Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market

Native American Community Development Institute

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

The Franklin Avenue median sewer project is under construction.

With the coming of December, winter weather has descended on Minneapolis. We have suspended our construction activities for the winter. Before our median became snow-covered, we completed the underground electrical work and all of the benches were delivered. We have moved our operations so that the City of Minneapolis can use the median for construction staging for their underground sewer project. There is now a large crane and access shaft that have been installed in the median. The city will be completing a once-in-50-years project to rehabilitate a deep storm tunnel underneath the median. While this work has added complexity to our project, it is better that this work is completed and we don’t have to disturb the median after our project is fully completed. The city work will complete in the spring and we will complete our project after the site has been cleared and restored.

NACDI has begun collecting contacts for potential vendors to operate in the Marketplace next summer. All Nations Indian Church holds an annual holiday sale where we were able to connect with a number of potential artists and vendors. We will continue to build this list over the winter and spring. We are also looking to identify the resources that potential vendors need to be ready to sell at the Marketplace. We have started contacting partners that will provide this technical assistance.

We connected with New Native Theater to explore the possibility of commissioning a play to debut at the opening of the Marketplace next summer. This is an exciting partnership opportunity that could elevate engagement with the community in the development of the story, and activate the median space in a substantial way to open the market.

We are working with partners like New Native Theater to identify and secure resources to program the median. We continue to see the success of the median in the activity that will take place in the space. With creative partners like New Native Theater we will be able to create one of the most unique places in the Twin Cities.

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition approached the local business association to explore the potential of hosting an Open Streets event on Franklin next summer. The Bicycle Coalition’s Open Streets events have become extremely popular summer events that have been held across the city. The Coalition believes Franklin Avenue would be a great location for an event for a variety of reasons, including the development of the Anpetu Wa’ste Cultural Arts Marketplace. The Franklin Area Business Association, NACDI, Hope Community, and numerous other community partners will explore the idea further in the coming months.

As we look out on a cold, snow-covered landscape of the future Anpetu Wa’ste Cultural Arts Marketplace, I wonder how we can be successful in northern cities with outdoor programming all 12 months of the year. In Minneapolis, we have found lots of ways to hide from our cold weather like skyways. But there is also a resurgence of interest in outdoor activities like the City of Lakes Loppet Cross Country Ski Festival, or the US Pond Hockey Championships. How can we translate these activities that are successfully bringing Minneapolitans together outdoors in the winter to our Marketplace? How can we keep the space vibrant and active all year round? We continue to ponder these questions and engage with community members and partners for ideas.