Category Archives: NDDC News

Call for artists to design downtown banners

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.

Artists may submit their designs until June 7, 2019, by emailing them directly to teresa.jensen@ci.northfield.mn.us. Guidelines for submitting entries should be downloaded from the Public Arts page of the City of Northfield.

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 greg@nddc.org or visit www.downtownnorthfeld.org.

New Executive Director to begin work May 1

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.

NDDC Executive Director resigns

Executive Director Jenni Roney has submitted a letter of resignation to the NDDC board of directors. Her resignation will be effective January 24, 2019.

Jenni had a number of accomplishments during her time with the NDDC. In 2017, she redesigned a favorite summer community event formerly called “Taste of Northfield.” Renamed “Downtown Taste Tour”, the event now has a format that has proven to be much more effective for both attendees and participating food establishments. That same year she orchestrated a project to upgrade the holiday tree lighting in Bridge Square.

In early 2018, Jenni guided the NDDC through a successful application process resulting in Northfield being named a Designated Minnesota Main Street community by the state chapter of Main Street America, a national program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are less than a dozen communities in Minnesota that have achieved this designation.

Also in 2018, Jenni helped launch a new event program called “First Friday Art Night”. Using a combination of indoor and outdoor events, the program has highlighted the artistic talents of the community and attracted residents and visitors alike to the vibrant Friday night scene downtown. Most recently, Jenni wrote a successful application that awarded Northfield a two-year $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant. This program will provide small stipends for 10-15 artists each year to be used to produce public art in the downtown district.

“Jenni Roney has been the NDDC Executive Director since 2016 and during that time she has had a significant impact on the life of the organization,” commented Dan Bergeson, NDDC board president. “We will miss her energy and her many talents, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

A search for the next NDDC Executive Director will begin immediately.

Give to the Max Day Nov. 15!

Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is participating in Give to the Max Day (GTMD18) as part of the NDDC fall fund drive. GTMD18 will take place November 15 from 12am-11:59:59pm. One of the benefits for donors who make gifts during GTMD18 is the chance to be winners in drawings for prizes. If you are selected, you can name the organization that will receive your prize. Prizes range from $500 to $10,000! We hope that you would choose  the  NDDC as the beneficiary of your good fortune!

Here is a list of the prize drawings on GTMD18:

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 10 minutes
  • $10,000 Power Hours at 10am and 10 pm
  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets
  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets (1 each day between November 1-15
  • $10,000 Super-sized Golden Ticket (drawn from all early giving donations)

How to donate to the NDDC during GTMD18:

  1. Go to givemn.org
  2. Click on the green “Donate Now” button
  3. Do a search for “Northfield Downtown Development Corporation”
  4. Click on the green “Donate” button
  5. Choose your giving level (or click custom for the amount you’d like to give)
  6. Enter your credit card information
  7. Accept our thanks!

The goal for the NDDC fall fund drive (through December 31, 2018) is $5,000. Give to the Max Day would be an excellent time for our friends to help us make significant progress toward reaching our goal.

You can donate anytime between today and 11:59:59pm on November 15, 2018. Please the hashtag #GTMD18 when you share any news about the NDDC on social media.

NDDC Becomes Newest Program of Minnesota Main Street

Northfield is the newest Designated Main Street community in Minnesota. The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) applied for designation with the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in March and has been accepted into the program at the Big City Affiliate community level. The public is invited to attend a special announcement in Downtown Northfield on June 1, 2018 at 5pm on Bridge Square.

The NDDC collaborates with the City of Northfield, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Northfield Convention & Visitors Bureau , Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA), and local businesses in the community. Downtown Northfield is the heart of the city and includes a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The downtown area contains nearly 200 businesses including a diverse mixture of retail, restaurants and service establishments. There is also a vibrant residential community from rentals to condominium properties to retirement living facilities.

Main Street Programs in Minnesota, such as the NDDC, are local, volunteer-driven downtown revitalization programs coordinated by a local staff person. Each program follows the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Four Point Approach® of historic preservation based community development.  The Four Points are Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization which help volunteers to improve the district physically, economically, in its marketing, and to bring enough resources to the effort.

To assist local programs with their work, Minnesota Main Street provides approximately $7,000 in technical assistance funds annually, complimentary training registrations, networking with other communities, and consultation from state program staff. Northfield joins nine other Minnesota Main Street communities: Red Wing, Winona, Faribault, Mankato, New Ulm, Owatonna, Shakopee, Willmar and Wabasha.

Minnesota Main Street is recognized by the National Trust Main Street Center as the official statewide coordinating program in Minnesota and has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. Every year, the Minnesota Main Street program collects reinvestment numbers from each local Main Street community. In 2017, for every $1 spent to run a local Main Street program in Minnesota, $23.77 was reinvested back in to the community. From 2010 to 2017, local Minnesota Main Street communities recorded $61.4 million in public and private financial reinvestment, 147 net new businesses, 772 net new jobs, and 549 property improvements.

“We are looking forward to partnering with the Minnesota Main Street organization and the other nine communities in our state,” said Jenni Roney, NDDC Executive Director. “The networking and resources they provide will be very valuable to us as we work to sustain a vibrant Downtown Northfield.”

For more information about Minnesota Main Street, visit archive.mnpreservation.org.