Artplace Community Development Initiative

The St. James EDA worked with Partnership Art at Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership for a period of three years (2016-2019) when they received a Community Development Initiative grant from Artplace America. The goal of their grant was to infuse arts and culture into the way they work with communities to solve community development initiatives. The results were outstanding and included two categories- healthy housing and downtown art. Both categories had an over-arching goal of working in equitable ways and involving the Latinx community. The community was heavily engaged in all aspects of this process. 

    • Creation of a full printed guide showing all the available housing rehab options in English and Spanish
    • Courses to train community members to become certified handymen
    • Establishment of the Community Advocate Program which is used for outreach to hard to reach populations in the community
    • The use of the Community Advocate Program to help 35 homes through the "Healthy Housing" grant process 
    • Garden of Good People mural
    • Plaza de St. James- a meditative park space that reflects the paths we all took to get here
    • Bike-ro Economy- an entrepreneurial tool (electric assisted bike with cart available for rent to entrepreneurs)