Creating a welcoming space: Casa de Esperanza announces a new move
Thursday, November 8th, 2018
By: Cassie Amundson-Muñoz, Community Engagement Communications Specialist, Casa de Esperanza
With sunlight flooding into the collaborative work areas of the new administrative office for Casa de Esperanza in St. Paul, Minnesota, women who participate in the Fuerza Unida Amig@s initiative put the finishing touches on the altar they created for Día de los Muertos. On Thursday nights, Latin@ youth come together to create art in the conference room for the Free Arts programming, for which a teaching artist comes to work with them on a specific art project usually related to culture, healing or social justice. Toward the end of this month, the art that shone in the office was the altar which invited the spirits of their ancestors into the safe and welcoming space that our staff work to realize each day. The Mexican tradition of honoring our ancestors as we move forward set the backdrop for our humble announcement of a new space.
After more than a year of planning with board, staff, and participants, Casa de Esperanza moved its headquarters to a bigger, brighter and more flexible site in St. Paul to provide more opportunities for participant gatherings, youth leadership activities, and community meetings. Advocates now have comfortable, private meeting rooms where they can meet with their participants in a safe and welcoming space. The youth who gather on Thursdays, and more youth who gather on Saturdays to organize the 2019 youth conference can enjoy the enhanced resources the new space offers. An open house was held October 30, 2018 to welcome partners, funders, supporters, friends, and community members to the new space. Besides visiting the altar, guests enjoyed refreshments and had a chance to participate in the #UnaCosa DVAM campaign by painting their finger purple and sharing their #1thing.
Casa de Esperanza extends a special thank you to the Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, and Kinney Family Foundation for generously supporting our move to a beautiful and enlivening space that engages our communities and lifts up our mission. We also thank El Burrito Mercado and Bymore Super Mercado for donating refreshments to the Open House.