The Chicago Avenue Arts DistrictMinneapolis, MN
Pillsbury House + Theatre (PH+T), an award winning theater embedded in a human service organization, will engage community residents, artists, youth, businesses, arts nonprofits and others in this highly diverse, burgeoning cultural district to animate the community through a concentration of art-based projects.
ArtPlace recently caught up with the Arts on Chicago initiative in Minneapolis and asked the following questions:
ARTPLACE: Have you gained any political traction with your efforts? If so, with whom and how did you do it?
We definitely have worked to involve as much input and communication from our local elected and the City of Minneapolis as possible. The Arts on Chicago initiative has the direct support from Minneapolis City Council member Elizabeth Glidden and her 8th Ward staff. Minneapolis 8th Ward City Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden and Aide Andrea Jenkins are actively connecting the project to the City and to 8th Ward initiatives, advising our leadership team, project staff and artists about city regulations and requirements. Six years ago, Councilmember Glidden, recognizing the high concentration of artists and arts businesses in the area, convened a group of arts leaders to discuss how the arts could promote safety and economic development. That group is still active and implemented a number of successful initiatives. The work of her office was instrumental in establishing foundation for our initiative. One key role Councilmember Glidden will play throughout our project, and well into the future is as a convener of community engagement activities. These will serve to directly connect and involve neighborhood residents to our 20 artists’ projects.
Two other key administrators at the city level are Mary Altman – Public Arts Administrator and Gulgun Kayim – Director of the Arts for the City of Minneapolis. Both Altman and Kayim are continually working to support critical stages of our project. One important objective is streamlining the permitting process for both our staff and the artists involved. Each project has its own “critical path” for success or even receiving the proper permissions. Having an ongoing partnership with the city will have a lasting impact as it serves to educate and train artists (and arts organizations as co-facilitators) how to successfully navigate the system to encourage ongoing placemaking efforts across Minneapolis. So far this has helped the city to streamline internal city protocols and ordinances through its work and consultation with the Minneapolis Arts Commission.
We have been working closely with the other Minneapolis ArtPlace recipients which include the Native American Community Development Institute, Intermedia Arts in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis to develop shared events, communications strategies, and share our good work. We have collectively developed an official launch event scheduled for November 13th in which we are proud to have Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden, Councilmember Gary Schiff, Councilmember Robert Lilligren, and special guest Carol Coletta Director of ArtPlace speak on behalf of the great placemaking work happening throughout Minneapolis.