Happy Spring! It has been a little over a year now since I came to the Northeast CDC. Looking back, it’s been a very long stretch – but definitely a very productive one! We’ve come out of the economic downturn with a stronger and more engaged board, more connected to Northeast, and with a more community-grounded vision for the future. It’s not just the optimism of spring when I say that I’m really looking forward to 2011 and the work we’ve got planned!
First, a little bit on what we’ve been up to the past few months. We’ve been doing a lot of work on our board structure, bringing in a few additional board members to help us along the way. Please welcome Nichole Klonowski, Jennifer Garman, Donna Sanders and Mike Collins to our Northeast CDC board team. We’ve also been out in the community doing some outreach. As part of our work on the “Great Cities” project we sent out a survey to businesses along Central about their needs and priorities for the upcoming years. We also sent out a survey to the broader Northeast area, getting some great feedback directly from the community. We helped the Northeast Farmer’s Market with some strategic planning and their own board transition, and we also helped the Logan Park Neighborhood Association with a website upgrade!
The Northeast CDC is taking an increasingly active role in the second phase of the Arts Action Plan: sustaining Northeast Minneapolis as a healthy and stable home for artists. Since artists do so much to stimulate our local economy, we want to make sure they remain! Over the next year we’ll be researching some things like establishing an Artists Cooperative, implementing an Artists’ Credit Union and also maintaining the outreach website and Arts District signage put in place a few years back. If you’d like to get involved, let us know!
The Jackson Street Artist Housing project is moving right along. With our partners at Artspace we’ll be applying for a second round of tax credits this year. Stay tuned for project updates; we’ll also be planning a community meeting for later in the fall.
We’ve got some great projects on the horizon in addition to the above. We’re working on a gardening resource for Northeast residents who want to beautify their lawns and gardens – the Northeast Cultural Gardens Project. We’re planning a family-friendly bike tour for 2012 that will go through all thirteen Northeast neighborhoods. We’ll be building websites for 10 northeast businesses that sorely need them, and also working on a Northeast calendar for 2012 featuring the artwork and photography of local artists and residents. You can find out more about all of these projects, as well as how to get involved right here on our site! In addition to volunteer opportunities, we still have two seats open on our board. (hint, hint!)
Thank you for your continued support as we rebuild our capacity to better serve the Northeast community. Looking forward to working with you over the next few years,