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Twin Cities Youth Paint Mural on the Greenway

This summer, youth at the Little Earth Extension of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota had the exciting opportunity to assist local artists with a large-scale mural on the Greenway, a large bike trail in Minneapolis. It all started when the Midtown Greenway contacted the Little Earth Education Department to express interest in getting several teens in the community to help work on a mural they were planning for the trail. From there, the organization partnered with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) to work with students and create internships for teens. Collaboration with Little Earth began nearly a year ago, and they began (and completed) the mural in August 2017. Youth from the Little Earth extension unit participated and assisted during a planned community day, and worked with the interns and artists on various sections of the mural.

Located just a few blocks away from Little Earth housing, the mural depicts the three interns that were a part of this project. It also includes an image of a Native woman carrying other people, symbolic of the weight women carry throughout life, as well as how women pass on heritage and culture. In addition, each young girl is holding an object sacred to the Little Earth community. These items include a tobacco pouch, sage, and corn. Other images represent tribal stories and animals considered sacred to the culture.

For youth who participated in the creation of this mural, it was their first time ever working on a project like this, much less one on this scale. It proved to be a rewarding, enriching experience for all involved, and youth gained an understanding and appreciation for the time and effort it takes to create artwork like this. It has given them a sense of pride, ownership, and has made art even more meaningful for them. All in all, the teens were proud of the completed project and youth had a blast being a part of the process. We look forward to seeing more of Little Earth’s future collaborations!

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BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

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