Resilience in the Creative Enterprise Zone

By Catherine Reid Day

IF it ever rains again,” my husband said recently as we discussed adding some water storage next to our garage. We want our home to become a resilience hub with solar, a heat pump, a charging panel for our electric car and a larger vegetable garden.

That pull to resilience also shows up in our civic life, where I’m energized by what happens when we combine the magic of people, place and purpose. The St. Anthony Park community includes a deep pool of talented people who often contribute amazing skills to our community.

Two major projects are underway this summer through the Creative Enterprise Zone—which is both a place (south St. Anthony Park) and a nonprofit. Already enlivening the streets of the CEZ, these two summer projects rely on the involvement of civic organizations, volunteers and donors. Here, collaboration is our touchstone.

We formed the CEZ a decade ago in response to a shifting environment: Taking action to sustain the neighborhood as a center of business enterprise and studio artist creativity. Similarly, this summer’s projects focus on place, action and dreams.

100 Trees Initiative

As described in the August issue of the Park Bugle, we’re growing 100 trees that were planted by volunteers in new gravel bed nurseries last spring. With the leadership of CEZ board vice chair Ben Shardlow and support from the SAP Community Council, Transition Town and local sponsors and helping hands, the trees will be transplanted throughout the CEZ this fall.

Because of its many industrial buildings and paved surfaces, this area is one of the city’s most concentrated heat islands. So, adding trees is key to resilience. A green canopy lowers ambient temperature, improves air and water quality, adds shade and makes public spaces more enjoyable. Find out more (and donate to dedicate your own tree!) at CreativeEnterprise
Zone.org/trees.

Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival

Outdoor murals are helping raise the profile of the CEZ as a center of creative economic activity and an arts destination.

We began with 12 new murals in 2019, bringing the creativity inside the buildings outside to the streets, adding to the long-term beauty, economic vitality, safety and walkability of the area. We added six more murals in 2020 (with pandemic adjustments). And the numbers keep growing, thanks to sponsors, donors, community and the work of many talented artists.

This year, we celebrate the summer-long 2021 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival with 10 new stand-alone murals and five more created during the BangIt! Mural Meet in May. (Get the map of all the murals here: chromazone.net/map-1.)

The new murals will be completed by the festival’s closing events on Thursday and Saturday, September 23 and 25. (See sidebar story). Consider donating or volunteering. Get all the details at chromazone.net.

Resilience is literal

Resilience is literal. It is about greening a place and easing the heat island effect. It’s also about finding safety, belonging and meaning as we get to know our neighbors and build community together in shared public places.

Each of us has something to contribute: talents, energy, money, sweat equity. Take steps to strengthen this unique creative community. Your time, treasure and talents will make it more beautiful, walkable, prosperous and GREEN. 

Catherine Reid Day is co-founder and board member of the Creative Enterprise Zone and owner-founder of Storyslices LLC, a strategic communication, coaching and production company based in the CEZ.

Chroma Zone closing events

More event info, including how to volunteer or donate, at chromazone.net.

Thursday, Sept. 23

Guided mural tours by bus
4-6 p.m., leaving on the half-hour
Vandalia Tower Courtyard, 550 Vandalia St.

Chroma Zone artists exhibition and pop-up shop
5-8 p.m.
550 Vandalia St.
Produced by NewStudio Architecture & Gallery

Chroma Zone artist talk
7:30 p.m.
550 Vandalia St., Building C second floor
With Forecast Public Art

Saturday, Sept. 25

Guided mural tours by bike
9 a.m. and noon
Register (and check for location) at chromazone.net
With Saint Paul Bike Coalition and Move Minnesota

Guided mural tours by bus
5-7 p.m., leaving on the half-hour
2299 W Territorial Rd.

“Celestial Embodiment: X Expanded Cinema”
7-9 p.m.
Bro-Tex east wall, 840 N. Hampden Ave.

Live painting and performance led by muralist Missy Whiteman

Chroma Zone Festival closing party
8 p.m. to midnight
Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Suite #004

Admission fees apply.

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