About

Open space next to Moon Palace Books in Longfellow Minneapolis. History for the Future installation date: May, 2021.

Project

Statement

History for the Future aims to explore histories of mutual aid in the Twin Cities, and to ask how past and present day mutual aid work can help us imagine radical futures. Site-specific historical research will lay the foundation for a broader analysis of mutual aid organizing. These histories will be placed alongside exhibition content created by residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul through a series of free public programs scheduled from October, 2020 through May, 2021. As a community based public history initiative, archival materials will provide the basis of dialogue and generative knowledge sharing at the public programs, where participants will collectively respond to the lessons and limitations of the archives, and envision radical futures through art, writing, and digital media. Local historians, artists, educators, and organizers will be paid to lead programs including: archival exploration, zine making, local mapping workshops, youth photography, and mural making.

The vision for the art, writing, and digital media generated through six public programs is to collectively constitute the materials and ideas in an outdoor exhibition titled History for the Future. This exhibition will be temporarily placed in a community lot operated by the independent bookstore in South Minneapolis, Moon Palace Books, in May 2021. The exhibit will be intentionally placed against and in tension with the adjacent space occupied by the former Third Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department. History for the Future’s exhibition programming, art making, and archival research process are being actively documented at HistoryForTheFuture.org.


Background

During the uprisings in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and in the midst of escalating economic impacts of COVID-19 a blossoming of mutual aid practices, networks, and visions grew across the Twin Cities. During the summer of 2020, students, faculty, and community partners of the University of Minnesota’s Heritage Studies and Public History program and the Minnesota Youth Story Squad conducted oral history interviews and received training from local artists and media organizations to document community responses to crises. History for the Future emerged from efforts to situate present day mutual aid organizing in the Twin Cities into longer histories of community care, political activism, and the ongoing work of building radical futures.

During the uprisings in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and in the midst of escalating economic impacts of COVID-19 a blossoming of mutual aid practices, networks, and visions grew across the Twin Cities. During the summer of 2020, students, faculty, and community partners of the University of Minnesota’s Heritage Studies and Public History program and the Minnesota Youth Story Squad conducted oral history interviews and received training from local artists and media organizations to document community responses to crises. History for the Future emerged from efforts to situate present day mutual aid organizing in the Twin Cities into longer histories of community care, political activism, and the ongoing work of building radical futures.


Acknowledgements

History for the Future is supported by invaluable insight and consultation from the Lake Street Project student and faculty team: Kevin Murphy, Tracey Deutsch, Jigna Desai, Kari Smalkoski, Srija Chatterjea-Sen, Juliet Burba, Andre Deckrow, Esteban Perez-Cortez, Kylie Hoang, Jacob Noble, Denise Pike. Our programming partners include:

  • Hennepin History Museum
  • Minnesota Youth Story Squad
  • Clarke Sanders, HUSTLE MKTG
  • East Side Freedom Library
  • Moon Palace Books

About Us

Acoma Gaither

Acoma Gaither (she/her) is a current graduate student in the Heritage Studies and Public History program at the University of Minnesota. In 2018 she completed her Bachelors in Youth Studies focusing her work on how museums can better serve youth of color and the surrounding community. She’s been involved with several projects at the Minnesota Historical Society including History of Race and Policing in Minnesota, Historic Fort Snelling, and Restorative Justice. Acoma’s academic interests include Black Cultural Studies, Digital Humanities, Youth Development, and Curatorial Studies. As a curator and public historian of color, she hopes to challenge institutional norms that stifle community representation. She is co-creative director for the public history initiative History for the Future.

Email: gaith019@morris.umn.edu

Andrea Manolov

Andrea Manolov (she/her) is exploring radical modes of writing histories and visioning futures. Committed to public history work grounded in the needs of local movement building for global anti-imperial liberation, Andrea brings her energy as a supporter, organizer, and innovator to all of her roles in her communities. She is a Heritage Studies and Public History graduate student at the University of Minnesota, building skills in community-curated exhibition development, educational and creative programming, and public art and performance planning. Her past work includes the Interstate Digital Archive at Mixed Blood Theatre, and digital exhibition creation for the Climates of Inequality public memory project with Humanities Action Lab. Andrea is co-creative director of the public history initiative History for the Future.

Email: manol024@umn.edu

Please contact us!

We welcome questions and collaborations.

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