August 26th, 2021
Mankato, Minn. – The City Center Partnership is excited to announce the selected projects for phase III of INFUSE: Artists on Main Street Mankato, a partnership between the Minnesota Main Street and Springboard for the Arts, with support from the Bush Foundation. The larger initiative explores the intersection of arts and culture, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation in Minnesota Main Street communities. Mankato was one of three pilot communities for the initiative and received funding for the first three years. The program now stands on its own within the City Center Partnership while considered a model for other communities to follow.
“For the third year of INFUSE: Artists on Main Street, the Aesthetics and Vitality Committee of the City Center Partnership wanted to focus on the activation of our City Center’s open spaces,” shared Dan White, committee chair. “The projects were selected based on their ability to enhance vitality in the City Center; align and cross promote our region’s brand assets specifically history, heritage, and our natural surroundings; and promote diversity and inclusivity through their work.”
The two artists and a brief description of their projects are:
Mahkato Mni: Waters of Blue Earth: Julie Dempster will produce this permanent installation next to the Minnesota River overview along the trail at Riverfront Park. “Mahkato Mni” highlights our area’s Dakota culture and how water connects us. The phrases “Mahkato – Blue Earth,” “Mnisota – Cloudy Water” and “Mni Wiconi – Water is Life” give insight to our Dakota place names and are a culturally specific reminder of the importance of water to us all. Installation is projected to be completed by the end of the year.
Mahowald Pop-Art Mural: Amanda Wirig will complete a 344 square foot mural on the Rock Street side of the former Mahowald Building in Old Town Mankato. The design, a Pop Art depiction of former Old Town mainstay Mahowald’s Hardware and Sporting Goods, was created with input from Pam Ryan, the former owner of the building, who wanted to reflect the heritage and history of the building and the neighborhood. The finished mural will be installed no later than the late fall of 2021.
Minnesota Main Street: Minnesota Main Street is an economic development program of the Rethos that uses a historic preservation based strategy to revitalize downtown districts in Greater Minnesota communities. The program works with communities long-term and provides training and resources, including a Main Street Project Fund, to help community members revitalize their downtown.
About City Center Partnership
City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization, is a business unit of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) which includes the chamber of commerce and economic development organization, Greater Mankato Growth, the local convention and visitor’s bureau, Visit Mankato and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop ag economy. More: https://www.citycentermankato.com/
About Springboard for the Arts
Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. Our work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life. Our work is about creating communities and artists that have a reciprocal relationship, where artists are key contributors to community issues and are visible and valued for the impact they create. We do this work by creating simple, practical solutions and systems to support artists. Those programs support our goal to help create a local culture movement. Springboard for the Arts’ offices are based in Fergus Falls, and Lowertown Saint Paul, MN. More: http://springboardforthearts.org/
About Bush Foundation
At the Bush Foundation we invest in great ideas and the people who power them. We encourage individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. The Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth. Inspired by the Bushes’ desire to build their community and encourage innovation, the Foundation has invested nearly one billion dollars in grants to thousands of organizations and individuals. More: https://www.bushfoundation.org/