A team for EAST SIDE FREEDOM LIBRARY
"Team Hatch-Billops" is a team to help the EAST SIDE FREEDOM LIBRARY raise the funds to replace the roof and open the doors.
Be the first to show your support! Donate to one of the fundraisers above, then leave a comment on their page.
Beth Cleary and I are the founding co-directors of the East Side Freedom Library. We have been inspired by Jim Hatch and Camille Billops' three decades of work in New York City to document the work and lives of artists of color. They used oral interviews, visual art, the collection of documents, and the publication of a journal to bring dedicated artists into the historical record and to create community among the people who are inspired by their stories. Residents of the East Side of Saint Paul, we have designed our project to involve immigrants and working people in the research, telling, and sharing of their own stories, to think analytically about their experiences, and to raise public awareness about the contributions that these women and men have made to our community. When we learned that the historic Carnegie Library (est. 1917) known as the Arlington Hills Library was going to become available, we set our sights on taking over this landmark, repurposing it to engage the neighborhood's diverse residents, and developing collections and programs which can realize our vision. But, first, we have to restore and renovate the building, and set aside the money to be able to preserve it in the long run. And the first step in this process is to replace the roof. We have applied for a Neighborhood STAR grant for this purpose, but it requires a 1:1 match. So we must raise $50,000 quickly. And we want to do this fundraising in a way that enables community residents to make their contributions, to express your connection with this building and this project, and to enable you to honor people who have inspired you. Anyone who contributes $100 or more can provide the name of someone you want to honor and, if possible, send us a story about them and a photo. We will commission a poster to list all the names, and we will maintain a file of the stories you share with us. When we publish the ESFL newsletter, we will include some of these stories. These people will be accorded their place in history.