Of sadness and hope: Images from the Northside Tornado Youth photography showcased

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A large and enthusiastic audience attended the January 12 University Research and Outreach-Engagement Gallery open house to showcase photographs of the May 22 tornado by talented youth from Nellie Stone Johnson and Jefferson Community Schools–aptly titled “Of Sadness and Hope: Images from the Northside Tornado.”

The youth were inspired through their visits to tornado-impacted neighborhoods and conversations with “determined and resilient” local residents and business people to produce photographs to document the impacts of the tornado.

Students commented on their thoughts and inspiration: Keyanna said, “When doing this project I felt sad because some people don’t have financial help so they can rebuild their homes. But I also learned that one good thing that the tornado brought is the Northside coming together. If I could be granted just one wish it would be that the whole world would come together as one.” Hector said, “It was hard to see how many families lost their homes.” Brian noted the devastation was “Like a bomb went off to kill all the trees.”

The students chose to name the gallery of images “Of Sadness and Hope” following conversations with Northside residents impacted by the storm.

The exhibit features youth-produced photography from the GeneroCITY after-school program, a collaboration of Minneapolis Public Schools; Bolder Options, an innovative program focused on healthy youth development; and the nonprofit EDIT the World, whose mission “empowers youth and communities to expand their awareness of diversity issues, embrace a journey toward greater understanding and acceptance, and become committed to social action in order to create a more inclusive society.” The project received assistance from local photographer Wing Young Huie working through the GeneroCity after-school program, Tree Trust, Urban Homeworks and others.

All the students’ images are available for purchase, with proceeds from sales and donations from the exhibit going to the Tree Trust to help replant trees, to Urban Homeworks to help rebuild houses, and to EDIT to fund the youth project. Info: www.uroc.umn.edu or 612-626-8762.