Mar 12, 2018 – The Call

Evolution of a creative community

As discussed for past 6 months, NEMAA and our board of directors have been going through a strategic planning process, that included deep stakeholder engagement, and evaluation and visioning by the board. At this years’ annual meeting I unveiled our new organizational mission, vision, and values:


Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association powers an equitable and prosperous creative community that celebrates Northeast Minneapolis.


We imagine a bright Northeast Minneapolis: a national arts destination that elevates its rich intercultural history, setting standards for supporting all artists and creatives to make their dreams into their jobs.


Equity & Community: the community is the core of our work; without it, artists would have no context, inspiration or connection. Every single artists is essential to a vibrant community, especially those from historically under-invested communities.

Art & Artists: Artists are the soul of community, creating beauty, meaning and change; artists are truth-tellers, bring neighborhoods’ unique contexts and experiences to life.

Education & Capacity Support: continuous learning and skill-building is critical for artists to build successful, vibrant and meaningful careers.

Cultural & Social Capital: Culture and community together are forces for self-determination.

Most of the adjustment is about institutionalizing things we are already doing and being intentional about being an inclusive organization and strong advocate for all art and artists, and telling the story of our arts community. And because of these, we realize that we have evolved as all organizations must in order to be sustainable and also that our relationships have evolved because we build those and programming with an eye on our values.

We have been working to restore some past relationships which I feel will be nutritious for the growth and evolution of the association; Soap Factory and Hillcrest. We also are excited for our continued growth in new partners like Main Street Alliance, Eastside Neighborhood Services and

Our new magazine N Studio will also reflect these values, telling the story of the art of everything and connecting the rest of the metro area to our creative community through vivid visuals and strong storytelling. Over the next 12 months we will be working hard, making sure that the magazine, the website and the app are also working for you and enhancing your member benefits like building an online art class exchange through our NEMAA U program for those of you who depend on teaching as a means towards self-sufficiency.

We are extremely excited for this new direction forward and how it will benefit the creative community building bridges across the city and build a deep, diverse and supportive network of artists rooted in Northeast Minneapolis.

— Dameun Strange

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