light rail line is the inspiration for an extensive, three-year creative placemaking initiative called Irrigate
The project, which is a partnership between Springboard for the Arts
, TC LISC,
and the city of St. Paul, recently received a $750,000 grant from a newly formed consortium of arts funders called ArtPlace.
ArtPlace, which brings together public and private groups, is investing $11.5 million in 34 creative placemaking projects all over the country, according to Irrigate information.
As promoters of the first project of this type, ArtPlace "aims to drive revitalization across the country by putting the arts at the center of economic development," a prepared statement reads.
For Irrigate, local artists will be trained in creative placemaking, according to Springboard executive director Laura Zabel.
From there, Irrigate will be "mobilizing and activating hundreds of artist-led projects in partnership with businesses and neighborhood groups," she says.
In general, the projects should address some issue or opportunity along the corridor, she says.
Zabel says that the idea is to "embed artists in economic and community development for the benefits they can provide to the community."
Conversely, the project "increases the community's [valuation] of its artists."
She's expecting a huge variety of projects in the areas of creative marketing and mapping.
They could help people find their way during construction or speak to a neighborhood's character. "We really see the Central Corridor and construction as an opportunity to engage artists in a really deep way," she says.
"We think it's an opportunity to demonstrate that artists are well-suited to help in moments of huge infrastructure [change]. They're creative and they think in new ways. They're intuitive, they're entrepreneurs, and they understand the challenges of small business owners."
Source: Laura Zabel, executive director, Springboard for the Arts
Writer: Anna Pratt