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'Let the Water Speak': Sharing stories, building relationships in the Folwell neighborhood

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A man on a stage with a microphone speaks to a crowd
Poet Joe Davis speaks to the crowd at the community event Let the Water Speak, held at The Story Garden in Minneapolis on Aug. 22, 2019.
Courtesy of Katrina Hannemann with Studio Laguna Photography

For the past few years the Folwell Neighborhood Association has been working intensely to re-establish a tight-night well networked neighborhood of residents who know and care for one another. The neighborhood’s community gardens are a key part of that work — as a gathering space to commune, celebrate and work together. 

In cooperation with the Water Main and MPR, Folwell neighborhood association leaders are expanding their relationship-building work to include the Mississippi River. 

People line up for an event at a park.
Attendees line up at The Story Garden on Humboldt Ave. in Minneapolis for the community event Let the Water Speak on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
Courtesy of Katrina Hannemann with Studio Laguna Photography

The Folwell neighborhood is separated from the Mississippi river by an interstate highway and a sprawling industrial site. On the evening of Thursday, Aug. 22, an event was held in The Story Garden — an outdoor community garden within the neighborhood. The gathering, titled Let the Water Speak, was dedicated to telling stories of the water and raising consciousness of the river in the lives of the people who live closest to it.

Community members, including poets and storytellers, shared their stories and art — singing songs and playing instruments throughout the evening.

A woman paints art in a garden.
Kaitlyn Porter paints throughout the community event Let the Water Speak on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
Courtesy of Katrina Hannemann with Studio Laguna Photography

You can read more about Let the Water Speak in this blog post about the event by Danielle Tietjen for her online project Gatherhaus.

Watch scenes from the event in these videos created by D.A. Bullock.