“SCCA is my way to give back and help grow our local business community, which is key to keeping Seward as a sustainable neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Tracy Singleton, Birchwood Café

Member Profile: Articulture

One way to increase the versatility and endurance of a business to offer a thoughtful and broad variety of programs and services that can appeal to a large number of people. ArtiCulture is a local Seward business that has done just that.

Started in 2000 by Elizabeth Greenbaum, ArtiCulture aims to educate, enrich, and nurture through the arts. Greenbaum had been working at the Bloomington Art Center when she realized that a majority of their customers were coming from South Minneapolis. Her idea for a local art center was greatly encouraged by local community members. Greenbaum wanted a place that had retail and classroom space, as well as a nearby playground park for their younger visitors. It needed to be easy to walk to, safe, and accessible. In 2008, with the help of the Seward Neighborhood Group, ArtiCulture finally found the perfect space in Seward at 26th and Franklin.

In the retail space, patrons can view and purchase original artwork exclusively from local Minnesota artists. In their classroom space, ArtiCulture offers several types of classes for a variety of age groups. They have art classes for patrons from age 1 to adults. In the summer, they offer art camps for children and teens, and they even created a specialized class for toddlers and preschoolers to participate in alongside their caregivers.

In addition to their retail gallery and educational classes, ArtiCulture performs many outreach and partnership programs that focus on art accessibility issues and community. ArtiCulture has partnered with the Hennepin County Library to work with people with mental and physical disabilities, at-risk teens, and  people recovering from addiction and substance abuse. They have worked in places of low-socio economic means and have been involved in programs that concentrate issues of diversity.

Teens unveil a panel of the collaborative mural on the Seward Market

One way ArtiCulture has worked to build diverse community is with their mural painting projects. After the tragic shooting at Seward Market in 2010, ArtiCulture embarked on a mural project at 25th and Franklin that was a celebration of community. A group of teens of different ethnicities helped direct the project, learning practical skills as well as expanding their leadership and team building abilities. They learned how to plan and organize a community event and to take ownership of the mural design. With the help of two lead photographers, the teens went out into the Seward area to take photos about their ideas of community. These photos were used to create a montage that made up the majority of the mural.

In the upcoming months, ArtiCulture will start another mural project along Hiawatha Ave in Longfellow using the same grassroots participation model. They would like to get more involved in community issues. In the future, they envision creating an interactive art space for all that can use art to create social change, tackle environmental issues by reclaiming space, and thinking locally to bring a sense of place to the community. In just a short time, ArtiCulture has created a healthy, local business that brings several unique services and programs to the area. As they continue to grow and develop, they will enhance that programming while remaining committed to their mission.

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