed,” she says. “The Program has grown and is well-recognized; but now it’s time for someone else to expand it in other directions.”

So Wood has turned over her reins …and saddle …and spurs to a new Bastrop Main Street Program Director, Kayli Head. “I met Kayli during our mutual association with the Main Street Program. She was Number Two in the San Marcus Program, and I knew she was would be just the person to come to Bastrop when the time was right.”

Head hails from Garland, Texas, and spent her college years in Nacogdoches at Stephen F. Austin University. She “fell in love” with small towns and with volunteering through her work in Nacogdoches, where her Main Street career began as a volunteer with that Program.

Commenting on her new responsibilities, Head says, “Nancy has been my mentor over the last couple of years and her successes are legendary. She has the ability to make volunteers feel very special and that what they are doing is a valuable endeavor, worthy of their time. I hope I can do half as well.”

She says her first task is to absorb the community. Her focus will be continuing to strengthen Bastrop as a destination community for art, music, and food. “We have to tell our story to the right audience, and that is my job. Our core audience will be young entrepreneurs and professionals, empty nesters, and folks looking to get away from the big city.”

Head says her first major project is going to be upgrading all the Program’s social media connections; then she’ll be gearing up a big promotion of downtown Bastrop’s new designation as a Culinary District. “We will continue to work closely with the Downtown Business Association, the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, and, of course, the City to get things accomplished. And we’re always looking for volunteers.” Head invites interested individuals to lend their expertise to one of the program’s standing committees: Promotions, Design, Economic Restructuring, or Organization. Check out their meeting times at

Nancy Wood left some high heels to fit into, but Kayli Head is ready for the challenge. She welcomes visitors and hopes to see you at her office in the Laake House next to the Bastrop Convention and Visitors Center.

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