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The Ecolab Foundation has committed $250,000 to Springboard for the Arts, enabling ground to be broken and renovations to begin at their new site at 262 University Avenue in Saint Paul. Nicknamed SpringBOX, the site will allow Springboard to strengthen and enrich its growing community by creating an innovative, arts-centered neighborhood hub. The site will host Springboard offices, multi-purpose community spaces and a public lawn and green space, as well as a resource center with publicly accessible services including career consultations, legal assistance, housing and studio support, and health care resources.

The Ecolab Foundation has supported Springboard for the Arts programming for more than a decade. During this time, Springboard has grown from a staff of seven with an annual operating budget of $500,000 to a staff of 17 and an operating budget of $2.3 million. Springboard is now a leading national institution that provides public access to local arts, resources for regional artists and national training opportunities for artists and organizations. Springboard’s work creates economic opportunity for the 25,000 local artists it serves each year, advancing a model that encourages cities to see artists as essential to community development.

With the announcement of Ecolab Foundation’s investment in the project, Springboard has raised $3.5 million of their $5.85 million capital fundraising campaign and is able to begin renovations on the site. Through the renovation, Springboard aims to transform a long-empty former car dealership into a visible home for art and community along Saint Paul’s Green Line, a central corridor of the Twin Cities. The new location will create a permanent home for the organization, which has rented space in Saint Paul’s Northern Warehouse Building in Lowertown for 27 years. Through this investment, Springboard’s work reflects Ecolab’s commitment to society, well-being and quality of life.

“Ecolab strives to support initiatives and organizations that positively impact the communities where our employees live and work,” said Kris Taylor, Ecolab vice president of Community Relations. “Supporting arts and culture in our communities is one of the four Ecolab Foundation pillars, and our partnership with Springboard for the Arts, which is providing such an incredible space to the community, is a perfect fit with for the Ecolab Foundation.”

“We are grateful to have our long time partners make this capital campaign a reality. Ecolab is committed to innovation, and we appreciate that they recognize innovation in the creative sector. SpringBOX is an opportunity to create a hub and a home for artists and community members, along the University Avenue corridor, and directly support community development and the creative economy in the region,” said Springboard for the Arts Executive Director Laura Zabel.

Since acquiring the site a year ago, SpringBOX engaged in a planning and pre-development phase, hosting more than 200 events and inviting 6,000 artists, community members, organizers and partners to use the space. The beginning of renovation was celebrated with a groundbreaking celebration on August 26, 2019, with the full site anticipated to open in 2020.

SpringBOX video by Media Active:

SpringBOX Groundbreaking Event photos: