Artists on Main Steet

In October 2018, the NDDC was awarded a $30,000 grant through the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s Artists on Main Street initiative. This is a 2-year program that will take place in 2019 and 2020. The program will help the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation to sustain a vibrant downtown by:

  • 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 our local artists
  • Utilizing the arts as a springboard for improving diversity and inclusiveness in Downtown Northfield across all cultures

The deadline for 2019 proposals has passed, so stay tuned for more information about this year’s projects and for next year’s funding process!

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in partnership with Springboard for the Arts, and with support from the Bush Foundation, launched a new program in 2018, Artists on Main Street, to explore how the arts help address the challenges affecting Main Street communities today. The pilot year’s success in Faribault, Mankato, and Winona has resulted in continued investment in the program by the Bush Foundation to include eleven communities over a three-year period. Four communities were selected to join the program in 2019, and they are Northfield, Olivia, Wabasha, and Willmar.

“The Bush Foundation is very excited to be able to support Artist on Main Street through the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s Main Street Program. We see this as a great opportunity to support artists as leaders in their communities and to show how art and culture can be an important part of efforts led by local Main Street programs, Cities, Economic Development Authorities, and Chambers of Commerce throughout the region.” – Erik Takeshita, Portfolio Director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation.

During the program’s pilot year, over ninety artists and creatives attended Creative Placemaking Workshops resulting in a total of thirty-four artist-led projects involving fifty-five artists and creatives. “Over the last year we’ve seen new relationships built between Main Street organizations and artists in their communities, which has resulted in more community pride and new, creative ideas about addressing downtown concerns,” said Michele Anderson, Rural Program Director at Springboard for the Arts. “We’re excited to welcome another cohort of communities to this program and build on this momentum.”

Each community receives support on planning and implementing creative placemaking projects through training, one-on-one technical assistance, and cohort support to integrate arts-based problem solving. Artists on Main Street communities receive $20,000 for project funding and program implementation the first year and $10,000 the second year for artist-led solutions to a local challenge identified by the community. Training and resources will be provided in partnership with Springboard for the Arts to artists who live, work and have a personal investment in the community to make positive physical, economic and social impacts.

“Artists on Main Street is creating bright spots of arts-based community development and downtown revitalization in Greater Minnesota,” said Sarina Otaibi, Rural Program Manager for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.