Best of Neighborhood News 9/27: Bell Museum exhibit features Ojibwe and Dakota voiceovers


At the newly renovated and reopened Bell Museum, the voices of Ojibwe and Dakota children inform about natural science dioramas, depicting nature scenes from around Minnesota. The inclusion of these voices was intentional, hoping to showcase the persisting existence of these languages in the face of cultural destruction through colonization.

“They chose the words for the conversation,” said Cindy Ward-Thompson, Bdote Learning Center founder and current director. “We used a lot of children in the process because we wanted to show others that Dakota and Ojibwe are still vibrant spoken languages and that the language is alive in children as well as elders.”

Read more at The Circle.

Creative writing space uplifts Black and POCI voices

Black Lines Matter is a project of Black Table Arts, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for Black and POCI individuals to have their creative expression centered and uplifted. The classes happen every other Saturday, and they are open to all ages in order to encourage an unconventional space for learning and writing.

“Black Lines Matter and Black Table Arts are in this tradition of — oftentimes grassroots, not always disaffiliated from institutions – [spaces] created in their own energy,” said University of Minnesota professor Douglas Kearney. “They’re creating their own institutions to foster art and foster social justice.”

Read more at Minnesota Daily.

Investment in community from within: Webber Camden to become “Camden Town”

Known in community for his barber shop HWMR and his “Black Excellence” clothing line, developer and Northside native Houston White hopes to expand his business to include retail space, an ice cream shop with a youth training model and more. This investment intends to rebrand the Webber Camden neighborhood as “Camden Town,” and White hopes to make the area more culturally appealing for young Black professionals especially.

“It’s a grassroots kind of spirit that’s driving it,” said Brandon Burbach, a Webber Camden Neighborhood Organization board member. “I’ve come to see placemaking as the community’s hedge against gentrification.”

Find out the full story at North News.