By Tyler Peters-Bury
It’s a nice feeling having a project finally see fulfillment. After a long semester of planning and organizing, we are finally getting out into the community and starting to make a difference.
The last few weeks have been a huge benchmark in the life of Lincoln Park Youth Voice. Since last Monday, March 14th, this group of classmates have moved gradually from college students with a plan to positive role models for the kids in the Lincoln Park area and pillars for the University of Minnesota Duluth.
We have been working together as a class to organize meetings at both the Boys and Girls Club in Lincoln Park and at Lincoln Park Middle School. Although we are working with two completely separate groups of children, and with varying ages to boot, we have made great strides in our project on both fronts. Our ultimate goal is to have these kids tell their stories; stories of hope and positivity from within Lincoln Park and to get the community excited about helping the youth of the area.
In our last session at the Boys and Girls Club Lincoln Park, we worked with the kids who wanted to learn a little bit about photography, or just to play with the cameras. We discussed what their favorite things about Lincoln Park were, and helped them explore some of the positivity within their community. We then, with the help of our facilitators at the Boys and Girls Club, were able to take them on a short walk and instruct them on how to shoot photos outdoors.
The kids absolutely loved working with the cameras, and we saw a much larger engagement overall from the kids this time around. Because the kids were more comfortable with the camera in their hands, they were also a lot more prone to opening up and talking with us more openly. All around the experience was very fruitful for our project, as we got to connect more with the children, as well as collect some great material for our finished product.
At the middle school we are also working with another, somewhat smaller group to help them tell their own stories and facilitate the process along the way. The group at Lincoln Park Middle, however, is taking a more traditional approach to journalism and generating their own stories. This group of kids is incredibly motivated to learn about journalism and use these techniques to tell their own stories. One group of girls is going a story on their school’s boy’s hockey team, another girl is doing a story about Lake Superior, and one boy is even doing a series of movie reviews.
These opportunities to produce their own journalism is a great push for these kids, and having caring adults to help them along and guide their process, not only in these journalism activities but in life as well, is critical to their success. Hopefully this next week of sessions with these kids will provide even more material for not only our, but their successes as well.
By Sam Gazzola
Our journalism class has set out to give the youth of Lincoln Park an outlet to share their stories. On March 21, 2016, our class met at the Lincoln Park Boys and Girls Club to put that plan into action. We hosted a photography workshop for the kids, mainly third- through fifth-graders.
The evening began with the 12 of us, including our professor, John Hatcher, meeting in small, old room that doesn’t get much use anymore. As we tried to disregard the pounding on the door from the excited kids, we held a brief, last-minute planning session for the night.
The majority of us had brought cameras, some personally owned, others rented from University of Minnesota Duluth. After we all became savvy with the equipment, we decided that we were going to share the cameras with the kids and let them take their own photos in Lincoln Park as we guided them.
We adjourned from the small room and broke into groups of about three kids and one college student in the preteen center. The last thing we had the kids do before we went into the field was fill out a worksheet that asked them to draw and briefly write about what they liked most about Lincoln Park. Our idea was that they would then go take photos of whatever they wrote about.
Roughly twenty minutes later, our class, 15 or so kids and a couple staff members walked a block to Lincoln Park, the actual park. As we walked, the kids took pictures of anything they thought was cool. Collectively, we accumulated over 100 photos. We got excited to get some photos when we got down by the stream, but all too soon we had to make our way back to the Club.
We took a group photo with the kids back at the playground at the club and that was the unofficial end to our time with them for the evening. Our class met back in that small room and recapped the night. We all felt good about what we accomplished and planned our tasks for the week to come.
Interested in the St. Louis River Corridor’s future, especially the prospect of using the revenue from the 1/2 and 1/2 tax? Don’t miss the Duluth Parks Commission annual meeting at the Spirit Mountain Grand Avenue Chalet (8551 Grand Ave.) There will be a chance to explore the various projects that have been proposed at 5:30; programming starts at 6 and includes the yearly Parks progress report. The public is encouraged to attend!
Here’s a really intriguing interview with a local artist who has found her home in the northlands: Ennyman’s Territory interview.
Here’s a quotation that really drew us in:
The west end of Duluth is undergoing revitalization and we want our gallery to be a part of that. Duluth is unique in its juxtaposition of industry and culture pushed up against the wilderness. It also has a history of craft, artisan and “maker” cultures…
Anyone part of the West End’s maker revival? Whether we’re talking about contemporary art, homemade ketchup, 3-D printers, or artisanally-sewn bags and packs, Lincoln Park is a neighborhood where things are being crafted, and that’s something to get excited about.
Did anybody else see this story out of the Twin Cities today? This neighbor’s courage and presence of mind made all the difference, enabling him to bring ten people, including several small children, out of a house fire to safety. Not everyone is called on to be a community hero in such a dramatic way, but how awesome is it to see that there are people who will put themselves in danger in order to make a difference for others?
Fire warnings all over Minnesota today due to a combination of high wind and low humidity. Be careful out there, Lincoln Park!
Check out these Denfeld students who are taking a stand against bullying and negativity in their school.
Too often anonymity is an excuse for ripping people apart. How would you use it to build community and encourage your neighbors? What would you write? Here are some notes to highlight from Denfeld:
- “I bet you have nice socks on.” #minnesotacompliments
- “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” Words to live by.
- “Life is short, choose happiness!”
- “Don’t trade your passion for glory.” (These students weren’t even alive when “Eye of the Tiger” came out…)
- “Just keep swimming!”
- “You are loved.”
- “Be the change!”
Here’s a fascinating tool to look into the past of your home, your street, your neighborhood: the 1940 U.S. census records at the National Archives website. You can search or browse by address.
Lincoln Park’s inhabitants included police officers, dockworkers, ministers, homemakers, bookkeepers, mechanics, schoolteachers, waiters and waitresses, salespeople, railroad conductors and engineers, bus drivers, and garment factory workers. Many had been born in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Others had been born in Sweden, Finland, Quebec, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Lithuania…or exotic Arkansas.
Many individuals were recorded as lodgers renting a room in someone’s house or apartment, or someone’s relatives who had come to live with them–none of this “turn the spare bedroom into a home office” business; better to use it for housing an elderly grandparent or a brother-in-law looking for a new job, or for helping pay the rent.
Some of the younger people recorded in the census may still be living in the neighborhood; others would be heading to Europe or the Pacific within a couple of years to fight in World War II, perhaps never to come home. These documents are precious to historians and genealogists because they’re snapshots of who was here on one April afternoon in Lincoln Park, going about their business.
The old Lincoln Park Elementary School building (2424 W. 5th St.) is being converted into affordable apartments, slated to open April 2015. Stop by in person to submit applications on Wednesday, February 18 (3-7 pm) and Thursday, February 19 (9 am-2 pm). Income limits apply. For more details on these limits as well as the amenities of the new apartments, download this PDF.
FYI: this evening at City Hall (411 W. 1st St.) there will be a public meeting on downtown Duluth’s bikeways. If you’re interested in multimodal transportation and its place in Duluth’s future, don’t miss it! The meeting starts at 5, and there will be a presentation at 5:30. More details here.