The Chicago Avenue Arts DistrictMinneapolis, MN
ArtPlace caught up with Mike Hoyt, the Pillsbury House + Theater’s Creative Community Liaison and asked the following questions:
ARTPLACE: How will the work you’ve begun be sustained after your ArtPlace grant?
Hoyt: One of the goals of the Arts on Chicago initiative is to convene a leadership team in the development of a Creative Community Development Plan. Four of the Lead Partners for this project have been directly involved in three neighborhood strategic planning processes. In planning sessions for this project, we focused on aligning our creative community development work with community priorities from: the 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area Plan; the City of Minneapolis’ Arts and Culture Plan, the Central Neighborhood Community Survey, the Backyard Initiative Assessment Report, and the PPNA Arts and Culture Committee’s Artist Needs/Resources Brainstorm. The CCDP will guide future arts activities along the corridor to align with the areas broader goals and related development activities.
ARTPLACE: Have new options for sustainability emerged during the grant period?
Hoyt: We have been fortunate to secure additional funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board to create ART BLOCKS, which is an expansion of our ArtPlace funded initiative.
Through ART BLOCKS, the Pillsbury House & Theatre will train and support 12 Artist/teams to organize and serve as Art Block Leaders who will form a cohort representing multiple populations in the 4 neighborhoods. Each artist/team will develop a cultural map of the block where they live, will reach out to all of the residents of that block, and will design an arts project to bring them together where they live in order to increase attachment to place among residents. These projects will be implemented in the late summer of 2013.
In the fall of 2013, Art Block Leaders will invite and serve as a host for their blocks to participate in other existing neighborhood arts activities along our developing arts district. This project will increase neighborhood residents access to the arts by; providing free transportation and translation services, and rallying neighbors to join in a collective arts experience.
ARTPLACE: Will this work live beyond the grant period?
Hoyt: The ArtPlace grant allowed us to focus resources and collective creative energies on the Chicago Avenue corridor. ART BLOCKS is an opportunity to; reach into the neighborhoods, connect with them on 12 blocks through targeted arts activities, and in the end connect the residents back to the Arts on Chicago corridor.