The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) and the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission are sponsoring a competition for artists to design a street banner that will be hung on lamp-posts along Division Street and Water Street in downtown Northfield. These banners will be seen by thousands of visitors and residents annually.
The winning design will replace the red, white and blue “Historic Northfield Since 1855” banners, which have been in use since 2005. Artists should submit designs that highlight the cultural, historic, or artistic characteristics of Northfield.
This initiative is made possible by the NDDC’s affiliation with Main Street Minnesota, a program of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The NDDC was recently awarded a mini-grant of $4,200 by Main Street Minnesota to assist with funding this project.
By focusing the new banner initiative on the local artist community, the call for submissions will showcase the high volume of artists living in the community who play a central role in making downtown Northfield a hub for excitement and culture.
“The artists in our community serve as a driving force behind the excitement and allure of downtown Northfield. We want our banners to reflect that,” said Greg Siems, Executive Director of the NDDC.
The design entries will be reviewed by a Public Art Review Committee in mid-June and banner production will begin following the selection of the winning design. The artist that submits the selected design will be awarded $400. The new banners will be displayed beginning in September 2019.
For more information about the NDDC or to contact board members, email email@example.com or visit www.downtownnorthfeld.org.
The NDDC has hired a new Executive Director! Greg Siems has accepted the part-time position and will begin his duties on May 1, 2019.
Siems was most recently the Assistant Director of the Institute for Freedom & Community at St. Olaf College. Prior to that he was the Director of Vision 2020 in Austin, Minnesota, where he coordinated and supported over 100 volunteers across nine committees working to improve Austin’s quality of life. In that position he secured over $1.3 million in project funding by cultivating sustained relationships with diverse stakeholders including elected officials, city staff, private citizens, charitable foundations, nonprofits and businesses.
Siems graduated from Luther College with degrees in Political Science and Russian Studies and holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame.
“We feel fortunate to have Greg joining us at the NDDC,” NDDC Board member Mark Lancaster told NDDC’s Downtown Northfield MN, “and we are excited about the future of the NDDC under his leadership.”
The NDDC is a Designated Minnesota Main Street organization. It is committed to creating and sustaining a vibrant and vital Downtown Northfield. It focuses on all of the constituencies in the district: building owners, business owners and residential citizens. The NDDC works collaboratively with all economic development partners in the city, including the Northfield City Council, the Northfield Economic Development Authority, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Northfield Enterprise Center.
For more information about the NDDC, please call (507)645-5604 or visit www.nddc.org. The NDDC is on Facebook at Downtown Northfield MN. The NDDC is a 501(c)3 corporation with offices at the Northfield Office of Business and Tourism, 19 Bridge Square, Northfield, MN 55057.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The City of Northfield will begin the reconstruction of Division Street between 6th St and 8th St on Monday, April 30. Washington St. will be the marked detour route. Read on for more details about the this summer’s entire downtown streets project. Bookmark the following link on the City’s website for complete information and updates .
Stage 1- Division Street from Sixth Street to Eight Street
Crews expect to begin work on Stage 1 on Monday April 30, 2018. Work expected next week include the closure of Division Street to thru traffic from Sixth Street to Eighth Street first thing Monday morning. A detour will be posted around the closure utilizing Washington Street. Additional work included next week will be bituminous and concrete street removals, curb and gutter removals, and driveway removals. Crews expect to begin utility installations the week of May 7.
Stage 2 – Seventh Street from Water Street to Washington Street
Staff also held individual meetings with the affected property owners on Stage 2 late this week to discuss the proposed schedule submitted by the contractor, and the affect to each individual property. The contractor expects to begin work on Stage 2 sometime mid-July, when Stage 1 is complete.
Stage 3 – Washington Street Mill and Overlay and Parking Lot Construction
No work is scheduled on Stage 3 until late July. Staff will send letters requesting property owner meetings on Stage 3 once construction is closer to beginning.
Nate Becker, City of Northfield, will be the project representative. Nate can be reached by phone at (507) 291-6490 or via email at Nate.Becker@ci.northfield.mn.us
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 byBonnie 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.