ARTSONCHICAGO_JULY'

Arts on Chicago will implement twenty art projects in one year to knit together existing creative assets in Minneapolis’s Central, Powderhorn, Bancroft, Bryant communities along Chicago Avenue from 32nd Street to 42nd Street, using the process to build a framework for the ongoing support of a vibrant arts and cultural district.

These neighborhoods already have creative assets like public spaces, arts organizations, and arts-related businesses. Arts on Chicago’s creative placemaking will further the use of the arts in neighborhood locations to encourage social interaction, support the growth of local businesses and safer streets, and to promote a sense of neighborhood identity and ownership.

ArtPlace spoke with Mike Hoyt, Arts on Chicago Cultural Community Liaison, about the new Arts on Chicago initiative:

ARTPLACE: What is your elevator pitch when you describe your project to people?

AOC: The Arts on Chicago will engage neighborhood artists, organizations, and community members in twenty creative placemaking projects in one year to build a vibrant arts and cultural district.

ARTPLACE: How do you expect to increase vibrancy in the place you are working?

AOC: The focus area of the Arts on Chicago project already has many of the hallmarks of cultural vitality/vibrancy. It is home to a high concentration of creative assets including locally owned arts businesses, independent artists, and nonprofit organizations with arts as a major focus of activity. These assets create opportunities for participation in arts related activities as practitioners, supporters and consumers.

The Arts on Chicago partners have established a set of goals in which we want projects to adopt. We are committed to partnering with artists and developing a framework that will support them to ensure they are successful. We will work with artists to develop projects that meet the one or more of the following goals:

· Knit together the creative assets along the corridor and within its four surrounding neighborhoods.
· Reinforce the creative identity of the Chicago Avenue Corridor.
· Bring community members together to create and experience art in public places
· Stimulate relationships that carry creativity forward
· Increase accessibility and connections across difference

Inviting artists with established investments in these communities to design and implement placemaking projects will animate neglected public spaces and unleash the power of creativity that is germinating just below the surface. By participating in these projects, community members, businesses and arts entities will become more aware of arts activities happening in their own community. Unifying assets and increasing awareness of arts activities and other resources will increase participation among community members. Arts entities, more aware of their role in the community, will respond to increased interest among community members, creating more reciprocal interaction. Implementing ideas unique to this community will increase a sense of identity, ownership and pride among community members. Visibly increased arts activities will pique the curiosity of community members as well as those outside the community to come be a part of what is happening along the Arts District.

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