The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership Artist Residency

Organization and community: Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (Southwest region, MN)

The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership hired a resident artist in 2018 to integrate the art and creative process across the organization, and advance collaboration between departments, the organization’s sites, and communities. Resident artist Ashley Hanson collaborated with staff to strengthen their understanding of creative placemaking strategies and its relevance to their work (she brought 10 artists in to host staff workshops), uncover common challenges among staff (through story circles), and facilitate cross-team, staff-led projects to creatively solve challenges. This resulted in a shift in the organizational culture to one where staff trusts the creative process and is encouraged to take risks in their internal and external processes. The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership is now exploring the next phase for a resident artist to continue to scale and integrate an organization-wide arts and culture approach.