All the buzz in the CEZ
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Also in this issue:
  • Local Art Sale & Pop-up Gallery at Junk Love
  • Local Non-Profit Spotlight: Mizna
  • Pop-up Mixer, New Dow Space Visioning
  • What Do You Need to Succeed in the CEZ?
  • Do the Dow Photo Gallery
  • Franklin Ave Renamed After Famous Blues Musician

"Shop the Block" in the CEZ This Holiday Season

3 local holiday shopping events let you stuff stockings while supporting local businesses and makers

November 28: Block Friday
November 29: Small Business Saturday
December 13: Christmas Music Day at Barely Bros

Skip the crowds and madness this Black Friday and come “Shop the Block” to support some Creative Enterprise Zone businesses, instead. The shops at Raymond and University are teaming up to give you a one-of-a-kind local shopping experience that will have you wondering why you ever bothered with the typical Black Friday scrum in the first place.
Have a music-lover on your list? Swing by Barely Brothers Records to grab the latest and greatest new releases or one of those hard-to-find all time classics in the used bins. Hit Succotash and Mid Mod Men for some fashionably retro furnishings that will make any hip home decorator swoon. Raymond Gallery has a vast selection of handcrafted yunomis (Japanese teacups) from 25 area potters—the perfect little gift for anyone who appreciates handmade artistry that can become a part of their everyday life.
Have an aspiring performer in the family? Chanson Voice and Music Academy is offering deals on lesson packages that can transform an avid shower-singer or air-guitar aficionado into a stage-ready rock star. Roundtable Coffee has the hot caffeine kick you’ll need to power through and don’t forget to stop by Foxy Falafel or Keys Café for some deliciously local sustenance—if you’re not working up an appetite, you’re not doing it right! Celebrate your successful and enjoyable day of shopping that helps your valued local businesses thrive with a local pint at Bang Brewing, Urban Growler Brewing or the Dubliner.
What’s the best part about Block Friday? It doesn’t end when the clock hits Midnight. Small Business Saturday is the next day and the shops at Raymond and University will be keeping the spirit alive through the weekend.
Bonus holiday event December 13th: Come out and celebrate the season with live music and more block-wide sales Saturday December 13 for Christmas Music Day at Barely Brothers.


Tryptophantastic: Local Art Sale & Pop-up Gallery at Junk Love

November 28-29
Friday, 1-6pm
Saturday, noon-3pm
Junk Love, 777 Raymond Ave

There's no better cure for a tryptophan hangover than getting out and enjoying your neighborhood while you holiday shop and support local businesses. Artist Arsenal is teaming up with Junk Love for a special Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sale. Along with all the unique treasures in the store, local artists and artisans will be showing and selling work and handmade gifts. Give the gift of local art and handmade crafts this year. Local artists you can support with your Christmas shopping at Junk Love include : What could be better than supporting local artists and makers while filling your gift bag with items that are truly-one of a kind and can only be found right here in the Creative Enterprise Zone? Consider yourself an artisanal Santa Clause with a cause!
Visit the Facebook event page here.

Mizna Combats Stereotypes with Platform for Arab-American Artists

As headlines and Hollywood portrayals continue to perpetuate irresponsible stereotypes and misrepresent Arab people, one organization in the Creative Enterprise Zone is providing an invaluable platform for authentic cultural and artistic expression for Arab-Americans.
Recognizing a void in the American literary landscape for Arab-American authors, Mizna published the first edition of its now internationally recognized literary magazine in 1999. Mizna: Prose, Poetry Art Exploring Arab America, was the first publication of its kind and remains the only journal of Arab-American literature today.
From its headquarters at 2446 University Avenue, Mizna continues to provide Arab-American artists a platform to tell their own stories and tell them on their own terms, says Lana Barkawi, executive and artistic director for the organization. The publication now makes its way to libraries, museums and coffee tables throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
“To present the work of Arab artists goes a long way to broaden the perception of Arabs for the broader public,” Barkawi says. “The average American might know Arabs through headlines and through a very specific and narrow lens that doesn’t capture the reality of the Arab American experience…we’d like to be a platform for arab artists who are telling their own stories.”
Mizna now offers more platforms than ever to tell these stories. As the organization has grown, it has steadily expanded its artistic and cultural offerings. The organization’s 9th Arab Twin Cities Arab Film Festival took place earlier this month, drawing an audience from across the globe. Since relocating to its current space in 2012, Mizna has expanded its programming even further to offer a wide variety of readings, performances, art projects, and community events.
The Twin Cities is a great location for an organization like Mizna to thrive, Barkawi says. “One of the things we really value about being in the Twin Cities is the very vibrant and smart arts scene that we’re a part of,” she says.
With ongoing partnerships with Twin Cities arts organizations like the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center and Pangea World Theater, Mizna certainly makes the most of the artistic and cultural offerings of the metro area. They were recently named a winner in the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge for their proposal to introduce new audiences to Arab-American arts by launching their project Arab America at Home—a series of cultural events highlighting how the Arab-American experience is an innate part of the American landscape.

Pop-up Mixer and New Dow Space Visioning 

Monday, December 8
Dow Building Gallery & Frame Shop

Turning the storefront space of the Dow Building into a shared gallery and frame shop was a great idea. So great, in fact, that Frame by Frame owner Khanh Tran is already looking to expand into the space adjacent to the shop and gallery fronting University Ave. What the new space becomes will be, in part, up to you!
He wants to transform the large space into something that will be an asset to the neighborhood and wants to hear your ideas. Early thoughts include a place to host workshops; a performance venue or theater; a shared gathering space and more. The possibilities are endless, so, join us for an evening of brainstorming and visioning. Snacks and refreshments will be provided to help get the creativity flowing.

Read our feature on Khanh Tran's new gallery/shop at

What do you need to succeed in the CEZ?


Help us decide what free workshops and info sessions to offer in 2015 by filling out this super short survey below!

Super Short Survey!
What do you need for your creative business or enterprise to thrive? One of the greatest benefits of being located in the Creative Enterprise Zone is that all you need for your business or enterprise to thrive can likely be found right here. 

There is a plethora of creative and professional talent in the Creative Enterprise Zone. Whether you need help writing or producing promotional videos; advice for marketing on a budget; starting a business from scratch; or just a bit of perspective on how you can do more to grow your business, chances are you can find it here.
Everyone benefits when we can get what we need to thrive within our own community, and when it comes to creative and entrepreneurial resources and support, there is no better place to be than the Creative Enterprise Zone.
To better connect artists, businesses and enterprises to the resources and knowledge they need to succeed, we are planning a series of free workshops led by local creatives to help your business or creative enterprise succeed.

So…What do you need to succeed? Fill out this short survey to help us decide what workshops to offer over the next year.

Do the Dow Draws Crowds, Music and Fun!

Crowds poured in for this season's Do the Dow Art Crawl November 14 and 15 at the Dow Building, 2242 University Ave. More than 800 attendees showed, raising more than $1500 for ComMUSICation, a youth development choir for which the even doubled as a fundraiser. The atmosphere was festive and upbeat throughout the weekend. Thanks to all who came and supported our local artists and creatives. Here are a few photos from the event courtesy of Dow artists Anne Labovitz, Ann Deprey and Marisa Cuneo-Linsly.

Franklin Ave Renamed After Local Blues Legend

Kyle Mianulli, Park Bugle

A portion of Franklin Avenue in the Creative Enterprise Zone officials has a new name: Dave Ray Avenue, in honor of the venerable blues musician who made an indelible mark on the local and national music scene during the Folk Revival of the 1960s. The street was officially “co-named” after Ray at a special street dedication ceremony Monday, November 24.
“The street co-naming on Franklin is a great way to honor Dave Ray’s contribution to our community and the world of music.  The location is a perfect fit because Dave worked in his family’s business on Franklin for many years, and because it’s within the Creative Enterprise Zone,” said City Councilmember Russ Stark in an email before the ceremony.
Though the official name of the street will remain the same, the Department of Public Works will place appropriate commemorative signage denoting the honorary designation.
The St. Paul City Council passed a resolution Oct. 22 sponsored by City Councilmember Russ Stark to “co-name” the street after Ray, who grew up in the area and later took over his father’s insurance company in a house at 2517 Franklin Ave. near the corner of Curfew Street.
The family business played home to many practice sessions with a wide array of local music luminaries, including Tony Glover and “Spider” John Koerner, who Ray often played with as the seminal blues trio Koerner, Ray and Glover.
Read more about Ray’s life and his contributions to music in the current issue of the Park Bugle 

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 © 2014 Creative Enterprise Zone, All rights reserved.

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