NE Arts District seeks greater community participation

by Josh Blanc

Since its inception in 2012, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District e-newsletter has published 100 editions. About a dozen writers, poets and reporters have contributed material about artists and their experiences in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. More than 240 individuals or institutions have been mentioned or profiled.

The goal has been to get the broadest perspective on what artists create, build and think about. For example, in September 2017, Aldo Moroni wrote about offensive monuments being torn down and his perspective on how to handle the issues at stake. Over the years we have profiled mid-career and full career artists who are making big impacts in society. Recently, artists Leslie Barlow, Peyton Scott Russell, Mary Johnson and artists of the Northeast Sculpture | Gallery Factory have made international news with their art in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the uprising after George Floyd’s death.

Arts District writers have learned and shared information about city government and how artists can have a voice in issues that they want and need to understand: gentrification, political forums, finding resources in the pandemic, just to name a few. We highlighted a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce studying the impacts of artists in the community.

The writers have found and profiled accomplished artists and told their stories, but there are many more that need to be highlighted.

Our partnership with the Northeaster Newspaper, on the “Arts Insights” page since 2016, has helped accelerate our potential audience to over 50,000 people monthly. The next stage needs an even larger participation of artists and community members, to get a more nuanced perspective of what’s happening in our arts community. We are looking for writers, videographers, poets, and artists who have something to say, and cultural community members wanting to contribute.

Are we missing a perspective that you think we should consider? If you are interested in writing an article, please contact us at: