Kresge Foundation awards Intermedia Arts $1 million to support Creative CityMaking in Minneapolis

Intermedia Arts has been awarded $1 million by the Kresge Foundation for a three-year pilot of its Creative CityMaking program. This grant follows a successful pre-pilot partnership in 2103 between Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis’ Long Range Planning Division and its Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program.

The pre-pilot, funded by ArtPlace America, fostered year-long collaborations between local artists and City of Minneapolis planners to develop fresh, innovative approaches to community engagement. Seven artists embedded in the Long Range Planning Division of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) gathered input from communities on issues from light-rail transit to historic preservation. These collaborations resulted in new creative strategies and tools to engage residents, especially those who are underrepresented in conventional city planning processes. The exciting results from this first year are currently on display through March 8 in This is our City!, an interactive gallery exhibit at Intermedia Arts.

The new grant from the Kresge Foundation is focused on building strong, healthy cities by promoting integration of arts and culture into community revitalization. This goal aligns with the City’s 2005 Plan for Arts and Culture, established by the Minneapolis Arts Commission and the Minneapolis City Council, which outlines a vision for bringing together artists and City Departments to explore creative ideas for addressing city problems.

Over the next three years, Creative CityMaking will apply what was learned in 2013 about the roles artists can play as innovative collaborators in city government, integrating artists into the operations of up to five City of Minneapolis departments. Kresge Foundation aims to use what is learned through Intermedia’s partnership with the City of Minneapolis Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program to promote effective creative placemaking on a national scale.

Drawing on Intermedia Arts’ 40 years of work at the crossroads of the arts and community change, the Creative CityMaking initiative will emphasize sustained collaborations between public service professionals and experienced community arts practitioners. A central goal will be the creation of a network of professionals working as creative community leaders within the City’s structure to support the development of healthy, caring, and equitable communities. Over time, Intermedia envisions that members of this network will establish themselves as an effective force for innovation in service to the City of Minneapolis and its citizens.

Published Feb. 3, 2014