February 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome to In the District: news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. You are receiving this email because of your interest in stories from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.  
Arts District Board of Directors Welcomes Jennifer Young

The board would like to thank Jennifer Young for joining the board. As the co-owner of two of the big arts buildings in NE--The California and Casket Arts Building--Jennifer's perspective will give the board a more well-rounded knowledge of our community. The board wants to engage viewpoints from all sectors of the Arts District. 

She has been very involved with the arts community for over a decade before the inception of the Arts District. Jennifer and her partner Jon Kremer have transformed the California Building and Casket Arts complex into affordable studio spaces, offering refuge to hundreds of Twin Cities visual artists. We look forward to having her skills, knowledge and insights on the board.
Jennifer Young began her career in arts and real estate development in Northeast Minneapolis. She and her partner John Kremer purchased the California Building in 1991 intent on creating a working studio building for artists. She is passionate about creating a strong sustainable arts community in Northeast Minneapolis.
Young has been a community activist throughout her career. She has served on the Bottineau Neighborhood Organization, East Side Neighborhood Services, Inc. board, the Above the Fall Citizen Advisory Council, the Northeast Neighborhood Early Learning Center, and was a founding member of Art-A-Whirl and committee member of the Arts Action Plan.
A Minneapolis native, Young graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1983. She plays in the woods with her dogs and loves spending time in the Superior National Forest.
From the Outside Looking In

Sarah and Mutt
Sarah and Mutt
My husband and our mutt and I left Seattle and went looking for a something similar - progressive, artsy, diverse and educated - without the traffic and the skyrocketing cost of living. We spent several months on the road test-driving towns across the west. We hadn't planned to spend time in the Twin Cities at all. But you know how sometimes something just keeps popping up serendipitously? Like, you had kale once and then everywhere you turn, there's kale? It turns out that the Twin Cities was our kale. Every time we turned around someone was talking or writing about how great the Cities were. So, we thought, okay, fine, let's give it a look. We booked a week at an AirBnB in Northeast Minneapolis and by the end of our stay we'd signed a lease.
So what was it that tipped the scales? What made the Twin Cities, and more specifically, Northeast Minneapolis feel like home? Initially, the draw was the balance of Midwestern and Western sensibilities. We are native Missourians, so there is something comfortingly familiar about old brick buildings, the easy, frank way people relate to one another, the sounds of trains clanking around, being able to see the sun rise and set on the horizon, and that great big river, just a few hundred miles north of where we come from. But there's a distinctively Pacific Northwest flair here, too. Maybe it's the plethora of cultural institutions or the progressive politics or proliferation of microbreweries. But many things that once beckoned us to the West Coast are present here, too.
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest draws of many Midwestern cities is their accessibility.  While public transit systems may not be as extensive as those in New York or San Francisco, what the Twin Cities can boast is the ease of getting around. Comparatively, traffic was a non-issue, many neighborhoods are incredibly walkable and bikeable, and when the subzero temperatures make walking or biking feel like cruel and unusual punishment, you can actually drive and park where you need to go. As in, you can park IN FRONT FOR FREE. It's like Christmas morning every time we have this experience; the novelty just hasn't worn off.
It's amazing to live in cities with flourishing art scenes, or an award winning ballet or phenomenal symphony, but if it feels like taking the equivalent of taking a small vacation (both in time and expense) to go, these events become far more prohibitive. So far as we can tell in our short few months here, the Twin Cities does not have that problem.
I have been impressed with the sheer volume of opportunities to get involved in our neighborhood and the arts. We go to Books and Bars and confer with 100 of our neighbors about the book we all just read. We listen to local musicians--from bands to kids piano recitals--at the brewery around the corner. We talk to artists about their newest projects in their own studios. Every time we turn around there is another event to be involved in--and these aren't events you simply view, they are experiences you engage in, that you as a viewer are a part of.
Casket Art Building
Casket Arts Building
As we've begun to spread our wings and explore the neighborhood and the cities, we have been struck over and over again by the unique nature of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. The District is not just an arts destination it's a tight knit community that is proud of its artists and craftspeople. The deliberate way in which people engage in art here, though, is particularly significant.
My father was a furniture maker. He showed his work at various galleries around the country, but he has often remarked that his best customers, the repeat customers as well as those who were the easiest and most enjoyable to work for, were the ones that actually made the trip to visit him in his shop. "When someone pulls up to the shop on a 90 degree day and sees me covered in sawdust, sanding and shaping a rocking chair leg, they have a whole new appreciation for the piece and the work." They can understand why it's priced the way it is, they can see the hard work that goes into creating a piece of functional art. What's more, they can talk to him and hear his philosophy on sustainability and the spiritual nature of working with wood.
I see that over and over in the Northeast Arts District. Every time I wander through an arts building on a First Thursday or an Open Studio event I find myself connecting with artists in a vastly different way than I would at an Art Walk or gallery opening. I have had conversations about artists' process, what inspired them and what they'd like to try next. It is like the arts version of the slow-food movement--know your artist know you art, right? The NE Arts District offers a really unique, invaluable opportunity to get to know artists in an intentional way. We have the opportunity to engage with them through different stages of their work, and therefore have a new understanding for the process and the product.
Happiness _ Brian
Happiness + Brian
This feels like an purposeful, connected arts community. Far from being voyeuristic, the experience of being a part of something creates as sense of belonging. This engagement and accessibility isn't just the stuff of buzzwords, it feels as though the Northeast Arts District is authentically building a community around creating great work, and this is something that we are thrilled to be a part of.
Sarah Ratermann Beahan is a fiction writer and blogger for hire. You can find her work at www.greatbeahanadventure.com and www.sarahbeahan.com.

Northeast P.E.E.P.s
(People, Events, Exhibits, Places)

Metal Tempers Wood: Shannyn Joy Potter
Interview by Karen Wilcox
Long Distance

How long have you had a studio in the Northrup King Building?
I've been in the NKB building on and off for over twenty years. I grew up in Minnesota but have moved away twice, once to Santa Fe and once to Kansas City. Each time I returned to Minneapolis, after missing the community, I would try to get a studio space in the Northrup King. The funny thing is, each time I returned, one of three studios all in row have opened up. So I've had the same view, which I love, for a very long time. 
Do you work exclusively in found materials or do you buy them?
I buy the majority of my materials. However, my husband is also quite resourceful and tends to pick up things that I seem to find useful. Otherwise, Wood From The Hood are great local suppliers. 
Tell me more about your choice to integrate wood and metal into one of your pieces.
My background and base is always in drawing. The metal becomes an extension of lines, whether it is in the form of wire or flattened steel. Wood and metal together are a natural combination. Metal cools and quiets the wood. 


Your interest in wood sculpture seems to coincide with your beginning yoga practice in the 1990s. How does your yoga practice influence your sculpture?
That's interesting, I've never thought about that correlation. It was around the same time period; that is true. The sculpture actually grew from woodblock printing and I became more interested in the wood block than the print itself. Going back to what I mentioned earlier about drawing, I saw the wood slabs and the grains as natural drawings and was compelled to interact (with them). 
Yoga does influence my sculpture as it influences my mind and body, which helps focus my attention to detail and action. And now (I am teaching) yoga in my sculpture studio, so the two worlds have merged. 

I am curious about your collaborative work. What brought you together with Caroline Keefe "Swoon" and Gina Louise "Beyond"?  What inspired you to create this work?
We are all old friends and all work in the sculptural, abstract realm, so the collaborations were somewhat inevitable. We have been looking and engaging in each other's work for years. We just finally took conversations to the physical space. The only rule we ever had was that we both had to agree when it was done. 
What has been your greatest challenge in your art-making process?
Time and patience, and the misperception of the lack of both. 

Shannyn Joy Potter Northrup King Building, Studio 341

Three Main Goals 

of Arts District Planning


1. Continue to discuss who we are as a community. 

2. Continue to define the vision 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: 

1. The Creative Vitality Index 2014 Update. Click to read.  

2. Arts Districts & Economic Development study. Click to read. 

3. The Minneapolis Creative Index 2013 Report. Click to read.  

4. Arts Impact Survey & Report on Arts Activity within the District (2013). Click to read  

Issue: 46
In This Issue
Know when to go! Check the Arts District Calendar for events.
Check the Arts District Calendar for events -


or add your District event by clicking here 

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 

Join Our Mailing List


Interested in being a sponsor?
Contact us 

 Have you seen the new Arts Insights in the Northeaster? Now the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District news has a readership of over 30,000 people!
In case you missed it here is a link to the 1st edition. Click Here


District Exhibitions and Events Coincide with the 

No Boys Allowed
January 30 - March 12
Northrup King Building, Studio 395
1500 Jackson St. NE

WARM Guerrillas: Feminist Visions
February 26 - March 12, 2016
The Grain Belt Bottling House Gallery
79 - 13th Ave. NE
March 4, 7:00 pm-10:00 pm

March 3, 2016
1400 12th Ave NE 




Want to support the  district?

Your donation is tax deductible!

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."
Want to get involved? Contact us