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Lowertown, Saint Paul, MN

Lowertown Landing is dedicated to supporting the continued growth and rejuvenation of the Lowertown historic district of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Arrivals & Departures Film Installation at Union Depot


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Arrivals & Departures Film Installation at Union Depot

  • Union Depot 214 4th st E Saint Paul, MN 55101 (map)

Colossal Film Installation to Transform Union Depot

Minnesota Poems-Turned-Films will be Projected onto Façade of Historic Building

Noted poet and film producer Todd Boss, co-founder and artistic director of Motionpoems, will present a massive, one-of-a-kind audio-visual public art experience at Union Depot for one night only, Friday, October 10, to coincide with the St. Paul Art Crawl. The project, titled “Arrivals & Departures,” will be a compilation of four poems on the theme of “arrivals and departures” by Minnesota poets that have been made into four short (four to five minute) films by Minnesota filmmakers.  The films will be projected across the façade of Union Depot on nine 35’ tall screens hung between the structure’s columns.  From dusk to 10:30 p.m., the films will run on a continual loop.

Boss, an advocate for light rail transit and historical public buildings, was inspired to create a work of art that would celebrate the beauty and renaissance of the historic Union Depot through a series of motionpoems created by using 3D mapping technology to fuse poetry and film into a spectacular evening community gathering.  He began planning the project in 2012 and has to date invested an estimated 1,000 hours producing the work. The poets were chosen from a statewide contest co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center and include Linda Back McKay, Robert Dougherty, Brian Beatty, and Mike Rollin. Boss is working with Pixel Farm Creative of Minneapolis who digitally mapped Union Depot and created an architectural template for use by the filmmakers. The four filmmakers include the teams at Pixel Farm and Browntown Collective and independent artists Nick Clausen and Barbara Weiner. The films’ voiceover work is by talent from the Guthrie Theatre and New York City artists. The project was funded by support from the City of St. Paul, the St. Paul Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Forecast Public Art/The McKnight Foundation, a successful Kickstarter campaign and many individual donors. 

The concept of Motionpoems was born in 2008 when animator and film producer Angella Kassube animated one of Boss’s poems. The production was embraced by the arts and literary communities and one year later the duo presented a public screening of 12 pieces they’d created and dubbed Motionpoems to a packed house at Open Book. This new hybrid of poetry and film launched a movement into mainstream media, blogs, YouTube, international film festivals, classrooms, art galleries and more. Boss has published two poetry books, Yellowrocket in 2008, followed by Pitch in 2012, and he was awarded the Emily Clark Balch Prize.  His poems have appeared in Poetry, The London Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Best American Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Both of his books have been finalists for the Minnesota Book Award. 

The artist’s goal is to make the “Arrivals & Departures” production an annual event.  Following this inaugural year featuring Minnesota artists, the plan is to invite poets and filmmakers to submit their work nationally in 2015, internationally in 2016 and then statewide again in 2017.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information about the event, visit and for information about Motionpoems, visit 

Getting to Union Depot

Bike: Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities

Bus:  Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street

 Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 53, 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489

Light Rail:  Daily service on Metro Transit's Green Line

ParkUnion Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations

Car Share: Zip Car and Car2Go

About UNION DEPOT...The beautifully renovated Union Depot, originally built in the 1920s, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) owns Union Depot which offers a full complement of transportation services: Amtrak, Metro Green Line, Jefferson Lines, Greyhound,, Metro Transit and MVTA buses and a bike facility.  JLL, under contract with RCRRA, is responsible for management of Union Depot and creating a new, unique gathering place at this historic landmark. For more information, go to