Arts and Culture Commission
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
Northfield Public Library
Library Meeting Room
210 Washington St.
Agendas and minutes
|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, 2023|
|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|
|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.
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.
Applications are also available at:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Northfield Public Library
210 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Arts and Culture Commission achieved a number of initiatives and projects in 2020.
- Selected Adam Turman through a Public Art Review Committee as the mural artist for the roundabout; to be completed spring-summer 2021
- In partnership with the NDDC, SEMAC and the City of Northfield, purchased and installed the Threshold arch sculpture by Kris Swanson on the west side of the Cannon River
- In partnership with building owner David Aase, partially funded the Love mural by Brett Whitacre, installed in September 2020
- Approved the temporary installation of the sculpture Straight Through the Heart by artist Dale Lewis at Highway 3 and 3rd Street
- Completed and won a SEMAC grant for the partial funding of artist John Sterner’s Native American Eagle sculpture, to be completed in 2021; this is in collaboration with the Northfield Human Rights Commission
- Celebrated Mac Gimse as the 2020 Living Treasure recipient; due to the pandemic, he will also serve in 2021
- Conducted the SEMAC and City of Northfield-funded 2020 Sidewalk Poetry contest, with poems in English and Spanish; capstone event was first Sidewalk Poetry virtual event create for winning poets
- Conducted the Public Art Review Committee to select the Young Sculptors Project concept, to be completed in 2021
- In partnership with the NDDC, conducted the Public Art Review Committee for the selection of artists for round 2 of Artists on Main Street, funded by Rethos: Reimagined and Springboard for the Arts, with additional funding from the Bush Foundation
- Approved the creation of a Northfield Arts and Culture Commission logo
- In collaboration with the Complete Count Committee, juried artworks and installed the art in City Hall show “The Beauty of the Count”
- Celebrated the installation of the 2019 1% for the Arts Public Art project Art Information Kiosk in February 2020
- 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)
The Arts and Culture Commission has initiated a number of special projects, including: