Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ)

A nonprofit organization

100% complete

$5,000 Goal

Located between downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis on the Green Line, the Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) is a recognized center of creativity and enterprise, a place where people make a living by their creative capacities. Home to hundreds of creative businesses — from artists to architects, entrepreneurs to manufacturers — it is also one of the fastest growing residential areas in the state.

Our Mission: We attract and support creative people and businesses to #MakeItHere! 

Our Vision: A thriving district of creativity and innovation centered in an equitable and just community of economic and environmental well-being.

We employ multiple community development tools and strategies that result in deep, interconnected relationships between creative businesses, property owners, community organizations and residents, and advance our goals:  

Real Estate Investment - To prevent creative displacement by increasing owner occupancy and community control of commercial real estate in the CEZ. We purchased our first building in 2021 and launched a community-led Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) called Taproot in 2022 to explore acquisition of multi-tenant buildings to protect affordable maker spaces in the Zone. 

Public Space - Initiatives to improve public health, beauty, safety and the environment by expanding urban tree canopy, creating new parks, implementing water-focused resiliency measures, and lead a neighborhood-wide conversation about the environment and connection in a fast growing mixed-use area of Saint Paul. Since 2021, we led an all-volunteer effort to grow, plant and care for 100 new street trees each year.

Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival - An annual festival ensuring representation in public art (55 murals and counting!), artist-led programs and community events. 87% of our muralists have been local, 85% BIPOC, and 51% Women and Non-Binary. All artists are compensated for their work and maintain creative control. We believe more public art in our community will raise the profile of the CEZ as a creative destination; support and connect the people who live, work and play here; and contribute to the long-term beauty,  vitality, safety and walkability while fostering belonging and well-being in our growing creative district. 

Our Values: Imagination, innovation, and creativity. Community-driven and place-based. Regenerative and equity-focused. Accessible and resilient. 

Our Actions: We educate. We engage. We advocate. We work for community, economic, and environmental well-being and belonging. We apply community imagination to foster development of this place. 

Your investment in the Creative Enterprise Zone — the district and the 501(c)3 organization — supports community-driven programs, investments, and public initiatives that attract and support creative people and businesses to #MakeItHere.

Organization Data


Organization name

Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ)

other names

Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Community Economic Development


PO BOX 14252