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Musicant workshop coming to Angola

By Ashlee Hoos ahoos@kpcmedia.com

Sep 7, 2018

ANGOLA — Angola is one of six communities across Indiana chosen by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs to host a Musicant workshop.

The workshop will take place Monday and Tuesday and will involve 35 people from Main Street organizations across the state as well as members of the Downtown Angola Coalition which is Angola’s Main Street organization.

OCRA is sponsoring the workshops to help communities learn how to create and transform public spaces into a place where people want to live, work, eat and play.

The goal of the workshop, according to coalition member Pat Schlosser, is to show people what can be accomplished in a short amount of time with collaboration.

“We want to show what can be done in a short time by thinking outside the box, using limited resources,” she said. “We hope it leads to future collaboration on other projects.”

The Musicant Group is a placemaking firm out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that partners with clients to transform existing, underutilized common spaces into places people will use every day.

In workshops such as the one coming to Angola, the group spends the first day working mostly in a classroom setting to determine what is placemaking, the process, trends in the area and using analysis to put together an action plan.

The second day starts at the classroom site but then moves to the project site which, for Angola, will be the southwest quadrant of the Public Square.

Once on the site, the building of a temporary placemaking installation will begin.

Schlosser said one idea the coalition has already come up with for the project is a functional hotdog stand and then making hotdogs to deliver to different downtown businesses.

She said no matter what, the groups will be going around to businesses in the area Monday to let them know a little more about the project and what is going on.

Other cities that have already had Musicant workshops, including Bloomington, have done work in alleys.

“We’re definitely doing something different,” she said.

The group will have final say on what project gets constructed and there will be time to reflect, share what each person is taking from the experience and commitments for the future before day two of the workshop ends.

Every workshop in the state, including in Angola, is sold out.

“They’ve had an overwhelming response,” Schlosser said.

More information on The Musicant Group and what they do can be found at musicantgroup.com.

The Downtown Angola Coalition can be followed on Facebook, @downtowncoalition and online at downtown-angola-in.org.