All the buzz in the Creative Enterprise Zone
View this email in your browser

In this issue:

  • 6 Creative Recycling Orgs in the Zone
  • Dow Art Gallery Grand Opening
  • Open Space/Open Bar at Forecast Public Art
  • Midway Murals Kicks-off Tonight
  • CEZ Partners with Map for Nonprofits
  • Can Can Wonderland Call for Proposals
  • Get Ready: Knight Arts Challenge 2015
  • Help Curate the "Smallest Museum in St. Paul"
  • Celebrate St. Patricks Day at the Dubliner
  • Join Our Work in the CEZ
  • Take a Walk Through the CEZ
We talk a lot about the remarkable concentration of creative enterprises, artists and nonprofits in the Creative Enterprise Zone. But this area is also home to a notable concentration of another type of creative enterprise that might not be the first to come to mind in conversations about creativity. This area is, and has long been, an epicenter of recycling operations.
The plumes of steam that emanate from the RockTenn paper mill on Wabash Avenue reference an important element of the Creative Enterprise Zone’s heritage and culture—standing as a testament to the inextricable link between the creative economy of the future and the industrial heritage of the past. That’s a connection we feel is worth embracing and preserving in the Creative Enterprise Zone.
There are practical reasons why artists and creative enterprises tend to cluster in historically industrial areas. Space is generally affordable and amenable to the needs of artists and creatives. But there seems be a meaningful symbolic link between creative enterprises and industry, as well.
In a sense, manufacturing and industry are archetypically “creative.” The designed generation of something new is a basic function of creativity. Industry is, at a fundamental level, systematically creative.
If industry is creative because it generates something new, then recycling takes things a step further by using something old to create something new.
Here are six recycling operations you might not have known about in the Creative Enterprise Zone:

Rohn Industries

For 30 years, Rohn Industries has helped businesses increase recycling with the aim of achieving zero waste. Today’s offices are filled with materials that need to be tossed, and much of it, including fluorescent lightbulbs, computers, printers and other electronics can be difficult to dispose of responsibly and affordably. With their GreenFuel program, Rohn Industries picks up waste that other recyclers cannot, and transports it to a plant that turns it into small pellets that get used in place of coal. The pellets generate similar heat output to coal, but with drastically reduced emissions. Rohn Industries helps businesses understand the potential for recycling, learn the best methods, and achieve even the loftiest of sustainability goals.

Bro-Tex, Inc.

Originally founded in 1923, Bro-Tex, Inc. has pioneered the use of new processes and technologies that allow them to recycle post consumer carpet. You can drop off your old carpet directly to their plant in the Creative Enterprise Zone at 800 N Hampden, or through their network of carpet collection centers. For every 1,000 square yards of carpet that is recycled, you can help save 440 gallons of oil, 10,000,000 BTU of energy and divert 4,500 lbs. of waste from landfills, according to the Carpet America Recovery Effort. Before the development of these technologies, there was no easy way to get rid of old carpet in a way that kept it out of the landfill. Now the materials from your old carpet could become new carpet, carpet pad, floating treatment for wetlands, acoustic matting or even as an energy substitute for natural gas and coal.

Midwest Floating Islands

Based out of the same location as Bro-Tex, Midwest Floating Islands is making waves in the effort to preserve the health and integrity of natural bodies of water throughout the region. Midwest Floating Islands, LLC specializes in manufacturing and distributing BioHaven® floating islands. These man-made islands are made of recycled bottles and “bio-mimic” natural floating wetlands in cleaning nutrient-polluted waters and providing habitat for fish, waterfowl and other aquatic species. They are being used all over the world to revive sick lakes, and strengthen the bio-ecosystems of other bodies of water.


With locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, RockTenn is one of North America’s leading providers of packaging materials. At their mill in the Creative Enterprise Zone, RockTenn processes a thousand tons per day, making it the largest paper recycler in the Midwest. The plant at 2250 Wabash Ave has been in operation since 1908. Formerly known as Waldorf Recycling, RockTenn purchased the mill in 1996.

Recycling Association of Minnesota

Founded in 1989 with the goal of educating Minnesotans about recycling, RAM continues to work to promote resource conservation through waste prevention, reuse, recycling, composting and purchasing practices. Located on Wabash Avenue, the organization holds conferences, convenes educational forums, disseminates information, creates unique recycling programs and more. In recent years, RAM has created even more education opportunities and niche recycling programs for the general public, including the Recycle MORE Minnesota Education Campaign, Key to Recycle™, Recycle Your Holidays™, and more. These programs have made it easier to recycle things like keys, holiday lights, and shoes. In the Midway, they are especially well-known for their annual rain barrel and compost bin distributions that take place every Spring.

Carl Bolander & Sons Co.

Established in 1924 by Swedish Immigrant Carl Bolander, the company has grown to be recognized as one of the Midwest’s  leaders in specialty contracting business. In addition to offering a wide range of construction site services like earthwork, demolition and underground utilities, they also offer an array of environmental services including site remediation and concrete recycling. Following the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in 2005, Bolander & Sons was enlisted to remove the debris from the site, bringing all the concrete from the bridge to the Vandalia Crusher site at 2035 Capp Road in the Creative Enterprise Zone.
Know of other recycling efforts here? Let us know. Email Amy Sparks at

Dow Art Gallery and Framing Grand Opening

Thursday, February 26
5:00-8:00 pm
2242 University Ave

The Art Gallery and Frame Shop at the Dow Building, 2242 University Ave, will celebrate its grand opening Thursday, February 26 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Come join owner Khanh Tran and Creative Enterprise Zone artists in celebrating the early success of this exciting new addition to the Zone. Tran first conceived of a hybrid art gallery and framing business last year and quickly recognized the potential and desire for a gallery and mixed-use space in the area. He has expanded into the large adjacent space to display even more art from area artists and potentially use as a workshop, event, or other creative space, as well. Come enjoy the show and tour the great new space. 

What does it mean to be inclusive in the field of public art? 

At OpenSpace/OpenBar, Forecast Public Art invites artists, administrators, architects, city planners, landscape architects, and anyone interested to create conversations in response to key questions facing the field of public art. This spring, their focus is on the idea of inclusion, often championed, but also a challenge to define and put into practice. Taking the idea of inclusion as a starting point, what are the responsibilities of public art practitioners? How might this concept impact how professionals, stakeholders, and communities approach a project? If inclusion is held as a value, what does it mean to put this idea into practice, to take talk to action? 
Wednesday, March 25 from 4-6 p.m. Dialogue, 6-7 p.m. Happy Hour. Space is limited and RSVPs are mandatory. Parking and location details will be sent to registered guests in advance of the event. RSVP here.

Midway Murals Project Kicks-Off at the Turf Club Tonight!

Friday, February 20
4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Turf Club, 1601 University Ave W

The Midway Murals Project is kicking-off with a celebratory event at the Turf Club, Friday, February 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This event will launch a series of listening sessions and community engagement processes that will lead to four beautiful murals along Snelling Avenue in the Hamline Midway neighborhood – our neighbor to the east of the Creative Enterprise Zone. This event is free, open to all, and family-friendly. There will be a silent auction with original artwork by the muralists and live music provided by Superbrush 427, from 4-6pm. Video and speakers, 6:15-7pm. Stay after and get your dance on at the Filthy Animals album release show ($5 in advance, 21+).
This an ambitious project and organizers are looking for volunteers and supporters interested in getting involved in the effort. If you’d like to help make this exciting project a success, contact Learn more at

You can also support this project by donating and spreading the word about the projects crowdfunding campaign at

MAP For Nonprofits to Serve as CEZ Fiscal Sponsor

We are happy to announce that the Creative Enterprise Zone will be working with MAP for Nonprofits, which will serve as our organization’s fiscal sponsor. Based right here in the Creative Enterprise Zone at 2314 University Ave. West, MAP has worked to strengthen the Minnesota nonprofit community since 1979 by connecting organizations to sound governance, strategy, legal, and business practices. We feel we could not have found a better partner to help lead the Creative Enterprise Zone through it’s continued growth and development and look forward to working with them to ensure we are fully prepared to best serve the vibrant creative community that chooses to ‘Make It Here’ in the Creative Enterprise Zone. If you’re not already aware of the wonderful resources, trainings and services MAP provides to nonprofit organizations, take a minute to check out their offerings at

Can Can Wonderland Mini Golf Hole Proposals Due by March 1

Proposals are now being accepted for the new artist-designed mini golf course from Can Can Wonderland opening later this year at the American Can Building, 755 Prior Ave. N. There are two proposal options, including one for a selected design and build proposal, and one for only a design proposal, where you submit the design and Can Can Wonderland’s team of artists builds it. You need not identify as an artist to submit a proposal. Engineers, architects, designers and makers of all sorts with a great vision are encouraged to submit their ideas. Learn more at

Get Ready for the 2015 St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge

Submissions open April 20—May 18

It’s not to early to start thinking about what great ideas you’ll submit to the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge. This year’s challenge will open for submissions on April 20. You can sign up for email updates here. Start dreaming now and give yourself plenty of time to submit the best idea you’ve got.
Remember, there are three simple rules:
  1. The idea is about arts.
  2. The project takes place in or benefits St. Paul
  3. You find other funding to match the Knight Foundation grant. 
Check out last year’s winners for inspiration. Five submissions from artists and organizations in the Creative Enterprise Zone were selected as winners in the 2014 challenge. What will we achieve this year?

Help Curate the “Smallest Museum in St. Paul” at WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR

As forthcoming WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR moves closer to opening at 2399 University Avenue, they are inviting area artists, historians and makers of all disciplines to curate the “Smallest Museum in Saint Paul” for one-month increments between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
Owners Shannon Forney and Ty Barnett won a Knight Arts Challenge Grant to create a streetscape gallery in a vintage fire hose cabinet tucked into the façade of their building. They have transformed the cabinet into a 2’x3’ micro-museum, and are now looking for your help to curate it.
Check out their website for details and to submit a proposal. Twelve artist-curators will be selected from submissions through a panel review process. All proposals are due by March 30 and selected applicants will be notified of panel decisions no later than May 20, 2015.
Learn more and submit your proposal for the “Smallest Museum in St. Paul” here.


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Dubliner

Tuesday March 17
6:30-10 pm
Dubliner Pub
2162 University Ave
$10 at the door

Where better to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day than one of the premiere Irish Pubs in the Twin Cities located right here in the Creative Enterprise Zone. Come to the Dubliner Pub Tuesday March 17 for an evening of Irish Ceili dancing with traditional Irish music played by the Twin Cities Ceili Band. Pay $10 at the door and enjoy dancing, music, great craic and fresh poured pints all night. $5 for ages 12 years and under and 60 and up, children 5 and under are free.

Want to Keep Creativity and Enterprise Here?  

Momentum continues to build around the Creative Enterprise Zone and we are looking for the people who want to help this area keep it’s creative focus. Would you like to be part of the effort? Join the Creative Enterprise Zone Action Committee. Communications, Public Art, or Events working groups.  Exercise your creative capacity with other like-minded folks. Contact to join in.

Curious About the Creative Enterprise Zone?

Watch this video and take a walk through the CEZ to learn more.

Get Connected!


What is the Creative Enterprise Zone?

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between St. Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be recognized as a center of creativity and enterprise, a place where many people make a living by their creative capacities.
Showcasing a mixture of urban-industrial and innovative enterprises, the Creative Enterprise Zone promises to be a fertile laboratory of entrepreneurship, business incubation, artistic endeavor and eclectic urban design. Located along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line at the hub of the Raymond Station area, this dynamic nucleus of artisans and industry provides a unique sense of place that captures the imagination.

Regionally significant due to the central location and ease of access, the community offers a symbiotic mix of live and work opportunities. Cultivation of diverse, affordable spaces for entrepreneurial businesses, artisans and residents, and support systems for a tightly interconnected creative community, are high priorities.
Copyright © 2015 Creative Enterprise Zone, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp