A community gathering space, a place for music, theater and other art performances – maybe even a wedding.
That’s what CARAG community members hope a new $60,000 outdoor performance space will become at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S.
The Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG), the organization the neighborhood is named after, approved funding the project with NRP dollars in February. The idea came from a a park done by landscape architecture company Damon Farber Associates. CARAG has also been working with the Minneapolis Park Board on the project’s development and construction is scheduled to begin this fall, pending Park Board Approval.
The performance area will include two staggered, curved rows of seating facing a circular, non-elevated stage. The project is to be built on a park hillside near the basketball court and is expected to accommodate between 50 and 80 people sitting on the seating and the grass.
CARAG community coordinator Scott Engel said the space is one of the neighborhood organization’s more expensive projects, but it will give the park a signature meeting place.
“I think it’s going to give it something special,” Engel said. “This is going to be an identifying feature. I think it’s also going to be used.”
Engel said the space is not meant for amplified music, but more low-key music shows and a variety of other art performances.
Neighborhood resident and former CARAG board member Cindy Christian said she uses the park regularly with her children Sean, 5, and Anna, 6, and said a performance space would be “awesome.”
She said aside from performances, the space would offer a place to sit and read or watch basketball. The park currently doesn’t have a central gathering place, she said.
Park Board member Alexander Zachary, who has been working with CARAG on the performance space development, said the only other similar structure in the city is at Edgewater Park in Northeast Minneapolis.
“This is something that is going to be unique for a while,” Zachary said.
The CARAG board also approved spending $20,000 from NRP on new park seating and picnic tables, which will be installed this spring.
Reach Jake Weyer at 612-436-4367 or [email protected].