Author: Carrieann Christensen

The Road Map travels to you!

Last week, the traveling Creative City Road Map exhibit wrapped up its stint at the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) and made its way south east to the Brian Coyle Community Center.

Music and discussion at UROC

uroc photoBefore leaving UROC, artist engagement team members Keegan Xavi and Chrys Carroll hosted a “loop back” event full of music, delicious food from Ghandi Mahal Restaurant, and discussion about the Road Map and arts in Minneapolis.

After a welcome from Keegan and Chrys, Representative Keith Ellison took the stage where he strummed tunes on his guitar and waxed poetic on the importance of artists and arts in our community. He said that one result of the Road Map planning process has been building a base of constituents that share values and understanding of needs in the arts ecology.

Keegan and Chrys took people on a tour of the exhibit and then led a discussion about the Road Map, including individual artists’ needs and how it would be implemented.

A big thank you to Hawona Sullivan Janzen, Gallery Curator and Special Projects Coordinator at UROC, for hosting the traveling exhibit and the “loop back” at UROC.

Coffee, tea and conversation at Brian Coyle Center

Last Fridexhibit with rachel and aliay, Road Map team members Rachel Engh and Abdiwahab Ali hosted an informal Coffee Talk at Brian Coyle. With refreshments from Mapps Coffee and Tea and Afro Deli, two local Cedar Riverside businesses, Rachel and Abdiwahab answered questions about the planning process and led a conversation about the Road Map, including discussing arts and cultural activities going on in the neighborhood.

In attendance were representatives from The Cedar Cultural Center, West Bank Business Association, Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program, and the University of Minnesota. Abdiwahab was available to translate Road Map content into Somali for non-English Somali speakers.

A big thank you to the Brian Coyle Center staff for making us feel welcome!

Last chance to see the Road Map exhibit!

Up next, the Road Map exhibit travels to its last stop, Two Rivers Gallery, from Nov. 2-10, with a “loop back” event on Nov. 10.

Exhibit and “loop back” at Midtown Global Market

IMG_1791Artist Engagement Team members Sha Cage and E.G. Bailey, in partnership with Alejandra Tobar-Alatriz of Lake Street Arts and Pangea World Theater hosted the first “loop back” event Monday at Midtown Global Market. Opening with a poem, Sha captivated the lunch crowd and set the energy for the rest of the event.

Alejandra then introduced Elder Sharon Day, executive director of the Indigenous People’s Taskforce, who shared some words about Indigenous Peoples Day and performed an original song.

IMG_1816Sha described the Creative City Road Map planning process and E.G. shared some of the key findings from the information we collected from the community. Alejandra, who has been part of the Creative City Road Map planning process as a committee member, gave her perspective on the planning process and offered to translate the content Sha and E.G. presented into Spanish.

Sha and E.G. then led a group to the Creative City Road Map exhibit, which had been displayed for the previous week on the Midtown Global Market’s Art Wall. They talked about the exhibit and filled in the comment cards with ideas and questions regarding the Road Map.

The “loop backs” are designed to reach underserved communities around Minneapolis and return to geographies we engaged during the first part of the planning process. The goals of the “loop backs” are to report back on what we heard, and ask for feedback on the draft Road Map and ideas for how to achieve Road Map goals. Join us at the next exhibit and “loop back” event at the University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center Oct. 14-20.

IMG_1842IMG_1843 IMG_1826

 

October Creative City Road Map update

Oct. 9, 2015

Welcome to the City of Minneapolis Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program newsletter. Here you will be able to find regular information on program and partner related news, events, opportunities, updates and special announcements.

News and Updates

Creative City Road Map

Traveling exhibit and “loop back” events

Join us in October and early November as the Creative City Road Map exhibit travels to four locations targeted to reach underserved communities throughout Minneapolis. Each location will host the exhibit for one week. In addition, there will be public “loop back” events organized by the Artist Engagement Teams at most of these locations during the exhibition period. “Loop back” events include performances, conversation circles, and opportunities to provide feedback on the draft Road Map document. Check back here for event details.

Photo credit: bfreshproductions

See you there!

Midtown Global Market

  • Traveling exhibition: Oct. 6-12 by Kitchen in the Market
  • Loop back: Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Join Artist Engagement Team members, Shá Cage and E.G. Bailey, with community guest, Alejandra Tobar-Alatriz for a bi-lingual “loop back” event in the indoor central plaza.

University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)

  • Traveling exhibition: Oct. 14-20
  • Loop back: Oct. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Join Artist Engagement Team members Keegan Xavi and Chrys Carroll for an evening of creative engagement.

Brian Coyle Center

  • Traveling exhibition: Oct. 23-29
  • Loop back: Oct. 23, 9-11 a.m. Special Coffee Talk with Creative City Road Map data specialists Rachel Engh and Abdiwahab Ali.

Two Rivers Gallery

  • Traveling exhibition: Nov. 2-10 (gallery is open Mondays and Tuesdays and by appointment)
  • Loop back: Nov. 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Join Artist Engagement Team members Keegan Xavi and Chrys Carroll for an evening of creative engagement.

And listen to us on KFAI!

On Oct. 7, KFAI’s Art Matters featured Artist Engagement Team members Shá Cage and E.G. Bailey and Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program data specialist Rachel Engh. Check out the segment here.

Coming up

October 16, Coffee Talk with Gulgun Kayim, 9-10:30 a.m., Café Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave. S.: Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program, for her community office hours.

September Creative City Road Map update

We made it to a big milestone…

Last Thursday was exactly one year since we publicly kicked off the Creative City Road Map planning process. We celebrated by having an Open House at Public Functionary to unveil the draft Road Map and visually display the work we have completed in a year.

Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Artful engagement

Local graphic artist, Ashley Fairbanks, designed key elements from the draft Road Map into a beautiful exhibit and Artist Engagement Teams made work that augmented the exhibit panels. Keegan Xavi and Chrys Carroll created lanterns that featured Road Map objectives and Sha Cage and E.G. Bailey assembled images from the entire planning process to date, which showed all the activity that’s happened since the open houses last September.

In addition to the visual excitement in Public Functionary, we also had musician Viviana Pintado and catering from Appetite for Change’s Breaking Bread Café and Cupcake that added great energy to the space.

Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Collecting feedback

At the Open House, we asked people to read through the exhibit, which included our draft goals and objectives, and give us feedback on the draft Road Map by answering four questions:

  • What excites you?
  • What would you like to see changed?
  • What bright ideas do you have for how to move this vision forward?
  • What questions do you have?

This feedback will inform the final Road Map document and plan implementation.

Photo credit: bfreshproductions

We’re taking it on the road

We’re excited to bring the Road Map exhibit to four other locations to serve underserved communities, including Midtown Global Market, University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), and Brian Coyle Center, over the next 45 days. In addition to the exhibit, our Artist Engagement Teams will be hosting Loop Back events, which will include listening circles, performances, and a radio show! Check our website for more details about the traveling exhibit and Loop Back events.

Find us online, too!

Can’t make it to the traveling exhibit? Find the draft Road Map online!

Creative City Road Map August e-update

The Creative City Road Map is an 18-month long arts and culture planning process that will result in the development of a 10 year community vision for developing the city’s arts, culture and the creative economy. Find the planning process mission here.

All together now!

On July 30, representatives from over 70 organizations gathered together at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a big focus group. The reason? To learn about how the Road Map goals connect with the important work being done by creative organizations all over our city. We talked about alignment with the draft Road Map and with each other. As we finish drafting the Road Map, the information we gathered at the focus group informs key parts of the plan.

focus group at MCAD
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Sharing, learning and connecting

It was amazing to see the many different types of organizations in the room. We had nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid organizations. We had organizations with large budgets that employ many paid staff members, and we had volunteer-run organizations with small budgets. We had organizations that support artists and produce art of all types.

Sometimes focus groups are homogeneous, with representatives from only small businesses or large organizations. For our focus group, we decided to bring all sorts of organizations together to find similarities and start to understand how we can all work together to achieve the vision of the Creative City Road Map.

Focus group participants
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Priorities, priorities, priorities

After learning about the Road Map planning process to date, participants reflected on how the work of their organizations connects with the draft goals and objectives. Next, folks prioritized the top three objectives that connect most directly with their work.

We’re encouraged to see so much alignment between how the work group members and focus group participants prioritized the objectives. Objectives prioritized by both groups under each goal area were:

Goal 1Goal 2Goal 3

We also made note of which objectives very few organizations prioritized, for example “use the arts, culture and design, and work with artists to engage diverse communities more deeply in decision making” and “create the openings and spaces for artists of all kinds to have a voice in decision making connected to the arts.” If organizations don’t see these objectives as connecting with their missions, this indicates an opportunity for City Government to take note.

focus group participants 3
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Next up… we unveil the draft Road Map!

SAVE THE DATE: Sept 17, 4-6 p.m. for an Open House at Public Functionary. We’re excited to share the draft Road Map so you can weigh in and help us imagine the future creative Minneapolis! A 45-day public comment period on the draft plan will kick off at Public Functionary in an exhibition format. Join us! Take in music by local artists, mingle with the Artist Engagement Teams, talk to City staff, view the exhibition and learn about the vision(and data) behind the planning process, then give us feedback on key parts of the draft Road Map. Your comments will help inform the final Road Map document and guide Road Map implementation.

Coming up

September 17, Creative City Road Map Open House, 4-6 p.m., Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave. NE

September 18, Coffee Talk with Gulgun Kayim, 9-10:30 a.m.,Café Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave. S.: Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program, for her community office hours.

Creative City Road Map July e-update

 

The Creative City Road Map planning process is helping us think strategically about how the city’s arts and creative assets can contribute to the local and regional economy and improve Minneapolis’ quality of life. Find the planning process mission here.

What’s going on in July? Well…we’re drafting the plan …

This is the time to remind you about the plan’s mission. In short, we set out to surface the creative identity of Minneapolis and vision a future where all Minneapolitans can access and benefit from the creative economy.

Shapes matter…

Remember those triangles from June? In drafting the Creative City Road Map, we’re practicing data triangulation to write about the creative identity of Minneapolis and contextualize the Road Map within the current conditions of the Minneapolis creative economy. We have a couple new additions to our jargon chart below:

So the puzzle pieces are coming together…!

By looking at the data and other research, we’ve arrived at some themes to help us think about the creative identity of Minneapolis  — in addition to being an incubator for artistic activity (no really!), Minneapolis is a place where symbiotic relationships really, really matter. These two words – incubator, symbiotic – are helping us communicate the identity of an arts economy that, while an ecosystem of producers and consumers of art in itself, is also part of a much larger and vibrant regional economy that has made stakeholders out of the multitude of Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations.

There’s no “I” in “ECOSYSTEM”…

As we started digging into how we can articulate the current conditions of our creative community, the story of the region’s publishing and professional writing industry gained traction. It’s a story of creating and sustaining a pipeline of professional writers that have opportunities to flourish.

• Opportunities abound to gain writing skills

Take a class at Loft Literary Center, receive support from the Givens Foundation for African American Literature or the Playwrights’ Center, attend the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications and grab the daily edition of the Minnesota Daily (the largest school newspaper in the country!). In short we LOVE the power of words!

 

A class at the Loft Literary Center (above) and a student at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications (below)

• People with these skills have many opportunities to work, share and advance their work

Minneapolis boasts a high number of authors and writers. These writers work in a variety of industries including advertising and book publishing, holding jobs with the large businesses in town, such as Target, Best Buy, and General Mills. Don’t forget about the niche publishing houses, like Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, and Greywolf, that have flourished in the Midwest, far away from the publishing giants of New York.

• The local publishing industry then supports other types of creative activities

The printing and publishing industry in Minneapolis offers over 15,000 jobs in Minneapolis, with a variety of creative workers, such as graphic designers, photographers, public relations specialists, and of course writers and authors, calling this industry home.

• Then there are the consumers

Minneapolis was named the most literate city in 2015 in a USA Today study (incorporating data on local bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation and education levels). Indeed, there are so many ways to consume the written word in Minneapolis. Interested in hearing works in progress by playwrights? Attend a reading at the Playwrights’ Center. Want to be surrounded by the work of indigenous authors and authors of color? Visit Birchbark Books and Native Arts or Ancestry Books. Want to take a writing class or even making book making workshop? Head to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. And those are just some of the the ways you can get involved with writing and publishing in this community.

 

Readings at the Playwrights’ Center (above) and Ancestry Books (below)

In sum…

The publishing industry and professional writing demonstrate that our creative economy is in many ways a “bubble” within which symbiotic relationships have formed between different industries, different kinds of art, and different, ever-Minnesotan, ways of sustaining creativity. Yes, and our geography does influence how we do things. We’re a bit of an island here so we do things completely and in our own way.

As we move forward, thinking in the broader context of how different players who have formed symbiotic relationships with one another can help us understand where the Minneapolis arts economy currently stands and also where it’s headed.

Coming up next

Join us

August 14, Coffee Talk with Gulgun Kayim, 9-10:30 a.m., Café Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave. S.: Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program, for her community office hours every third Friday of the month at Café Southside.

 Mark your calendars – we’ll be sharing the Creative City Road Map draft! Public Open House  September 17th 3-5 p.m. at Public Functionary. Here you’ll have the chance to see and weigh in on the draft Creative City Road Map.

 

Creative City Road Map June e-update

The Creative City Road Map planning process is helping us think strategically about how the city’s arts and creative assets can contribute to the local and regional economy and improve Minneapolis’ quality of life. Find the planning process mission here.

We’re thinking about geometry: June is about triangles

Yes, we’re tri-an-gu-lating folks! What does that mean you ask? It’s a fancy way of saying we’re approaching our planning process from a variety of perspectives. We’ll talk about three types of triangulation below: methodological, investigator, and data. More research speak for the jargon junkies below and find a complete list of jargon here.


Methodological triangulation (phew, that’s a mouthful!)

This means we collected data in a variety of ways in our planning process. Learn more about the different data sources from our community engagement efforts here, including the survey, “what is your creative Minneapolis?” cards, and the community mural. Our work group members also offer valuable data as they bring their perspectives of working in arts and culture in Minneapolis. Find more information about the recent May work group meeting here


The Artist Engagement Teams crash Open Streets
Work group members ponder data. Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Investigator triangulation or “it takes more than one person to screw in a light bulb!”

We not only collected data from multiple data sources, we looked at the data through multiple perspectives, including hiring Voices for Racial Justice, holding Data Jams, and expanding our Staff Data Team. Find more information about how we’re using investigator triangulation here.

Data Jam with work group members at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.
The staff data team: Abdiwahab Ali, Rachel Engh, and Ravi Reddi.

Data and data and data, OH MY! Yes, its data triangulation

We’re comparing data collected during the planning process against other research to check our findings for consistency, noting where others have seen the same results and paying attention to what this might mean.

At our May work group meeting, we presented our draft goals and objectives. Under each goal in the Creative City Road Map, we’ll give a snapshot of where we currently stand with this goal: what’s going well and where there is room for improvement. We’ll develop the snapshots from a variety of data sources, practicing data triangulation! We’re most interested in the intersections among data sources that shed light on particular goals or objectives. Here’s an example of data triangulation:

Goal: Local artists and creative practitioners thrive with access to resources and opportunities

In the next couple of months, we’ll practice tons of data triangulation in order to tell the story of the current state of arts and culture in Minneapolis. Stay tuned for more!

Coming up next

Join us

July 17, Coffee Talk with Gulgun Kayim, 9-10:30 a.m., Café Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave. S.: Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program, for her community office hours every third Friday of the month at Café Southside.

FYI

July 30, system partners and organizations meeting (this is not a public event)

Spoken word artist A Comeaux brings data to life

9R8A6505“We got people that want to do the art right in their city but they don’t even know the same group of people all the way on the other side want to do it, too. How can we collectively let them know you’re welcome here? Your skin might not look like mine but you’re my brother anyway.”

Spoken word artist A Comeaux lit up the Creative City Road Map work group meeting on May 14. A Comeaux was commissioned to create two pieces using answers to survey questions: “ what is your favorite place in Minneapolis and why?” and “in what ways can the City of Minneapolis help you advance your artistic, design or creative practice?” Through her performances, A Comeaux vibrantly brought the data to life, providing a creative way for work group members to be immersed in the data. View one of A Comeaux’s pieces from May 14 here.

Creative City Road Map May e-update

The Creative City Road Map planning process is helping us think strategically about how the city’s arts and creative assets can contribute to the local and regional economy and improve Minneapolis’ quality of life. Find the planning process mission here.

Goals and objectives, objectives and goals…

The Staff Team and Artist Engagement Teams focused on preparing for our big work group meeting on May 14 to review the data, as well as the draft goals and objectives. Below is an example of a draft goal and objectives. Find all the draft goals and objectives here.

Draft goal and objective

Jargon/common speak

Jargon Alert! So what is the difference between a goal and an objective? Funny you should ask, here are some definitions:

Jargon

Creative people helped to inform and inspire us, prepare for our work together 

Viviana Pintado’s keyboard and vocals welcomed work group members into the space and created the right mood.

Viviana on keys
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

We commissioned spoken word artist A Comeaux to help set the stage by performing two original pieces based on the qualitative data collected through the planning process. It was a creative and inspirational way to summarize the information and immerse work group members in some of our findings.

A Comeaux
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

We also enjoyed delicious food from Karta Thai – yum!

Purpose of the meeting

The May 14 work group meeting was to catch everyone up with where we are in the planning process, share some of our key findings and get work group feedback on the draft goals and objectives.

See the data tunnel? We’re not quite out of it yet!!

Train
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

We had a great time and got great feedback!!

Objectives
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Here’s a closer look at some of what we shared with the work groups:

Graphs and quotations
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Data analysis is an art, not a science!

It was a big job turning numbers into visual, relatable graphs and we couldn’t have done it without the help of data scientist, Stacie Blaskowski, in the City’s IT department. Stacie sorted, cross tabulated and created these graphs. Thanks Stacie!!

We shared some themes rising up….

In our analysis of the data we found some common themes: “audience,” “resources and opportunities,” and “connections and networks.” The quantitative data from the survey included resources desired by artists and creative practitioners and barriers to attending arts and cultural offerings. Sprinkled throughout the graphs were quotations from survey takers and people interviewed by the Artist Engagement Teams, as well as data collected from other sources.

Data wallDots and post-its
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

We laughed, we cried, we prioritized

After work group members reviewed the draft goals and objectives, they prioritized the objectives, reflecting on the data from the community plus using their own personal and organizational lens. They got creative, using scissors, glue sticks, colored paper, and markers to re-order objectives under each goal. Wow!

Prioritizing
Photo credit: bfreshproductions

Coming up next

June 8, Creative City Road Map Steering Committee meeting: The Steering Committee will get an update on the May 14 work group meeting. This is a meeting for Steering Committee members only.

June 19, Coffee Talk with Gulgun Kayim, 9-10:30 a.m., Café Southside, 3405 Chicago Ave. S.: Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program, for her community office hours every third Friday of the month at Café Southside.