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3 ideas for St. Paul vie for $1 million

  • Article by: Kevin Duchschere
  • Star Tribune
  • August 13, 2013 - 9:08 PM

Three ideas are competing for a $1 million prize to revitalize St. Paul — and Minnesotans can vote for their favorite starting now.

The Minnesota Idea Open and the St. Paul Foundation announced Tuesday the three finalists in the Forever St. Paul Challenge, a contest launched last winter to find and finance the best idea to improve the capital city. The finalists are:

• St. Paul Art Train, submitted by Craig Blakely, which would convert unused rail cars into rentable studios for artists and creative businesses (www.mnideaopen.org/node/20546).

• St. Paul Center for Creative Arts, submitted by Jack Ray, a hub for youths to learn, practice and use creative disciplines for the good of the community (www.mnideaopen/node/19546).

• Urban Oasis, submitted by Tracy Sides, which would remake part of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary into a unique food hub (www.mnideaopen/node/18786).

The St. Paul Foundation is fronting the $1 million award to make the winning proposal a reality. The prize money comes out of a larger donation made four years ago to community foundations by the Minneapolis-St. Paul 2008 Host Committee, which ran the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The finalists were selected by a panel of nine judges from a pool of 30 semifinalists chosen by community volunteers. Nearly 1,000 ideas were submitted.

Minnesota residents can vote online at www.mnideaopen.org/foreversaintpaul or at upcoming events including the State Fair. Voting ends Sept. 2.

Kevin Duchschere • 651-925-5035

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