IT'S GOING DOWN, Y'ALL!
Recently Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA), a youth and community development social enterprise in the heart of vibrant North Minneapolis, was forced to bring down one of our old buildings earlier than anticipated. Rather than have a vacant lot for a few years, JXTA and our youth artists, instructors, and community partners are planning to activate the space by designing, building, and programming a first of its kind skate-able art plaza.
We are asking you to join us in our efforts -- to become new partners. Together we can create a vital and necessary landmark for North Minneapolis, its youth, families, businesses, and neighbors. In doing so, we will offer an arts engagement model that other individuals and organizations can replicate beyond North Minneapolis, Twin Cities, and Minnesota.
WHY IS IT GOING DOWN?!
When we bought our buildings in 2004, many of the neighboring structures were shuttered and vacant; North Minneapolis has been burdened with underinvestment for decades, a reflection of the larger racial and economic inequity of our region. Although we put concerted effort to improve our facilities, the inherited deferred maintenance caused some of our properties to experience failures that had to be addressed quickly.
Last year we learned from the City of Minneapolis that one of the buildings, which housed the business production arm of JXTA (JXTALab), was not structurally sound. Per the City Pages, which interviewed our Chief Executive Officer DeAnna Cummings and Chief Cultural Producer Roger Cummings:
JXTA had done patch repairs a few times, but last spring the city began issuing citations. “There’s this new rule,” says DeAnna. “Once we get a safety citation with regard to our property, the fine increases with each additional citation."
They had to act quickly. Fines started at $500, and they would spiral to upwards of $200,000 if the organization didn’t do something. “Even during the time spent researching what made the most sense, we were on a clock that was ticking,” she says.
When the organization met with contractors and engineers, they discovered that the problem went beyond just the bricks on the outside. “The facade failure was tied into the entire building structure,” says Roger. Fixing the facade would cost $500,000.
The predicament forced us to realize that we need to expedite our long term plan for a capital campaign. Simultaneously, the situation offered us a great opportunity to think through creative and innovative ways to activate a vacant lot that will bring JXTA’s programming outside of its buildings -- to bring deep, accessible arts engagement to North Minneapolis residents and businesses.
So, with all of this in mind, we tore down the building and have set in motion our plans for a functioning skate-able art plaza!
THE ART PLAZA & COMMUNITY IMPACT
On May 31st, 2018, JXTA will host a public event to announce long-term plans for the site on the corner of Emerson and West Broadway. We have secured a lead gift from the McKnight Foundation for our future endeavors, but do not have enough cash on hand to push through our 4 year efforts to expand programming in the location.
In the interim, with partial funding from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and the Our Town program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), JXTA youth artists are working with our lead artists and community partners City of Skate and the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) to design, build, and program a functioning, semi-permanent skate-able art plaza that will engage North Minneapolis area residents, businesses, and visitors to the community.
The art plaza addresses specific needs we have heard from Northside residents, including the need for more:
- high quality green spaces
- public art that reflects the community
- spaces for youth and families to hang out
- spaces for community gathering and engagement
- spaces that promote fitness and an active lifestyle
The art plaza will include:
- space for sitting and skating
- space for performances
- areas for art installations
- rain gardens and native plants
- lighting to activate the space at night
It will be a space for meeting up with friends, eating lunch from a nearby cafe or food truck, practicing a kickflip, watching a performance, and enjoying the West Broadway vibe.
Our team of youth artists and adult instructors has been working on a design. Below are images from their proposal
The generous funding for the art plaza from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and NEA together comes to $100,000, which has helped us to cover the initial costs associated with:
- project management
- confirmations for artists who will activate the plaza
- consultation fees
The $100,000 accounts for only 50% of the total budget. The additional $50,000 raised from this campaign will help us to cover the necessary costs associated with construction:
IN HOUSE CREATED PERKS
JXTA's core work, known as JXTALab, consists of five art and design micro businesses. We employ 70 young people in year-round paid youth artists/apprenticeships where they are trained by and work with professional artists to produce high-quality products and services for local and regional clients. Our unique model offers young people opportunities to develop their creative genius, get professional experience in the region’s bountiful creative economy, and positively impact the Northside community. Some of JXTA's current clients include Fortune 500 companies like 3M, landmark organizations like First Avenue, and professional sports teams like the Minnesota Vikings.
As you can imagine, JXTA youth artists are well suited to create some fabulous perks for all of you who support our campaign! Below are some Instagram images that offer a good overview of our products.
MORE ABOUT JUXTAPOSITION ARTS & OUR PARTNERS
Vision: Juxtaposition Arts envisions the youth of North Minneapolis entering the creative workforce as dynamic innovators and problem solvers with the confidence, skills and connections they need to accomplish their educational and professional goals, and to contribute to the revitalization of the communities where they live and work.
Mission: Juxtaposition Arts develops community by engaging and employing young urban artists in hands-on education initiatives that create pathways to self-sufficiency while actualizing creative power.
Approach: We combine art & design education and youth empowerment with a social-enterprise business model. Students begin with Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) and then have opportunities to be employed while learning and teaching professional design, production and marketing skills in one of five social-enterprise studios that produce high-quality design products and services for sale to local and national customers.
Values: We believe the integrative problem-solving abilities learned through the hands on creative process of moving from idea, to production, to market are exactly the skills young people need to succeed in school, in work, and in life.
Moreover, we believe sustained participation in community-focused creative expression powerfully advances the development of individuals, communities, and places. At Juxtaposition Arts we strive to:
- Affirm the creative potential and ideas of each person
- Emphasize the importance of discipline, study and practice
- Respect and understand the contributions of those who have come before us Include diverse individuals and groups in relevant ways
- Model integrity in individual and organizational leadership
- Demonstrate successful and ethical business practices
- Expect and achieve high standards in everything we do
City of Skate is a coalition of Twin Cities skaters, parents, and allies whose mission is to design and develop world class skateparks for our community.
Since January 2013, City of Skate has collaborated with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on a comprehensive Skate Park Activity Plan for Minneapolis Parks. The MPRB Skate Park Activity Plan calling for at least 18 skateparks citywide was unanimously approved by the MPRB at their January 3rd, 2018 meeting.
City of Skate will work in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and other community stakeholders to:
- Develop new skateparks suitable for skaters of all ages and abilities
- Improve existing skateparks to meet current standards
- Create education opportunities to introduce more youth and communities to skateboarding
- Support events and programs that highlight positive skate culture
The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition’s mission is to create an inviting and vital West Broadway Corridor and to transform the Northside into a thriving economic community.
WBC builds capacity of businesses and entrepreneurs, highlights the positive and cultural assets of North Minneapolis, and engages the community in the ongoing revitalization of the West Broadway area. WBC curates community-identified activities designed to transform West Broadway into a thriving commercial corridor that meets the goods, service and entertainment needs of neighborhood residents, businesses, and visitors.
Utilizing our bold new stadium as a backdrop and the exposure generated by this tremendous event, we will introduce the world to Minnesota’s authentic, Bold North brand, reflecting the diverse and innovative culture of our state, by creating and implementing the preeminent Super Bowl experience that delivers on our promises; generating a significant economic impact for the state and providing a lasting legacy for all of Minnesota.
Create Lasting Economic Impact
With our bold new stadium serving as backdrop to one of the biggest events on Earth, Minnesota is proud to introduce millions of visitors from around the globe not just to our state, but to our state of mind: The Bold North.
The Bold North reflects the diverse and innovative culture of Minnesota. By offering up the preeminent Super Bowl experience, we’re delivering on our promise to foster lasting economic growth for the state while providing an enduring legacy of inclusiveness and prosperity for all Minnesotans.
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. We use all our resources to attend, unite, and empower those we serve.
Accountability: We use the Foundation’s resources in a transparent manner for public benefit. We assume responsibility for high quality decisionmaking based on analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment.
Integrity: We strive to do the right thing. We are honest and forthright, and people can trust what we say. Innovation: We collaborate with others to test and develop new ideas and pathways in order to address complex problems.
Respect: We listen to diverse perspectives. We approach relationships with humility, openness, and honesty. We engage constructively with partners, colleagues, and the communities we serve.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk/challenge that JXTA faces for this campaign is that it's our first crowdfunding effort. Throughout our nearly 25 years of history, support from foundations and corporations has driven our programming. Donations from individuals have played a small role in our organizational budget. Thus, we are taking taking a leap of faith that our plans for the skate-able art plaza will resonate with all of you and that you will become partners in making our plans come alive!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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