Creative CityMaking Minneapolis started off as a one year demonstration project between the city of Minneapolis and Intermedia Arts, funded by ArtPlace America, and has grown into a “multi-year arts-based innovation initiative”, garnering support from the Kresge Foundation as well as federal and local government funds:
Nine experienced community artists with local ties recently were assigned to five departments that have city-planning responsibilities. The goal of this new phase of work, as described on the Creative CityMaking page of the website for Intermedia Arts, is “to deepen the understanding of how arts-based engagement approaches can strengthen connections between City government and the communities the City serves.” The demonstration project yielded some impressive results. For example, artists E.G. Bailey and Sha Cage worked in the Cedar-Riverside area, where both once lived and still spend a lot of time. The artists helped transform what might have been a bureaucratic information-gathering exercise into a survey that ultimately engaged more than 1,900 residents in identifying the community’s assets—“from gathering places like parks and schools to informal networks of people.” The approach developed by Bailey and Cage was to create a hand-drawn magazine, with features like an interactive map of the world that allowed participants to show where they came from, rather than just checking off a box. Of those 1,900 participants, 90 percent said they had never before participated in a city planning process.
Contributor: Brian Stewart, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’17