JXTA: Developing A Creative Pipeline of And For The Community

(Left to Right)   Roger & DeAnna Cummings, Co-Founders of Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis.

(Left to Right) Roger & DeAnna Cummings, Co-Founders of Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis.

Last week, I teamed up with my friends at Pollen to help with a photo essay on Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA), an education program, teen-staffed design enterprise and locally rooted cultural development center founded in 1995. One of its kind in the region, the organization is best known for its grassroots approach to community collaborations, studio classes and workshops, public mural programs, and art exhibitions. From "Encouraging conflict to foster innovation, Believing success lives in your community, not outside," JXTA has truly created a household name for itself in the lives of Northside residents from dedicating generations of skill, creativity and resilience by investing in young people to change the world.

Here's an excerpt from their story on using disruption to drive innovation, words by Maya Beck:

"JTXA goes to the community instead of asking the community to come to it, inviting residents and business owners to influence its creative work. For its collaborative project “ReMix: Creating Places for People on West Broadway,” JXTA sent its young artists out with urban planning students to interview pedestrians on sidewalks, at bus stops and in other everyday spaces. They spent hundreds of hours on the street, engaging community members and listening to suggestions and complaints.
Where the community said the streets were poorly lit and uninviting, JXTA built light pole banners and other colorful arts interventions. It also built sculptural benches at high-traffic bus stops in response to the desires of busy parents with kids, groceries and tired legs. Everything JXTA does comes from listening to the community."

Read the full story on Pollen and check out my favorite shots from the day below:

My images from this past year's Open Streets Minneapolis held on West Broadway were featured in the profile as well:

"I fully believe art, creativity and culture is where you ARE, not hidden away in a museum far away." 

-DeAnna Cummings

Nancy Musinguzi