On July 23rd, 2023, Memorialize the Movement collaborated with East Side Freedom Library (EFL), an independent, non-profit library in the East Side neighborhood of Saint Paul for the July Paint to Express (PTE). The mission of the East Side Freedom Library is "to inspire solidarity, advocate for justice and work toward equity for all".
EFL’s non-circulating collection of over 20,000 books and other items focuses on the regional histories of labor, African-Americans, immigration, and social movements. Since 2015, the library has also housed the Hmong Archive. This archive was established in 1999 by Marlin L. Heise, Yuepheng L. Xiong, Tzianeng Vang, and others, and is one of the largest collections of books, documents, and material objects related to Hmong culture and history.
We are so honored to have been able to collaborate with EFL for a second time to host our PTE. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect than we imagined. The light breeze provided a breath away from the blaring summer sun rays, the whispering of leaves under the giant oak tree cooled us down serenely, the DJ transported the attendees into a calm trance as they painted their mini murals, the soundless shutter of the photographer captured the vibrant colours of the summer scene, and a calm aura surrounded the whole event. Our attendees shared conversations, picked their painting tools and colours, and felt that this was one of the best ways to unwind and start a new week. Just a paintbrush, plywood mural, and whatever they wanted to paint.
A moment of freedom to express themselves just as they are.
Here are photos from the PTE workshop:
Here is a video of the PTE workshop: