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The Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Marketplace in Minneapolis, MN will be developed at the intersection of the American Indian Cultural Corridor and the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit Line. The project will construct a pedestrian plaza as a gateway to the Cultural Corridor. The plaza will have space for artists, musicians, performers, and food trucks to create a place for the community to gather.

ArtPlace spoke with Andy Hestness, Interim President & CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute.

ArtPlace: What do you have to do really well to achieve success with your initiative?

Hestness: To be successful with the Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market project we have to build connections with artists and entrepreneurs. If we don’t spend the time to build the relationships with artists, performers, musicians, and vendors the plaza will have very little life. We are not building a plaza just for the sake of building public space, rather we are creating a public space where art is performed, and created, and sold. The Anpetu Was’te Market will be a place for the public to interact directly with artists. It is critical that we have a network of artists that are aware of our project, and excited to engage with the community.

ArtPlace: How do you expect the community to change as a result?

Hestness: We expect that the perception of the Franklin Light Rail station will change and become more positive. We expect that the project will connect and build relationships between neighborhoods and neighbors on either side of the transit station. And we believe that we can create economic opportunity in the community both for American Indian people, and the neighborhood as a whole. We have seen the power of the arts to bring people together at last summer’s Twin Cities American Indian Arts Festival (see photo). The Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market will continue to bring people together around the arts in the future.

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