Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts MarketMinneapolis, MN
The Native American Community Development Institute is developing the Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Marketplace in the median of Franklin Avenue, directly underneath the Franklin Avenue Light Rail Transit station. The project has created complex working relationships with the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County to implement the project on public land. ArtPlace spoke with Andy Hestness, Community Development Specialist and lead on the project.
ArtPlace: How will the Anpetu Was’te project be sustained after the ArtPlace grant?
Hestness: We have been working diligently with our partners to identify the structures, partnerships, and funding mechanisms to sustain the project in the future. ArtPlace is funding the capital construction of the marketplace, but the real challenge is funding and managing the ongoing operations of the market. This includes everything from mowing the grass and shoveling the snow to coordinating market vendors, scheduling performers, and cleaning up after the market closes for the day. As the project has progressed we have developed a universe of alternatives based on examples from around the country. We are now working within the local context and regulatory framework. Depending on the choices the project team makes, we may look at short-term options that can be accomplished right away while also identifying longer-term alternatives that may require policy change to be implemented. We have great partners at the City and County that are working to understand the project goals while making the best decisions for the municipal governments as well.
In addition to finding ways to fund the operations of the marketplace, we are building partnerships that will sustain the project. The project builds market space in the community to create a platform to develop viable businesses for artists and entrepreneurs. Our goal is to tie the market vendor structure to existing entrepreneurial training in the community, and in particular artist entrepreneurial training. The market will provide an entirely new opportunity for start-up businesses in the community. Like artist markets that exist in Santa Fe and San Francisco, we envision the Anpetu Was’te marketplace as a place for artists to create and sell work directly to customers.
ArtPlace: Will this work live beyond the grant period? How has the ArtPlace funding affected your organization’s work in the future?
Hestness: The ArtPlace funding is the catalyst to develop an ongoing community marketplace. Our specific role in the future operations of the marketplace is not fully defined, but our partnerships with the City and County will identify the best roles for each of us. Our collaborations with other community based-organizations will build a pipeline to sustain the artist and business development aspects of the project.
As far as the future, if the marketplace is successful we have our eyes on the next segment of median adjacent to the project to develop phase II of the marketplace. The initial phase was designed to have the fewest barriers to implementation. The next phase will be more logistically challenging, but would bring business activity from the Light Rail station even closer to the heart of the existing business district.