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Artist Selection for Creative CityMaking

Late in 2016, I was approached by the Director of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy at the City of Minneapolis to help design and implement the artist selection process for the Creative CityMaking program. Historically, this process was managed by Intermedia Arts through a partnership with the City. The planned end of the partnership created a void where external support was needed to fill in the gap.

I love collaborating with the City. It's a constant learning experience - navigating new systems, wrapping my head around policies, and meeting all the players involved in decision-making. It's messy sometimes, but I've learned to love's often an opportunity to challenge existing systems and find new ways of working within those systems.

So, we hit the ground running - developing a call for artists, creating education opportunities for interested artists (online Q&A, a webinar and info sessions), developing a selection panel, and managing the incoming submissions. It rapidly moved into the selection process which generally looks something like this:

Throughout this process, its my role to educated and support all process participants - artists, staff, panelists - and ultimately facilitate a smooth and seamless process (if all goes well).

I am constantly challenged (in a good way) by each panel I work with and this was no exception. This incredibly thoughtful panel included City Staff and artists who'd participated in Creative CityMaking in the past. These artists and staffers worked together to understand the goals of the City programs and the challenges of an artist working in residence with said programs and ultimately, selected artists who they felt could embrace the dynamics of City collaborations.

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