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Creative CityMaking is a project that brings artists and Minneapolis City planners together for year-long collaborations, with the goal of providing both with new tools for working with diverse communities. The project also strives to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around important City and urban issues.

Artplace spoke with Creative CityMaking Partners, Theresa Sweetland, Executive Director of Intermedia Arts and Gülgün Kayim Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy for the City of Minneapolis Office of the City Coordinator and asked them to reflect on the future of Creative CityMaking.

ArtPlace: How will the work you’ve begun be sustained after your ArtPlace grant? Have new options for sustainability emerged during the grant period?

Sweetland: The ripple effects of the work will impact our organizations as well as the artists, planners, and community in unique and meaningful ways. Intermedia Arts’ next 3-5 year strategic planning process is underway now and Creative CityMaking will be a key part of that discussion. We are committed to building leadership across sectors to imbed artists into the city of Minneapolis and looking at ways that we can work in partnership with the city, with neighborhood groups and other organizations to sustain the work. I’m excited about our conversations about policy change that result in positive community benefits and greater social impact. We are committed to learning from this first year and look forward to immediately utilizing the learning that develops to plan for how best to continue working with the City in the future. We are starting to plant some seeds with future supporters.

Kayim: For me and the City Coordinators’ Office, Creative CityMaking is a pilot to help develop a framework for having artists in other City of Minneapolis departments. The 2005 Minneapolis City Art Plan has a City artist in residence goal, this project was built partly to achieve that stated goal. For this goal to succeed, the next year should be targeted at finding the support and interest in other departments of the City as well as piloting Creative CityMaking. I am also planting seeds with prospective departments that might act as the next hosts for the program.

ArtPlace: How has this work affected the work you will do beyond the grant period? Will this work live beyond the grant period?

Sweetland: We have started to distinguish between sustainability of “the work” and sustainability of “the project”. We see the work as much larger than the year-long project of Creative CityMaking. The success of the project is something we can start to see in the course of a year, but the success of the work is something that may take years and even generations to unfold.

Kayim: I absolutely see this work living beyond the grant period. First the work will live through the artists and planners who have received the Intermedia Arts training and experienced this new way of working. Second it will live on in other City departments who hope to engage with creative thinkers in developing new ways to engage diverse communities.

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