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Lake Street Arts!

Week 3: Re-Imagining Our Future(s)

Lake Street Corner Conversations 2020, Lead Artist: Sandy Agustin

For many people in the US, and even in Minneapolis, the destruction on Lake Street during the George Floyd Uprising, was their introduction to our beautiful street.

But for us at Pangea, we have lived and worked on Lake Street for 25 years. Through Our program Lake Street Arts!, Pangea has been expressly serving the Lake Street community for nearly a decade.

The central stretch of Lake Street, known as East Lake, has long been a landing place for new immigrant and Indigenous communities. East Lake boasts an amazing diversity of culture, language, artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Like other majority-BIPOC communities in Minneapolis, communities on Lake Street also suffer from the deep disparities in employment, income, and education.

As we work towards healing and rebuilding on Lake Street, we are committed to transforming the conditions of structural racism that catalyzed the fires of rage that blazed on our street. Through art, we can collectively envision a better future for Lake Street, and together, we can realize that vision.

Join us this summer for arts and conversations on Lake Street. We will be doing Lake Street Story Circles, Poetry in the Windows, and more.

Stay tuned to hear about upcoming events and click here for more information about our Placekeeping work this summer.

Lake Street Loves Mural Commissioned by Pangea World Theater Created by GoodSpace Murals & Pangea’s Artist Organizing Institute Participants

Through Lake Street Arts!...

  • Communities on Lake Street are able to experience incredible art, including visual arts and performances, that reflect the community

  • Emerging artists find a place to develop their voice and share their story

  • Pangea has engaged over 30 businesses on Lake Street owned/led by people of color

  • Residents of Lake Street have a platform to express their feelings, laments, and dreams for Lake Streets, using the arts. This vital information is provided to City Officials and others shaping the future of Lake Street, so they know where the community stands.

Colors of Lake Street Sculpture

LSA! Colors of Lake Street is a visual arts project envisioned by renowned ceramicist Hana Bibliowicz, created with the community under the direction of Pangea World Theater. Hana is an artist and teacher, from Bogotá, Colombia, who has years of experience with grassroots community-created sculpture. Hana teamed up with apprentices Scarlett Lopez, Elizabeth Santana, Netsanet Negussie and Lula Saleh to create this interactive ceramic pillar.

With a focus on skin color and racial justice, the sculpture takes the form of a pillar which features ceramic adornments, designed by Lake Street community members who mixed the clay to the color of their skin. Audio recordings of interviews conducted with the participating community artists play through the pillar.

The First AOI Cohort Graduation Ceremony, May 2018

In 2017, Pangea launched the Artist Organizing Institute: a ten-month institute dedicated to growing the number of artist organizers involved in community and city development work. Fifteen incredible artists participated in this first iteration of the Artist Organizing Institute. It was an intentionally multi-generational and multi-racial learning space, with artists from a variety of disciplines and levels of experience.

Through a combination of artistic workshops, professional development trainings, peer-to-peer skill shares, and creative, community engagement projects, the Artist Organizing Institute conducted work on Lake Street’s art and culture corridor and explored what countering displacement could mean as we engaged in Minneapolis’ comprehensive city planning process. Participants each created their own arts-based community organizing events designed to gather valuable qualitative data to inform the City’s 2040 Plan.

In Spring 2018, the cohort partnered with GoodSpace Murals as their teacher to create the “Lake Street Loves” Mural at Plaza Centenario. The beautiful mural you see today at Plaza Centenario was created from a collective vision of residents of Lake Street. AOI Participants engaged with people who live and work onLake Street to find out what they love about Lake Street, when they feel belonging here, and what their dreams are for the future of Lake Street.

How This Program Started

In 2014, we launched Lake Street Arts!, with generous support from ArtPlace and the bold leadership of Alejandra Tobar Alatriz, our former Director of Lake Street Arts!. This was after deeply engaging with Latina/o/x communities on Lake Street through our program HypheNATIONS, which was led by Alejandra Tobar Alatriz and Beth Mikel Ellsworth. Following that program, we were invited by elders to expand our work to include other communities on Lake Street. This is how Lake Street Arts! was born.

When Lake Street Arts! launched, we took great care to ensure that the residents’ voices made an impact on the City’s 2040 Plan. We are proud to see that one of our goals, the East Lake Corridor being officially designated as a cultural district in Minneapolis, was passed by City Council in 2020. We continue to use Lake Street Arts! to uplift the voices of those who live and work on Lake Street.


When you invest in Pangea, you are supporting the healing and rebuilding of Lake Street, with arts and justice at the center.


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