MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 12, 2013) — As part of the Creative CityMaking partnership between Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis, local artists have teamed up with City planners to collaborate on key planning projects around town.
One of the projects, “Bus Stop Theater”, featuring teen actors and teaching artists from the Capri Theater, will launch Saturday, Nov. 16, along Penn Avenue in north Minneapolis.
Bus Stop Theater is intended to engage city planners, artists, and community members on issues of transportation, livability, and economic development through short, interactive sketches and conversations at bus stops along Penn Ave N.
The concept was created in partnership with the Capri Theater. The teen actors portray siblings who not only love this community, but have lived in north Minneapolis all their lives. As the audience makes their way along Penn Avenue from 44th to Olson Memorial Highway, the siblings engage in dialogue that will stimulate more conversation about some of the challenges that exist in north Minneapolis, and brainstorm creative ways to address these challenges.
The script was written by Greta Oglesby based on responses gathered through new engagement strategies created by artists Wing Young Huie and Ashley Hanson, with City Planner Jim Voll.
The first scene of Bus Stop Theater will begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at 44th St. N. and Penn Ave. N. Audience members will travel on Metro Transit’s Route 19 bus as the performance moves along Penn Ave. N. with stops at Broadway, Plymouth Ave. N. and Olson Memorial Hwy. The audience will return to Victory 44 by 3 p.m., for dialogue about the event.
The performance is free, however, bus fare will not be provided. Bus fare on a Saturday afternoon is $1.75, and participants can use their transfers to get on and off the bus during this experience.
“Bus Stop Theater explores the medium of theater to simultaneously provide information to an audience and elicit responses to inform the city planning process,” said Creative CityMaking artist Ashley Hanson. “The audience moves from scene to scene using public transportation to engage with the environment, transit system, and community the subject matter is addressing for a truly immersive theatrical experience.”
Creative CityMaking is a partnership of Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis that fosters collaborations between local artists and City planners to develop fresh and innovative approaches for addressing the long-term transportation, land use, economic, environmental, and social issues facing Minneapolis.
In 2013, Creative CityMaking embedded seven artists in the Long Range Planning Division of the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED). These artists have been selected and paired up with five planning projects. The partnership of artists and planners is intended to forge, enhance, or develop new strategies for working through the creative processes inherent in visionary planing and city making. It is intended to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around City and urban issues and to increase artists’ and planners’ ability to facilitate community interaction and work collaborativley with the public to foster positive change in the quality and trajectory of social discourse about the city’s urban future. Their collaborative work will be showcased throughout the year at citywide community events, culminating in a public exhibition and forum at Intermedia Arts on Nov. 22-23, 2013.
Creative CityMaking is one of three Minneapolis initiatives funded in 2012 by ArtPlace America totaling $1.5 million dollars. The projects are designed to increase livability, vibrancy and economic development in communities throughout the city. Intermedia Arts was awarded a grant in the amount of $325,000 for Creative CityMaking, and those grant funds augment and enhance the City’s funding for these projects. It does not replace City funding, and the use of the ArtPlace funds does not take away from the City’s tax base or funding sources.
The goals of Creative CityMaking are:
• To develop new creative strategies for community planning;
• to create a collaborative laboratory and learning environment that engages artists and City staff
working with a city department;
• to engage artists in critical thinking and art making around city and urban issues, and to increase artists’ and planners’ ability to facilitate community change;
• to provide artists and planners with new tools for community engagement and working with traditionally underrepresented communities;
• to document and communicate lessons learned.
Creative CityMaking is examining the ways in which artist/planner collaborations can contribute to placemaking, vibrancy, and community change.
Intermedia Arts has been pioneering creative placemaking and community development for two decades. Intermedia Arts is a nationally recognized leader in empowering artists and community leaders to use arts-based approaches to solve community issues and whose mission is to be a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art. Annually, their work engages over 25,000 people, 1200 local artists, 2500 young people and 60 arts and non-profit partners. By stimulating broader civic dialogue and giving voice to artists and the issues and experiences of underrepresented communities, they contribute to a stronger, healthier society.
Intermedia Arts’ Creative Community Leadership Institute is one of only a few programs nationwide to provide comprehensive, professional-level training and support for local community-engaged artists and community developers. Led by a core faculty of three of the leading thinkers in the field of community cultural development, the Creative Community Leadership Institute has trained 150 of the most active community artists, organizers and community developers in the region.
The City’s Plan for Arts and Culture, established by the Minneapolis Arts Commission and the Minneapolis City Council, outlines a vision for bringing together artists and City Departments to explore creative ideas for addressing city problems. The mission of the City’s Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program is to leverage the creative sector towards strengthening social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. The program aims to achieve this goal in part by stimulating cross-sector collaboration that strengthens the arts economy and community in Minneapolis.
The Long Range Planning Division of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) is responsible for long term strategic planning for the City. This division of CPED coordinates City planning processes for Minneapolis and advises other public entities and neighborhoods on their own planning processes.