Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Community Vitality Fellowship

Developing Community Collaborations to Advance Transportation Goals through Transportation for America’s Artist in Residence Program


ArtPlace America

ArtPlace is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, which describes projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.


MnDOT ‘s mission is to plan, build, operate and maintain a safe, accessible, efficient and reliable multimodal transportation system that connects people to destinations and markets throughout that state, regionally and around the world. Minnesota’s multimodal transportation system maximizes the health of people, the environment and our economy. MnDOT will co-fund the Community Vitality Fellowship, host the fellow, provide access to key leaders, work space, and support the program through in-kind staff support.


The State Smart Transportation Initiative promotes transportation practices that advance environmental sustainability and equitable economic development, while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency. SSTI, jointly operated by the University of Wisconsin and Smart Growth America, operates in three ways:

  1. As a community of practice, where participating agencies can learn together and share experiences as they implement innovative smart transportation policies.
  2. As a source of direct technical assistance to the agencies on transformative and replicable smart transportation reform efforts.
  3. As a resource to the wider transportation community, including local, state, and federal agencies, in their efforts to reorient practice to changing social and financial demands.

SSTI will provide T4A guidance on issuing a call for artists and to MnDOT during quarterly video conference calls, and provide a forum for results of residency to be shared with additional state DOT executive leaders.


Transportation for America, a program of Smart Growth America, is an alliance of elected, business and civic leaders from communities across the country, united to ensure that states and the federal government invest in smart, homegrown, locally-driven transportation solutions. These are the investments that hold the key to our future economic prosperity. The fellow will report to the director, arts & culture at Transportation for America, Ben Stone. T4A will manage the Artist in Residence program, collaborate with funding partners, provide technical assistance to MnDOT during the call for artist’s process and project scoping, and to the selected fellow throughout the proposed timeline.