Pangea World Theater wins NEA grant for East Lake Street community engagement

Arts initiatives will help East Lake Street community engage in community planning

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded Pangea World Theater in south Minneapolis a grant to support ongoing community planning processes through projects that represent the East Lake Street community. With the City of Minneapolis as a partner, Pangea World Theater will use community engagement, community art apprenticeships and public art to connect with primarily low income and immigrant residents in developing a vision for East Lake Street.

This vision will inform and be informed by the ongoing development of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which guides land use, transportation, housing and economic development in the city. Engagement will also set the stage for the exploration of an arts and cultural corridor on East Lake Street.

East Lake Street has long been a landing place for new immigrant and indigenous communities boasting a diversity of culture and small businesses despite deep disparities in employment, income and education. Using culturally relevant placemaking strategies, Pangea World Theater’s Lake Street Arts! (LSA!) will engage residents who are historically difficult to reach, using community engagement through art to produce outcomes that represent the community.

The organization will host at least 35 community workshops, involving more than 1,500 people. Participants will use diverse facilitation strategies including story circles, popular education and Open Space Technology to have authentic dialogues about East Lake Street that will inform a mural; work around Plaza Centenario; and performances of “Home/Guri/Hogar,” an exploration of “home” in refugee, immigrant and indigenous communities.

People can sign up for email updates about the City’s Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program and related news at

Our Town is the NEA's primary creative placemaking grants program. It invests in projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core.

Published May 17, 2016