Museum as Site for Social Action

Raquie, member of Best Buy Teen Tech Center snaps her VR Urban Edible Plants at Northern Spark, 2018.

 

Better World Museum serves the community in many ways on-site, online, and into streets, libraries and neighborhoods to foster growing better together. Using creative technology, Virtual Reality, and Public Art, Participatory Painting, a MakerSpace, programs, and exhibitons a diverse, inclusive, empathetic environment is the ultimate goal. We only show art about Diversity, Inclusion, Empathy, Climte Justice, and Wellness. We are more than 90% Women, Black, POC, Immigrant, Indigionous, GLBTAQ+, Disabled, and Youth. A percent of all sales are donated into the community. Visitors create artwork and are welcom parts of the museum everyday. We collect friends, relationsips, stories, and trust. 

One big project is Garden One, an indoor edible garden which invites the public and visitors to participate by watering or picking with a LED light color-coded menu. Garden One helps bridge the gap between the tradional tech and corporate communites with our nearby homeless shelter a block away, and is a Smart-City infrastructure to address urban hunger, and sustainability. In our first year, we're honored to recognize local historic change of restoring the Dakota names for our local lakes. Participatory Mural Walls offer opportunites for Visitors to paint water while creating new-neural networks. This helps to better learn to say the indigionous names properly, while actively partaking in community restoritive justice and placemaking. We're intiiating projects with the nearby banks, government centers, and corporations -- as well as the nearby homeless shelters and youth centers because we practice acting as a "rainbow bridge" in the community. 

Using Virtual Reality sets in the museum, and off-site is possible with Oculus Go headsets. They are easy to bring to Outreach Centers for Domestic Abuse, and to share with classrooms, and at the library. Recently, a group of Mothers and Daughters drew a Community Garden togethr in VR. They supported each other and were able to see each other blossom or provide strenth as a tree, or shine like the sun in new ways. Members of the Best Buy Teen Tech Center drew indigionous, plants in containers, and weeds popping-up between the sidewalk cracks along Hennepin Ave. in VR with Tilt Brush. The flowers were inspired by women, and un-named 17-20th C. Botanical Artists in the Minneapolis Athenaeum. We projected videos of our VR drawings 5 stories up onto the celiling of the downtown library for the Northern Spark Art Festival. Each teen was compensated with a gift-card, an AR T-shirt, and a party with donuts. The teens also are part of the exhibitons at Better World Museum, but at that event the library became not only their safe-space, but also their place of empowerment.  

Today we all want/need love, emapthy, a sence of belonging or place, safety, inclusion and a better future for all people. Better World Museum is striving to be a human-centered diverse space to grow better together from the center of our city. We hope to create positive impact that changes lives, and our world, better together. It is my hope that as Better World Museum grows, it impacts more people around the globe, and act as a model for healthy community making.