Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market

Native American Community Development Institute

Funding Received: 2012
Minneapolis, MN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 17, 2014

Lakota Lifeway Practitioner, Francis Yellow meets with Heather Doyle from the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center to discuss fabrication of his installation project at the Anpetu Wa’ste Cultural Arts Marketplace

This month was all about meetings. Progress on the Marketplace involved a lot of updates and conversation. In the past month we met with partners and funders to provide an update on progress, and discuss and strategize about challenges.

NACDI is working to develop concepts for the reconfiguration of the Franklin Avenue roadway. We had a number of meetings this month to discuss our proposed design and identify tweaks that will make the road design function well for all users of the road including pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists, and automobiles. We are working to build consensus with the nearby neighborhood group about the proposed changes.

We had a great meeting with the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC), who will be fabricating a railing design by Francis Yellow. We are very excited about this partnership, because it will create a beautiful element of the overall project, support a community-based arts center, and provide an opportunity to connect youth in our community to the project to do some of the fabrication work. We followed up the meeting with another conversation with Little Earth of United Tribes housing community to connect Native youth to the fabrication project. Including the youth is a particularly exciting opportunity, because they will learn metalworking skills that can be used professionally if they desire to work in the field at the conclusion of the project.

This past month we were able to meet with both of the new Minneapolis City Council Members representing the area near the project, Abdi Warsame and Alondra Cano. We are excited about the energy and leadership of these new Council Members and look forward to many more positive conversations as the project moves towards completion this summer.

Our provocation for the month is to think about phasing. On Franklin Avenue, we have been waiting nearly 10 years since the light rail line opened for improvements to Franklin Avenue! Many people wanted to wait for the big, transformative project to improve the area all at once. Considering the scope of the challenge we face at the Franklin Station and the limited resources available to make change, it was not feasible to do everything at once. Now, as we look to the future we are mapping out a series of interventions that will make the area better. We’re developing not just a future vision for the streets, but intermediate steps that are more manageable in size. We’re still dreaming big, but thinking practically. We are also looking to maximize the benefit/cost ratio and identify where we have strong partners to implement the vision. Together this will help us achieve the goal of a safer, stronger community around the Light Rail Station.