Beebalm, after Mary Vaux Walcott, Wild Flowers of America, Published by Smithsonian Institute, 1953. Minneapolis Athenaeum. Paige Dansinger, Kingspray VR, 2018

Minneapolis Athenaeum Decolonization Strategy

My role; as Artist and recipient of 2017 Minnesota Women in Technology award, founder of Better World Museum, and member of MASS Action, is to decolonize this collection by these critical strategies, goals, and side projects. 

  1. Highlight Women Artists, investigating those unattributed and unrecognized; seek and recognize diverse & queer members in collection. 
  2. Honor indigenous people and sacred ground which Minneapolis Athenaeum, Better World Museum, and I inhabit, by drawing native plants. Include Ojibwe Storyteller, Beth Hedman Dodds in (paid) opportunities to share stories of edible native plants. 
  3. Activate empathetic listening, and dialogue with teens at Tech Center that help build relationships of inclusion, belonging, and feeling wanted as team member working on a project with leadership roles appropriate to the individual interests of the participants. 
  4. Share knowledge of edible plants with teens so they have more agency; explore issues of urban hunger, sustainability, the anthropocene, vulnerability, connection and human commonality. 
  5. Create Artist Book infusing emerging technologies XR/AR/VR, participatory public, interactive experiences, and social media that makes the public feel included in the book, programs, events. Ultimately, the public will find the Minneapolis Athenaeum a relevant and welcoming space, reflecting our community. 

Personal Development/Side Projects:

Learn to master Vuforia for AR/VR book. Use video, live streaming, and involve teens so it's accessible and easier for future learning.  

Apply for Northern Spark to project playback videos of Teen Tech Center member's VR drawings. Use portion of grant to pay teens to be participating Artists.

During Women's History Month, introduce T.I.E. Technology. Inclusion. Empathy. Mentorship & Certification Program with Minnesota Women in Tech. Include Teen Tech Center members in development and leadership roles. Create a platform, (irl and mobile), to provide teens with human-centetrd mentorship and professional support, ultimately leading to salaried career opportunities in technology.