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Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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The evolving Dinkytown culture

Artistic inspiration should draw from today’s students, not the Dinkytown of the past.


The subject of Dinkytown’s culture and “character” has been a focal point for discussion amid the unveiling of plans for new luxury apartment developments and other proposed changes to the area, which at first don’t appear to be student-driven.

A Minnesota Daily article published April 3 reported about the teaming up of local artists with Minneapolis city planners for a Dinkytown “small area plan.”  The project, which hopes to garner student attention and involvement, “aims to preserve the town’s character and guide future developers of the area.”

While this project’s goal of engaging students in a local community is commendable, it has come time to point out that the “culture” of Dinkytown — though such a distinct term isn’t really appropriate for the area — is not the same as the atmosphere that existed in the 1960s and 1970s. The Bob Dylan era, as historic and meaningful to the student ambiance as it may have been, is not really evident in the Dinkytown “character” of 2013.

While it is important to revere such a historic time period, especially one with intense student involvement in political activism, we must seek to create a new character, one that accurately and positively reflects University students and the Dinkytown of this decade.

Involving students in the College of Design is a good way to allow more student-inspired art and urban design in the Dinkytown area. We hope the student voice will be represented throughout the course of the project, and that future students and artists will continue to leave their mark, using inspirations uniquely relevant to them and the ever-changing, multi-faceted spirit of Dinkytown.

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