Forecast is excited to embark on a second round of artistic work and collaboration that will connect various communities in the City of Richfield with the energies and talents of artists who will be enhancing and activating specific public spaces in Richfield. RARE, or the Richfield Artist Resident Engagement Project, is a collaboration between Forecast Public Art and The Cornerstone Group, a socially responsible real estate developer that believes art and artists are essential for creating healthy, thriving communities.

Specifically, in this second round of RARE, Richfield will become home to a permanent mural/mosaic installation and will host a series of interdisciplinary public performances. Artists-in-residence Greta McLain, Sha Cage and E.G. Bailey will host a series of community-based workshops in their respective mediums—mosaic/mural and performance—that will lead to the installation of a final permanent work and a series of performances.

RARE was initially inspired by The Cornerstone Group’s desire to create an artist live/work space in their new development complex – Lyndale Gardens. Because The Cornerstone Group is known for its inclusive approach to listening and responding to communities’ visions for themselves, the city of Richfield approached The Cornerstone Group to build a “town center” on a centrally-located, historically significant property that had become known as a source of blight. The Cornerstone Group held community listening sessions and out of those emerged the plan for Lyndale Gardens, a mixed use, socially progressive real estate development. One aspect of what they heard was a desire for shared public space and connections to creative activities.

While construction on Lyndale Gardens has yet to begin, the effort to engage Richfield residents is off to a strong start and will continue into 2016. In 2014-15, artists Witt Siasoco and Emily Johnson and Julia Bither of Catalyst Dance worked on various artistic projects that include the voices and perspectives of the Richfield community.

This work will result in community powered design and activation of a new, shared public space, with community members participating in mosaic mural-making and performance workshops with McLain, Bailey and Cage. Additionally, Forecast and The Cornerstone Group want to better understand how artists and developers can work collaboratively towards mutually defined goals or shared visions. The outcome of this work will be a greater understanding of how artists and developers can collaborate to create public art that can support healthy, vibrant communities.

See more about the residency as it unfolds:

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.