Podcast: Dean Kjerland on Northfield’s new Riverwalk Arts Quarter

Dean Kjerland, Griff Wigley, Ross CurrierRiverwalk Arts Quarter mapOur podcast/radio show guest yesterday: ArtOnWater’s Dean Kjerland, discussing the latest developments with the Riverwalk Arts Quarter which was funded last fall by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). Dean blogged about the Riverwalk Arts Quarter on Northfield.org last September. Update 3/20: The Riverwalk Arts Quarter website is now up, and there is a Riverwalk Arts Quarter Facebook group, too.

Click play to listen. 30 minutes. You can also download the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe directly with iTunes.

Our radio show/podcast, Locally Grown, usually airs Wednesdays at 5:30 PM and Sundays at 10 AM on KYMN 1080 AM.


  1. April Ripka said:

    nice chat, guys. thanks for the name drops, dean. i’m beginning to cringe at the sound of my name. now the pressure is on, huh?
    the site is up (since sunday!) it’s pretty basic for now until we can have more information to put up. basically it’s a mirror of what the “official” invite/announcements will read.
    blog site? what blog site? what more do you want from me, people?? well, i’ll see what i can do… 😉
    until then, there IS a group that Felicia and i started on facebook. (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=47503358844) it will be a good source for any facebook users that would like updates on RAQ’s progress and would like to post/blog/discuss/etc.

    March 19, 2009
  2. Rob Hardy said:

    Thanks for the mention of Cannon River STEM School’s lottery on the podcast.

    Tracy, has MPR ever tried to lure you away from LocallyGrown? You have a great radio voice.

    March 19, 2009
  3. April Ripka said:

    it’s been up since Sunday, silly rabbit. if only i were that quick!

    March 19, 2009
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    April, I’ve edited the blog post above to include links to both the website and the Facebook group.

    You might want to fix the spelling of your Facebook group, tho. Folks might wonder what a ‘quater’ is. 😉

    March 20, 2009
  5. Dean Kjerland said:

    The Riverwalk Arts Quarter Town Meeting Initiative team working on Advertising and Promotion is: April Ripka, Felicia Peters, Gail Jones Hansen, Jim Bohnhoff, and Victor Summa – nice work on the flyer! And thanks to all the members of the Core Leadership Team as we move toward the Town Meeting. April Ripka’s work on the new website http://www.riverwalkartsquarter.com/ is a great example of in-kind grant matching contributions. Every $100 in-kind or cash can mean $200 in project funds.

    March 20, 2009
  6. April Ripka said:

    oh darn it. thanks for letting me know, griff. problem adverted. thanks for the links, too!

    March 20, 2009
  7. Susan Ecklund said:


    I believe it was averted, not adverted (although I needed to check to be sure; a dictionary is a handy tool).

    March 21, 2009
  8. Susan Ecklund said:

    And, by the way, I am not being sarcastic. That is an honest opinion.

    March 21, 2009
  9. April Ripka said:

    no, you’re right. advert is the exact opposite meaning. too funny.
    it was late at night. i can create efficiently, but not think. or type. as long as people know what i mean.

    March 22, 2009
  10. Tracy Davis said:

    Thank you for your kind words, Rob. So far MPR has appeared blissfully ignorant of my many talents, including a face fit only for radio, but I’m always open to new experiences. They should feel free to call.

    March 22, 2009
  11. Griff Wigley said:

    How did the Riverwalk Arts Quarter “Building Bridges” Town Meeting at the Grand Event Center go last night?

    April 22, 2009
  12. More than 60 citizens and a half a dozen SMIF staff came together Tuesday night at The Grand for the Riverwalk Arts Quarter Town Meeting. I asked a number of folks, some who are long term Northfield residents, if they knew everyone – best was someone claiming to know 75%. Therefore we succeeded in connecting with a broad range of people throughout the community.

    9-10 great ideas come up, we consolidated several of them, and the final vote selected: 1) an Annual Fine Arts Festival and a summer Saturday French Country Market with strolling musicians, 2) a combined public art sculpture concept, 3) ArtOrg’s steamroller print display, and, 4) very importantly, a legal entity to act as an association to manage the Riverwalk Arts Quarter activities.

    In May the leaders of the winning projects will submit detailed plans including time lines, workers, funding, and relevance to the conditions of the grant. The grant team will then allocate the grant funds.

    From 6 to 20 to 60+, we’ve built community-wide input and support for our dream. We’ve seen that the SMIF process works, they have plenty of money, and review new applications twice a year. If you have a dream idea for using existing assets for economic development in the community, check out the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s website…and get started on your own Town Meeting Initiative process with SMIF… and prepare to be pleasantly surprised to see the dream come true…

    April 22, 2009
  13. Griff Wigley said:

    Dean, I’m confused.

    I read your blog post on N.org: Northfield downtown neighborhood idea wins competition for scarce economic development funds.

    I read the article by David Henke in the Northfield News: Riverwalk Arts Quarter proposal finalized

    My summary: The Riverwalk Arts Quarter held a competition, juried either by something called Town Meeting Initiative (TMI) or the Riverwalk Arts Quarter (RAQ) committee. The entire amount was awarded to something called the Riverwalk Arts Quarter Organization.


    Who are the people/organizations involved in the winning entry, Riverwalk Arts Quarter Organization? And who were the people on the TMI/RAQ committee?

    Forgive me but appears as though the Riverwalk Arts Quarter awarded the money to itself!

    And again, what’s the plan for the Riverwalk Arts Quarter website?

    May 25, 2009
  14. Speaking as a founder of the Northfield Riverwalk Arts Quarter, it was my idea for exploiting certain assets to do something about an inadequate market for visual artists which coalesced into an action group, which sought and won a partnership with SMIF, which resulted in a community-connected competitive award of funds to create a riverwalk neighborhood asset-focused entity (with a website) which will help serve the visual artists and the economy of the town. The partnership could have come out some other way (decorated fishing lure contest?), leap of faith thing, but here we are, at work on making a dream a reality, with a team and a pot of support money. Model for others? Oh, and there will be plenty of money by January from the sales tax-funded Legacy money (www.arts.state.mn.us) for Northfield folks to do the other $100,000 in Northfield arts ideas the partnership with SMIF identified but which didn’t win funding…get to work!

    June 3, 2009

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