Creative Community Design-Build

Organization and community: Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (Southwest region, MN)

Creative Community Design-Build is engaging artists to work directly with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership staff on community-engaged processes to revitalize underutilized downtown properties in small towns in the region. The organization is piloting this process with two properties, the Yes! House in Granite Falls and the Polos Building in St. James. The selected artists for each property are collaborating with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership staff and have identified community partners, stakeholders, civic leaders, and residents to facilitate a process of engagement, exploration and discovery for the reactivation of each property. The organization, in partnership with the artist team of Mary Welcome, Jack Forinash, and Kelly Gregory, hosted community events at the Yes! House that featured a game-based approach to generate ideas for continued reuse of the building. Ideas such as a women-led tool library and multilingual bingo nights may be piloted in the next phase of the Creative Community Design-Build process. These two case studies produced an adaptable internal strategy for Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership to facilitate sustainable, community-based design processes for future projects.