This week’s instalment of Local History Matters begins with a report on the Latino Economic Development Center, better known as the folks behind Mercado Central. This organization has spent the last 2 decades working to help Latinxs achieve economic independence and has worked to develop sustainable centers of commerce for entrepreneurs in the community. Following that, we learn the history of Theodore Wirth, a Swiss immigrant who revolutionized the American understanding of public parks and oversaw the Minneapolis Parks Department for over 30 years. During his tenure, he tripled the land devoted to parks in our city.
Local History Matters is a partnership with Ramsey Middle School and two classrooms of enthusiastic 6th graders. In late 2015, we visited the school and talked about the history of community radio, the importance of controlling your own narrative, and the power of place-making. They spent the semester working with their fantastic teachers (Kara Cisco and Paul Sommers) to identify local places of interest, research their history and significance, then write, record, and edit short radio segments reporting on what they found. Each Tuesday, we share 2 more of their reports. Enjoy!