Downtown Alliance announces Stewardship Program placemaking projects

Projects will occur during summer pilot program to test potential downtown improvement district

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance today announced additional placemaking projects for its pilot Stewardship Program that begins in June. Winning proposals will be awarded contracts from $500 to $10,000 to execute projects that bring vibrancy and activity to the Stewardship Program’s priority zones: the Central Station Green Line platform and the adjacent bus stops on Fifth and Sixth streets between Minnesota and Cedar streets; and Hamm Plaza, Landmark Plaza and Rice Park.
“We’re excited about the range of programming we’ll bring to downtown Saint Paul this summer through the Stewardship Program,” said Saint Paul Downtown Alliance President Joe Spencer. “I’m looking forward to the activity each project will bring to our city center and the insights we will glean from these pilot offerings and services.”
A total of $45,000 was given to projects ranging in variety from beautification to musical performances, including:

Mosaic garbage cans
Mosaic artist Daniela Bianchini will add colorful art to more than a dozen cement garbage cans in downtown Saint Paul, bringing beauty to the area and inspiring people to keep downtown clean. Bianchini recently did a similar project in South Minneapolis. She will create the mosaics in the public realm, beginning in June.

Street music program
The Minnesota Music Coalition will coordinate a variety of musicians to perform four times a week for 60 to 90 minutes a day at locations across the two priority zones.

Farmers market flowers
The Saint Paul Farmers Market will bring its flower vendors to key spots in downtown Saint Paul during rush hour to sell summer blooms to workers, residents and visitors. This activation will begin in mid-June.

Outdoor art gallery
Rachel Wacker will curate work from downtown artists and display it in the downtown Saint Paul streetscape within the designated zones.

Specific timelines and locations for each of these projects are still being determined. The Downtown Alliance will share more details as they become available.

“We received numerous outstanding proposals for this program – a wonderful reminder of the engaged and dedicated community that we have here in Saint Paul,” said Kris Taylor, vice president of global community relations at Ecolab, Inc. and a member of the Downtown Alliance’s downtown experience committee. “We felt strongly that the chosen recipients will provide a wide variety of engagement and activity across the downtown area, and we can’t wait to see them in action.”
Along with these projects and activations, the Stewardship Program will deploy full-time staff to the two priority zones to pick up trash, coordinate with adjacent businesses and give directions to visitors.
This pilot program is part of the Downtown Alliance’s research into the potential development of a business improvement district for downtown Saint Paul. Business improvement districts are used by cities to provide and fund local improvements through special assessments and service charges to commercial property owners and other properties which choose to participate.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Downtown Alliance on this pilot program,” said Anna Schmoll, regional vice president of Block by Block, a national organization that operates improvement districts and will be assisting with the Stewardship Program. “Improvement districts across the country are successful because of dedicated staff and innovative projects like these. This pilot program will be an important way to showcase what a district like this could do for downtown Saint Paul.”
For more information about the Stewardship Program and the grant recipients, visit
About the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit organization that represents downtown businesses, nonprofits, government entities, residents, and entrepreneurs to build a strong and vibrant downtown and create a positive downtown experience. The group aims to benefit the entire city and region by recruiting new employers, attracting new investments, advocating for downtown, and creating a positive experience for visitors, residents and workers alike. For more information about the Downtown Alliance, visit