Got Any Bright Ideas for Saint Paul?


Detail from a mural created by Saint Paul artist Ta-coumba T. Aiken (Picture this in Lite Brite!)

I wrote earlier about the Lite Brite art event now being prepared at downtown St. Paul’s Union Depot and I have more info thanks to a kindly update from Heidi M. Smith at Grassroots Solutions. The Lite Brite project is part of a launch event for The Saint Paul Foundation’s Forever Saint Paul Challenge, a grant program that funds–to the tune of  $1 million–ideas ” to make Saint Paul great!”

The Saint Paul Foundation is partnering with Minnesota’s Idea Open, which distributes philanthropic funding in a way based on the latest trends in community engagement: using technology (think digital suggestion box), competition (think junior high science fair) and the reality TV show model (think American Idol where the winner is determined by viewers). Unlike the usual grant process, this creative idea competition gets lots of people thinking and participating in issues affecting St. Paul. For more information, including guidelines and criteria for sharing ideas, visit Forever Saint Paul Challenge.

The “Lite-Brite” event launch for the Forever Saint Paul Challenge will take place Saturday, February 16. Everyone is invited to attend. If you have not yet visited the newly renovated Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, this would be a good way to see a great idea that has come to fruition in St. Paul recently. Nothing says, Forever Saint Paul like our historic Union Depot. Here are the details:

Friends and family are invited to join in as an attempt is made to break the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Picture Made of Lite-Brite.” This giant art installation will be 12-feet tall by 24-feet long and filled with more than 520,000 Lite-Brite pegs. It will feature a mural created by award-winning Saint Paul artist Ta-coumba T. Aiken.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Where: Union Depot, 214 Fourth Street East, Saint Paul
Time: 3:00 p.m. Activities begin (live music, super-sized games and food!)
Program: 7:00 p.m. Lighting ceremony with Mayor Chris Coleman, Carleen Rhodes, special guest speakers and a Guinness World Record judge
Cost: FREE and open to the public!

RSVPs are encouraged but the event is free and open to the public.


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