Photo Credit: Dan Plouffe
St. Paul, Minnesota
DARTS was a week-long pop-up library and events space hosted out of a delivery truck in the parking lot of an abandoned bank building in St. Paul Minnesota. Each day, the library curated a new selection of books all based around a daily theme, such as art, architecture, food, and life skills.
The pop-up hosted daily programming for all ages which connected with the day’s theme and included stand-up comedians, magic performances, and more. Attendees were encouraged to take the books with them and to then pass them onto their neighbors and friends once they had finished reading them.
The catalyzing force behind this project was the Union Park District Council, a community-based nonprofit designated by the City of St. Paul to engage community members and develop neighborhood level comprehensive plan documents. Union Park had deep concerns about the pedestrian experience around the bank and the potential displacement of residents and businesses in the area broadly. Located near a light rail station and a few major bus lines, the abandoned bank sits at one of the busiest intersections in the state of Minnesota.
The site also sits at the center of a working-class community of color where a new soccer stadium was nearing completion. Many fear once operating it would kickstart gentrification of the neighborhood. Union Park saw the pop-up as an opportunity to reimagine the pedestrian experience around the bank and deepen relationships with community members. Forecast partnered with Union Park and local artists Emily Stover and Paul Dickman to develop the library concept and get the approvals needed to make it happen.
Property Type: Commercial Structure; Open Space
Project Type/ New Use: Event(s)
Project Purpose: Community engagement; Decrease commercial vacancy
Duration: Once or single day
Initial Cost: $10,000-$50,000
Funding Source: Philanthropic
Organization Type: Nonprofit - Arts & Culture
Implementation Partners: Nonprofit – Other, Artist(s)
City: St. Paul
Community Type: Urban