Tag Archives: City of Northfield

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.

Division Street Closed from 6th to 8th Beginning April 30

7th and Division–before

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

7th and Divison-after

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.

Connect with the NDDC and Create Community in Downtown Northfield

I grew up in a small town where life centered around main street. We celebrated annual events and festivals, drawing generations of townsfolk to find connection in the center of our community. After living in five states and one foreign country I realized that places like my hometown are rare and special treasures. Then in 2009, my husband’s job interview at Malt-O-Meal (now Post Consumer Brands) brought us to Northfield as the sidewalk sales of Crazy Daze were in full swing. I watched friendly people shopping in a charming, lively downtown, chatting and eating giant donuts together—and I knew this was the town for us.

Downtown Northfield is where we come together. Cyclists gather here before and after their rides:

Bikers on Bridge Square

Families enjoy a breakfast pastry as they stroll through the Riverwalk Market Fair:

Riverwalk Market Fair

Visitors learn about Northfield’s courageous history as the townspeople chase the James Gang out of town:

Bank raid: Defeat of Jesse James Days

And shoppers discover one-of-a-kind treasures in our quaint storefronts:

Shopping in downtown Northfield

The NDDC works alongside our community partners to bring people together downtown. We create connections between downtown business owners, building owners, local organizations and city staff as we fulfill our mission of sustaining a vibrant downtown.

Since I began as the NDDC Executive Director in January, I’ve been meeting with many of the people who help make our downtown the thriving heart of our community. I have heard fond memories of Downtown Northfield from people like Dennis Thomas. He watched his uncle run the local market as a child in the 1940’s and later ran the business himself.

We’ll be sharing the latest stories, news and upcoming events from Downtown Northfield here on our blog and via our social media posts: our Downtown Northfield Facebook page, our Downtown Northfield Twitter feed @downtownnfdmn, and our Downtown Northfield Instagram feed @downtownnlfdmn.

You’ll hear from me, Board President Dan Bergeson and Social Media Consultant Griff Wigley. Griff is well-versed in all things downtown—in fact you might spot him as he bikes to his “office” at a table inside Tandem Bagels:

Mountain biker and social media consultant Griff Wigley

It’s an exciting time in Downtown Northfield! Connect with us as we celebrate our unique history, enjoy our vibrant present and look forward to a hopeful future together.

NDDC Relaunches Its Downtown Northfield Blog

Welcome back! We here at Downtown Northfield are rebooting the blog that was published on this site for many years. For a number of reasons, the blog has recently been dormant, but 2017 seems to be a good year to make it come alive again.

The site will publicize upcoming events and issues of relevance to the Downtown Northfield community, and will also go behind the scenes and discover the fascinating stories of the people who own and work in the buildings and businesses in the district.

NDDC Executive Director Jenni Roney
Jenni Roney

The first person we want to introduce is Jenni Roney, the new Executive Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC).

Jenni operates Wordsmith Marketing & Design, a graphic design and strategic marketing company located in Northfield.  Previously, she was the Marketing Coordinator for the Northfield Area Family YMCA during the inaugural year in its newly opened facility. Prior to that she was an advertising consultant for Huckle Media, a multi-media company based in Michigan and former owner of the Northfield News.

Jenni began work in her new role on January 1, 2017. She has spent the first few days of her tenure getting to know business owners, Northfield city staff and elected officials, and the other economic development partners in Northfield: the Northfield Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the Northfield Economic Development Authority, and  the Northfield Enterprise Center.

Jenni will be a contributor to the Downtown Northfield blog along with Griff Wigley, NDDC social media consultant. I’ve been involved with the NDDC for more than a decade and am currently on the Board of Directors so I plan on writing a post now and then myself. Stay tuned for more NDDC news!