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Friday Slide Show: The Minnesota Street Project Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

12 August 2016

For a minute or two we thought we'd skip the text accompanying this week's slide show and leave it to you to explore this wonderfully remodeled building on your own. After all, that's what we did.

Minnesota Street Project. Atrium exterior.

We had heard about it, though, in an Adobe blog piece titled Why Tech Needs Art and Art Needs Tech by Lisa Temple, head of Adobe's Community Innovation and Collaboration. "Most of us here in the Bay Area have at least overheard the debate: who's to blame for our skyrocketing housing costs and the growing disparity between working classes and the tech industry?" she wrote.

"At Adobe," she continued, "we occupy an interesting intersection in the debate. We are a technology company that makes products for creative people."

So when she heard about The Minnesota Street Project, three warehouses with over 100,000 square feet devoted to artist studios, galleries and creative services, she got Adobe in the door as one of the residents with its own studio space.

Our dream with the Minnesota Street Project is big. We want to create a model for how corporations, nonprofits and local communities can work together and to show that community organizations can approach businesses in ways that go beyond just asking for money. This is the moment for tech to recognize that our success is tied to the creative world beyond our walls. It's time for the Minnesota Street Project and for many more bold, inventive projects that will nurture creativity and strengthen entire communities.

The Minnesota Street Project was inspired by entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport's belief that "philanthropic support for the arts today requires an alternate model -- one suited to the innovative nature of Silicon Valley and the region as a whole."

'It's time for the Minnesota Street Project and for many more bold, inventive projects that will nurture creativity and strengthen entire communities.'

So they bought a few warehouses on Minnesota Street in the historic Dogpatch neighborhood for artists and galleries (which we've featured two years ago in July and again in November). "Inhabiting three warehouses, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco's contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term."

The Atrium at 1275 Minnesota St. is the public space you are invited to visit and which we are showing off here. The studios across the street at 1240 Minnesota St. are not open to the public but we hope to sneak you in a few weeks from now when Adobe invites us over.

There are quite a few photographers working in the studios now.

Meanwhile we asked Adobe just what they were doing in the studios. Quite a lot, actually:

  • Adobe is partially underwriting the artist studio studios through its residency at 1240 Minnesota Street, enabling 30 working contemporary artists to lease space at below-market rates, while also exploring innovative technological advances for revolutionary projects.
  • Adobe opened a research lab and studio on site where it hopes artists will experiment and incubate ideas with it, ranging from experience design work, innovative tech such as VR/AR, machine learning and 3D printing and educational programs. The company envisions the Adobe Studio to be a hub for creative collaboration and ultimately inspire the company to develop technology that empowers artists to create in new ways.
  • Adobe will also develop a mentorship program designed to educate and inspire the Minnesota Street community. Any artist who requests it will be given a free year-long Creative Cloud license and a one-on-one mentorship to learn and explore the tools.
  • Currently the only corporation and tech company to partner with the Minnesota Street Project, Adobe is aiming to foster collaboration and creativity between the arts and tech and hope this first step might someday be a model for how other corporations/nonprofits/local communities can work together to actively invest in the arts and contribute to solutions.

So, as you can see, we decided to write a little story to go along with the photos so you know just what's transpiring behind the corrugated metal walls of the warehouses of Minnesota Street.

You know, just to share the excitement.

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