Springboard for the Arts is delighted to announce that we have purchased the building and lot at 262 University West in Saint Paul. We are excited to hold this space for community events, expanded offices and programming, and new market opportunities.
From Minnesota, Springboard for the Arts has built national models for professional development and resources for artists, as well as artist-led community development and participation models. One such project, the “Irrigate” initiative which ran from 2011-2014 along the Green Line construction zone, was a partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiative Support Corporation and six St. Paul district councils, with major support from ArtPlace America.
The effort trained more than 650 local artists in creative placemaking and partnership-building skills, funded over 250 creative projects along the corridor, and resulted in 51 million positive media impressions of the neighborhoods along the corridor. The Irrigate “Art Happens Here” neighborhood celebration in 2012 was held on the site of 262 University Avenue West, bringing this work full circle for Springboard for the Arts.
Springboard has had its offices in the Northern Warehouse Building in Lowertown for almost 27 years, and we have grown and evolved immensely in that time. We are grateful to our Lowertown friends and neighbors, and as we plan our future move we will always have a commitment to the neighborhood. The purchase and pre-development of 262 University Avenue West are the first steps in a larger community design process and funding campaign to support renovations, funding of programming and sustainability, and development of new markets and entrepreneurial opportunities for local artists and makers. Lowertown-based architecture firm 4RM+ULA has been selected as the architect for the project.
The Saint Paul Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, and Mardag Foundation have made founding commitments to this effort with grants totaling $500,000. “The Saint Paul Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation recognize the enormous value Springboard for the Arts adds to our community through diverse and profound opportunities to engage with art and individual artists,” says Sharon DeMark, program officer with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. “Springboard’s commitment to community and economic vitality in Saint Paul and neighborhoods like those along University Avenue aligns with that of the Foundations. We are pleased to provide early support for a project that will not only enhance Springboard’s ability to serve the community, but also create space for organizations led by people of color and artists of color.”
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Help us build this new home for Springboard's work! Donate via GiveMN with the button below, or send a check to:
Springboard for the Arts
Attn: Individual Giving
308 Prince Street, Suite 270
Saint Paul, MN 55101
“For over 27 years, Springboard for the Arts has supported our vibrant community, while shaping a national conversation about cultural policy. I am excited about the creative development of this new space, which will allow them to further provide dynamic community engagement and innovative arts programming.”
-Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter
“We are excited to make this move because of the opportunity to increase access to Springboard’s growing resources, to hold space for neighborhood activity and community development and to find new ways to support artists making a living and a life. This opportunity is only possible because of the vital creative work and partnership of artists, neighbors and community organizations in Little Mekong, Frogtown, and Rondo and many others across the city and region.”
-Springboard for the Arts executive director Laura Zabel