Arts and Culture Commission

Arts and culture commission 2020


The City of Northfield's Arts and Culture Commission supports the arts, culture and creative experiences as ways for us to connect with one another, with ideas, and with ourselves.


We envision Northfield as a community which values, integrates and engages in arts and cultural experiences - in all our diversity - into the fabric of civic life.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

We stand on the homelands of the Wahpekute Band of the Dakota Nation. We honor with gratitude the people who have stewarded the land throughout the generations and their ongoing contributions to this region. We acknowledge the ongoing injustices that we have committed against the Dakota Nation, and we wish to interrupt this legacy, beginning with acts of healing and honest storytelling about this place.


Second Monday of the month
4:30 p.m.

Northfield Public Library
Library Meeting Room
210 Washington St.

Important documents and links

Ordinance 855- Established the Arts and Culture Commission

Read the Cultural Plan

Art in Public Places Resolution 2017-073

Public Art Projects

Banner Policy

Agendas and minutes

City Meeting Archives Opens in new window
The City meeting archives contain agendas, minutes, handouts and additional information.

  1. City Meeting Portal Opens in new window
    The City meeting portal allows you to view live streamed meetings and agendas with clickable links.


Name Title Term  expiration
Todd Edwards Member December 31, 2022
Cynthia Gilbertson Secretary December 31, 2021
Paula Granquist Member December 31, 2023
Karna Hauck Member December 31, 2022
Teresa Jensen Member December 31, 2021
Matthew Klooster Member December 31, 2022
Heather Lawrenz Chair December 31, 2023
Bob Thacker Member December 31, 2021
Juliane Shibata Member December 31, 2021
Kamalie Nieves Youth Representative (non-voting) 2020-2021 school year
Madeline McDermott Youth Representative (voting) 2020-2021 school year
Edie Meehan Youth Representative (non-voting) 2020-2021 school year
Sam Nelson Youth Representative (non-voting) 2020-2021 school year

Staff liaisons

Name Title Phone number
Natalie Draper Library Director 507-645-1801
Kathy Rush Vizina Administrative liaison 507-645-1800


The Arts and Culture Commission advises the City Council about the development of arts and cultural activities, organizations, and facilities in Northfield. The Arts and Culture Commission was created by City Council in January 2007 following a recommendation from ArtsPlan06 which identified its mission. Its purpose is to assist Northfield in becoming a community in which arts and cultural activities:

  • Are recognized as vital components of community life worthy of investment and support from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors
  • Are valued and promoted for their economic benefits and development potential, especially in the downtown
  • Include new ethnic groups in Northfield’s identity and sense of community
  • Represent an integral part of Northfield’s educational mission and programs for young people
  • Engage the talents and involvement of retirees and senior citizens
  • Develop a wider array of opportunities for collaboration between faculty and student artists at the two colleges and community artists
  • Cooperate to enhance the public perception of Northfield’s identity and quality of life in the community itself, the surrounding region, and beyond

Meetings are called by the chair. For transaction of business at any meeting, a majority of members shall constitute a quorum.

2019 accomplishments

  • Passed the Cultural Plan in March and formed implementation subcommittees
  • Funded the first public art project through the 1% for the Arts initiative facilitated through the Public Art Review Process (PARC), an information kiosk located that the corner of Division Street and 6th created by Rick Swearer, Keeney Swearer and Howard Ostrue
  • Worked with the Public Works Department to recommend approval of the Banner Policy
  • Accepted and awarded first ever Spanish poems in the Sidewalk Poetry Program
  • Installed new “Welcome” banners on Division Street, funded by the NDDC, created by artist Steve Maus
  • Awarded 2019 Living Treasure Award to musician and educator Donna Paulsen

2020 major projects

  • Partnering with the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation on the Artists on Main Street Initiative (AOMS)
  • Implementing the Public Art Review Process for five separate projects (kiosk, AOMS, bench, banners, and roundabout)

Ongoing projects

The Arts and Culture Commission has initiated a number of special projects, including:

Sidewalk poetry

High school sculpture project

Living treasures award

Membership requirements
Members are appointed by the mayor with the approval of the City Council.

Members, based on their willingness to serve and background, are appointed from various sectors of the community, including arts and cultural organizations, Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges, local schools, business community, independent artists, and the community at large.


  1. Apply for a board, commission, or task force

    Applications are also available at:

    City Hall
    801 Washington Street
    Northfield, MN 55057

    Northfield Public Library
    210 Washington Street
    Northfield, MN 55057