Helping to underscore the vitality and diversity of North Minneapolis and provide young people throughout the city with opportunities to celebrate peaceful coexistence through sports and the arts, the Walker Art Center teams up with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the PEACE Foundation, and The Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives to present PEACE Games 2006 and Portraits of PEACE. PEACE (Public Engagement and Community Empowerment) Games 2006 takes place from July 28–August 10 at various athletic facilities in North Minneapolis and concludes on August 10 with the PEACE Games Garden Celebration in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, along with tours and art activities at the Walker Art Center.
Portraits of PEACE
As the primary artistic component of this year’s PEACE Games, the Walker presents Portraits of PEACE in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab, August 4–10, a community-based photography and civic dialogue project that investigates and documents how respectful relationships are sustained across the divides of culture, geography, and race. Inspired by the photographic practices of Sharon Lockhart and Diane Arbus, Portraits of PEACE is based on the conviction that lasting friendships and affiliations can be sustained despite ethnic and cultural differences, and that these crucial relationships provide the foundation for peaceful coexistence and safe neighborhoods.
Student participants began the project by visiting the Walker and exploring documentary photography, portraiture, and story capture techniques with Walker community programs coordinator and documentary photographer Megan Leafblad and artist Io Palmer, collaborative public arts director with the Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives’ North Side Stories project. Student participants, equipped with digital cameras and recorders, attended PEACE Foundation–sponsored community events in North Minneapolis and invited residents who have maintained relationships across difference to have their picture taken and stories recorded. After an initial viewing at the Walker, images and quotes from the interviews, selected by a panel of north side artists and youths, will tour Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board sites, PEACE Foundation Congregational Partners, and north side organizations and businesses.
PEACE Games Garden Celebration
On Thursday, August 10, from 11 am–4 pm, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will host the culminating event of this year’s games, the PEACE Games Garden Celebration 2006. Children and youth participants from over 30 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board summer programs will participate in arts activities provided by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; enjoy demonstrations of rugby and cricket; delight in demonstrations by Mystik Toyz; and enjoy a showcase of entertainment featuring Buckets and Tap Shoes, Art of Dance and youth vocalists, dancers, and spoken word artists from North Minneapolis.
In addition to activities in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, hundreds of children ages 6–12 will visit the Walker’s galleries to marvel at Claes Oldenburg’s nine-foot canvas sculpture of an upside-down bag of French fries; meet the interactive dolphin; and participate in art activities in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab.
For more information, call the PEACE Foundation at 612.521.4405 or visit citypeace.org.