I recently participated in one of Springboard for the Art’s IRRIGATE workshops, which is empowering artists to enliven the Minneapolis – Saint Paul LRT corridor with arts projects of all kinds.
I want to begin with a pilot project that I hope will develop into a long lasting one for the entire corridor from downtown St. Paul to Minneapolis. It’s called, “Jazz on the Line”. I will begin by soliciting the participation of four restaurants along University Avenue, and asking them to host one evening of music. There would be no initial cost to the restaurant, as we could cover the cost of promotion and the music through the grant funds. For the initial project, the restaurants can be anywhere along the LRT line from downtown St. Paul to Hwy 280. I’m leaning toward places that have a wine/beer license, and either have some music, or are interested in collaborating to have an evening of live music once a month to draw a group of patrons who may be new to their restaurant. Any ideas or requests?
I have an idea to create a “Jazz on the Line” member card, which could be shown by those who are following the music events. Perhaps the restaurant owners might offer a small discount, free app or dessert, or something to those who patronize their place that evening. Another idea is a “passport”, on which the various restaurants could be advertised, and patrons get a stamp from each restaurant, and when the card is filled, perhaps some kind of reward… (to be determined).
I have been in contact with Mary Morse Marti, who co-founded an informal group that meets for lunch and dinner at restaurants along the light rail corridor. The “Central Corridor Construction Club” is a Facebook Group. They are mostly neighbors and business owners somewhere along the line, who expect to be around for a long time and have a strong vested interest in Corridor vitality. You can request to join this group.
A neighbor suggested that University Avenue could become St. Paul’s version of Minneapolis’ Eat Street, Hennepin Avenue from downtown Minneapolis to Lake Street and beyond.
The facebook group is called “Jazz on the Line”. You can request to join this group to keep informed of music events happening on University Avenue and all along the LRT corridor.
So… lots of ideas; as someone who is interested in the long term viability of a music/restaurant scene along the corridor, I look forward to hearing ideas from all of you.