Summer 2021 Residency: Lake Street Truth Collective The summer artists-in-residence in the Weisman’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, the Lake Street Truth Collective, comprise a newly-formed group of artists and cultural organizers who love Lake Street and the people who call that neighborhood home. After a year of injustice, burning and protests, economic instability and pandemic, the Lake Street Truth Collective is coming together with community members in the neighborhood to foster opportunities to feel seen and heard after this traumatic…
Online Conversation with Lake Street Truth Collective Facilitators Quito Ziegler, Jennings Mergenthal, and Kya Concepcion
Join us on Wednesday, December 1 for a conversation with organizers of the Lake Street Truth Collective, a summer 2021 artist initiative supported by the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration. Over this past summer, a new coalition of artists and cultural organizers—lovers and residents of the Lake Street neighborhood—came together to form the Lake Street Truth Collective. After more than a year of injustice, burning and protests, economic instability amidst a pandemic, the Collective organized community members to engage in difficult conversations about the truth of our circumstances and to rebuild a sense of belonging and connectedness to this land and one another. Throughout July and August 2021, the Collective organized a grassroots “truth and repair” process that included free dinners, facilitated conversations, and dance parties on the empty lot at Chicago and Lake Street, formerly home to the Roberts Shoe Store. In this conversation, Quito, Jennings, and Kya, from the Truth and Repair facilitation team, will reflect on the process and lessons, past and future of Lake Street and the Truth Collective. Facilitated by WAM’s curator for collaboration, Boris Oicherman.
This virtual event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link to attend. Register now >> z.umn.edu/LakeStreetTruthConvo
Quito Ziegler (they/them) has spent over 20 years working at the intersections of art and social justice. They are an artist, producer and community organizer in New York City and Minneapolis who is deeply rooted in queer & nonbinary communities. Quito is a professor of social movements at the School of Visual Arts. In Minneapolis, they co-founded the Lake Street Truth Collective which will continue to be their summer work long-term. In NYC, they are currently involved in efforts to protect Riis Beach, a historically queer beach under threat of displacement, and will be co-hosting the Indigenous Minga in NYC in April/May 2022.
Jennings Mergenthal is a recent graduate of Macalester College, a puppet enthusiast, and a former student organizer for Proud Indigenous Peoples for Education. During summer 2021, Jennings Mergenthal helped historically contextualize the Lake Street Truth and Repair conversations. They have done equity-centered history and science communication projects at the Metropolitan Council, the East Side Freedom Library, and currently at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and have also been known to occasionally do puppet shows.
Kya Concepcion is a policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, studying environmental policy. As a survivor of poverty and food insecurity as a child, Kya’s beliefs are rooted in a holistic approach to environmental policy that includes analysis around health and justice for the entire planet including marginalized identities. As a founding member of Lake Street Truth Collective, Kya has a devotion to housing for all and is a big advocate for reimagining public safety. Kya is currently working on the University of Minnesota President’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct and hopes to graduate in spring 2022 and go on to improve the lives of her communities.
Lake Street Truth Collective Members & Key Collaborators:
Ale Headley, Andrew Yarish, Atlas Defense, Bici Xicas, Burn Something Collective, Cynthia J. Zapata, Ellis Lynn Perez, Erika Hernandez, Harry Waters, Jr., Ifrah Mansour, Jacquie Zepeda/Fireweed Workshop, Jennings Mergenthal, Kay Adams, Kya Concepcion, Marlene Rojas Lara, Mony Vega, Quito Ziegler, Sabrina Diehl, Sagrario Torres Flores, Sami Pfeffer, Wing Young Huie, Xochi de la Luna, and more.
Organizational support provided by Graves Foundation, Lake Street Council, Lake Latino Business Association, Latino Economic Development Center, Pangea World Theater, Weisman Art Museum.