Tag Archives: Arts and Culture Commission

Calling all Creatives to Build Connections/Conexiónes in Downtown Northfield

Artists, makers, and creatives of all types are invited to participate in one of two free upcoming Creative Placemaking workshops as part of the Artists on Main Street Initiative here in Northfield. Attending the workshops is the first step for creatives to apply for and potentially receive funding to support projects this upcoming summer and fall. The workshop will be facilitated by Michele Anderson, Northfield native and current Rural Program Director for Springboard for the Arts, and Sarina Otaibi, Rural Program Manager for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. Attendees will learn more about creative placemaking in general, the Artists on Main Street Initiative, examples of projects funded in other MN communities, and the project parameters specific to Northfield.

The name of Northfield’s initiative is “Connection/Conexión.” Project funding will be available to any artist, creative, or maker living or working within the Northfield Public School district boundary. Projects will use art, creativity, events or performances to help to draw people from across Highway 3 to downtown and create connections between people and places within our downtown. Projects should occur within the boundaries of 2nd street on the north, 5th street on the south, the railroad tracks on the west side of Highway 3 and the East Riverwalk/backs of Division St. buildings on the east. All cultures, ages, and styles of creativity are welcome! A full call for proposals will be distributed at the workshops. The project’s fund of $15,000 will support 10-15 projects that will be selected by a Public Art Review Committee, a process facilitated by the City of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission. Projects must be implemented between May-October 2019.

Funding applicants must have attended a creative placemaking workshop in order to be considered for funding. Light snacks and beverages will be provided, and a bilingual Spanish interpreter will be available as well.

The Creative Placemaking workshops will take place on Friday, March 8 from 5:30-8:30 pm at the Northfield Arts Guild, and Saturday, March 9 from 9 am-12 pm at the Northfield Public Library. Registration for the workshops is free, but attendees should RSVP to krlayman@msn.com if they plan to attend and indicate which session they will attend.

About the Artists on Main Street Initiative and Partners

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC)  was awarded a $30,000 grant through the Artists on Main Street community development initiative in Fall 2018. The program is a partnership between the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) and Springboard for the Arts, with support from the Bush Foundation. The program explores the intersection of arts and culture, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation in eleven Minnesota Main Street communities over a four year period. As the Designated MN Main Street organization, the NDDC will coordinate the Artists on Main Street program in collaboration with the City of Northfield’s Arts & Culture Commission and the Northfield Arts Guild.

Minnesota Main Street is an economic development program of PAM that uses a historic preservation based strategy to revitalize downtown districts in Greater Minnesota communities. The program works with communities long-term and provides training and resources, including a Main Street Project Fund; to help community members revitalize their downtown.

Springboard for the Arts is a national leader in creative community development. Their approach is rooted in the principles of community organizing and focuses on a “lots of little” strategy that surfaces unrecognized leaders in communities, builds public narratives from a multiplicity of perspectives and voices; and creates low-risk opportunities for collaboration. This equity-based model centers on the lives and experiences of the people in and of the place; values the relationships, partnerships, and creative capacity that artists and communities build together; and aims to build power and agency for individuals, neighborhoods and communities.

Sidewalk Poetry Capstone Event Aug 17 at 7pm

There’s always something interesting happening in Downtown Northfield! Join us August 17th at 7pm on Bridge Square for the 2017 Sidewalk  Poetry Capstone Celebration. The event is open to the public and will bring poetry lovers and sidewalk poets together to hear the poems read aloud, to meet the winning poets, and to hear music by Bonnie and the Clydes.  Thanks to the Northfield Senior Center volunteers, the popcorn wagon will be open for business, serving delicious popcorn and cold drinks.

Bring your lawn chairs, relax and enjoy the music and poetry of the night.  A large map of the locations of the 2017 winning poems will be shared and the winning poems from all seven years of the contest will be on display.

In 2011, Northfield launched its annual Sidewalk Poetry Project. In the seven years of the project, 66 poems – the creations of 46 local poets — have been selected for imprinting in over 200 locations across the community.  Each one of the winning poems, imprinted into the concrete of our city sidewalks, is remarkable on its own; collectively, they offer a sense of the spirit of our community.  Chosen from among 156 poems submitted for judging, ten winning poems will be celebrated in 2017.

Sidewalk Poetry is a partnership with the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, the Northfield Public Library and the City of Northfield, and has been supported by the efforts of hundreds of volunteers. This activity receives major funding from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) through the arts and culture heritage fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Additional funding is provided by the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library.

For more information, contact Bonnie Jean Flom, chair of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission at bjflom@gmail.com.