Artists on Main Street

Artists on Main Street is a creative placemaking program that activates artists and creatives to address challenges and solve problems in downtown districts. These challenges are often things that are left to already over-extended city staff or district stakeholders, and by employing creative and community thinking models, change is able to happen in new ways.

The program began in Northfield in 2019 with a $30,000 two-year grant from Rethos, funded by Spring Board for the Arts and the Bush Foundation. Northfield continued the program in 2021 with a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board through legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Creative placemaking has many different definitions, but could be simply described as using art and other creative activities to make positive physical, economic, and social impacts within a particular community or space.  The overarching goals of Northfield’s program include:

  • Providing art and creative placemaking experiences that draw people to shop, dine and connect in Downtown Northfield;
  • Enhancing the downtown’s aesthetics through the creativity of local artists;
  • Utilizing the arts as a springboard for improving diversity and inclusiveness in Downtown Northfield across all cultures.

In Northfield, we work collaborative with the Northfield Arts Guild and Northfield Arts and Culture Commission to implement the program. Selected projects are chosen through a volunteer  Public Art Review committee.

Learn more about the Artists on Main Street projects by program year.


We are able to sponsor programming such as Artists on Main Street thanks to grant funding and donations. Please consider supporting us through a donation.