Mission & Leadership

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District was created in 2003 as an outcome of Minneapolis’s 2003 Art Action Plan (PDF). It became a Corporation governed by a Board of Directors in 2015.

In 2014, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District was named ‘Best Arts District’ by the readers of USAToday.

Information about the City of Minneapolis’ creative community can be found in its 2014 Creative Vitality Index.

Mission Statement

To support artists, arts and culture in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District by encouraging artistic inspiration and creativity, as well as incubating arts related projects while encouraging thoughtful economic growth, tourism, worldwide cultural artistic exchanges, political effectiveness and community connectivity.


The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District works to ensure that future District and neighboring developments consider the District’s needs and concerns. The Board is dedicated to keeping the District a vibrant, economically feasible place to work and live and promotes itself as an enticing destination. It will be transparent in its actions and partner with like-minded organizations to invite and encourage participation and action from community members and arts supporters.

Board Members

The all volunteer Board includes long-time Northeast Minneapolis Arts District artists, business owners, and arts advocates.

  • Josh Blanc, Chair
  • Tom Dunnwald
  • Betsy Gabler
  • Nicholas Harper
  • Damian Kussian
  • Herman Milligan
  • Leslie Palmer Ross
  • Michael Schardin
  • Karen Wilcox
  • Jennifer Young


  • Michael Rainville
  • Dougie Padilla
  • Mary Cassidy
  • Tom Borrup
  • Margo Ashmore

Supporting Organizations

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District looks forward to continued support from long-standing friends: the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) staff, Northeast Community Development Corporation staff, the Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and interested community members.