Placemaking Committee

West Broadway Placemaking Committee

Description, August 2015

The West Broadway Placemaking Advisory Committee oversees the selection of public art and creative placemaking activities along the West Broadway Business District and within the boundaries of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition’s service area.

“Creative Placemaking” is the term used to describe work to build vibrant, distinctive, and sustainable communities through the arts. It engages artists and others in building social fabric and local economies while making physical, place-based improvements, leveraging the distinctive character and creative and cultural resources of each place.

The WBC coordinates several placemaking programs, including: Traditional and Arts Facade Improvement Program, West Broadway Pop Ups, Play on Penn, and the West Broadway Business District Arts Initiative (new in 2015, through ArtPlace). The mission of the West Broadway PAC is to ensure an engaged selection process of artistic and design work that is both artistically excellent and representative of the community’s unique character and cultures.

The West Broadway PAC’s commitment includes regular meetings (monthly to quarterly) where members provide input and evaluate proposals related to art, amenities and programming in the public realm. The West Broadway PAC is made up of practicing artists, design professionals, business owners, youth, residents and others from the North Minneapolis community, as well as WBC Staff and a non-Northside public art professional.  

Current Placemaking Projects- 2015

Play on Penn
Play on Penn aims to create an attractive destination for community-building, and is an opportunity to demonstrate the future possibilities of the Penn Avenue corridor. Play on Penn is presented by the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition in conjunction with Penn Avenue Community Works, a collaboration between Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and Metro Transit, to support the Penn Avenue communities’ efforts to realize their vision for transportation access, economic opportunity and improved quality of life.

West Broadway District Arts Initiative (ArtPlace)
Background: Challenges to community vitality on West Broadway include historic disinvestment in physical infrastructure and a lack of designated public space. To create a structure for addressing these challenges, in 2014, business and property owners elected to assess themselves a tax to pay for public realm services and infrastructure above and beyond what the city offers; the self-managed West Broadway Business Improvement District (BID) began operations in 2015.

Arts Intervention: The WBC will employ community artists to create public realm infrastructure: benches, planters, bridge mending, bike racks, seasonal displays as well as new plaza/s and parklets. In addition, artist-led programming will activate the new infrastructure and public space, inviting the existing community to take ownership, participate in dialogue and inspire greater belonging.

Success: Utilizing art, a great source of pride, and investing in local artists, the WBC will increase the sense of ownership of public space by existing residents and businesses, decrease perception of crime, normalize use of public space, and improve corridor aesthetics.

Facade Improvement Program – Traditional and Arts Facades
The WBC manages grants from the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program and the McKnight Foundation to provide matching funds to enhance properties along the West Broadway Corridor with artist-designed façade improvements. Businesses and nonprofits with retail space may be eligible to receive matching grants per storefront to put towards facade improvements.These improvements are intended to create a place that is both distinctive and inviting. Bright colors, unique three-dimensional shapes and the use of historic contemporary expressive language are proposed to be threads of design connectivity in an environment infused with artist designed elements.

The primary objective of the West Broadway Arts Façade Improvement program is to infuse art into the increasingly dynamic visual environment of West Broadway. Secondary objectives include providing an additional incentive for businesses and property owners to improve their building facades and creating opportunities for local artists and contractors to impact their own community.

West Broadway Pop Ups
The West Broadway Pop Ups series activates outdoor public space to create a fun destination, build social capital, show off artistic talent, and engage community along West Broadway in North Minneapolis. In 2014, West Broadway Pop Ups was made possible by the Northside Funders Group.


WBC Placemaking Committee   Members – August 2015
Name Organization Background Notes
Coal Dorius Juxtaposition Arts  urban designer, artist member of Minneapolis Arts Commission, represents WBID ratepayer
JXTA apprentices (rotating) JXTA youth, residents, artists
Tabota Seyon Right on Thyme Catering, JXTA Moja Artist Co-op member, resident artist, chef, business owner, resident
Melodee Strong Independent Artist, MCAD public artist, resident
Jessica Mueller Urban Homeworks marketing and development represents WBID ratepayer
Teto Wilson Wilson’s Image Barber Shop stylist, business owner
Alicia Holder Independent Artist, Northside Arts Collective staff artist, resident
John Bueche artist, arts administrator, resident
Souliyahn Keobounpheng Silvercocoon artist, architect, designer, resident
Jack Becker Forecast Public Art public art administrator non-North Minneapolis representative
Dudley Voigt WBC/FLOW Northside Arts Crawl theater artist, arts administrator
Carla Schleicher WBC graphic designer, artist
Rob Hanson WBC WBID manager