Irrigate mobilizes artists to engage in Central Corridor communities

October 18, 2011

Irrigate team members: l-r Erik Takeshita, Senior Program Officer, Twin Cities LISC, Betsy McDermott Altheimer of Springboard for the Arts, Joe Spencer, City of St Paul Director of Arts and Culture,  Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard, Carol Coletta of ArtPlace, Jun-Li Wang, Artist Community Organizer, Springboard.

A partnership between the City of Saint Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Springboard for the Arts is bringing new life and vibrancy to the Central Corridor.

Irrigate is an artist-led creative placemaking initiative spanning the six miles of the Central Corridor Light Rail line in Saint Paul during its construction. This unique opportunity brings together huge infrastructure development, a high concentration of resident artists on both ends of the corridor, a diverse ethnic and cultural mix among the neighborhoods, and a city with a strong track record of artist community engagement. This artist-led community and economic development approach emphasizes cross-sector collaboration with local private and non-profit sectors – including support from a Funders Collaborative grant.





Placemaking is the act of people coming together to change overlooked and undervalued public and shared spaces into welcoming places where community gathers, supports one another, and thrives. Places can be animated and enhanced by elements that encourage human interaction – from temporary activities such as performances and chalked poetry to permanent installations such as landscaping and unique art.

Irrigate offers artists:

  • Free training on placemaking and collaboration tools
  • New connections to neighborhood resources and other artists
  • Eligibility to apply for collaborative placemaking project support (up to $1,000 per eligible artist/per project up to a maximum of $3,000)






Artist Amelia Brown’s I Wish I Will project at the launch. 


Irrigate has created an ongoing series of Placemaking Workshops for artists connected to the Central Corridor in St. Paul. Placemaking workshops are open to anyone who considers themselves an artist- of any background and experience – and who lives, works or has a personal investment in Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) neighborhoods (St. Anthony Park, Hamline Midway, Frogtown, Downtown, Summit-University and Union Park).  After completing the training, artists will be eligible to apply for collaborative placemaking support ­– called Corridor Collaboration – through a simple and speedy application process.


Avalon High School students with the Broken Crow stencil.


Register for upcoming Placemaking Workshops here.

  • October 29: Station focus: Rice to Union Depot

  • November 12: Station focus: Snelling to Western

  • November 19: Station focus: Westgate to Fairview

  • December 3: Station focus: Rice to Union Depot

  • December 10: Station focus: Snelling to Western

To encourage the idea of art happening everywhere on the Central Corridor, local artists Broken Crow created a stencil, “Art Happens Here”, available for download from the Irrigate website.

Questions? Contact Peter Haakon Thompson, Project Coordinator, at 651-789-0679 or