News // January 22, 2018

Write-up by Roxxanne O’Brien, Kristen Murray, and Melanie Stovall

Over the last few years, Juxtaposition Arts Tactical Urbanism Lab worked to create welcoming public spaces with music, art, and other activities centered around community engagement. Through talking to community members at everyday public spaces, like the bus stops along West Broadway, we were able to engage with people around different topics relevant to our neighborhood in North Minneapolis.

Last year we started Broadway Vibrations after being inspired by the impact we saw from our community engagement. The program was a chance to step up the previous work of our Tactical Urbanism Lab and bring community-inspired ideas to life. Particularly around public safety.

JXTA youth and staff directly experience the pain and injustice that goes on in our community. We had two bullets come through our windows in 2017. Both occasions were during broad daylight when our campus was busy with youth and adult staff working. Building a creative space that feels safe is a top priority at Juxtaposition Arts. The concept behind Broadway Vibrations came from understanding that crime is something that needs to be addressed with a holistic approach that goes beyond policing. We wanted our neighbors in North Minneapolis to join us in creating our own public safety strategy.

That strategy was focused on activating West Broadway when and where things can get hot on Friday afternoons and early evenings, especially near Hawthorn Crossings. We intentionally did activities around healing and raising endorphins in a healthy way. From blowing bubbles to playing old school music, to serving home cooked meals, our initiatives were all centered around wellness. We wanted to design a space that uplifted people, making them feel safe and loved through creating hopeful energy and positive vibrations to spread throughout our community. And it worked. People came through to make a smoothie, take a free book, get a massage, do yoga, snap a photo in the photo booth, participate in the open mic, watch a movie, enjoy a community meal, and play in one of the Spades tournaments.

Throughout the summer, we used our JXTA branded pedal-powered smoothie bike to offer a fun, active, environmentally-friendly way to make healthy snacks. We hired community members to share their services and skills: massage, yoga, meditation, legal advice, cooking, and healing. We had experts lead workshops on dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and grief. We also hosted a day-long Psychological First Aid training workshop with counselor and author Resmaa Menakem. On the 50th anniversary of the Plymouth Uprising, we screened TPT’s documentary on North Minneapolis and The Children’s March. In late September, we screened a feature-length movie in the parking lot of Hawthorn Crossings, creating a pop-up drive-in theater on West Broadway.

Between July—September of 2017, we hosted 13 Broadway Vibrations. Our locations included the Hawthorn Crossings parking lot, the corner of West Broadway and N. Lyndale, and our JXTA campus. We engaged with almost 800 community members, a number of which were walking past, saw the activities and stopped to join. One night, we were able to engage with a group of young people just hanging out at the McDonalds near Hawthorn Crossings. They tried yoga, talked with older community members, and came back for the meals. Two of them participated in both of our Spades tournaments we hosted, taking first prize in one.

This summer, Broadway Vibrations became a place for North Minneapolis to gather, talk, and share resources. It was a magnet for positive energy in the community. We heard so many words of encouragement, affirmation, and gratitude from people who participated. There were no incidents of violence at or around our location, and we are eager to see MPD data for the vicinity to understand if there is a correlation between our work in community engagement and public safety on West Broadway. Based on our experience and the feedback we got from community members, we believe that there is.


News // December 19, 2017

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund awarded a $50,000 grant to Juxtaposition Arts to build the first-ever skate park in North Minneapolis.

Photos by Steffenhagen Photography

The vibrant, community-developed skate park will be conceptualized and designed by youth apprentices from the Environmental Design Lab at JXTA in collaboration with City of Skate and West Broadway Business and Area Coalition. At JXTA, the labs give youth apprentices hands-on experience under the direction of established creative professionals, giving emerging artists the tools they need to build a successful career doing what they love. The Environmental Design Lab re-imagines space in the built environment through combining high-quality public interest and social justice design.

The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a yearlong effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.

The addition of the skate park is timely as more young people on the North Side are skating today but don’t have a neighborhood location designated for the sport. “The artist designed skate park is an incredible opportunity to bring Juxtaposition’s Art outdoors,” said Roger Cummings, Chief Cultural Producer and Co-founder at Juxtaposition Arts. “This project is a chance for us to spotlight the creativity of our artists and expose young people on the Northside to a new form of recreation. We also hope to draw awareness to how we, as a community, can use the power of art to decriminalize public spaces, encourage healthy lifestyles and expression, promote play and community interaction.”

In addition to the artist-designed skate park, JXTA is also creating a pop-up parklet and relocating a portable art space, called “The Magic Shed” to their campus. The pop-up parklet will provide a communal gathering space and will feature benches and tables. The Magic Shed, is a flexible, multi-purpose structure that can be configured as a stage, vending kiosk, projection screen, information booth, exhibition and activity space. It was commissioned by the West Broadway Coalition and designed in 2016 by a team that included Juxtaposition Arts students and staff, Ten x Ten Landscape Architects and 4RM+ULA Architects. In its previous location, the West Broadway Area Coalition successfully programmed the stage for a full year, including a weekly concert series, storytelling and poetry events, artist-created workshops and other community-driven events. The Magic Shed will soon be relocated to JXTA and will feature similar programming near the new skate park.

“Juxtaposition Arts is at the heart of the Bold North. It is exciting to partner with them and City of Skate to build the first-ever skate park in North Minneapolis,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships at the MNSBHC. “The 52 Weeks of Giving campaign is about building a legacy for young people through access to increased physical activity. I can’t wait to see what the JXTA designers create!”


  • DATE: December 14
  • TIME: 5pm—7pm
  • LOCATION: 2007 Emerson Avenue N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411
Please join us for the opening of Form & Function in JXTA’s Emerson Gallery, presenting new multi-media triptych works from current apprentices in our Contemporary Art studio.
This gallery opening will also feature our new Textile Pop-Up Boutique located within the Emerson Gallery. Find and purchase a number of handmade goods there during the event.


Salem Anderson-Murre
Celicia Andrade-Vital
Daria Harris
Same Johnson
Savitri Mann
Skyler McBurnie
Kylia Porter
  • DATE: December 7
  • TIME: 5pm—7pm
  • LOCATION: 2007 Emerson Avenue N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411

Our Visual Art Literacy Training (V.A.L.T.) program provides a comprehensive hands-on arts education as a prerequisite for the paid apprenticeships in our JXTA Labs. At the end of each V.A.L.T. Session, we host an Open House for the public to view the work by our amazing youth.

Stop by 1108 West Broadway Thursday, December 7 from 5pm—7pm to see the culmination of work created by youth artists in this fall’s program! Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

News // November 28, 2017

Drew Petersen Solo Exhibit: Hurry Up and Wait

If you take a look at the last four solo shows to come through Public Functionary, you’ll notice one thing that the artists all have in common with each other: they’re past and present Juxtaposition Arts instructors:

Next up? Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) Instructor, Drew Peterson. At the core of this exhibition is a sentiment that Peterson feels he shares with many of his generation, the mentality to “do more with less,” to embrace complexity, and the understanding that the labor that constitutes our path contains value and meaning.

In this exhibition, Peterson has stripped down his approach to screen printing—relying solely on techniques generated directly by hand rather than the technologically aided processes most utilized in contemporary printing practices. Peterson explores a hybridized process of watercolor painting and screen printing at a scale that normally exceeds the technical capacity of print-based work. The title Hurry Up and Wait encapsulates the artists’ surrender to both time and process, and serves to illustrate the frenetic formal qualities of the exhibition.

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 16 / 7pm @ Public Functionary
Gallery Hours through January 13, 2018
Open hours: Tues/Thurs 12-6pm / Saturday 12pm-7pm
Artist Conversation: Friday, Jan 12 / 7pm
*Additional Friday evening programs and open hours TBA*

More info:

News // November 14, 2017


We are so excited for JXTA alumn Amairana Jonapa Sanabria who was awarded a Su Mathews Hale Women Lead Award at the National AIGA Conference in Minneapolis! Inspired by Su Mathews Hale, AIGA’s fifth female president and co-founder of AIGA’s Women Lead Initiative, the Su Mathews Hale Women Lead Award helps support talented, high potential female designers starting out in their careers. Each year, a handful of high-performing students enrolled in design schools are selected with the help of faculty lead on our 200+ AIGA Student Groups to attend the annual AIGA Design Conference and connect with the design community through rich conversation, networking, and education. Recipients also receive an invitation to join AIGA Women Lead committee members for a mentorship lunch during the conference, as well as a one-year membership to AIGA.

In this video, Mai talks about how she wants to, “design a campaign to show awareness about DACA students and why we deserve to stay here.” Before attending the Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Mai was a Graphics Lab Youth Apprentice here at JXTA and also worked on our Youth Media Team. When our youth apprentices age out of the program at 21, we are always so proud to see the next phase of their life. Whether that be higher education, entrepreneurship or landing a job in their field or in Mai’s case, winning an award with the largest professional design organization, AIGA. Congrats Mai!

News // October 27, 2017

We’re honored to be recognized by The Bush Foundation as one of the Bush Prize Winners

The award centered around community innovation celebrates organizations that are extraordinary not only in what they do but in how they do it. Winners receive an unrestricted grant equal to 25 percent of the organization’s last fiscal year budget, up to $500,000. The Foundation produces a short film and Creative Case Study for each winner as a way to highlight their accomplishments and celebrate their success. Creative Case Studies build on work done by our evaluation partner, Wilder Research, to learn about how effective community problem-solving happens.

Editorial Feature on Pollen Midwest

Art Direction and Design by Pollen Midwest
Photos by Nancy Musinguzi
Story by Maya Beck
Illustrations by John Wilinski & Ann Macarayan
Research by Wilder

The Bush Foundation chose the team at Pollen Midwest and their signature style of visual and narrative storytelling to help audiences better understand what makes a Bush Prize winner. You can see the full feature here:

Bush Prize Volume One: Your Field Guide to Creating a Culture of Innovation

Product Photography by Melanie Stovall

In addition to the online feature, Pollen Midwest and the Bush Foundation wove together the work of creatives spanning nonfiction, photography and illustration to create this field guide of regional innovation. While the overall content creates a portrait of progress, the book’s construction mixes the old with the new. Modern illustrations, cinematic portraits and detailed footnotes live within a structure that pays tribute to the innovation capsules of the past: Kelley Blue Books, vintage encyclopedias and Farmer’s Almanacs.

  • DATE: Saturday, September 9th
  • TIME: 11am — 5pm
  • LOCATION: 2007 Emerson Avenue N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411






11am—2pm Try out playful prototypes for a clean, green Northside!
12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm Stop by the Textile Shop for live screenprinting demos!
2pm—5pm Make your own button with our graphics lab!
2pm—5pm Come through for music and dancing with Summer Cypher Minneapolis!
2pm—5pm Add your voice to the Upper Harbor Terminal planning process!
11am—5pm See what’s new in our Textile Shop on Emerson!

News // July 3, 2017

In celebration of 22-years of putting creativity to work in North Minneapolis, we are displaying our first-ever Juxtaposition Arts alumni exhibition.

Come check out the awesome talents of creatives and entrepreneurs spanning the classes of 1995 and 2015.

On Thursday, June 29th, 7:30-9pm join us in the Emerson Avenue gallery for refreshments, a stroll through the 7-artist exhibition and a deep-dive into the journeys, struggles and visions of these distinguished JXTA alums. Panelists include multidisciplinary artist Adrienne Doyle, creative entrepreneur Houston White, jewelry designer Kelsey Lee-Karol and musician/composer & scholar Davu Seru.

Alumni Talk:  Thursday, June 29th, 7:30-9pm
Exhibit Dates: May 9th-July 16th, 2017.
Gallery Hours: M-Th, 10am-4:30pm
Location: 2007 Emerson Ave N. Minneapolis, MN 55411
For more info:



News // July 3, 2017

This summer, as you stroll through downtown Minneapolis, be sure to take in the artist displays up as part of Future: Made Here, a project of Hennepin Theater Trust.

Exhibit dates: now through August 30th, 2017
Location: 730 Hennepin Avenue S. ( the northeast corner of 8th Street & Hennepin Avenue) in downtown Minneapolis

JXTA Contemporary/Public Art Lab apprentices designed a new piece for the exhibit, which will be mounted throughout the summer. Here’s what they had to say about their installation, “Contemporary Futures”:

This piece functions as a narrative, centering how we envision and cultivate the futures we want and honoring the Earth. Reflecting on the state of the world we live in, what futures we want to create within it and what we want to leave behind, we explore what it looks like to resist and persist through the toxicity of our current social and political climates and move forward. The mixed media installation was created assemblage style using recycled, second hand and found objects.

The piece was by Contemporary Arts Lab instructors Adrienne Doyle, Tia-Simone Gardner and Jordan Hamilton and apprentices Kayla Baribeau, Imani Gates, Samie Johnson, Ysa Johnson, Nya Jones, Skyler McBurnie, Salem Andersen-Murre, Canaan Ray-Strong, and Savitri Swayze.

Also, be sure to also check out JXTA apprentice Canaan Ray-Strong’s shrine to the ghost of hip hop past present and future. Canaan submitted his piece independently and was selected for the show. Go, Canaan!

Exhibit dates: now through August 30th, 2017
Location: 730 Hennepin Avenue S. ( the northeast corner of 8th Street & Hennepin Avenue) in downtown Minneapolis

Click here for more information on the exhibit.