In 1995, a collective of Northeast neighborhood artists came together to plan for the first Art-A-Whirl in 1996. Art-A-Whirl was to be an open-studio tour to showcase their work and establish their presence in the community. The collective grew as the studio tours rapidly gained popularity.
In 1997, the artist collective formed the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to promote and support artists, arts events, and community resources in Northeast Minneapolis.
And in 2002, members of NEMAA, the City of Minneapolis, the McKnight Foundation, and local businesses worked together to establish the formal geographical area that is today known as the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
NEMAA now serves almost 1,000 members, including artists, students, community friends, non-profit organizations, art galleries, and business members. Currently, NEMAA presents three major events, Art-A-Whirl, The AutumNE Member Art Show, and Wintertide. We also promote our members and year-round open studio events in the NE Arts District, and foster connections and opportunities between artists and businesses, individuals, and organizations.