Government entities and funders play an integral role in helping create cultural destinations in low income communities. Through our work of the Department of Planning and Economic Development of the City of Saint Paul in collaboration with community partners a framework was established for institutional partners to help partner in building cultural destinations.
The picture below identifies elements of the "platform" institutional partners can establish so that community partners can build these cultural destinations:
Space - this could be buildings and partnerships that offer spaces for these cultural destinations to occur. For example, the City of Saint Paul in partnership with the newly opened Allianz soccer stadium created a space for a food truck for the cultural destination areas to serve fans.
Events - The City of Saint Paul supported events such as Little Mekong Night Market, Little Africa Fest, Rondo Days and other events that helped create a cultural destination.
Logistics - Community partners often do not have the capacity to even engage with the process of creating a cultural destination. The City of Saint Paul provided staff that helped support the work of the community collaborative.
Marketing - Very often a great event is organized but no one knows about it. The City of Saint Paul partnered with Visit Saint Paul, the local convention and visitors bureau to integrate the cultural destinations into the marketing materials of the city and to offer the online coupon book to culturally themed businesses.
Resources - Creating cultural destinations require resources. The City of Saint Paul provided it loan and grant programs to fund almost $1.5 million to projects and businesses in the cultural destinations. In addition city planning and zoning staff offered technical assistance and resource to the community