On Thursday evening half a dozen people gathered at Altered Esthetics, a cozy art gallery on Quincy Street in Northeast, for a community conversation on Neighborhoods and the New Normal. We talked about the Northeast arts community and its role in the improving neighborhoods, the need for more collaboration among the 13 NRP neighborhood organizations in Northeast, and inspiring neighborhood projects from around the country.
The Twin Cities Daily Planet also asked participants this question, “In a time of budget deficits and decreasing resources, how can we best promote the economic vitality and livability of our neighborhoods?” Here are their responses:
I think creating opportunities for people to get together and enjoy their surroundings and their neighbors-things that promote a neighborhood’s unique voice and spirit. Northeast in particular benefits from a strong and growing art community. I think Northeast also benefits from strong community action and people getting involved to change and improve the area. I think the arts has given Northeast a strong personality and helped people to begin to reinvest. Finding each community’s specific contribution and strong suit and how they can benefit the neighborhood, creating the need to depend on each other to grow. Recreating what has worked, fixing what doesn’t and implementing new programs to help improve the neighborhoods.
Through ongoing dialogue. Through resources and information. By engaging the community though volunteerism, activism, and the arts.
Work within neighborhoods to learn their concerns and with the help of neighborhood volunteers try to resolve neighborhood issues. Safety is a big issue that can be addressed with the local police department and safety officers.
By finding ways to break down big ideas into smaller steps that more people can get involved in. Instead of slashing services, ask what we can do with what we have and stretch it to reach out to more people and more communities. Look for ways to recruit people who have little involvement in their own communities and get them excited to visibly see the results they put into their efforts.
Vitality and livability can be promoted by involvement of the communities, businesses and residents. It has to be a joint effort of all to create a place that people want to be. Art is a great way for people to meet and discuss what is important to them. To beautify the neighborhood with public art will draw visitors to the neighborhood to visit, shop, eat, etc.-this will revitalize local businesses and bring in new businesses and homeowners. A community should also be able to meet its residents’ needs within its boundaries.