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St. Paul awarded $750,000 for Central Corridor Light-Rail art

St. Paul leaders hope Central Corridor Light Rail art will spur development.

St. Paul leaders hope Central Corridor Light Rail art will spur development.

The Central Corridor Light-Rail line is about to get real pretty thanks to a $750,000 grant awarded today to St. Paul. Government officials hope it'll revitalize the Central Corridor.

Money for the project will support "hundreds" of artist-led projects along the light-rail line, including murals, stencils, and just about anything the city and its partners decide to support. Funding comes from ArtPlace, a consortium of philanthropic foundations. It'll be run, on the ground, by Springboard for the Arts and St. Paul, as part of a program called Irrigate.

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Broken Crow is one of the groups currently under consideration to receive funding. The stencil seen above was created by the local muralists, who are known for painting animals on walls all over the Twin Cities and even abroad.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says that the art community is "the soul of our city" and should be used as an economic engine. ArtPlace officials hope this can "kick-start local economies and transform communities," according to Luis Ubiñas, Chairman of the ArtPlace President's Council.

It's modeled on "creative placemaking," or the idea that cities can make neighborhoods beautiful and therefore help communities come together.

ArtPlace has awarded $11.5 million to 34 projects across the country, including St. Paul's. Artists interested in getting involved should fill out this form and contact Springboard for more information on workshop dates.

Joe Spencer, director of Mayor Coleman's Department of Arts and Culture, tells City Pages that they plan on training artists "to be engaged in community development projects and activate hundreds of micro-projects to test out ideas and just sort of proliferate central corridor neighborhoods with creative projects."

Sounds fun, doesn't it?