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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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.
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 Streetis recognized by the National Trust Main Street Centeras 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.”