About the Project: Transitions: University Ave

This school-wide project initiated by Gordon Parks High School (GPHS) brings together photography and journalism mentors, students, teachers and historians to create a website to explore and document University Avenue before, during and after light rail expansion. To prepare for this project, students participated in cross-curricular lessons about local literature, displaced communities like Rondo, and even the statistics of construction.

Additionally, they visited with curators and historians from the Minnesota Historical Society. In art class, students learn the fundamentals of photography, and during English & Social Studies class, they studied journalism, interview techniques and sound editing.

Student-Produced Time-Lapse Video Excerpt

View of the Light Rail construction from the perspective of Gordon Parks High School. Full version coming when project is complete.


Transitions Project Partners & Producers

Production Partners

  • Gordon Parks High School—Paul Creager, Project Director
  • Minnesota Historical Society—Aleah Vinick, Project Manager; Jim Ockuly, Web and Mobile Services Manager; Corrie Potter, Web Designer


  • Student Producers—(See individual videos). Additional interview assistance in 2013 provided by Minnesota Historical Society's Teen Advisory Council.
  • Gordon Parks High School Production Teachers—Tom Davies, Ted Johnson, Kathy Kelley, Maya Park, Randy Starr, Jamie Tomlin, Luke Turvold
  • Community Partners—Metric Giles, Va-Megn Thoj, Ed Ballard
  • Journalists-in-Residence—Heidi Chung, Catherine Squires, Samantha Steinbring, May Yang
  • Photographers-in-Residence—Tobechi Tobechukwu, Bethany Khan

Supporting Partners

  • Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota Imagine Fund for Arts, Design & Humanities
  • St. Paul Almanac
  • Aurora/St Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Public Art St. Paul

Project Overview Videos

(Most recent at top)

Made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.