Can we move from transaction to transformation in our relationships? Art Erickson demonstrates that we can. His work in the neighborhood of South Minneapolis has taken the area from being known as “Murder-apolis” to being a thriving center of economic growth and sustainability.

Who is Art Erickson? Art Erickson is a local Minneapolis legend, at least according to Armin Assadi. Art has lived and worked in Minneapolis for 50 years, doing what needed to be done to turn a neighborhood around. He is one of the most credible voices in the nation on the topic of rebuilding communities, and the founder and former CEO of Urban Ventures, a leading faith-based organization that focuses on community development for the long-term. He is also the founder and director of StudiOne Eighty, an institute for training community leaders on how to run cities and turn neighborhoods into thriving economic centers.

Having spent over 25 years as a youth leader in inner-city neighborhoods, Art has seen firsthand what it means to see a neighborhood for what it is in order to help show it what it can be. His work in the Minneapolis area has paved the way for churches and cities all over America to implement similar programs and help them move from transaction to transformation in their goal setting, economy building, and soul winning.


“We are most resistant to getting outside of ourselves because it is uncomfortable.” — Art

“How do you see your neighborhood? How do you know your neighborhood? How do you show your neighborhood what it might be?” — Art

“The biggest challenge we are facing today is leadership. We’ve got to be people that have a socio-spiritual theology.” — Art

“Leadership needs a broken heart. The things that break the heart of God need to break our hearts.” — Art

“When we express interest in other people, it’s transformational. Not only for them, but for us, too.” — Leary

Action steps:

  • Do you find yourself trying to get people onboard with your bold idea by sharing facts and figures? Try telling you story instead. It’s so much more effective for sharing a message and winning support.
  • God has called us as Christians to be salt and light in our culture. These are transformational elements, not just elements of incremental change.
  • Transformational change is accomplished through relationships. Take time to invest yourself in other people.
  • Know, show, and grow. These are the three steps to having transformational relationships.

Resources mentioned:

Ways to get involved:

We look forward to hearing from you!