First Ward October Newsletter

Ward 1 News from Minneapolis Council Member Kevin Reich
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October 2015


Kevin Reich
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2201



Audubon Park
Columbia Park
Logan Park
Marshall Terrace
Mid-City Industrial
Northeast Park
Waite Park
Windom Park

City of Lakes

Council Member's Message

I am pleased to announce that last month the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved the Percent-for-Art ordinance that Council Vice President Glidden and I authored. This represents a real win for the City of Minneapolis as a whole, as well as for the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District and Ward One.

The ordinance dedicates 1.5% of City-issued net debt bonds annually to public art funding, which allows the City to fund public art in a predictable manner. The City of Minneapolis has a long history of dedicating money to public art, but before this new ordinance, the Art in Public Places budget fluctuated year to year. That made effective planning difficult when you consider that large public art projects can take a period of years to complete.

Given that the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District produces roughly $30 million in direct and related economic activity annually, it was an easy decision for me to want to re-inforce the City's support of the arts. As Brenda Kayzar, the president of the board of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), said at the public hearing on the ordinance, "On any given day you can visit Northeast and observe the positive economic impact of these arts entrepreneurs who are running their small businesses in the spaces abandoned by large scale manufacturing. They are producing their products in repurposed studios, paying rent, buying supplies, coffee, lunch, dinner. And attracting others to Northeast to view and buy their products and imbibe in what Northeast businesses have to offer."

But there's another argument to be made for supporting this ordinance. Art isn't just about economics, it's also about community and identity. It isn't just an extra, it's an essential. Public art in its many forms provides access to art for everyone in our City and gives visible form to the complexities and commonalities of our community.  Now the City can play the important role of facilitating public art on a stable, annual basis.


Kevin Reich Signature