The Baker Community Center Culture and Identity Project is a community storytelling project that culminated in the creation of a permanent wall mural that highlighted themes common to community residents, and images that highlight the unique and vibrant aspects of the neighborhood.
This project was a partnership between two youth programs hosted by the Baker Community Center. Youth Farm, which hosts monthly community dinners, themed three dinners to different ethnic communities in Saint Paul’s West Side, Hmong, Mexican and Somali, and worked with community elders to prepare the meal (with help from youth participants). At the community dinners students involved with the Youth Circle Program interviewed elders about their lives on the West Side; their values, activities and hopes for the future. With help from artists Chaka Mkali and Andres Guzman, they transformed what they learned into a mural that welcomes visitors to Baker Community Center and visually represents the community’s values.
Youth Participants: Indira, Nathan, Fernando, Elias and many more students involved with the Baker Community Center’s Youth Farm and Youth Circle Programs
Adult Participants: Mai Xiong, Mai Lor Thao, Fadumo Jama, Nurto Nuur, Juanita and Benjamin and many more who attended Baker’s community dinners
For more information: Contact Project Manager Aleah Vinick at email@example.com or 651-259-3417.
Background on West Saint Paul
The current City of West Saint. Paul split from the western half of South St. Paul, and was incorporated in 1889, just south of the city of Saint Paul. The naming in part comes from the fact that the city is on the "west" bank of the Mississippi River, as the river flows toward the east at this point. A previous City of West Saint Paul incorporated in the late 19th century and was situated in what is now called the Lower West Side of Saint Paul. The city now has a population of approximately 19,000, with over 600 businesses and fifteen parks. It has long been home to new immigrant communities.
More information about Youth Farm
Visit the website for Center for Democracy and Citizenship - Jane Addams School for Democracy
Date: January 2011 - May 2011
Partner(s): Saint Paul Parks and Recreation; Hayley DeMers, Caritza Mariani, Youth Circle/Augsburg College; Chaka Mkali, Artist; Andres Guzman, Artist; Emma Paskewitz, Amanda Stoelb, Youth Farm; Aleah Vinick, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: West Saint Paul, MN