The People's Library, "T-shirt Microgrant Initiative," 2020-21. Designer: Kristina Johnson (KJ)

Meet the artists featured in the exhibition America, I Sing You Back.

In urgent response to the murder of George Floyd and ongoing systemic racism, The People’s Library sent an email to the President of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design stressing the necessity of extending solidarity and support to our surrounding community. Beginning in June 2020, the collective organized a distribution site which was allowed to operate out of the student-run Gallery 148. Along with volunteers, they worked to provide neighbors with essential items until the school reopened. 

The collective also began screen printing on t-shirts to provide microgrants to Black and Indigenous individuals in the Twin Cities—giving the money directly to community members. The project continues through 2021 with support from the Midway Art Center’s Visual Arts Fund. This opportunity has given The People’s Library the ability to take on paid interns, move into a new studio space, and employ local artists. Additionally, we wanted to give a special thank you to Yarborough print shop for providing materials and continued support.

Support and follow our work at:

To support additional mutual aid efforts in the Whittier neighborhood, consider donating to Community Aid Network MN. This group sprouted from multiple distribution sites—including The People’s Library site! 

About the collective: 

The People’s Library is an artist collective devoted to ending colonial, institutional, and systemic violence through both art and education. We use art as a tool for empathy and political critique with a focus on screenprinting. We run workshops that seek to empower members of underrepresented communities with the means to express their experiences and ideas in a way that activates their peers. The People’s Library encourages a grassroots learning environment to escape the hierarchical pedagogy of institutions. Through horizontal leadership and shared responsibility, we work collaboratively to achieve our goals. We work to each of our strengths as equals, rather than working as teacher to student or artist to client.