Artists on Main Street

Creative placemaking has many different definitions, but could be simply described as using art and other creative activities to make positive physical, economic, and social impacts within a particular community or space.  The overarching goals of Northfield’s program include:

  • Providing art and creative placemaking experiences that draw people to shop, dine and connect in Downtown Northfield;
  • Enhancing the downtown’s aesthetics through the creativity of local artists;
  • Utilizing the arts as a springboard for improving diversity and inclusiveness in Downtown Northfield across all cultures.

In addition to the general goals listed above, each year of AOMS highlights a specific theme, prompting applicants to shape their proposals based on relevant or emerging issues within the community.  In 2021, after all the difficulties of the past year, we want to focus on the positive undercurrents that have always made Northfield special and will continue to sustain us through and beyond the current pandemic.  We hope that your creative placemaking projects will highlight the importance of “Building a Post-Pandemic Community” by embodying values and actions such as unity, togetherness, welcoming, gathering, and empathy.  We encourage all applicants to think broadly and make a case for your vision of a healthy post-pandemic community.  In accordance with the principles of creative placemaking, you should also consider how your project interacts with the physical space where it will take place and the community as a whole – think of adjectives such as delightful, whimsical, surprising, thought-provoking, and so on.

Our first two years of AOMS funded twelve unique projects, including musical performances, poetry readings, interactive sculpture, spoken word events, pop-up installations, and one large cement shark.   And despite the interruptions and challenges caused by the global pandemic, we are grateful for the opportunity to support our creative community and improve our downtown again this year.  The NDDC, in partnership with the City of Northfield’s Arts & Culture Commission and the Northfield Arts Guild, encourages all local artists, creatives, and makers to submit a proposal and get involved in this exciting initiative.