Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mural Leader Youth Workshops Have Started!

This week marked the beginning of the Mural Leader Youth Workshops at Green Central School!

On Monday and Tuesday, youth from all over the Central neighborhood came in during the afternoon to begin painting work with artist Greta McLain and assistant Eamon McLain. Their first task? Creating signs to welcome people to our community paint workshops starting on July 11th. Some youth had participated in our Art on the Wall mural project this year at Green Central, and some youth were brand new to the program. All were excited to be a part of this amazing project and have the opportunity to paint!

Monday started out with youth getting the room ready for a summer of painting- laying tar paper over the floors (so our engineers don't kill us!), covering the walls with protective plastic, moving tables and organizing supplies. They then brainstormed on words, colors and images that would draw in community to our paint workshops. Afterwards they measured out signs and sketched their ideas.

Tuesday was all painting. Youth covered up with smocks and paint shirts and got down and colorful! Greta and Eamon were on hand to guide and instruct on painting technique while the youth painted away. Everyone had an awesome time!

Like to join in? We are running Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Green Central in room 411 from 3:30-5:00. Click here for more information. See you Thursday!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Some Thoughts on Arts, Education and the Community

"The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create."
President Barack Obama

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”
Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

"The rapidly evolving global economy demands a dynamic and creative workforce. The arts and its related businesses are responsible for billions of dollars in cultural exports for this country. It is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels. The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.”
Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

Monday, June 10, 2013

Middle and High School Youth- Come Paint With Us!

Run a summer program for youth in the metro area? Know a teen that needs something free to do in the afternoons this summer? Check this out!

On top of the Thursday and Saturday paint workshops, we are offering an opportunity to youth aged 12 to 19 to come paint with us in the afternoons. Our artist Greta McLain will be running open youth paint workshops here at Green Central, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 in room 411. Youth will help plan the final mural design, help prep for the mural and then learn basic to advanced painting skills as the paint portions of the mural.

Youth can come in on their own, or groups can come in on a day-by-day basis. If you run a group and would like to schedule a time, please contact Candida Gonzalez at or 612.668.3748.

All youth need to bring the form below on the first day that they come (save file to computer and then print, or email us and we can send you a pdf file). Check us out and have fun!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Central Identity Talking Circle!

Our First Central Identity Community Conversation took place today at Hosmer Library in Central Neighborhood. 
Thank you everyone who came out!
Neighborhood history, famous and influential Central historic figures, and an over-all look at our own central identities! We had a great turn out of people!  José Luís Villaseñor, director of Tamales y Bicicletas, facilitated our conversation based around four central questions:
1: How do you define home/what is home to you?
2: What are the gifts that your ancestors have given you?
3: What do you think of when you think of Central Neighborhood?
4: If you could give a gift (physical/quality/etc.) to Central Neighborhood what would it be?
Taking these questions as our conversation-base, we shared stories, dreams and hopes for the future of our neighborhood.

Here's a taste of our conversation:

-grew up in the library/safe spaces outside of your house
-tree with apples bringing the neighbors together

-corn/gift of food/agents of change to feed/change the world
-beauty and hard work

-school/Green Central
-grace - for ever person coming together and for our interactions as we share space and become community
-elephants - future to look forward to/strength/connecting with history/identity

-playgrounds/activities to connect people
-joy- happiness + safety
-people who help you
-we are one - my culture
-roots-acknowledge and accept past even as we forgive and release that part of history that doesn't help us move forward.

Some key words to evaluate today's session:
-infectious/knowledgeable/ collaborative image-making newness
-value! Overwhelming depth of individuals
-roots/central community/unified
-magic- similar symbols, different words and languages but ultimately the same
-gift- perfect group

Thank you, thank you! Look for our next community conversation! Coming soon!!!! 

Meet our Mural Interns/Artist Assistants!

We have an amazing team of artists working with Greta McLain and the Central Identity Mural Crew!
Check em out: 

Lamia Abukhadra:
"I started painting murals last summer when I decided to help design and paint the mural at South High School. I enjoyed being able to express myself and my opinions visually. Art gives everyone an opportunity to show themselves, no matter the skill level. During the school year, I work on ceramic pieces and mosaic."

Samie Johnson:
"My name is Samie johnson and I am a senior at Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley. I am passionate about people and creating art with an array of mediums. So I am naturally drawn to creating murals. Rich content driven design has the power to reach the entire community in a positive way becauses it is created by, for and about the community. Public art unites social concerns with an affected community and has the power to ignite an important dialogue and mobilize change. My first experience participating in a large scale mural project was last summer where I helped to create a mural entitled “We the People”. Along with Greta Mclain and other local Muralist, South High students helped to design and paint a large scale mural discussing the injustices which have occurred in US history and continue today. Last summer’s mural was an amazing experience and I am so excited and appreciative to be working on the Central Identity project."

Eamonn McLain:
"Eamonn McLain grew up in the small town of Powderhorn Park in southern Minneapolis.He grew up playing music and admiring his sister's artistic ability. In college after deciding against architecture and engineering he followed in his sister's footsteps and studied the visual arts. For the past two years Eamonn McLain has worked as an artist assistant in South Minneapolis and the midway area in St. Paul. He plays cello with Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles and occasionally with Trampled by Turtles. He is a graduate of the U of M with a BFA in sculpture and lives with his girlfriend's puppy in his sister's home."

 Elise Buxbaum

"My name is Elise Buxbaum. I graduated from MCAD. I love teaching art at Jefferson and Emerson in Minneapolis. I am a passionate artist who enjoys being outside and being in a community environment!"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

FIRST Central Identity Community Talking Circle! Come out and contribute your IDEAS!!!!


This Thursday June 6, 2013! Come out to Hosmer Library to participate in the 1st Community design session for the Central Identity Mural Project! BE THERE AND GET INTO THE CONVERSATION! We can't wait to hear your VOICE!

Meet the Central Identity Mural Crew!

My name is Citlally Ruiz.
What is my Central Identity? 
I'm a daughter. I'm the future of my family, the person that my sister looks up to. I'm a leader to my friends. A person that is not scared to be herself. 
Why am I excited to paint the mural this summer? 
...because I really want to learn about how this community was before, and also I want people to know that I was part of this wonderful mural.
What is my favorite thing about Central Neighborhood/Green Central School? 
My favorite thing about this neighborhood are the groups to help people, that people join together, give each other advice and learn from each other.

My name is Frankie Flores.
What is my Central Identity? 
The thing that most defines me is my family.
Why am I excited to paint the mural this summer? 
...because I want to see the outcome of the community coming together on a project.
What is my favorite thing about Central Neighborhood/Green Central School? 
I have a lot of friends...that's my favorite part.

My name is Ezra.
What is my Central Identity? 
I am a boy. My number one thing to do is art and I wanna be an artist. I am a 7th grader.
Why am I excited to paint the mural this summer? 
...because it gives me something to do this summer and I'm excited to be doing something positive for the neighborhood.
What is my favorite thing about Central Neighborhood/Green Central School? 
The kids are friendly around here, and the school is SO awesome.

My name is Lino Aguilar.
What is my Central Identity?
My brain.
Why am I excited to paint the mural this summer?
I think it will be fun to meet a lot of people. Also I will learn more about art.
What is my favorite thing about Central Neighborhood/Green Central School? 
I think that the buildings (like Hosmer Library) look like, with that said, I like the buildings in Central.

Central Symbols

What are the symbols around us that define our culture? Can you name them? How have some of these symbols evolved and shifted to reflect the transformations of our current culture? Our history? Our ancestors?

The Central Identity Mural Crew met last week with Tamales y Bicicletas Director José Luís Villaseñor  ( to talk about symbols, starting with symbols that represent "center" and "central". We looked at indigenous symbols from Mexico, the idea of "Ollin" or the central power of movement/motion, the Mayan calendar and other symbols from Mexico that have been transformed over and over again/ una y otra vez through conquests, the passing of time, and migrations. Exploring our personal definition of Central Identity and that of Central Neighborhood the Mural Crew is looking at what visually will come to symbolize "Central" in our mural design!