Thanks to a recent Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Forecast Public Art is excited to announce the launch of an artist residency initiative in partnership with The Cornerstone Group, a progressive real estate developer that solves community challenges through innovation and collaboration to increase access to art experiences.

The Cornerstone Group is known for it’s authentic approach to listening and responding to the visions of communities. Because of this, they were approached by the City of Richfield to build a transformational town center at a large commercial property that had become a source of blight for the city. The newly designed town square, Lyndale Gardens, features a food cooperative which is open now and plans for affordable residential housing, an ampitheatre, an urban farm, a community brick oven and other creative spaces for residents.

During the process, there was an outcry for increased arts and cultural offerings which inspired the Cornerstone Group to reach out to Forecast. The result is RARE: Richfield Artist Resident Engagement, an artist residency initiative designed to cross boundaries and disciplines and invite Richfield residents to participate in building its more vibrant future.

RARE will pilot in 2015 featuring established public art practitioners Witt Siasoco and Emily Johnson. Siasoco plans to experiment with skateboarding and visual art to reach youth and Johnson plans to use Richfield’s nature preserves as a setting for community meals, storytelling, and dance to engage elders and families. The artists will design and deliver smaller artistic interventions in these settings to develop deeper relationships with people in the community, and to further the conversation about how arts can play a role in the every day lives of Richfield residents. Out of these creative conversations, the artists will each design and deliver larger-scale creative community engagement projects over the course of one year.

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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.