The University Avenue Arts and History Center

by Noel Nix | Apr 02, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

As University Avenue enters a new era, new visitors need a space where they can learn about what the neighborhoods along University Avenue have to offer as well as learn about its rich history. Residents want a space where they can collect and share the stories of the families, institutions, triumphs, and tragedies that have shaped the neighborhoods along University Avenue into what they are today. To be truly great and realize its full potential, Saint Paul must find a way to balance these two opportunities. The University Avenue Arts and History Center can serve as this essential space for both residents and visitors. This synergy will create a tangible economic impact by attracting people to patronize local businesses and more fully explore all the area has to offer. It will also help anchor and communicate the complex identity of the neighborhoods in the area for all to more fully appreciate and understand.
It is our vision that a University Avenue Arts and History Center would be located at or near the intersection of Western and University Avenues, where Historic Rondo, Frogtown, and the emerging Little Mekong Business District all meet. The center would include exhibits on stories of the ethnic communities that have called the neighborhoods near University Avenue home. The center would also include a small bookstore, art gallery, theater, and internet cafe where all can read about, see, hear, and taste both the past and the present of these neighborhoods. The concept would be similar to Bus Boys and Poets and other projects across the country that have successfully combined many of these elements.
Celebrating the history of the Rondo and Frogtown community is not about living in the past, it's about laying a cornerstone on which we can build the future. The center will help carry forward community stories that might otherwise be lost and help all understand that our neighborhoods and more than just names and lines on a map.

About You

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About You

First Name

Noel

Last Name

Nix

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

Nieeta Presley, Lisa Tabor

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

Citizen's League, Central Corridor Funders Collaborative

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

The University Avenue Arts and History Center

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

As University Avenue enters a new era, new visitors need a space where they can learn about what the neighborhoods along University Avenue have to offer as well as learn about its rich history. Residents want a space where they can collect and share the stories of the families, institutions, triumphs, and tragedies that have shaped the neighborhoods along University Avenue into what they are today. To be truly great and realize its full potential, Saint Paul must find a way to balance these two opportunities. The University Avenue Arts and History Center can serve as this essential space for both residents and visitors. This synergy will create a tangible economic impact by attracting people to patronize local businesses and more fully explore all the area has to offer. It will also help anchor and communicate the complex identity of the neighborhoods in the area for all to more fully appreciate and understand.
It is our vision that a University Avenue Arts and History Center would be located at or near the intersection of Western and University Avenues, where Historic Rondo, Frogtown, and the emerging Little Mekong Business District all meet. The center would include exhibits on stories of the ethnic communities that have called the neighborhoods near University Avenue home. The center would also include a small bookstore, art gallery, theater, and internet cafe where all can read about, see, hear, and taste both the past and the present of these neighborhoods. The concept would be similar to Bus Boys and Poets and other projects across the country that have successfully combined many of these elements.
Celebrating the history of the Rondo and Frogtown community is not about living in the past, it's about laying a cornerstone on which we can build the future. The center will help carry forward community stories that might otherwise be lost and help all understand that our neighborhoods and more than just names and lines on a map.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The University Avenue Arts and Cultural Center will create a "living room" for both Frogtown, Rondo, and Little Mekong that is relevant for both residents and visitors. The concept combines the best elements of a history museum, cultural center, performing arts center, community center, and visitors center in a manner that is culturally inclusive, locally driven, and informative for those familiar with the neighborhoods or visiting for the first time. This center will be unique because it will create a space that celebrates arts and culture, fosters community collaboration and celebration, and encourages visitors to learn, explore, and spend in local neighborhoods.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Efforts are under way to attract visitors to spend time and money on University Avenue by branding distinct business and cultural districts including Little Mekong, Historic Rondo, and Frogtown. Many visitors will want an authentic experience that will allow them to fully understand the stories behind these labels. At the same time, many residents want a space where their culture and experiences can be authentically highlighted, shared, and celebrated through the arts and historical exhibits. This idea will enrich University Avenue as a destination while providing a community resource that allows residents to preserve and promote the heritages that help make University Avenue an appealing place to visit.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Thousands of visitors per year will use the University Avenue Arts and Cultural Center as a starting point for continual exploration and learning about the neighborhoods that make University Avenue a great place to visit while residents will use it as a space to continually share their art and heritage with both visitors and each other. This will establish a local model for place-based, intercultural heritage preservation as a key part of a transit-oriented economic development strategy. This model could be replicated both within Saint Paul and throughout the region along future transit corridors.

chantalchantelle2013 chantalchantelle2013 said: What we wanted is to have somebody who can do something for us such as help in order to give chances to a lot of artist. - Rabbi ... about this Competition Entry. - 2546 days ago read more >

Noel Nix updated this Competition Entry. - 2851 days ago

Noel Nix updated this Competition Entry. - 2853 days ago

Noel Nix submitted this idea. - 2853 days ago