Ep 14: Artists on Mainstreet Program – Small towns tapping artists for community development

Rural communities across Minnesota are tapping a new program to help bring a fresh set of ideas to their community development toolbox. Offered in partnership by Rethos and Springboard for the Arts, staff from these organizations will come and assist communities in planning and implementing artist-led projects. Assistance comes in the form of training, one-on-one technical assistance, and cohort exchanges all focused to integrate the arts and creativity into addressing downtown challenges and opportunities. It also helps that these communities receive $20,000 for project funding and program implementation the first year and $10,000 the second year.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development got an opportunity to sit down with Michele Anderson who is the Director for Rural Programming at Springboard for the Arts and one of the brainchilds of this program and Sarah Swedburg the city planner and Director of the Mainstreet Program in Willmar Minnesota, one of the communities selected to participate in the Artists on Mainstreet program. Together we discuss how city governments can connect with their local artists and work together, the core value of the program being “lots of little”, and how yarn bombing can bring people together.

For more information about the program, click here to be redirected to Rethos.