VOICES is a project dedicated to raising the visibility of North End residents and community goers. Over the next several months, In Progress will conduct 100 interviews with individuals and families that consider the North End neighborhood their home .
Collected photographs and interviews will be shared publicly both online and in print form and will be shared with decision-makers that have the ability to bring positive change to this community.
The North End neighborhood, has lived as an invisible, working poor community for generations. since its beginning, well over 150 years ago, serving as a home for newly arriving immigrants and the poor. In recent years it was designated an “Area of Concentrated Poverty” by the Metropolitan Council and includes the following statistics:
- 70 percent represent ethnic minorities, compared to 46 percent citywide
- 29 percent are foreign born, compared to 19 percent citywide
- 36 percent live below the poverty line, compared to 22 percent citywide
- 32 percent people are under the age of 18, compared to 25 percent citywide
- 61 percent live in rental housing, compared to 51 percent citywide
- 47 percent represent cost-burdened households, compared to 38 percent citywide
In collecting these stories, In Progress will work in partnership with the City of Saint Paul to identify 100 persons willing to share their stories about what they value about what they value about their lives in the north end. In Progress has already met many strong community leaders and is looking forward to the next steps of introducing our artists to local business owners, community organizers, government representatives and residents.
Over the next several months, In Progress will convene informal and structured conversations to weave together the story of a broader North End community voice. These conversations will take place over a three-month period, during which time we expect dozens of one-to-one interactions and several smaller group gatherings. The community conversations will not only allow people to share their North End experiences and dreams, it will cultivate a North End identity that currently doesn’t exist in any significant way.
If you would like to get involved, offer your story, or suggest someone that might want to contribute, please contact Kristine Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Voices is made possible through the generous support of the Knight Foundation and the The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations.
As we collect stories and images we will share them as a resource for our community to see and use, creating a reflection of our community for years to come.