“Keep the Fire Alive” Youth Mural
During the summer of 2020, Mia partnered with All Nations Indian Church, Indigenous Peoples Task Force, and SAMHSA Native Connections to help create a mural with the Keep the Fire Alive theater troupe.
Watch the video below to learn more about the mural.
We are a Native youth theater troupe. Social distancing cancelled our performances. However, the need to express emotions, celebrate culture, and connect did not end. The stage changed from a crowded auditorium to a gray wall on All Nations Indian Church. A wall passed by the Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF) teens who came together for programming. Recently, the wall has become a place of graffiti, litter, & injection drug use. Displaying the challenges faced within the community.
Our elder Linda Eagle Speaker opened the process teaching us that we are all human beings first, no group greater, but all equal. The entire 2,048 square foot wall displays creativity and messages of the young artists. With the support of partners (All Nations Indian Church, IPTF, SAMHSA Native Connections, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art), the project moved from an idea to colorful cans of paint quickly.
Our 18 youth and staff worked with lead artist Bree Green. Bree helped us identify the themes that were important to the group: traditional medicines, equality (Black Lives Matter, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), growth, our own diversity, and Native American culture. Photography and videography of the process was done by Ruti Mejia.
Time spent at the wall was full of laughter, creativity, bright colors, teamwork, music, pride and sweat! That is what makes the mural so beautiful.