September 2017

Welcome to In the District: news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

Last month we talked about encouraging NE artists to get involved with community groups. The Northeast Community Development Corporation (NECDC), the fiscal agent for the Arts District is looking for artists to join their board along with other community members. You might know NECDC best for the calendar they produce. 
NE Calendar

They are having a meeting on September 7th  at 6pm  at Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 NE 2nd St. Contact Dawn Williams for more info. 


Josh Blanc 

Where do certain monuments belong? 
by Aldo Moroni

Monuments have been part of our public domain throughout world history. Contemporary Americans are confronted with "what shall we do with the 1,503 monuments glorifying the Confederacy?" There are another 2,600 markers, cemeteries and lesser remembrances of that tragic war. There are 10 military bases named for Confederate military heroes and numerous place names, roads, schools, and public buildings pay homage to the rebel cause.

Should they stay in our public squares and public consciousness? Are they public art? Who shall decide when they should be removed? Is it okay to deface them or topple them in mob action?
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus monument in Houston

Let's answer the last question first. No, we cannot allow mob actions to prevail. We cannot lynch these objects. We rail against Isis destroying the history of Mesopota- mia. 

J ames Joyce's 1933 "defense of Ulysses" raises questions of the propriety of the work. The Confederate monuments can be considered propaganda, which, along with pornography, is outside the realm of art. 

On the "unmaking of history," Joseph Riekart's "The Idea of a Town" discusses that the Romans not only vanquished ancient Carthage after the Second Punic Wars, they continued after the invasion cosmically reversing the founding actions of their enemy's society thus removing them from history. Yes, the victors decide what shall stand. The questions should be, "where, and how?"
Gates of Ishtar
Gates of Ishtar
The gates of Ishtar have been removed to the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. They are protected in a safe place. The argument that they should be repatriated is emotional and relevant but the fact is that had they remained in Iraq, they would have been destroyed by now.

Removing Confederate monuments to academic institutions would serve the purpose of preserving history so as to learn from it. 

Perhaps each of us has had a regret about history. New York City decided to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus. As an Italian American I can confess this caused me pain. My people used to have parades for Columbus. We had a holiday, too. The removal of this statue caused in me the same sad feeling as the Minnesota decision to change Columbus Day to Indigenous day. 

But Columbus' journey brought diseases to the entire western hemi-sphere and the destruction of native ways of life and legacy. Thus he wasn't, as I had been told, a great hero. It is a moral and ethical action to remove the painful memories of the past. Keep them in a museum, but don't make the victims of war look at them every day. Peace.

-Aldo Moroni has worked with communities to make art in the public realm since 1977, and uses clay sculpture to examine the rise and fall of cities and civilization. Aldo Moroni's sculpture of the long-gone Winslow House Hotel, part of the Marcy-Holmes Gateway (Sixth Avenue between Main and Second St. SE) is part of the new interactive art tours available on 

--adapted from the Northeaster Arts Insights

N ortheast P.E.E.P.s
(People, Events, Exhibits, Places)

compiled by Margo Ashmore
Northeast artists were represented throughout the Minnesota State Fair's 2017 Fine Arts Exhibition.

Three-Jodi Reeb, Steve Ozone, and Susan Feigenbaum served as "Studio: HERE" artists, working for 12 hours on one of the Fair's 12 days.
Steve Ozone work _Justin_
Steve Ozone work "Justin Nelson"

Half of the exhibit's jurors had Northeast connections. Mike Welton served as juror for the oil, acrylic, and mixed media categories. Areca Roe, a member of the Rosalux Gallery artist collective, judged photog- raphy. Genie Castro, who curates for Betty Danger's Country Club, judged the prints category. Tracy Krumm, who judged fibers/textiles, once did a residency at THREAD in Northeast Minneapolis.
Shelly Mosman
Shelly Mosman "Deer Hunt"

Northeast artists won four of the awards: Steve Ozone won First Place in Photography for "Justin 
Nelson" and Shelly Mosman won Second Place in Photography for "Deer Hunt."  Kyle Fokken's "The Jack in the Basket" from his Figurehead Series took Second Place in Sculpture and Tressa Sularz' "Cardinal" placed  Third in Textiles and Fibers.

Thirty other entries from artists who currently have or have had studios in Northeast Minneapolis made a fine showing for the area in the field of 335 number of pieces from all over the state displayed throughout the  fair in the Fine Arts Building:

Hend Al-Mansour, Stephen Capiz, Kordula Coleman, Eric Cornett, Kat Corrigan, Susan Feigenbaum, Deborah Foutch, Kristine Fretheim, Carolyn Halliday, Nicholas Harper, Mike Hazard, Bebe Keith, Andy Kocon, Steven Lang, Paul Lundquist, Michael Melman, Ernest Miller, Mark Allan Peterson, Alison Price, Bruce Nygren, Jodi Reeb, Amy Rice, Danny Saathoff, John Schuerman, August Schwerdfeger, Linda Snouffer, Keith Taylor, Mary Welke,  Russ White. 

Linda Dobosenski of Columbia  Heights, and Robert Donsker, recently retired dentist whose office is in Columbia Heights, and Margie Troupe of St. Anthony were also accepted into the fair. Donsker won Fourth Place in Photography.

Congratulations to all! 

Arts Action Plan II Set in Motion
by Josh Blanc 

For the past six months, a committee of Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Board members has been meeting, researching, and organizing to initiate the second Arts Action Plan.

We are designing an RFP (Request for Proposals) for planning firms to work with the community to develop and create the AAP II.

The next big step is finding funding for the project through grants and sponsors. We are setting the goal of raising $75,000 by early to middle of next year.

The original Arts Action Plan was completed in 2003 by Jerry Allen and Associates. With the help of local staff, they did a comprehen- sive study talking to many artists, developers, community members, businesses, and city officials.
That study cost $60,000 to accomplish. Allen and Associates created an extensive survey and met with a large number of community members. There was a great deal of data collected in the first Arts Action Plan. That data helped the community, city, and artists understand who we are. It helped us formulate our goals as we developed the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.

A lot has happened in nearly 15 years since the AAP I was issued. It is time for a new study to guide our strategies, decisions and public policy based on the most current data. Watch our Facebook page and for further developments. 

Three Main Goals 
of  Arts District Planning

1. Continue to discuss who we are as a community. 
2. Continue to define the v ision of the next 10 to 15 years, in order to drive the decision making.
3. Start a framework on how we can finance the goals of the district. This goal is only possible to discuss if the other two goals can be met.
Recent studies to consider reading: 
5.   Take the survey for the  CREATIVE MINNESOTA
Issue: 65
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The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District & the Arts District Committee is an outcome
of the Arts Action Plan.

"The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Committee is comprised of interested volunteer community members, and is fiscally managed by the Northeast Community Development Corporation (NECDC). Additional support has been provided by Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Clay Squared to Infinity."
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