During the summer of 2019 we brought friendly staff, music, activities and art to the streets of downtown. Streets of Summer was a pilot stewardship program that occurred in two priority zones – Central Station and the area around Rice Park, Landmark Plaza and Hamm Plaza – that helped us explore a potential business improvement district for Saint Paul’s city center. In addition to hiring full-time staff, Streets of Summer offered community activities, art projects and social activations, providing a multiplier effect for all the efforts and investments aimed at building a vibrant downtown. Streets of Summer received funding from the Knight Foundation, the City of Saint Paul Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization Program, John and Ruth Huss, and Dr. Lowell Hellervik.
Streets of Summer deployed five full-time staff members around Central Station, Rice Park, Landmark Plaza and Hamm Plaza to keep these vibrant areas welcoming, clean and safe. Managed by Block by Block, a national organization that operates business improvement districts, the Street Team picked up trash, removed graffiti, coordinated with adjacent businesses and gave directions to visitors. While the Street Team did not directly provide security services, their presence ensured a welcoming, safe environment.
Street music program
Curator: The Minnesota Music Coalition
Project: A variety of musicians will performed four times a week for 60 to 90 minutes a day at locations across the two priority zones.
Outdoor art gallery
Curator: Rachel Wacker
Project: Artwork from downtown artists was curated and displayed in the streetscape at the southeast corner of Minnesota and 6th Streets.
Uplift balloon installation
Curator: Alan and Nicole Mary Milligan of The Milligan Studio
Project: A balloon installation flooded downtown Saint Paul with color, allowing pedestrians to walk or sit under a sky filled with zeppelin balloons at Landmark Plaza.
Mosaic garbage cans
Curator: Mosaic artist Daniela Bianchini
Project: Daniela has brought beauty and vibrancy to downtown Saint Paul’s streetscape by adding colorful art to cement garbage cans in the two priority zones.
Farmers market flowers
Curator: The Saint Paul Farmers Market
Project: Flower vendors sold summer blooms to workers, residents and visitors in downtown Saint Paul.