In the 1970s, PRG finished its first housing development—the conversion of the historic Whittier School building to be an affordable place for families to live. The conversion was complete over 30 years ago, but the reason for its existence still fits with what PRG cares about: It was a creative solution for families and neighborhoods—the first school conversion in Minneapolis. And the cooperative structure meant that residents have significant control over how the place they live is managed and cared for, as well as a structure for building community.
Today, the public is lucky enough to be able to see an artistic depiction of some of the lives and stories that have unfolded at this co-op over the years, in the form of a rich collection of images by photographer and longtime co-op resident Michele Spaise. Whittier Cooperative: Healing and Transformation has many facets and purposes, but what I love best is that it shows what people make of their homes and what homes make of people. See these photos, and see struggle, strength, and love.
The exhibit is up at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., through July 23. There’s also a preview online.