The weekend’s snow flurries and the coming colder temperatures make ‘home and hearth’ all the more inviting for many of us. This ‘inward’ reflection brought to mind several realizations about the role art plays in the shaping of home and hearth, NE Minneapolis, and NEMAA.
The warmth and beauty of my home is shaped by the presence of artwork. I’ve had the privilege of purchasing from several local artists since moving to Minneapolis and each of these pieces signal a narrative of place, time and meaning. I can share these narratives with my friends and family when they visit, and I can appreciate each work’s labor, inspiration and beauty as I go about my daily life. I can also appreciate the artistic milieu that shapes NE Minneapolis with the presence of so many producers and production spaces. I can and have erased the chill of winter with a visit to one of these spaces to meet, learn about and purchase artwork from a NEMAA artist. Further, I know that winter’s darkness will soon be lit by Wintertide, and that this premier showcase event will excise January’s frosty bite with the splendor of NE’s incredible artist’s offerings. I know also that spring will bring forth flowers and open studios for 30,000+ arts patrons and that I can partake in Art-A-Whirl’s 22nd year. And I know that next fall I will visit the Fall Fine Arts gallery and throughout 2017 I will keep abreast of all that the arts in NE has to offer by referencing the directory and NEMAA’s social media sites.
NEMAA’s legacy, writ large in this artistic milieu and reputation of NE Minneapolis, is impressive - beyond compare with arts districts in other cities. It is a testament to the labor and vision of its artist members and the work they produce. This is the reason board members, staff, contractors, volunteers and supporters over the past two+ decades diligently and proudly carry forth the arts legacy.
In 2017 they will continue to work hard to support and help direct the growth of the economy and allure in NE Minneapolis on behalf of the artist members and the arts economy. My admiration of this unique NE arts conglomeration and my curiosity about how it came to be prompted my arrival on NEMAA’s board of directors seven years ago and has continued to fuel my advocacy for this organization and arts community. With the coming winter chill, however, I will end my term as board president and retire from the board. But I take my leave knowing that my intrepid board comrades and the organization’s talented new executive director and assistant director will continue do all they can (and more) to promote and sustain the amazing arts vitality found in NE.
NEMAA will continue the work of marketing the artists, their artwork and the community, the work of producing events and promotional tools aimed at showcasing and selling artwork, the work of providing services in support of the artists as entrepreneurs, and the work of fostering and expanding relationships which recognize, promote and protect the legacy of the arts in NE Minneapolis. For NEMAA is the atmospheric force shaping and supporting the artistic economy and milieu of NE – in all seasons! I am proud to have served this organization and will remain, though emeritus, your arts advocate.