Stevens Square Community Organization is pleased to welcome Scott Artley, who recently joined the staff as Executive Director. A resident of the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood himself, Scott’s short commute puts him at the helm of a well-respected organization serving one of Minnesota’s most unique urban communities.
Scott Artley is a multidisciplinary artist and nonprofit leader with over a decade of experience supporting community-driven organizations. Early in his career he started a Neighborhood Engagement program while on staff at Mixed Blood Theatre, positioning Mixed Blood to better serve East African residents in its own Cedar Riverside neighborhood. He has also held positions with the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Southern Theater, the Walker Art Center, and as an independent consultant serving organizations of various sizes, including neighborhood organizations. From 2014 to 2018 he served as Performing Arts Curator and then Executive Artistic Director of Patrick’s Cabaret, a key Minneapolis cultural institution and performance art incubator with a history of provocative and inclusive work. Maintaining an active parallel career as a performance and visual artist exploring queer identity, Scott has produced visual and theatrical work around the country, as well as creating, hosting, and performing in dozens of arts events in underground and fringe environments around the Twin Cities.
Founded in 1975, Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) is the official civic and social organization serving the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood, lying just south of Minneapolis’s downtown zone and home to a dense community of residents and historic buildings. Many of the area’s brownstone apartment complexes were constructed almost exactly a century ago, and were originally home to middle-class office workers and sales people, many of them single women, who provided services to a rapidly growing urban center.
Following the post-war flight of the middle class to the suburbs, by the 1990s the area gained a reputation for crime and crumbling infrastructure. Thanks to investments from the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program and an especially active community of neighborhood volunteers, the Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood is now a vibrant and eminently walkable community re-populated with the same middle-class demographics it saw early in its history, and features a rare concentration of naturally occurring affordable housing. The well-preserved brownstone buildings remain a unique window into the city’s heritage set against the downtown skyline.
SSCO’s programs include the Red Hot Art Festival, Cinema & Civics in the Park, Community Gardening and Farmer’s Market, plus numerous opportunities for citizens to engage in strategies for community livability, like its groundbreaking Block Patrol program. More information about SSCO and how to get involved can be found at stevensquare.org.