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We will be closed July 4-8 Details

Springboard for the Arts is delighted to announce that we have purchased the building and lot at 262 University West in Saint Paul, which will be our Saint Paul office starting in Spring 2020. 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.”

Guiding principles for our move

Read about the principles guiding our move from Executive Director Laura Zabel.

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Springboard Staff

Executive Director

Mayor Melvin Carter and executive director Laura Zabel

“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

Streetcorner Letterpress

“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

Donate to support SpringBOX!

Help us build this new home for Springboard's work! We during the novel coronavirus pandemic we continue to finish construction and plan for safe re-opening. We can't wait to make this space available to the community and to welcome you. Donate via GiveMN with the form, or send a check to:

Springboard for the Arts
Attn: Individual Giving
262 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103

Read the Press Release

Read the press release announcing the acquisition of 262 University Avenue West.

Read here
Read the Bush Prize announcement

The Bush Foundation awarded the 2018 Bush Prize for Community Innovation to six organizations with a track record of successful community problem solving.

Read here
Read the Star Tribune story

"Springboard to turn ex-auto dealership into St. Paul arts hub" - June 1, 2018!

Read here
Read the Knight Foundation Announcement

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a $1 million investment in Springboard for the Arts.

Read here
Read the Pioneer Press Story

St. Paul arts group will give an old Frogtown car lot a $5 million upgrade — then move in.

Read here


We're excited to share the artists and projects selected for our public art commissions at 262 University Avenue West. Thanks to all of the artists who shared their work and applied! Projects were selected by panels made up of staff, board and community members and artists. Panelists included, Heid Erdrich, Jeremy Staab, Naomi Schliesman, Keith Clark, Dyani Whitehawk, Rose Teng, Jarrett Reed, Ben Bonestroo, John Bell, Katie Ka Vang, Laura Zabel, Andriana Abariotes, Shannon Pettitt, Michele Anderson, Katie Hae Leo, Andy Sturdevant, and Lindsay Schwantes. Thank you! Public art commissions will be developed over the Fall & Winter 2020, with installation for Spring 2021.

Native Presence

Artists: Sarah Agaton Howes, Nedahness Greene, Holly Young

We will be creating a large scale collaborative ledger and floral mural representing the relationships and strength of the Dakota and Anishinaabe communities in Minnesota. Alongside will be a land acknowledgement and collaborative Dakota/Ojibwe floral murals and window coverings and a series of photographs representing the tribal communities across Minnesota in our contemporary and modern confluence.

Native Presence Mock-ups

Fence Mural

Artists: Myc Batson, Megan Tate

The theme of our piece is “Creative People Power”. We’ll be creating a mural with stylized characters that speak to the diversity of the Frogtown and Rondo communities using simple shapes, color, and movement.

Creative People Power Mural

Roof Water Feature

Artist: Blayze Buseth

The Tom’s Adventure water feature is a playful sculptural composition that acts as a metaphor for Springboard for the Arts' harmonious relationship with artists and communities.

Watershed System

Artists: Ua Si Creative – Ka Ly, Teeko Yang, Christina Vang

Refraction will be a mural and sculptural installation project about Springboard’s watershed system. It will include educational signage, poetry from local artists, water tank and rooftop murals, and a sculptural installation inspired by the movements of water and light.

Ua Si Water Tank

Sign Repurpose

Artists: Kao Lee Thao, Ash Kubesh
The Gathering Tree will be a cultural beacon for the Frogtown/Rondo neighborhoods. It will be a kaleidoscope of patterns etched with the community's voices who call this neighborhood home. The public art will be an interactive experience featuring augmented reality creatures animated throughout the structure.


People meeting around a table in a construction site
A person standing outside a construction site
Construction workers smiling

Interior construction site

Concrete pouring at a construction site
Interior of a room with construction materials

Construction lift installing insulation

INterior office with people working and people painting

Interior view of construction mess


Capital Campaign Foundation Supporters

Capital Campaign Individual Supporters