Category Archives: Public Art

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.

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.