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Springboard for the Arts supports and creates simple mechanisms for artists to connect with their communities to create meaningful, economically vibrant and equitable places. We implement projects in urban and rural Minnesota and with national partners, and share what we’ve learned to catalyze the movement of artist-centered innovation across the country. If you want more details about any of our projects, please feel free to contact us directly.


Springboard Staff

Associate Director, Programs

Rural Director

Community Organizer

Community Development Director

Site Manager, St. Paul

What if you could address your community's most pressing needs, employ local residents to do it, and use federal money to support it, all at the same time? With the continued roll out of American Rescue Plan Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, new opportunities from multiple federal agencies, and the infrastructure bill on the horizon, now is the time to be building working relationships between communities and artists for a more creative, equitable future.

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Rural Arts & Culture Summit

Founded in 2011,  Rural Arts and Culture Summit is a biennial event that gathers rural artists, arts organizations and community and economic development leaders from the upper Midwest and beyond. The goal of the Rural Arts and Culture Summit is to build capacity for long-term partnerships between artists and rural communities by facilitating cross-sector conversations and professional development workshops for up to 400 artists, board members/staff/volunteers of rural arts organizations, and rural development stakeholders.

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Artist Organizers

In 2013, Springboard launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program through Irrigate, rooting artists in community-invested organizations to contribute their creative skills to carve new innovative paths for the organizations to achieve their goals. Since the pilot phase, SB continues to support AOs through maintaining a peer cohort and advising. AOs design, manage and implement two types of projects: 1) Artist Engagement – those that address specific priorities of the host organization that also engage other local artists, and 2) “Solo” – a project that the AO designs with the host that has a public benefit.

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Artists on Main Street

Artists on Main Street is a partnership with Rethos: Places Reimagined (formerly the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota) which promotes and supports the leadership of artists in addressing the challenges affecting Main Street communities today. Current participating communities are: Faribault, Mankato, and Winona (2018 cohort) Northfield, Olivia, Wabasha, and Willmar (2019 cohort) Cloquet, Cook, Two Harbors and Mahnomen (2020 cohort). Artists on Main Street is supported by the Bush Foundation.

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Ready Go

Ready Go is a new resource that connects neighborhoods, non-profits, businesses and individuals to artist-created, mobile tools that are purpose-built to pique curiosity and prompt interaction.

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People's Center Health Services Partnership

Clinic patients and staff, community members and businesses in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood participated in 14 art-making events from Ready Go artists in summer of 2017, which led to further partnership with the West Bank Business Association, and the placement of an Artist Organizer with People's Center.

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Irrigate Artist-led Creative Placemaking

Originated and led by Springboard for the Arts, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the City of Saint Paul, Irrigate is a nationally recognized artist-led creative placemaking* initiative pioneered along the Saint Paul portion of the Green Line (light rail transit) during the years of its construction, from 2011 to 2014. Through Irrigate, we mobilized and trained artists who live, work and have a personal investment in the area to make positive physical, economic and social impacts along the corridor; and developed and invested in permanent local resources and infrastructure to retain and attract artists – of all disciplines and experience – to have a long-term stake and role in communities along the corridor.

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Hinge Arts Residency

Hinge Arts at the Kirkbride is a community development and artist residency program in Fergus Falls which activates cultural programming at or related to the historic Fergus Falls State Hospital, or the “Kirkbride Building.” The residency program offers professional and creative placemaking tracks for artists.

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Roots of Rondo

Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising was an artist-led creative placemaking project in partnership with the Aurora-Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Center. 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.


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Art4Health is a collaboration with PartnerSHIP 4 Health (PS4H), an organization made up of community and public health partners in Becker, Clay, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties in West Central Minnesota working to create an environment that supports health.
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Artists & Aging

Artists & Aging is a collaboration between Springboard for the Arts and The Citizens League, funded by the Pluribus Project, a special initiative of the Aspen Institute. Four artist/artist teams are working with The Citizens League and partners to inform and inspire the public around issues of aging through the lens of home and community, and how this affects or reveals policy change.

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Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation

Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation is a program for Minnesota artists to create small projects that create moments of joy, solace, solidarity, sharing, and a sense of connection – for those who are feeling most isolated in these pandemic times.

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Cultivate Bottineau: Culture, Community, and Commerce is a collaborative effort to activate spaces, build connections, celebrate diversity, and promote opportunity through local artist-led creative placemaking projects in the Bottineau Corridor where the planned Bottineau Light Rail Transit line will run.

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IDA Creative Placemaking Support for Business Districts

Based on the Irrigate model, and in partnership with the International Downtown Association, Springboard has created a guide for Business Districts to Work with Local Artists that supports creative placemaking and enhancement of business districts. In the first half of 2017, up to six business districts will pilot modest arts-based placemaking projects with support and technical assistance from Springboard. See Creative Exchange for guide and articles about artists impact in business districts and IDA for more information about this project. Funded by a Knowledge Building grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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HOMELAND: Native Artists Create on the Ave

Homeland: Native Artists Create on the Ave was a collaboration of Native American Community Development Institute, All My Relations Arts, Springboard for the Arts and seven local Native artists. These artists worked over the course of four months to bring the public projects in creative placemaking.

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Imagine Fergus Falls

The vision of Imagine Fergus Falls was to foster community interaction about historic preservation and economic development in Fergus Falls through innovative arts programing, creative placemaking and community storytelling. From September 2013 to September 2014, Springboard for the Arts, The Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, the Otter Tail County Historical Society and PlaceBase Productions partnered on community workshops, events and conversations.

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