Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market

Native American Community Development Institute

Funding Received: 2012
Minneapolis, MN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 19, 2013

Construction progress on the Anpetu Wa’ste Cultural Arts Marketplace.

The Anpetu Wa’ste Cultural Arts Marketplace has broken ground! After more than a year of planning and relationship building, our project began construction this month. With the increased complexity of the project, our contractor decided to embark on a joint venture with another construction company to develop a more robust team. We now have the expertise of two strong construction firms working together to build the project.

Moving fast to get ahead of winter weather, our concrete work was completed before the weather began to turn cold. We worked with the city to refine our sidewalk and concrete design based on site conditions and were able to install the sidewalks with minimal disruption to the mature trees on the project site. This concrete flatwork has completely changed the look of the site and gives a strong sense of how the market will ultimately look and feel. We have also begun landscape work, with some of our trap rock sections installed and a large number of trees planted.

One major curveball was thrown at the project this month. We were contacted by the city and informed that a section of our median project is needed for construction staging for a substantial underground sewer tunnel rehabilitation project. While we are frustrated that this will affect our construction schedule, we realize that in the long run the work would need to be done eventually so it is better to be completed before the marketplace launches. (We are holding off on some planning work so that it is not damaged.) The sewer construction will last just through this winter, so we will begin construction again in the spring once the weather warms up for planting. It should not substantially impact our market launch in the summer of 2014. The City has also committed to returning the marketplace site to the same condition we have now.

Word about the project continues to spread. Increasingly people are aware of the project and excited that they can see progress. This is making our job easier, and we have more and more people interested in taking advantage of the market opportunities that will arrive next summer.

We are continuing planning for a project celebration this fall. We want to bring the design back to the community and neighborhoods and share the progress that has been made to date. We are also very interested in introducing the artists and lifeway keepers that are working with us on the project and their contributions to the marketplace.

Our insight for the month is patience and perseverance. There will be hiccups in any project, some major, some minor. But it is important to not let the challenges stop you from making progress. If we became too paralyzed by adversity in the project, we would have already given up. Not everything runs smoothly on a project of this scale, but we are confident in the end product of this process and know our efforts will make a difference for the community.