Downtown and Arts Town at March Forum

The goal of the monthly Downtown Forum sponsored by the NDDC not only is to network with old and new friends but to spark discussion and action about how to make downtown Northfield a better place. At the March forum, new City Administrator Al Roder will introduce himself to downtown stakeholders and put himself more in the position of “listener” than speaker. Roder began his job Feb. 27, and he is eager to hear what’s on the minds of Northfielders. As always, the Downtown Forum is the first Tuesday of the month (March 7) at 8 a.m. in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House. Everyone is welcome. Coffee and cookies will be served.

Most recently the city manager in Denison, Iowa, Roder also has served as Becker County administrator in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and as a Chamber of Commerce and economic development officer in Grafton, N.D.

“Al hopes to hear from downtown stakeholders about their visions for downtown,” says NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier. “We are delighted to present this opportunity for our downtown constituents and our new city manager to become better acquainted.”

The public is welcome to attend the 90-minute Downtown Forum, which will include a question-and-answer session. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Kicking off the March event will be St. Olaf College Music Professor Paul Niemisto, who is organizing a Vintage Band Festival in Northfield in July. Niemisto will speak for 20 minutes on the topic of cultural tourism, which he defines as art-related events that bring residents and visitors together.

“A primary benefit of cultural tourism is its economic impact,” said Niemisto, a trombonist and conductor of the Norseman Band at St. Olaf. “Plenty of statistics show that travelers who participate in cultural activities spend more money and stay longer than leisure travelers.”

To learn more about the upcoming Vintage Band Festival, which will take place July 27-31 in Northfield, visit the Vintage Band Music Festival website.