The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is thrilled to offer the 3rd year of the Artists on Main Street (AOMS) program, a community development initiative exploring the intersection of arts and culture, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation by investing in “creative placemaking” projects. Originally designed and funded by Rethos: Places Reimagined, Springboard for the Arts, and the Bush Foundation, the 2021 program is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
An virtual workshop will be held on Friday, May 7th from 11am-1pm for anyone interested in learning more about the program. To RSVP for the workshop and receive the Zoom link, please send an email to email@example.com.
Creative placemaking has many different definitions, but could be simply described as using art and other creative activities to make positive physical, economic, and social impacts within a particular community or space. The overarching goals of Northfield’s program include:
- Providing art and creative placemaking experiences that draw people to shop, dine and connect in Downtown Northfield;
- Enhancing the downtown’s aesthetics through the creativity of local artists;
- Utilizing the arts as a springboard for improving diversity and inclusiveness in Downtown Northfield across all cultures.
In addition to the general goals listed above, each year of AOMS highlights a specific theme, prompting applicants to shape their proposals based on relevant or emerging issues within the community. In 2021, after all the difficulties of the past year, we want to focus on the positive undercurrents that have always made Northfield special and will continue to sustain us through and beyond the current pandemic. We hope that your creative placemaking projects will highlight the importance of “Building a Post-Pandemic Community” by embodying values and actions such as unity, togetherness, welcoming, gathering, and empathy. We encourage all applicants to think broadly and make a case for your vision of a healthy post-pandemic community. In accordance with the principles of creative placemaking, you should also consider how your project interacts with the physical space where it will take place and the community as a whole – think of adjectives such as delightful, whimsical, surprising, thought-provoking, and so on.
Our first two years of AOMS funded twelve unique projects, including musical performances, poetry readings, interactive sculpture, spoken word events, pop-up installations, and one large cement shark. And despite the interruptions and challenges caused by the global pandemic, we are grateful for the opportunity to support our creative community and improve our downtown again this year. The NDDC, in partnership with the City of Northfield’s Arts & Culture Commission and the Northfield Arts Guild, encourages all local artists, creatives, and makers to submit a proposal and get involved in this exciting initiative.