About Art Blocks
About Art Blocks:
What is Art Blocks?
Art Blocks is a program that allows artists to use their artistic practice to deepen relationships on the blocks where they live. Each year, we recruit an array of artists from various levels of experience and multiple disciplines. Through a series of conversations and dinners, the artists dream up an event or series of arts-based interactions that explore the history, skills, identities, passions, and stories that make up a city block. By the end of the summer, the artists have played a central role in deepening existing relationships or forming new ones between neighbors.
Why did we dream up Art Blocks?
Art Blocks is an opportunity to reach deeper into our community, get connected with our neighbors on a personal level through exciting artistic activities, and, in the end, strengthen the relationships that make the area around Pillsbury House and Theatre a more vibrant place for everyone to live.
There is a high concentration of artists that live in the Central, Bryant, Bancroft, and Powderhorn neighborhoods. We believe that artists play a pivotal role in envisioning and co-creating opportunities for exchange and expression and reveal nuanced perspectives on place.
We recognize that in order for our neighborhoods to do the urgent work of determining and shaping a more equitable future, people need to have healthy and productive relationships with one another. Art Blocks artists are building those relationships, one block at a time.
The goals of this program are as follows:
- To increase access to the arts among the 23,000 people living in Central, Bryant, Bancroft and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods of South Minneapolis.
- To increase connections and attachment among residents and artists.
- To train and support artists living in these four neighborhoods in leadership skills and diverse approaches to arts-based engagement.
A celebration of language, food and summer light, the event includes a free picnic dinner prepared by Youth Farm, music, and poetry delivered to your blanket by powerful poets.
Artist Eduardo Cardenas is facilitating a community building art project with his neighbors to build and re-make playful structures.
Art Blocks Volume One features the photographic work of resident photographer Bruce Silcox taken in the Central, Bryant, Bancroft, and Powderhorn neighborhoods of South Minneapolis between 2015-2017. The images are vibrant examples of what happens when the creativity of artists is unleashed in their very own yards and blocks, sparking connection and deepening relationships between neighbors.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.