It's been a great summer, but the end is just around the corner. We'll be deconstructing mini_polis beginning at 1pm on Saturday October 17th, so mark your calendars if you would like to pick up your work. Even if you didn't get a chance to add to mini_polis, you are welcome to any of the buildings that are not claimed after Saturday. Bird houses, raised-bed planters, little free libraries, bookshelves... imagine the possibilities!
Marie Ketring made a video about mini_polis and our process!
We wrapped up the third Creative City Market with a little repainting event, open to all attendees. Some focused on new park space and wildlife, while others made their mark in other ways. There was even a performance art event inside of mini_polis by Ifrah Mansour talking about the Somali Diaspora with balloons!
Thanks to everyone who came out and gave mini_polis a new look for its last month at the plaza!
Some of the many community contributions to mini_polis since launch:
mini_pols had its debut at what must the the biggest Northern Spark Festival ever. Even before 8pm, people were walking through and climbing all over the place. Then we gave them chalk to make their own marks on the small city.
Mayor Betsy Hodges kicked off the night, and we gave her the keys to the city (to ensure good representation at future planning board meetings).
The main event was the Cloud Cult concert, for which mini_polis became terraced seating. In fact, my neighbors told me they came a little late and were looking for the sculpture, but couldn't find it until they realized it was covered with people.
We've made some great progress over the last week, finishing the framing and starting the concrete for the base. Below is Rick and Nate running a load of fresh concrete over to the river,
Then Hend carving in some quotes Russell collected from the audio stories into the wet concrete in the Instagram stream below.
We can't wait to see how the river turns out!
Announcing the last building workshop!
We'll be on-location at the convention center plaza on June 6th to help you build the final buildings for mini_Polis before it's completed for the Northern Spark Festival. The base should be almost done, with many of the buildings from previous workshops already installed, and you'll be able to build your own new kit, or write all over any available blank buildings there.
Walk-ins are ok, but please sign up here if you think you might drop by (it's a really quick one this time, we promise).
Talking to folks about the mini_Polis project, we realized we were missing a part (maybe the part) of Minneapolis that makes this city great - the spaces between the buildings! We've been getting some great buildings from participants, now it's time to work on the parks and green spaces of mini_Polis in our forthcoming "How green can you get" building workshop on May 7th.
This workshop will bring together people who want to talk about their dreams for integrating nature into the city, and we'll build them into mini_Polis - modifying existing parks, adding new ones, as well as wildlife corridors, urban agriculture, and anything else you can think of.
Please sign up to attend here:
Thank you to everyone who came out for our first building workshop at Leonardo's Basement and making our first buildings for mini_polis! Our very own Jon Reynolds captures the four hour-session in this beautiful video. Check back here for registration for our next open workshop (we're thinking May 7) soon.
Your mini_polis ideas might make it into policy!
This project is all about getting people's stories and ideas out there, but now there's a chance that they might reach decision makers at the city level. We met with the Community Planning & Economic Development department earlier this week, and they are interested in collecting people's mini_polis ideas as part of the forthcoming Downtown Public Realm Framework. No final word on this yet, but we are excited about the possibilities!
We will hold our first building workshop at Leonardo's Basement, our preeminent community partner, on Saturday, March 28th. Leonardo's is an awesome place where people of all ages build wacky things, from castle forts to Rube Goldberg machines. We'll provide you with a pre-cut kit for your very own house to add to mini_polis, as well as all sorts of materials to customize it, and teachers to help you with tools.
Space is limited, so click here to register! (the link is second from the bottom on the page under "Special Community Build: mini_polis")
(nerd alert) I learned a new term today called digifab, which is digitally fabricated art. It appeared in this new article called "Why MSP is Leading the New DigiFab (Third Industrial) Revolution." That's because we're using a CNC router, which is a computer controlled cutting machine, in the production of the building kits. mini_polis is DigiFab! But then we're combining this new form of production with an extremely hands-on and personal approach to building and decorating the kits with Minneapolis residents for the final installation.
Sweet mother of pearls we won! After making the top three finalists for the Creative City Challenge, we presented to the grand jury and they chose mini_polis! We couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Northern Lights, the Minneapolis Convention Center, Leonardo's Basement, and more importantly -- all you Minneapolis residents who will help make this dream come true!
Stay tuned for more information on how to be involved.
We had a ton of fun making this for our project proposal to Northern Lights (although it was an early concept and the project has evolved slightly since then).