News // November 1, 2018

Animation by JXTA Graphics Lab apprentice Lilian Donahue.


Help us raise $10K on Give to the Max Day on November 15 for JXTA’s new mural!

Too often, people on the Northside of Minneapolis don’t see themselves reflected positively. We’re changing that. For this year’s Give to the Max Day, we’re asking you to help us reach our goal of $10K to create a new mural which will capture the people and energy of one of the Twin Cities’ most vibrant communities. This is the next step in a legacy campaign that will develop JXTA and the Northside (learn more about that project here).

Donate on GiveMN and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #PopOut4JXTA.

Donate now or on Give to the Max Day November 15!


A digital rendering of what the skate-able art plaza will look like. The plaza is set to be built and debuted in Spring 2019. Money raised during Give to the Max Day will fund the production of a new mural to decorate the wall behind the skate lot.

JXTA mural work example: Black August mural, completed 2017.

JXTA mural work example: Who We Are mural, completed 2016.

Why bubbles?

For this Give to the Max, our theme is BUBBLES. We’ve been blowing bubbles off the roof of 2007 Emerson Avenue North for over 10 years. Roger Cummings, JXTA’s co-founder and Chief Cultural Producer, started this tactical strategy by blowing bubbles out of his apartment window in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District in the 1990s. Now, we use the Bubbletron on JXTA’s roof to indicate our location and to demonstrate our long-time commitment to creative placemaking. So, to tell our story for #GTMD18, we’re using bubbles, illustrated by JXTA Graphics Lab apprentice Lilly. Read on to learn about her process in creating the illustrations.

Behind the Animation: Interview with Graphics Apprentice Lilly

Your name, age, and grade:

Lilian Donahue, 17, 12th Grade (Senior in HS).

What year/session did you start at JXTA?

I started at JXTA in Summer 2017 and started working here in the fall.

How did you get involved at JXTA?

I took the VALT program for the experience, was offered the chance for an interview, and jumped at the opportunity.

Tell us a little bit about the process for creating the animations for Give to the Max Day. Where did the inspiration come from? How did you storyboard/illustrate them?

I took inspiration from the GiveMN logo, and bright, fun, modern motifs. I drew representations of each moment, added notes for smaller, cuter animations. I also made sure to include patterns and colors.

Did you face any challenges? If you did, how did you problem-solve?

It was a struggle to make the movement of the bubbles look natural.

What was the most fun part?
Creating color palettes and creating the stop-motion effect.

Tell us about another project you’ve worked on in your time at JXTA:
I’ve done various other animated “Thank you’s” and logos similar to this. Examples include an animation for FLOW 2018 and a Cartoon Network bumper exercise.

Stay tuned for more at! 

News // October 1, 2018

Earlier this summer, we sat down with Graphic Design Lab Junior Art Director DJ Bryant to talk about his experience as an intern at Target Corp.

Name: DJ Bryant

Age: 18

Lab: Graphic Design

Title: Junior Art Director

How long have you been in the Graphic Design Lab at JXTA?

I’ve been in Graphics for three and a half years.

When did you complete VALT [Visual Art Literacy Training]?

I went through VALT when I was thirteen; I actually started here through Free Wall [intro to aerosol course] and through Free Wall I learned about VALT.

What brought you to JXTA?

The thing that brought me to JXTA was my interest in community development. And my mom’s friend is a friend of Roger’s, so she put me in touch with this diverse and community-driven program, and I said “hey that sounds pretty cool, let’s do that.”

What’s your favorite part about working at JXTA?

I really like the collaboration aspect. When I first started my art career, I wanted to be a freelancer, but being in a studio space has shifted that to a more collaborative path where I can talk to artists, get feedback, and instantly have conversations with other artists.

Tell me about a project you’ve worked on.

I recently finished the Morrie’s Subaru project. It was a vinyl mural to jive up their kids room. The mural spans an approximately 9 foot x 8 foot wall; don’t quote me on that, but it’s pretty big. It was a lot of illustrative work, so it was definitely a really fun project because I do kids stuff at Target, too. I do designs for the youth brand Cat & Jack.

What do you think is the most important thing you’ve learned in your time at JXTA?

I’ve learned a lot of important stuff, but I’d probably say collaborating and communicating with clients in a professional manner and not underselling my skills when it comes to client projects. Also, doing business with clients in general as an artist because it’s very different than doing business with another business when you’re already a business.

DJ & his supervisor, Senior Textile Designer in Cat & Jack (boy) Tommy Hatfield

Now I want to talk about Target!

Yes I was working in product design and development as a Design Intern.

How did you land this internship?

Jared [Hanks, Head of Business Development] put me into contact, submitted my portfolio, and put a good word in for me at Target. Jared came through.

Have you worked with Target [through JXTA] in the past?

No, the biggest client I’d worked with before Target was 3M. I worked on their sustainability report cover. [Check out that project here.]

So tell me a little bit of what you’ve worked on at Target.

I’ve worked on graphic illustrations for the 2019 summer line for Cat & Jack. I can’t say much about it—you know, NDAs, I don’t wanna get hit with a lawsuit.

How has your time at JXTA helped you prepare for this internship?

I think it’s prepared me in terms of teaching me how to conduct myself professionally in a studio space and not act like a complete fool; to act like I know what I’m doing, which questions to ask, and to know how to respond to feedback and critique appropriately. And also how to ask my higher-ups questions if I am lost or need assistance.

Anything else we should know?

I just want people to know that Target is a really good company to work for and work with; even if you’re not at the headquarters, Target is really about inclusivity and pushing for diversity. They really encourage individuality in the workplace so you don’t have to come all dressed up every day; you bring yourself how you are and you’ll be treated well because Target is full of great people. They even have a training where they teach you how to go about interacting with a coworker that’s more introverted than extroverted. They try to cater to your personality type which is very interesting in the workplace.

What’s next?

Next I’m going to college at Hamline, double-majoring in drawing in digital media arts so I get the best of both worlds.

News // September 18, 2018

We are stoked to have partnered with Dangerous Man Brewing Co. to create a limited-edition, custom-brewed JXTA Golden Ale! Brewed in a small batch, the golden ale’s flavor profile of lemon, turmeric, and ginger was developed by JXTA Chief Cultural Producer Roger Cummings and the crowler (a 750ml can of beer) label was designed by JXTA youth apprentices in the Graphic Design Lab. For every beer sold during its limited run, Dangerous Man generously donates $1 to help fund our forthcoming Skate-able art plaza. Read on to learn more about the process, our collaboration with Dangerous Man, and a quick interview with the lead apprentice on the project, Patricio De Lara. Plus, check out photos from the event here!


This summer, the folks at Northeast’s Dangerous Man Brewing Co. approached us to collaborate on a JXTA-themed brew. As part of Dangerous Man’s commitment to giving back to their community, the brewery identifies and seeks out opportunities to create one-of-a-kind limited-edition brews with organizations that provide valuable goods, services, and programs to the Twin Cities area.

“We choose our community partners that are providing positive impact programs to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area,” says Hilari Bandow, former Operations Manager and Events and Volunteer Coordinator at Dangerous Man who initially reached out to us about this project. “The $1 kickback program is a way to raise funds for an organization by giving a dollar from every beer sold in the taproom to the nonprofit. This program runs for the entire duration of the beer’s life on tap.” As part of this collaboration, $1 of every JXTA Golden Ale sold will go towards programming the skate-able art plaza we’re building on the corner of Emerson and Broadway (read more about that here).


After Dangerous Man reached out to us, we worked with their team to develop the brand and flavor of the beer. JXTA Chief Cultural Producer and co-founder Roger Cummings sat down with DM Brewer John Leingang to sample brew types and flavor add-on options. Taking inspiration from his daily morning tea routine, he settled on a golden ale with the healthy combination of lemon, ginger, and turmeric. All three flavors were well-suited to lend a bright color profile to the golden ale, and the addition of turmeric was an exciting one for the Dangerous Man team as they had never brewed with it before.

Next came the designs. Several of the Graphic Design Lab apprentices produced a number of concepts, each with a distinct look and feel. All of them were informed by the JXTA brand as well as the beer’s flavors and color scheme (check out a few of the runners-up below). The final designs for the crowlers and the accompanying merchandise were chosen by Roger Cummings. With these designs, a limited run of t-shirts were printed by JXTA’s Textiles & Screen Printing Lab. These limited t-shirts were available for purchase at the beer’s release event, in addition to buttons and stickers.

Concept design by Graphic Design Lab apprentice Avahnii L.

Concept design by Graphic Design Lab apprentice Malee V.

The final design, created by apprentice Patricio D.


On Wednesday, September 12, Dangerous Man hosted a party to celebrate the beer’s release. Visitors had the chance to try the beer on tap, buy limited-edition t-shirts, buttons, and stickers, and learn about JXTA from our apprentices. We shared drinks, created buttons, and made new friends. Check out photos from the event here (photos by Riché Effinger).

Get to know the designer: Patricio De Lara

JXTA apprentice in the Graphic Design Lab since August 2017.

What was the process like designing the JXTA Dangerous Man beer label?
It was challenging, nerve-racking, and incredibly fulfilling. All of us who worked on concepts for the label wanted it so badly, so we were all extremely passionate and driven to go and get it. Greta (the Graphic Design Lab Lead) had us follow a strict design process where we would start out with 15-20 sketches, and then eliminate the ones we didn’t feel as strongly about. Once we had a full presentation deck, we played the waiting game to see which label would be approved.

How was it different from other projects you’ve worked on?
We were given a ton of creative freedom to explore different stylistic approaches and really interpret what JXTA would look and feel like when applied to something like a beer label.

How many designs were submitted?
There were a total of 15 INCREDIBLE designs. My colleagues and I really raised the bar for the quality of work that JXTA can produce. Truthfully, any one of those designs could’ve been chosen.

What narrowed it down to yours?
I think I showed the artistic and free-flowing aesthetic that JXTA has included in its creative toolbox for so long. At the same time, I was able to modernize it and make it uniquely mine.

What was the most challenging part?
Surprisingly, the chosen design was the last one I worked on, but I knew it was different than the rest of my concepts. I tried hand-lettering, which is something I’m less comfortable with. That process was interesting; I didn’t know if my risks would pay off or not, but I’m glad they did.

What was the most fun?
Being able to share this experience with the young creatives around me and learning so much along the way. We’ve cultivated a passionate and dedicated culture in the Graphics Lab, and I’m so proud of that.

What was it like to show off your stuff at the beer release event?
It made me believe in how much I can do. Being able to design all the branding for an event like that was ridiculously fun and satisfying. This is just a small step for what I will accomplish down the road, and I am so thankful that JXTA is giving me the tools I need to do bigger and better things.

Special thanks to our partners and friends at City of Skate and Young Joni for their support in making this event a huge success.

Photos by Riché Effinger.

News // August 29, 2018

Current Exhibit

Visiting Artist Residency + Exhibition

Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) is excited to present the work of South African artist Kealeboga Tlalang in his first U.S. solo exhibition. Working in mixed media collage, Tlalang creates beautiful textural portraits that link puzzle and play to synthesize his love for mathematics, science, and art.

Tlalang’s focus is the expressiveness of the human face. Fascinated by the ability for the face to tell many stories–stoicism, melancholy, joy–Tlalang’s work expresses a deep curiosity for human subtleties. Art for him is akin to biographical writing, where each collage allows him to represent different movements and shifts in his own observations of the world around him.

In addition to the exhibition, Tlalang will also work with youth in the JXTA Labs in an art-making workshop where he will share his creative process with young artists at JXTA. Apprentices will have the opportunity to explore paint, collage, and other multimedia techniques with the artist during this residency.

Kealeboga Tlalang: on view at the JXTA Gallery from September 24 through November 10

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 6:00PM–8:00PM
Artist Talk: Thursday, October 4, 2018, 7:00PM
Gallery Hours & Location: Monday–Thursday 10:00AM–4:00PM; 2007 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411
RSVP on Facebook: Opening Reception / Artist Talk

About the Artist:

Kealeboga Tlalang was born in 1991 in the Northwest province of South Africa in a small village called Gopane. His love for art developed around the age of seven from observing his uncle–an artist–Utukile Lucas Tlalang. During his years in school, Tlalang would draw pictures for his school-mates and teachers so that he could buy lunch since his parents didn’t have enough money for food. During this time, he fell in love with something else, something he discovered he had a talent for: numbers and mathematics. He completed matric at Ramotshere High School and was awarded a sponsorship to pursue his studies in mathematics.
Tlalang moved to Johannesburg from Zeerust in 2012 to study mathematical science at the University of Johannesburg. During his second year, he felt incomplete; his love for art was consuming him and he wondered if he had pursued the wrong career. That same year, he knew something had to be done: either continue with mathematics or return to art-making. He felt fulfilled by both, but knew he had to choose just one.
Ultimately, he chose art, because in his artwork he is able to incorporate his love for mathematics and numbers. As his career as an artist was put into motion, Tlalang joined the Living Artist Emporium platform where he was given opportunities to exhibit with well-known artists in prestigious galleries. He received recognition in magazine features, television interviews, and art fairs. Tlalang now has his own studio in Johannesburg, sharing a building with some of the most prominent South African and African visual artists.

News // July 31, 2018

Tending The Soil: Black August

Current Exhibit

Tending The Soil: Black August

Please join the apprentices of Juxtaposition Arts’ Tactical Urbanism and Contemporary and Public Art Labs for Black August 2018, a month-long meditation on the past, present, and future of Black revolutionary struggles. Black August’s origins lie within the organization and activism of incarcerated peoples in California. This year at JXTA, we aim to continue this tradition of unification against prisons and mass incarceration through a series of community dinners co-hosted by community organizer Roxanne O’Brien, local non-profit Better Futures, and printmaker Ricardo Levins Morales. Tending The Soil: Black August also includes an exhibition of original artwork dedicated to Black August principles created by JXTA apprentices from Contemporary and Public Art Lab.

All Black August dinners free and open to the public and will take place from 5:30PM to 8:00PM.

August 3 – with Roxanne O’Brien and Better Futures
August 10 – with Ricardo Levins Morales
August 17 – with Juxtaposition Arts Apprentices

About the Exhibition

Tending The Soil: Black August features work by youth and young adult apprentices in Juxtaposition Arts’ Contemporary and Public Art Lab that explores the ideas of seed harvest and change. They write:

The seeds are our ideas, thoughts, and concepts that can grow into something larger, such as changes and movement. The exhibition is rooted in the idea that the soil–our social environment in which dreams and ideas are planted–must first be tended to. By investigating and then unpacking the narratives surrounding issues such as police brutality, the prison industrial complex, the ethical treatment of prisoners, and imagining a future without police within our communities, we have the power to shift the conditions in which these seeds grow. We have the power to cultivate our own soil, a more balanced soil, for healthier growth.

Exhibition features work from these JXTA Contemporary and Public Art Apprentices:

Cameron Downey
Cecilia Andrade-Vital
Daria Harris
Jesús Vega
Justice Jones
Kachina Henry
Kylia Porter
Makeda Parrish
Maria Romansov
Rondell Jackson
Salem Murre
Savitri Mann
Treon Jones
Tyreke Morris

RSVP on Facebook

News // July 11, 2018

Recourse: With Notes from Black Wall Street

Recourse: With Notes from Black Wall Street is an assemblage of two research projects that took place in two US cities over the course of the last two years. The first is a Tactical Urbanism project developed by JXTA youth apprentices examining Black business and economic development on West Broadway in North Minneapolis. The second comes from interdisciplinary artist Crystal Z. Campbell and looks at the past and present of another business district formerly known as Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While on their surfaces these Minneapolis and Tulsa would seem to hold little in common, these two projects are brought together by their shared faith in the ongoing project to produce Black space.

We can see the ways that these cities are perhaps bound together through historical and present struggles to relocate, displace, or dislocate Indigenous and Black people through acts of spatial violence. We can also see the shared traditions of resistance between cities.

The exhibit will be on view until July 28.

Pay 2 Play Zine Launch

Zine Launch

Pay 2 Play Zine Launch: A Look at Race and Art Space in MPLS

Please join us on Thursday, July 12 for a zine launch event in connection with our current exhibition Recourse: With Notes From Black Wall Street. Tactical Urbanism Lab Lead Adrienne Doyle will share findings from her artist-led research project on the racial inequities in ownership and investment in art spaces in Minneapolis, MN. The research will be published in a zine designed by youth and young adult apprentices in JXTA’s Graphics Lab and will be available for purchase during the event.

When: Thursday, July 12, 6-8PM
6PM: doors | 6:30PM: short presentation followed by discussion
Where: JXTA Gallery – 2007 Emerson Ave N
Cost: FREE
Click here to RSVP

About the Zine:
Between February 2017 and January 2018, Juxtaposition Arts Tactical Urbanism Lab Lead and artist researcher Adrienne Doyle conducted an arts-based research project on the racial inequities of the ownership and investment of art spaces in Minneapolis, MN. The hypothesis for this project is that POC-led and -focused art organizations in Minneapolis, MN experience significant barriers to raising the capital and other resources they need to own and adequately invest in facilities out of which to do their work. White-led organizations don’t experience these barriers or experience them to a lesser extent.

This project was supported by Twin Cities LISC.

Adrienne Doyle

Tactical Urbanism Lab Lead Adrienne Doyle

News // June 29, 2018

Join us for FLOW Northside Arts Crawl on Saturday, July 28! Stop by the JXTA campus between 11AM and 6PM.

Visit us at these locations on campus:

  • JXTA Gallery: 2007 Emerson Ave. N.
  • Pocket Park: North of/adjacent to the JXTA Gallery
  • VALT building: 1108 Broadway Ave. W.

Check out demos and activities:

Shop items for purchase:

  • Custom aerosol painted bags
  • Screenprinted t-shirts and other gear
  • Make-your-own buttons

RSVP on Facebook for more info. Post your photos with #JXTAFLOW18.

Check out pics of past celebrations:

News // June 1, 2018


On Thursday, May 31 we launched the largest initiative in our history – a $14 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art facility at our current location. The new building will engage and employ even more young artists in hands-on education initiatives that create pathways to self-sufficiency while actualizing creative power.

This campaign will continue JXTA’s longstanding commitment to our neighborhood and in the equitable development of North Minneapolis and the West Broadway commercial corridor. In doing so, we will help build the cultural, financial, and social capital of North Minneapolis.

The $14 million will pay for the demolition of existing buildings (already begun) and the construction of a new building, the purchase of equipment and furnishings, programmatic expansion, and a reserve fund. This will be a four-year campaign that begins today and concludes on May 31, 2022.

The McKnight Foundation has made a lead gift of $1.3 million to the campaign. An additional $300,000 in donations brings our total to $1.6 million secured. JXTA’s funding will come from a variety of sources including: foundations, corporations, individuals, events, and government funding.

To be successful, we will need everyone’s support. To learn how you can assist us in this ambitious undertaking, or to make a donation, contact Kevin Vollmers, Development Director, at 612-588-1148 or

In the news:

From Minnesota Public Radio: “Juxtaposition Arts has designs on a bigger, bolder future” [read more]


A rendering of the art plaza design, coming soon to JXTA’s campus.

From Star Tribune: “Juxtaposition Arts launches $14 million campaign for new home in north Minneapolis” [read more]

Star Tribune

The lot at W. Broadway and Emerson Avenue N. will be the site of Juxtaposition Arts’ new building, with a temporary art plaza opening this year in the meantime.

Thank you to the McKnight Foundation.
McKnight Foundation

News // March 12, 2018

Ysa Johnson
Marketing and Communications Intern and JXTA alumn

On February 16th 2018, a significant event in black arts was embraced by Juxtaposition Arts with the help of First Avenue and Rhymesayers. Juxtaposition Arts’ Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) students, youth apprentices, and staff were invited to see an early screening of the film Black Panther at St. Louis Park’s ShowPlace ICON Theaters.

Black Panther is important not only as a significant cultural moment, but also as another step in a history of steps black and marginalized communities have taken to create their own futures; giving youth images of an unapologetically black film celebrating black culture creates the creative heroes of tomorrow.

While other superhero movies featuring a black protagonist and cast, like the Blade trilogy, existed prior to Black Panther, none were at the same level of production. A black superhero film of this size has been a long time coming. The Blade trilogy predates the Marvel Cinematic universe and brought Marvel narratives to public recognition. Black Panther brings the company’s theatrical releases full circle. It had been in the works for years before production began, with Marvel producers, like Nate Moor, pushing for explicitly black storylines in the superhero canon.

Directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther includes a majority-black cast and the kind of detail paid to production, design, script, and editing that only a black-led team could accomplish. Both overt and subtle, images and messages of black liberation and self-determination are two of the major themes, and the world clearly wants it; the staggering box office success dispels the myth that black-centered stories and art are undesirable to worldwide audiences. This movie is so powerful to JXTA, not only because of the representation, but of the successful execution of a big budget, impactful project that can inspire young people to dream big and take on whatever they believe is possible.

I was getting tired of seeing the same story over and over again, glossing over real issues that affect real people. No matter your background, a world responding to the histories of colonization, slavery, and oppression affects all of us. We see this reflected in the global, national, local, and interpersonal spheres, and it is time we create narratives that reflect reality. While viewingBlack Panther, I was overjoyed to see such beautiful, unique black characters given the same complexity and interiority that is offered by default to white characters and white stories. This film is a difficult conversation, AND a celebration, pushing the culture around black representation and black stories as they are presented to a worldwide audience. To be able to engage on such levels was a gift, and I know it’s just the beginning.

DeAnna Cummings
CEO and founder of Juxtaposition Arts

“We were trying to draw a future. To leave something that inspires. We arrived to this big epic story. But it is also a big responsibility when telling an epic tale because you have to tell it – epically.” — Namir Fearce, artist, and JXTA alumni

Stories shape us. They shape communities, institutions, and behavior. They do not have to be true to be passed on and believed. But what we believe has a powerful impact on the world. A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to see Black Panther with the entire team at JXTA. Director Ryan Coogler and the nearly entirely black cast gave us an epic story that is black affirmative, unapologetically black-centered, and joyfully executed.

The film resonated with our team. The big picture of our work at JXTA is about illuminating stories about Black and POCI people and marginalized communities. Our goal is to shift mainstream narratives that are narrow and largely negative toward collective stories that focus on our assets, skills, creativity, accomplishments, and ideas. We train and employ young artists and designers in our North Minneapolis neighborhood so that they can practice powerfully living into their roles as leaders and creators and so that people inside and outside of our community get used to seeing our youth in this light.

This is what I think Black Panther does on a grand scale. I left the theater feeling proud of my people, and my team, and with a bounce in my step because we are individually and collectively LIT! Black Panther is the latest cultural milestone that is proof that people who have been historically and systematically oppressed are hungry to see authentic representations of ourselves and will support projects and institutions where we can produce and tell our own stories. I hope we can make a commitment to support the artists, story makers, and young futurists whose voices haven’t been heard enough, who tell the tales we need to imagine so that we can believe, and act on the possibilities of something new.

Wakanda Forever!

News // January 22, 2018

Write-up by Roxxanne O’Brien, Kristen Murray, and Melanie Stovall

Over the last few years, Juxtaposition Arts Tactical Urbanism Lab worked to create welcoming public spaces with music, art, and other activities centered around community engagement. Through talking to community members at everyday public spaces, like the bus stops along West Broadway, we were able to engage with people around different topics relevant to our neighborhood in North Minneapolis.

Last year we started Broadway Vibrations after being inspired by the impact we saw from our community engagement. The program was a chance to step up the previous work of our Tactical Urbanism Lab and bring community-inspired ideas to life. Particularly around public safety.

JXTA youth and staff directly experience the pain and injustice that goes on in our community. We had two bullets come through our windows in 2017. Both occasions were during broad daylight when our campus was busy with youth and adult staff working. Building a creative space that feels safe is a top priority at Juxtaposition Arts. The concept behind Broadway Vibrations came from understanding that crime is something that needs to be addressed with a holistic approach that goes beyond policing. We wanted our neighbors in North Minneapolis to join us in creating our own public safety strategy.

That strategy was focused on activating West Broadway when and where things can get hot on Friday afternoons and early evenings, especially near Hawthorn Crossings. We intentionally did activities around healing and raising endorphins in a healthy way. From blowing bubbles to playing old school music, to serving home cooked meals, our initiatives were all centered around wellness. We wanted to design a space that uplifted people, making them feel safe and loved through creating hopeful energy and positive vibrations to spread throughout our community. And it worked. People came through to make a smoothie, take a free book, get a massage, do yoga, snap a photo in the photo booth, participate in the open mic, watch a movie, enjoy a community meal, and play in one of the Spades tournaments.

Throughout the summer, we used our JXTA branded pedal-powered smoothie bike to offer a fun, active, environmentally-friendly way to make healthy snacks. We hired community members to share their services and skills: massage, yoga, meditation, legal advice, cooking, and healing. We had experts lead workshops on dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and grief. We also hosted a day-long Psychological First Aid training workshop with counselor and author Resmaa Menakem. On the 50th anniversary of the Plymouth Uprising, we screened TPT’s documentary on North Minneapolis and The Children’s March. In late September, we screened a feature-length movie in the parking lot of Hawthorn Crossings, creating a pop-up drive-in theater on West Broadway.

Between July—September of 2017, we hosted 13 Broadway Vibrations. Our locations included the Hawthorn Crossings parking lot, the corner of West Broadway and N. Lyndale, and our JXTA campus. We engaged with almost 800 community members, a number of which were walking past, saw the activities and stopped to join. One night, we were able to engage with a group of young people just hanging out at the McDonalds near Hawthorn Crossings. They tried yoga, talked with older community members, and came back for the meals. Two of them participated in both of our Spades tournaments we hosted, taking first prize in one.

This summer, Broadway Vibrations became a place for North Minneapolis to gather, talk, and share resources. It was a magnet for positive energy in the community. We heard so many words of encouragement, affirmation, and gratitude from people who participated. There were no incidents of violence at or around our location, and we are eager to see MPD data for the vicinity to understand if there is a correlation between our work in community engagement and public safety on West Broadway. Based on our experience and the feedback we got from community members, we believe that there is.