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The revised draft of Minneapolis 2040 was released in Fall 2018 for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council.  Read more about how to comment on the revised draft plan.

NOTE CONTENT CHANGES: In response to public input, the proposed content of this policy has changed since its original draft publication on March 22, 2018. To hide or view the mark-ups click the link below.
POLICY 29

Arts and Creative Spaces, Venues, and Districts: Ensure growth and sustainability in the creative sector economy by providing arts, culture and design artists, creative workers, and cultural organizations creative entrepreneurs, and small businesses with working, material, and physical capital resources. Acknowledge and highlight the significant contributions made by creative sector, and the capital and space needs necessary to sustain the creative economy. with the resources and support they need to create and thrive.

Arts districts and concentrated areas of artists' studios, creative work spaces, and arts venues contribute to the vitality of many plans in the city; including the Northeast Arts District, the Hennepin Theater District, the Cedar Riverside area, the Mill District, South Chicago Avenue, West Broadway, and others.

Former industrial areas with low rents have traditionally been attractive to artists and other creative entrepreneurs due to their affordability, historic character, flexible large-scale open floor plans, sound isolation, and natural ventilation. This proximity has provided artists with informal opportunities to connect and learn from each other, collectively exhibit, and sell and market their creative work. Events such as Art-A-Whirl provide the public with the opportunity to see 800 artists in every medium at more than 60 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis.

Clusters of galleries and studios in previously underused retail spaces, along with creative businesses in underutilized office and commercial spaces, also benefit both the creative entrepreneur and the local community. The same characteristics that make an area attractive to artists and creative workers, along with the character they subsequently bring to the area, ultimately makes these places ripe for more development, coffee houses, breweries, and people seeking unique housing options. There is the potential that with this competition for space, property values will increase. Artists and creative workers, who typically rent their spaces, may be priced out. 

The transition from artist districts to gentrification is a common issue that cities across the US have reckoned with for generations. These same challenges also undermine the ability of a multitude of small arts and culture for-profit/nonprofit and arts incubators to sustain themselves. There is a need to identify the tools available to artists, creative workers, arts organizations or venues, and cities seeking to prevent displacement.  These tools should also assist other long-term residents and businesses affected by this displacement.

The 2015 Minneapolis Creative Index report noted that creative sales contributed $4.5 Billion into Minneapolis’ economy--nearly eight times the size of Minneapolis’ sports sector revenues.  Creative jobs in Minneapolis have grown by 10.4% since 2006 and are represented in 72 different industries. The city is home to 26% of the region’s creative workforce and responsible for 50% of the region’s creative revenues. These facts demonstrate the importance of supporting the growth and sustainability of the creative sector to maintaining Minneapolis’ economic competitiveness.

The creative sector is unique with creative individuals frequently making up their income by combining contracted opportunities in the private sector and grant opportunities funded by the in the public and nonprofit sectors.  Nonprofit organizations and small creative businesses also straddle these two worlds, combining nonprofit and for-profit revenue streams in order to operate. 

While the creative sector is often cited as an important factor to promoting the City on a global scale, growth in this sector faces particular challenges, as small creative businesses often do not fit traditional small business models, and are configured differently in terms of their labor force and capital infrastructure.  To sustain the creative sector the resources that support small businesses need to be tailored and targeted to these unique circumstance and needs.          

Racial disparities that persist in Minneapolis’ economy also persist in the creative sector economy.  People of color make up a lower percentage of workers in creative occupations compared to all metropolitan area workers--nine percent versus fourteen. Compared nationally, people of color make of 17 percent of the creative workers and 26 percent of all workers nationwide. Work is needed to ensure Minneapolis’ successful creative sector and economy can create opportunity for people of color.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to ensure growth and sustainability in the creative sector economy by providing arts, culture and design artists, creative workers, and cultural organizations creative entrepreneurs, and small businesses with working, material, and physical capital resources. Acknowledge and highlight the significant contributions made by creative sector, and the capital and space needs necessary to sustain the creative economy. with the resources and support they need to create and thrive.

  1. Explore strategies to retain buildings that offer artists and creative workers access to flexible and affordable spaces, spaces that serve unique production needs, and proximity that allows for interaction and learning from one another.
  2. Support creative institutions that contribute to the vitality of arts, cultural, and creative spaces and districts within the city.
  3. Support community efforts to brand and market arts districts.
  4. Partner with private, philanthropic and other public sector organizations to direct and allocate working capital to the creative sector. government institutions to target investments in arts and creative spaces, venues, and districts, particularly in communities where there are existing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities.
  5. Explore strategies to prevent displacement and preserve the affordability of artist and creative studios, work spaces, live spaces, venues, and districts such as co-op models, subsidies, long-term leases, and an Advanced Notice of sale policy.
  6. Acknowledge and address the role the creative sector plays in displacing long-term residents and businesses.
  7. Ensure that City resources that support new businesses are fully available to the creative sector, particularly in communities of color and in specific geographies where there is disparity. *
  8. Plan for and encourage a built environment that is appropriately scaled and affordable to creative practice and production. *
  9. Engage diverse creative labor in city administration, training, planning research and development projects. *

*This action step was moved or removed in response to comments received or for clarification purposes.

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