Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Springboard for the Arts purchases University Ave. building

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

The building at 262 University Ave. as envisioned for the new location of Springboard for the Arts. (Photo provided)

Springboard for the Arts has purchased the building and lot at 262 University Ave. W. The space will be used for community events, expanded programming, and new market opportunities during the planning and pre-development phases, before permanent renovations and improvements are made.

An Open House event for community members to see the space and connect to opportunities for programming will be held on Sat., June 23, 10am-2pm. All are welcome.

“For over 27 years, Springboard for the Arts has supported our vibrant community, while shaping a national conversation about cultural policy,” says St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “I am excited about the creative development of this new space, which will allow them to further provide dynamic community engagement and innovative arts programming.”

Photo right: The building at 262 University Ave. W. as it appears when Springboard for the arts purchased the property for development. (Photo provided)

“We are excited to make this move because of the opportunity to increase access to Springboard’s growing resources, to hold space for neighborhood activity and community development and to find new ways to support artists making a living and a life,” says Laura Zabel, Springboard’s executive director. “This opportunity is only possible because of the vital creative work and partnership of artists, neighbors and community organizations in Little Mekong, Frogtown, and Rondo and many others across the city and region.”

In partnership with the Asian Economic Development Association, Springboard for the Arts new site will be a host for the popular Little Mekong Night Market on Aug. 4-5, Sept. 1-2, and Oct. 6-7, 2018. Learn more about Little Mekong: http://littlemekong.com.

Lowertown-based architecture firm 4RM+ULA has been selected as the architect for the project.

Photo left: The future view of Springboard for the Arts at 262 University Ave. W. It is envisioned as a “space for neighborhood activity and community development and to find new ways to support artists making a living and a life.” (Photo provided)

From Minnesota, Springboard for the Arts has built national models for professional development and resources for artists, as well as artist-led community development and participation models. One such project, the “Irrigate” initiative which ran from 2011-2014 along the Green Line construction zone, was a partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiative Support Corporation, and six St. Paul district councils, with major support from ArtPlace America. The effort trained more than 650 local artists in creative placemaking and partnership-building skills, funded over 250 creative projects along the corridor, and resulted in 51 million positive media impressions of the neighborhoods along the corridor. The Irrigate “Art Happens Here” neighborhood celebration in 2012 was held on the site of 262 University Ave. W., bringing this work full circle for Springboard for the Arts.

The purchase and pre-development of 262 University Ave. W. are the first steps in a larger community design process and funding campaign to support renovations, funding of programming and sustainability, and development of new markets and entrepreneurial opportunities for local artists and makers. The Saint Paul Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, and Mardag Foundation have made founding commitments to this effort with grants totaling $500,000.

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