Creative CityMaking Minneapolis (CCM) is a multi-year, arts-based innovation initiative that pairs staff in City of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the City’s One Minneapolis goal, “Disparities are eliminated so all Minneapolis residents can participate and prosper”.
CCM Minneapolis is stewarded by Intermedia Arts, the region’s premier multidisciplinary, multicultural arts center, and The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program at the City of Minneapolis. Leveraging the power of the creative process as a resource for the City to make progress on complex challenges, CCM matches experienced community artists with departmental projects generating new intersections – the birthplace of new thinking.
CCM builds on the success of a one-year demonstration project in which Minneapolis city planners and artists teamed on the creation of new strategies to engage communities who are under-represented in conventional planning processes. In 2013, seven experienced community arts practitioners were embedded in the Long Range Planning Division of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED). Artist-planner teams generated 22 tools that allowed planners to extend their reach to gather input about issues from long-term transportation and land use to the immediate economic and social conditions facing Minneapolis neighborhoods. These teams brought new voices into the conversations and processes that determine the City’s future. Depending upon the neighborhood engaged, 50%-95% of respondents reported not previously taking part in any City planning processes.
In 2015, CCM expanded into up to four additional departments within the City, in addition to continuing within Long Range Planning. In this next phase, the aim of the program is to deepen the understanding of how arts-based engagement approaches can strengthen connections between City government and the communities the City serves. In support of this work and its ongoing evolution, CCM is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the initiative. As a member of the advisory team I am responsible for providing provide feedback on the design and processes related to the evaluation of CCM and to support the team in meaning-making, as data is collected and patterns emerge.