Community Engagement Process


World Cafe Recap

PPl Listening Session Recap

What’s Next

A community mural project is about convening people and listening with open hearts to what is alive.

The Mural On the Ave project has created two intentional spaces thus far to bring people together to reflect on important memories, moments and movements that have shaped and are shaping the ecology of Phillips Community. In these spaces over 40 people have been present, shared conversations and formed connections to each other and this project.

How do we engage with people?

  • It’s a multi-level/dimensional process that invites depth and continued relationships.
  • These connections are a gift and we are extremely grateful to the individuals who have shared their perspectives and stories
  • It is emergent; fluid, moves with the needs and responsive to gaps.
  • It is conscious of inequities and attempts to hold justice at the core of the process.

What does engagement look like?

  • Conducted 12 interviews with longtime Phillips residents who reflect the diversity of demographics and experience in the community
  • Invited this group to come to our World Cafe Community Conversation
  • Asked this group to invite 3-4 people each to the World Cafe
  • Held World Cafe event
  • Reaching out to organizations working at the intersections of place-keeping and anti-displacement
  • Held Listening Session at PPL
  • Street engagement on Franklin Ave
Opening Circle. Photo By Bruce Silcox

Community engagement at The World Cafe:

The World Cafe Community Conversation was held at Hope Community on Saturday June 8th, and 35 people attended. The space that was created, was incredibly generative in many ways; people connected and reconnected to each other and shared personal visions, memories and perspectives. It was a space of building connections, relationships and stories that all enter into the pool of possibilities for the mural design. The Artist Cohort planned every piece of the event intentionally and desired to honor everyone who attended. The energy in the room felt united and beautiful.

In three separate rounds of questions; table hosts, Katrina, Claudia, Juliette, Mattie and Nell, invited small groups to respond to these questions:

  1. What brought you to the Phillips neighborhood? What keeps you here?
  2. If the Phillips neighborhood was a person, how would you describe them? (values, smell, attitude, personality, characteristics)
  3. What’s your favorite memory or experience of the Phillips neighborhood?
  4. What are your dreams and aspirations for the Phillips neighborhood?What seed can this mural plant? What does the harvest look like?
Table Discussion. Photo by Bruce Silcox

Each of the 5 small groups responded to these questions with drawings and dialogue and were then asked to write 3 notes to summarize the most profound aspects of the conversation. From each round of conversation about 20 notes were received from the tables and then were organized by the lead facilitators, Magdalena and Camila. The following themes were identified: Toxins, Ancient Indian Trail, Maternal, Social Movements, Native Power, Welcoming, Connection, Art, Sharing Meals, Gardens, Children.

Camila and Magdalena sharing back themes. Photo by Bruce Silcox

PPL Listening Session:

The PPL listening session was held at the Collaborative Village Initiative, one of PPL’s affordable housing buildings in Phillips. Residents attended and shared conversation about personal histories and relationships to PPL and the Phillips neighborhood. Themes that emerged: Phillips vs, greater Minneapolis, place keeping, health, geographical location of Phillips in Minneapolis, the new park space (peavey park), pathway to exit low income status, to move out of affordable housing.

What’s Next:

  • Further engagement: convening and connecting with Native Artists. The mural will be located on Franklin and 11th, which has significant political and social history for the native community in Minneasota for many reasons. We are reaching out to Native Artists and are seeking the opportunity to convene, connect and see what opportunities for collaboration, emerge from the conversations.
  • Feedback session: We look forward to re-convening the many people we’ve connected with, at the upcoming feedback session. In this space, we will continue the conversations and relationships that have been seeded. And everyone will have the opportunity to see and discuss the visual translation of the themes that emerged from the engagement process.

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