Category Archives: Arts and Culture Commission

Call to Artists for Hispanic Heritage Month Banners

The Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, in partnership with the Friends of Downtown Northfield, is hosting a competition for artists to design a new downtown banner in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The banners will be displayed on light poles along Division Street in time for Northfield’s sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration on September 15, remaining for all of Hispanic Heritage Month and into November.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed September 15 to October 15, is an annual celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America or other regions that identify with the aforementioned cultures. To celebrate the vibrant and diverse communities of Northfield, the Arts and Culture Commission and Friends of Downtown Northfield invite Latine and Hispanic artists to participate in the open design competition.

The banners will be printed vertically on durable vinyl measuring 28 inches by 79 inches. Since the call for banner art asks for only a design, and not the manufacture of the banner by the artist, there are no expectations for the artist to deal with specific materials. Any medium or artistic form that can be digitally rendered is acceptable such as illustration, painting, photography, collage, or fiber.

The winning artist will be paid $1,500 for their design. Submissions are due June 23, 2023. For more information on how to submit a design for the competition, visit:

La Comisión de Arte y Cultura de Northfield, en colaboración con los Amigos del Centro de Northfield, organiza un concurso para que los artistas diseñen una nueva pancarta en el centro de la ciudad para celebrar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Las pancartas se colocarán en los postes de la calle Division a tiempo para la sexta celebración anual de la Herencia Hispana de Northfield el 15 de septiembre, y permanecerán durante todo el Mes de la Herencia Hispana y hasta noviembre.

El Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, que se celebra del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre, es una celebración anual de las historias, culturas y contribuciones de los estadounidenses cuyos antepasados proceden de España, México, el Caribe y América Central y del Sur o de otras regiones que se identifican con las culturas mencionadas. Para celebrar las vibrantes y diversas comunidades de Northfield, la Comisión de Arte y Cultura y Amigos del centro de Northfield invitan a artistas latines e hispanes a participar en el concurso abierto de diseño.

Las pancartas se imprimirán verticalmente en vinilo duradero de 28 por 79 pulgadas. Dado que la convocatoria de arte de la pancarta pide sólo un diseño, y no la fabricación de la pancarta por el artista, no hay expectativas para el artista para hacer frente a los materiales específicos. Se acepta cualquier medio o forma artística que se pueda representar digitalmente, como ilustración, pintura, fotografía, collage o fibra.

El artista ganador recibirá 1.500 dólares por su diseño. El plazo de presentación finaliza el 23 de junio de 2023. Para más información sobre cómo presentar un diseño al concurso, visite:

Artists on Main Street Returns!

The Friends of Downtown Northfield are proud to announce the return of the Artists on Main Street program for the fourth year! This program makes grants of up to $5,000 that allow artists to create and exhibit their work in the heart of Northfield’s downtown district. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, musician, dancer, or any other type of artist, this program is for you. It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your creativity, gain exposure, and connect with the Northfield community. This year’s theme is Meet me at the River!

The 2023 program is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, with an additional $10,000 contribution from the City of Northfield’s One Percent for the Arts Program. These contributions will be used to fund artists who have inventive and original ideas for adding to the beauty of Northfield’s downtown.

“We are thrilled to bring this program back,” said Christopher Tassava, Board President of the Friends of Downtown Northfield. “It’s an excellent opportunity to support artists and enhance the cultural health of our community.”

A Public Art Review Committee comprised representatives from the Friends of Downtown Northfield; the city’s Arts and Culture Commission, Heritage Preservation Commission, and Park and Recreation Advisory Board; downtown business; and youth members will work to select artists for the program. 

“The Arts and Culture Commission is eager to work together with the Friends on another round of Artists on Main Street,” said Natalie Draper, library director and staff liaison to the Arts and Culture Commission. “We look forward to seeing the creativity and talent of artists on display.” 

The Friends of Downtown Northfield and the Arts and Culture Commission welcome all to be a part of Northfield’s vibrant arts scene. Full guidelines on the program and the application are available online. The Friends and the Arts and Culture Commission hope to select and announce grants to artists by July; grantees will have until October to carry out their funded projects.


First Friday Art Night-October 4

5:00-9:00pm       William Kentridge: Universal Archive
Weitz Center for Creativity @Carleton College, 320 3rd St. East

South African artist William Kentridge has created an extensive body of interrelated works that includes drawings, prints, sculptures, artists’ books, films, and theatrical productions. His interdisciplinary approach to art is most often political. This exhibit

presents a series of linocut images printed on dictionary and encyclopedia pages. The images — trees, coffee pots, cats, typewriters, birds, horses, nudes, and self-portraits — are frequent characters in his  visual lexicon, and range from highly descriptive to gestural abstractions. This exhibition was organized by the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College and curated by Natalie Marsh.

5:00pm                 Cowtoberfest and Stein Hoisting 2019, The Contented Cow,
302 Division St. S.

5:30-6:30pm       Celebration of Artists on Main Street: Connections/Conexiónes,
Bridge Square

Join us for a concluding celebration of the 2019 Artists on Main Street project, “Connections/Conexiónes”. Remember “Raggin’ at the Depot”, “Selfie Shark” and “Geese Be Gone”? Meet some of the artists whose projects have contributed to creative placemaking in Downtown Northfield this past summer and learn more about how they brought their projects to life.

“Connections/Conexiónes” is a collaboration between the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation, the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission and the Northfield Arts Guild. Funding was provided by Springboard for the Arts and the Bush Foundation through a grant from Rethos Places Reimagined.

6:30-8:00pm       Graveyard Tango at Northfield Dance Academy, 640 Water St. S.

Find your inner Morticia and Gomez during this tango class with Brian Sostek. No partner needed. All skill levels welcome. Cost $20/person. Register at

7:00-8:00pm       Live music with Cannon River Currents at Imminent Brewing,
519 Division St. S.

 Helen Forsythe (banjo) and Delia Kain (fiddle) present a mix of folk, bluegrass, old-time and Irish music.

7:00-10:00pm     Live music with Nikki Walsh at Tanzenwald Brewing, 103 Water St.N.

Nikki Walsh combines the vocal precision of jazz singing with the warmth and intimacy of folk.

7:30pm                 She Kills Monsters, Haugen Theater, St. Olaf College,
1520 St. Olaf Avenue

The St. Olaf College Theater Department presents a production of She Kills Monsters by Qui Nyugen, directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Michelle Cowin Gibbs. Tickets available at 507-786-3332 or

8:00pm                 Stargazing Open House, Goodsell Observatory, Carleton College, 301 Goodsell Circle

Monthly every first Friday when skies are clear. Join Carleton’s resident astronomers to view the moon, stars, planets and nebulae. The event canceled if cloudy. Dress for the weather.

8:00pm                 Live music with James Lewis & the Jackpines, Imminent Brewing,
519 Division Street S.

Led by Northfield-raised singer and guitarist James Lewis, the South Minneapolis-based Jackpines bring an updated take to honky-tonky standards. Their players are steeped in rock, indie, bluegrass, jam band and Lutheran choral traditions. Collectively, they’ve curated a catalogue of country classics to get your boots scootin’ and booty movin’.

8:00-11:00pm     Live music with Ashes for April, Reunion-Eat, Drink, Gather,
501 Division St. S.

Four guys, six acoustic instruments and retro pop songs. Includes Lincoln Ashbury (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals), Chubby Ashton (upright bass, vocals), Rocco C’Ash (drums, percussion) and Mickey Mash (acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals).

New Downtown Banner design selected

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 by Minnesota Main Street to assist with funding the competition, production and installation of the street banners.

Ten Northfield artists to receive “Artists on Main Street” grants

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:

  • Rob Hardy: “Poetry Posts”
  • Lorraine Rolvig/The Northfield Garden Club: “Northfield’s Hanging Garden’s in Plein Air”
  • Fletcher Coolidge: “Raggin’ at the Depot”
  • 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 7th on 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, and the Northfield Public Library’s website,