AP NEWS

Songwriter returns to West Virginia city to lead development

March 30, 2019
In this photo taken Monday, March 25, 2019 in Fairmont, W.Va., Patricia Pagan, left speaks with Main Street Fairmont Board president Brenda Giannis after being named the new executive director of the nonprofit. Pagan's ideas and prior experience with downtown revitalizations made her an obvious choice for Main Street's Board of Directors (Eddie Trizzina/Times-West Virginian via AP)

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — Patricia Pagan was present at the opening of the High Level “Million Dollar Bridge” in the year 2000.

Not only was she present, she also performed a song to commemorate the occasion of the revitalization of a West Virginia landmark.

“When they opened up the Million Dollar Bridge I wrote the song for that,” Pagan said. “I was able to perform that, I wrote a song called ‘The Fairmont Song.’”

After spending some time away from the Friendly City, Pagan has returned to participate in another revitalization, that being the City of Fairmont itself.

She is slated to assume the role of executive director for the economic and community development nonprofit Main Street Fairmont.

Having originally moved to Fairmont 21 years ago, she already sees the potential for the city.

“It’s got more than enough potential to be something spectacular,” she said. “I’d like to see some more beautification; flowers at eye level, things that are going to make the town a little bit more cohesive as far as beautification goes.”

Pagan mentioned some of her past professional experience, having worked as a performer and singer throughout her life, and also previously being owner of Gatherings in downtown Fairmont.

Pagan’s ideas and prior experience with downtown revitalizations made her an obvious choice for Main Street’s Board of Directors, and one which was made unanimously, according to Brenda Giannis, the president of the board.

“Out of all the applicants we had, we thought that she had great ideas,” said Giannis, president of the Main Street Board of Directors. “She’s got some ideas for new events... pulling all the community organizations together so we can network and work a little bit better together.”

Giannis made the announcement at Monday’s board meeting of Main Street, where the rest of the members helped to welcome her to the position and leadership role.

After her initial introduction, Pagan outlined some hopes and specific ideas she has for the organization once she gets adjusted to the role.

“I think we’ve got a lot of good stuff coming,” Pagan said. “I went and petitioned to the city to save the fire house years and years ago, and so that’s still my baby, and I would love to see an arts and entertainment center there and next to it, maybe a courtyard.”

She also commented on volunteer recruitment, as it is one way Main Street Fairmont is able to provide several of the events it plans.

“When you want to build a volunteer base, what you do is you get to the very top person,” she said. “You get them involved, invite them in, and they’ll get the people.”

Giannis said Pagan will officially take the position on April 15, and until then, Pagan will be learning the ropes.

For Pagan, being able to return to the city which has meant so much to her in her revitalization career is exciting, and she is anticipating the chance to improve upon the base Main Street Fairmont has built for further downtown development.

“You guys built a great foundation and now it’s time to build on top of that,” Pagan said. “We’re going to see stuff that’s impressive and things that you can notice, so it’s a great time for me to be involved in this.”

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Information from: Times West Virginian, http://www.timeswv.com