Rondo is both a physical geography and a living legacy. Rondo is generally seen as the area between University and Summit Avenues, from Lexington Avenue tapering down to Marion Street that has historically served as the center of Black culture, commerce and community in Saint Paul. Rondo also includes sites beyond those boundaries and into downtown Saint Paul where the spirit of Rondo individuals and families have a presence.
Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising was an artist-led creative placemaking project in partnership with the Aurora-Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Center.
Black artists from Rondo of any level, experience or discipline — from singing in church choir to exhibiting in museums internationally – were invited to take a free professional development training on placemaking and collaboration and then use their creative talents to have an impact in their neighborhoods and communities.
After completing the training, 41 artists applied for modest collaborative project support of $1000-$3000. 21 projects were selected by a community panel and took place in Rondo in the summer of 2016. Projects highlighted Rondo places, people, and relationships in unexpected and engaging ways, such as pop-up performances and site-specific installations.
Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising was presented in collaboration with ARTS-Us, Hallie Q. Community Center, Model Cities, Rondo Ave. Inc (Rondo Days), Saint Paul Almanac, Selby Ave Action Coalition, Soul Touch Productions, Walker West Music Academy and others.