Springboard for the Arts

Funding Received: 2011
St. Paul, MN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
May 21, 2014

By Jennifer Pennington

In mid-April, the McKnight Foundation hosted Minnesota ArtPlace America grantees to reflect on the recent conference and make stronger local connections with one another. It was wonderful to hear everyone's insights and comments and to hear more about all the great work being done in Minnesota.

Our Creative Director, Chris Pennington, traveled to San Francisco to visit Urban Putt, a new artist-designed mini golf course. It was good to see their work and hear about some of the setbacks they experienced during the build-out. We are excited for them and wish them the very best. Chris also visited a couple other mini golf courses in San Francisco, and it is always helpful to go through the process of being the customer.

As we navigate the challenge of securing a location, we have reached out to different leaders in the field of creative placemaking to solicit advice on how to navigate some of the roadblocks. This has been helpful and given us new energy to think outside the box. We are especially thankful to Artspace and Springboard for the Arts for their generous assistance.

Recent Wins
The Bottle House of the Schmidt Brewery is now fully occupied, and it was on display for the public during The Saint Paul Art Crawl. Other West 7th businesses also opened their doors, showcasing artists during the art crawl. These included The Saint Paul Gallery, The Burn Unit Coffee Shop, Acme Academy of Arts, Hixwerx, Padgett Studios, and Claddagh Cafe. It was wonderful to see so many people come to the neighborhood and appreciate the abundance of artistic talent we have here.

If we've learned anything in this process, it's that capital projects require patience, patience, patience! And while we exercise patience, there is plenty to do: building and maintaining relationships, exploring options, etc. Any time we are discouraged and we talk with another organization about capital projects, it is clear this is par for the course (pun intended)!