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Minogitoon: Non-profit helps artists and communities thrive


May 21, 2021

Michele Anderson / Springboard for the Arts

At Springboard for the Arts, our work is about supporting creative people power in communities of all sizes. For us, that means holding that artists are essential. Our work supports artists making a living and a life, helps artists offer their creative thinking to community planning processes, ensures communities have hubs and homes for creatives to gather and support one another, and creates mechanisms for artists to demonstrate, experiment, and prototype new possibilities for their community.

We know that it takes planning, investment and strong relationships to generate creative people power. Just like we need solar panels to generate power from the sun, communities need infrastructure so that they’re able to tap into the creativity needed to make their communities thrive.

While we have many services to help communities, it can’t happen in the long term without the deep understanding, relationships and vision that local artists, culture bearers, and community leaders bring. We share our work openly to support the leaders and solutions that are unique to a place.

Since getting to know local leaders like Emily Fuerste Swanson, Kristine Piasecki, and Holly Hansen, and meeting dozens of artists at a recent Artists on Main Street for the community Cloquet, it’s given me so much hope to see the ways that this region is supporting artists and thinking long term about how they are needed to bring fresh perspective to local community issues.

In a time where many rural regions are looking for ways to build resilience, equity, civic engagement, and cultivate thriving local economies, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s exciting to see the Minogitoon Collective as an emerging state and national model for rural vitality. I can’t wait to follow and learn from these incredible efforts, and encourage you to get involved, support, and follow this exciting new chapter of art and culture in your region.

To learn more about Springboard for the Arts, and our work supporting artists and their communities, visit If you’re a creative rural leader, be sure to read about our Rural Regenerator Fellowship and how this program is helping strengthen rural arts and culture in the Upper Midwest. Applications due June 11.

Writer Michele Anderson is the rural program director for Springboard for the Arts.


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