Forecast is working with the City of Brooklyn Center to develop the city’s first public art and beautification plan!
The plan is designed to positively promote the city’s evolving identity and forward its community-engagement goals. This planning project will involve focus groups, a public art demonstration project utilizing street banners, and the creation of a plan document that will guide the city’s efforts for the next five years.
On February 23, 2019, the City of Brooklyn Center hosted an open session to shoot photos of adult residents who want to be part of the banner project. The Forecast team was on site to engage community discussions around the public art and beautification planning work.
Consulting associate Witt Siasoco developed large “A.R.T.” boards with questions to prompt the engagement of the community. The boards creatively collate people’s responses, are more inviting than post-it notes, give kids an access point to be involved, and provide an opportunity for everyone to engage in conversation about public art in Brooklyn Center. Prompts included: “Where’s your favorite place in Brooklyn Center?” and “What types of creative people do you know that we can involve in the project?” Witt asked kids and adults questions, and drew examples of their responses—or portraits of the kids—if the children didn’t start drawing on their own.
There was also fun postcard-making, where community members and staff sat and conversed. For the postcards, folks were asked to put their name and address on the back of the collaged cards they made, so Forecast staff can mail them to them later, and follow up with questions.
Future dates for focus groups are forthcoming once confirmed by City of Brooklyn Center and the Forecast team.
Witt Siasoco is one of five Forecast consulting associates who were participants of GroundWork and joined Forecast in January 2019 to work intensively on a variety of public art initiatives through six-month-long paid positions.
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.