Art-A-Whirl, the annual open studio tour located in Northeast Minneapolis, allows artists to show our residents that we have visual art talent in the Twin Cities, in Minnesota. The event is eleven years old as of 2006. The public can freely enter studios and discuss the art-making process or buy the art. The event was founded because there is a shortage of commercial galleries in Minnesota. Twenty thousand people find their way to the studios over three days in May. In 2002, the artists outlined an Arts Action Plan and presented that to the City of Minneapolis. The City recognized the value of the AAPlan and declared a 20-square-block area of Northeast as the official Arts District of Minneapolis in 2003. This is one of the few arts districts in the U.S.A. The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, NEMAA, is the non-profit organization that coordinates Art-A-Whirl. There are 385 artist-members.
~Loretta Bebeau, Minneapolis, MN
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