Reflecting on Irrigate and Launch of Ready Go

March 18, 2015

By Peter Haakon Thompson, Community Development Coordinator, Springboard for the Arts


When Irrigate officially wrapped up at the end of 2014, we had trained over 600 artists in creative placemaking and supported close to 200 of those artists to create 120 collaborative placemaking projects along the Green Line. Collectively, those artists and their work changed the narrative of the corridor from one of disruption and dust to one of joy, surprise and hope. Over three years, Irrigate garnered over 51 million earned media impressions from print, TV, radio and online stories about Irrigate artists and their work. That’s amazing!

More importantly, we saw artists make connections with one another, build relationships with businesses and organizations in their neighborhoods and create art that had an impact in their communities.

Examples of art projects done by Irrigate artists and available now through Ready Go.

While Irrigate was still in full swing, groups in Cleveland, OH and Mesa, AZ used the Irrigate model for programs in their own communities. That led us to create a free Irrigate toolkit to provide step-by-step guidance for projects of different scales. The toolkit is available on the Creative Exchange website, Springboard’s national platform for storytelling and resource-sharing around artists, creativity & community. To date, the Irrigate toolkit has been shared 50 times since it launched.

With Irrigate wrapped up, we are developing new on-ramps for connecting artists to community. Ready Go is a resource that connects neighborhoods, businesses and non-profits to artist-created, mobile tools that are built to peak curiosity and prompt interaction. Ready Go is a mechanism (think Reddy Rents or Etsy) that allows artists to offer their tools for hire. These artist-made tools include: the Streetcorner Letterpress, Free Speech Machine and Temporary Table Tennis Trailer. Additionally, Ready Go artists bring customizable options like printing a postcard or facilitating specific conversations in a pop-up park.

To receive updates and check out Ready Go tools and artists available for hire, visit:

Come and see us!

Springboard for the Arts will be presenting on Irrigate and Ready Go at the 2015 Community Connections nonConference – Creative Engagement and Action using Arts and Placemaking.

Saturday, March 21st from 9:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center

The nonconference is FREE.

Read more and register here.