Thursday, August 8, 2013

Workshop on 35th and Chicago- Sponsored by PPNA

The evening of July 25th found us on the corner of 35th street and Chicago in front of Pillsbury House. We were technically across the street from the Central Neighborhood in Powderhorn Neighborhood, and the event was sponsored by PPNA, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association. Why do a workshop outside of the Central Neighborhood? Our neighbors are important to us, and while a line on a map is definite and clear, in reality, our lines are more blurred.

As 35th street and Chicago is a busy intersection, we had a great crowd! Many people walked by and decided to join in the fun, some as they were waiting for their bus. We had a lot of partners that evening- Jakeeno's Pizza and Pasta, located right down the block on 36th and Chicago, donated a bunch of pizzas. Turtle Bread Company provided us with bread and pastries to give away. North Country Food Alliance joined us to pass out free organic produce. The Carrot Initiative spoke to folks and entertained with a trivia game. Our friends Spencer and Aaron showed up to play music- it was a party!

Lead artist Greta McLain getting paint for the people

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paint Party at We Win Institute!

Saturday, July 20th found us painting at We Win Institute, Inc., located on 38th street and 3rd Avenue South. We Win was founded in 1995 by Titilayo Bediako in order to work towards the academic and social success of our children. Their programming emphasizes African history and culture and strives to create pride for children of African descent. Many of We Win's students are also students at Green Central School. Ms. Bediako worked with Green Central and Green Central Community Education this year on a number of issues and events and we look forward to growing our partnership even more in the coming year!

Join us at our next workshop on Thursday, July 25th, sponsored by PPNA at 35th and Chicago in front of Pillsbury House from 6:00-8:00. We will be serving pizza from Jakeeno's, pastries and bread from Turtle Bread Company and North Country Food Alliance will be distributing free produce. Also come hang out with representatives of The Carrot Initiative and CANDO and enjoy painting and kids activities. Join us!

Ms. Titi and one of her students

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Paint Party at Sabathani!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 in Minneapolis was hot. Very, very hot (a 100+ degree heat index hot). We were worried- how could we possibly paint today without dropping of heat exhaustion?!? Luckily, we were painting in the evening, in a field with a nice amount of evening shade. We ran out and bought large amounts of ice, juice and water (it was all gone by the end of the evening, big surprise). We borrowed sun tents from the Green Central gym (thanks guys!). And guess what? We had a great evening, and nobody dropped from heat or paint exhaustion.

One of the best parts of the evening? Amazing chicken, rice and beans from Jesse's Food Service Emporium, run out of Sabathani. Jesse asked us what we wanted to serve that evening, insisting that he could cook anything we wanted. "Surprise us," we said. And we were made very, very happy! Thanks Jesse! Contact Jesse at 612.310.4864 or at

Also, special thanks to City of Lakes AmeriCorps (learn more about the Minneapolis Community Education run program here, now recruiting!) for sending us the fantastic Emily and Brian for the evening! We love COL AmeriCorps!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Green Central Gym Community Paint Workshop Pictures

Today was the second Central Identity Project community paint workshop. We were happy to be at the Green Central Gym and hosted by the Green Central Park Board staff! Marshall Wylie (Green Central Park Board director), Yvette Griffea Gray (Youth Development coordinator) and Cornelius Bishop (Teen Teamworks site director) planned a day to remember- the grill was going, the dj had music spinning and Teen Teamworks youth were leading bracelet making activities.

Also in attendance were Tamales y Bicicletas staff Jose Luis VillaseƱor and Ashley Sartorius promoting their Urban Solutions to Pollution event on Sunday, July 21 at Waite House, and the staff from the Live and Learn project, a CANDO sponsored project to gather stories from the Central community.

While the weather threatened rain at the beginning, it held out and gave us lots of sun for a great event! Thanks to all who came and made their mark on this magnificent mural project!

The fabulous Green Central Park Board staff!

Lead artist Greta McLain and project coordinator Candida Gonzalez

Images from our first workshop!

Thanks for all that came out- it was a blast! Here are some initial images, and we'll see you today at Green Central gym at 3416 4th Avenue South. The Park Board will be grilling, spinning tunes, and running kids activities between 2:00 and 4:00. Come paint!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CANDO- the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization

One of our greatest supporters in this project has been CANDO- the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization, who represent the residents, organizations and businesses of the Central Neighborhood.

A description of CANDO from their website:

CANDO began in 2006 with an all-volunteer staff to renew the mission of promoting neighborhood livability and stability, fostering economic development, and strenghthening communication through inclusive ad represntative community involvment. CANDO works with NRP, the new Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) department, the City of Minneapolis, other organizations, non-profits, government organizations and of course with residents and business ownersto develop a wie variety of plans and programs with an emphasis on housing.  In 2008 CANDO hired it's first paid staff member - a full time Community Organizer.  In 2011, the CANDO board voted to to instate it's first Executive Director position.  It continues to use interns on staff for community outreach.  CANDO staff works to connect residents to resources to imporve their lives and this very specail, historic and always diverse community.
Today CANDO is determined to repair last relationships with foudations and other non-profits, in order to leverage more funds and more programs for the community. 

CANDO has been supportive of the Central Identity Project from day one, writing us official letters of support for our grants from the Minnesota Regional Arts Council and the City of Minneapolis, meeting with us over a variety of issues, using their Facebook page to advertise our Kickstarter campaign, sending members to our Mural Board, and ultimately donating $1,000 dollars (!) in support of the project. We couldn't have asked for a better partner! CANDO will have representatives at many of the community paint workshops available to answer questions or talk about a variety of neighborhood issues and initiatives. 

We're also excited to have the videographers from the Live and Learn project at the Saturday, July 13th paint workshop in front of Central Park gym at 3416 4th Avenue South. For the Live and Learn project, the Central neighborhood is gathering stories from Central residents and wrapping them together into a movie of our shared Central experience. Come out and share your experience with the film makers- Make your story heard!