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Development News

Ice House Plaza hosts Northern Spark cultural activities

Ice House Plaza, which opened last month in Minneapolis, brings greenspace to a newly redeveloped commercial complex in the Whittier neighborhood.

“Busk until Dawn,” which features all kinds of acoustic music, spoken word, comedians and buskers, will take over the plaza on June 9, from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.

The event is a closing party to the six-week Artists in Storefronts Project, which put artist-created displays in vacant storefronts throughout the Whittier neighborhood, according to Joan Vorderbruggen, who lead the pilot. (See The Line story here.)

Vorderbruggen will also be giving “light saber”-lit guided walking tours of the storefronts that evening.

The event is also a part of the Northern Spark Festival, which features all kinds of overnight creative events across Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“Busk until Dawn” sponsors include the Whittier Alliance, Eat Street Social, Dunn Bros. and The Lost and Found thrift store, according to Vorderbruggen.  

A much-needed greenspace
Vorderbruggen hopes that the cultural event is the first of many in the Ice House Plaza.

Calling it “a great addition to the neighborhood,” she says that the plaza is an upgrade from the previous “tired retail space,” which had “multiple failed businesses.”

It’s ideal for concerts and picnics or just taking a lunch break, she says.

The plaza is also a benefit for the many neighborhood residents, such as her self, who live in apartments, and don’t have yards. Too often, greenspace is neglected, especially in a commercial corridor, she says.

In the plaza, there are tables and chairs, benches and other areas to congregate.  

Among its design elements are sizable stones came from the Great Metropolitan Building, which was demolished in the 1960s, according to the TC Daily Planet.

Stones are also the prominent element in a stone sculpture in the plaza titled, “White Angel,” from local artist Zoran Mojsilov, the story states.

All in all, “I think it’ll draw people out and be a place where people want to spend time,” she says, adding that it builds community and benefits local businesses.   

Source: Joan Vorderbruggen, Artists in Storefronts Project
Writer: Anna Pratt
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