The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission unveiled the winning design from their street banner competition last week. The new banners will be hung on lamp posts along Division Street and Water Street in downtown Northfield beginning this fall.
The winning artist is Steve Maus, a local artist and a staff member at the Northfield Public Library. “I’ve always wondered who the people were winning these contests. It was exciting to win,” said Maus.
The Public Art Review Committee (PARC) reviewed and selected the winning design. “Steve’s design is bright, bold, and eye-catching. It captures elements that speak to our history as well as our future as a community. We appreciate Steve’s willingness to work with PARC through drafts of the banner to arrive at the final design. We are so pleased and excited to have these banners up!” said Alyssa Melby, chair of the Arts and Culture Commission and a PARC member.
“It’s fun thinking about the many thousands of people visiting Northfield every year who will see these banners,” said Maus. Besides having his design displayed for thousands of visitors and residents annually, he also received $400.
The new banner features the words “Welcome” and “Downtown Northfield since 1855,” a silhouette of a windmill and buildings, and incorporates part of the city logo with the swooping blue and green indicating the river and farmland on a brightly colored backdrop of orange and yellow flowers. The winning design replaces the red, white and blue “Historic Northfield Since 1855” banners, which have been used since 2005.
The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation was awarded a mini-grant of $4,200 byMinnesota Main Street to assist with funding the competition, production and installation of the street banners.
The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) was recently awarded a two-year $30,000 grant by Minnesota Main Street, a division of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, to fund an “Artists on Main Street” initiative in Downtown Northfield.
The Artists on Main Street funding inspired the NDDC, the Northfield Arts Guild and the City of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission to form a partnership called “Connections/ Conexiónes” which invites the local artist community to:
provide intriguing, welcoming gateways and/or views of our entire downtown area
engage with people who spend time near the river
create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to be more connected to our downtown area
draw people downtown to shop, eat, dine, and utilize our assets along the river
Ten artists or groups have been selected to participate in the first year of “Artists on Main Street”. They will use their works to draw people’s attention to the west side of the downtown district and connect the west side of downtown to Division Street. The locations where the art will be displayed include Ames Park, the Northfield Depot, the Riverwalk, bridges over the Cannon River, and areas around Bridge Square. These art and performance pieces are intended to be temporary installations. The participating artists and their projects are:
Alexis Valeriano” “Poems on a Bridge/Poemas en el Puente”
Oliver Jin Casima and Ben Heath: “Rays of Unity”
Sharol Nau: “Bridge Weaving”
Demian Jackman: “Selfie Shark”
Jim Rossow: “Totally Tubular Traveling Tubulum”
Suzanne Daehlin: “Love Makes the World Go Round”
Kathy Ness: “Goose Be Gone”
A kick-off event with the selected artists and the public will be held from 5-7pm on Friday June 7thon the downtown Riverwalk behind the Northfield Arts Guild building (304 Division St.) in conjunction with the NDDC’s First Friday Art Night to celebrate Northfield artists’ participation in this new initiative. Light refreshments will be provided.
The artists’ projects will be displayed or presented at various times and locations between June 2019 and October 2019. Further information about these projects can be found on the NDDC’s website, www.downtownnorthfield.org and the Northfield Public Library’s website, www.mynpl.org.
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.