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The NE Minneapolis Arts District

According to many reports, the NE Minneapolis Arts District where my Airbnb is located is the largest artist live-work community in America. It was once a thriving Irish/Polish factory and warehouse district that declined when manufacturing moved to the outer burbs. It started a residential comeback more than twenty years, ago partly because of its proximity to downtown Minneapolis, just across the river, and partly because nonprofits started buying up the old factories and converting them into artists studios or live-work spaces. That in turn attracted many kinds of artists to rent and buy galleries, studios, apartments, duplexes, and homes in the surrounding area. Many are open to the public year-round, and the third weekend of every May is an area-wide Open Studio event called Art-a-Whirl put on by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (

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