Minneapolis City of Lakes Intermedia Arts. Art Changes Everything. Creative Citymaking



Creative CityMaking is a partnership of Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis that fosters collaborations between local artists and City planners to develop fresh and innovative approaches for addressing the long-term transportation, land use, economic, environmental, and social issues facing Minneapolis.

In 2013, Creative CityMaking embedded seven artists in the Long Range Planning Division of the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED).  These artists have been selected and paired up with five planning projects. The partnership of artists and planners is intended to forge, enhance, or develop new strategies for working through the creative processes inherent in visionary planing and city making. It is intended to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around City and urban issues and to increase artists’ and planners’ ability to facilitate community interaction and work collaborativley with the public to foster positive change in the quality and trajectory of social discourse about the city’s urban future.  Their collaborative work will be showcased throughout the year at citywide community events, culminating in a public exhibition and forum at Intermedia Arts on Nov. 22-23, 2013.

Creative CityMaking is one of three Minneapolis initiatives funded in 2012 by ArtPlace America totaling $1.5 million dollars.  The projects are designed to increase livability, vibrancy and economic development in communities throughout the city. Intermedia Arts was awarded a grant in the amount of $325,000 for Creative CityMaking, and those grant funds augment and enhance the City’s funding for these projects.  It does not replace City funding, and the use of the ArtPlace funds does not take away from the City’s tax base or funding sources.

The goals of Creative CityMaking are:
– to develop new creative strategies for community planning;
– to create a collaborative laboratory and learning environment that engages artists and City staff working with a city department;
– to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around city and urban issues, and to increase artists’ and planners’ ability to facilitate community change;
– to provide artists and planners with new tools for community engagement and working with traditionally underrepresented communities;
– to document and communicate lessons learned.Creative CityMaking is examining the ways in which artist/planner collaborations can contribute to placemaking, vibrancy, and community change.



Intermedia Arts has been pioneering creative placemaking and community development for two decades. Intermedia Arts is a nationally recognized leader in empowering artists and community leaders to use arts-based approaches to solve community issues and whose mission is to be a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art. Annually, their work engages over 25,000 people, 1200 local artists, 2500 young people and 60 arts and non-profit partners. By stimulating broader civic dialogue and giving voice to artists and the issues and experiences of underrepresented communities, they contribute to a stronger, healthier society.

Intermedia Arts’ Creative Community Leadership Institute is one of only a few programs nationwide to provide comprehensive, professional-level training and support for local community-engaged artists and community developers. Led by a core faculty of three of the leading thinkers in the field of community cultural development, the Creative Community Leadership Institute has trained 150 of the most active community artists, organizers and community developers in the region.

The City’s Plan for Arts and Culture, established by the Minneapolis Arts Commission and the Minneapolis City Council, outlines a vision for bringing together artists and City Departments to explore creative ideas for addressing city problems. The mission of the City’s Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program is to leverage the creative sector towards strengthening social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. The program aims to achieve this goal in part by stimulating cross-sector collaboration that strengthens the arts economy and community in Minneapolis.

The Long Range Planning Division of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) is responsible for long term strategic planning for the City. This division of CPED coordinates City planning processes for Minneapolis and advises other public entities and neighborhoods on their own planning processes.



In 2013 the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Community Works began a cooperative effort to rethink land uses and transportation along Penn Avenue North – from Interstate 394 on the south to Osseo Boulevard on the north.  As one component of this effort, the City is working with neighborhoods and businesses along the corridor to develop a small area plan.  The goals for this project are to stimulate economic development, job creation, housing strategies, beautification, and livability, in and between the string of commercial nodes along this important spine in North Minneapolis. The project will consider the connections to and through north Minneapolis and improved access to transit, including, but not limited to rapid bus service that would connect the Penn Avenue Corridor to Bottineau LRT and Southwest LRT.



Cathy Spann, Executive Director, Jordan Area Community Council
Ariah Fine, Cleveland Neighborhood Association
Kathy DeKray and Ishmael Israel, Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC), Inc.
Aster Nebro and Kirk Washington, The Breakfast Club
Pastor Kelly Chatman, Redeemer Lutheran Church
Nelima Sitati and Claire Bergren, Harrison Neighborhood Association
Dudley Voigt and Scottie Tuska, FLOW Northside Art Crawl
Erin Heelan and Shanai Brassard, West Broadway Coalition
Lisa Middag, Kelsey Dawson Walton and Patricia Fitzgerald, Hennepin County Penn Avenue Community Works
Brenda Kayzar, Ph. D., University of Minnesota, Department of Geography, Urban Studies Program
Paul Bauknight Jr., President and CEO of Urban Design Lab
Matthew Barthelemy, community organizer and ping pong aficionado
Cozy Hannula, architecture intern
Justin Sengly, graphic design and photography
Kayla Melbye, graphic design
Kelsye Gould, website design
Stephanie L. Rogers, graphic design and website management
Steve Appelhans, technical assistance
Rachel Engh, MA, urban and regional planning
D.A. Bullock, Bully Creative Shop


Carrie Christensen
Kathy DeKray
Ariah Fine
Darius Gray
Ashley Hanson
Wing Young Huie
Faro Jones
Eliza Lynard
Justin Sengly
Molly Blake
Leu Soloman