DreamsLand (2015-present)


DreamsLand is a site specific project situated on the Dakota homeland, Bde Ota Othunwe, Mni Sota Makoce, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Dreamsland is stewarded by community residents in the Central Neighborhood in S. Minneapolis, collectively reimagining a previously vacated parcel of land.  It was developed, designed, and constructed by residents in order to establish a public space for people to engage in creative exchange, to explore land stewardship, and to cultivate and deepen neighbor to neighbor connections through art and play.  Dreamsland will transition to Dakota ownership and control by, or before, 2040.

This film was made by Jared Wiedmeyer, Viola Liu, Kelsie Olson, Phuong Xuan Nguyen, students in the HECUA program Making Media, Making Change in partnership with Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN). The course immerses college students from campuses across the Twin Cities in the local media justice landscape and allows them to develop their skills as media activists and filmmakers.

People occupy Dreamsland on a daily basis throughout the year. A majority of these visits are informal and include neighbor picnics and cookouts, story circles, children playing while families tend to their plots at the adjacent community garden, and an occasional respite for a passerby.  During warmer months, community members organize events and free activities for neighbors to attend. They are translated in multiple languages and shared on onsite bulletin boards, online neighborhood forums, and through the neighborhood association newsletter.

Past organized events include:


  • Mpls. Sexworkers Garden Collective
  • Central Area Graphic Arts Collective
  • Transformational Creative Strategies Trickster Cohort – Hope Community
  • Creatives after Curfew
  • Communities’ Wisdom, Imagination and connection; Mankwe Ndosi and Griffen Jeffries
  • On The Day You Were Born; Esther Ouray, performance by Julie Kastigar Boada, Laurie Witzkowski, written by Debra Frazier


  • Mpls. Sexworkers Garden Collective


  • Plan Grow Share – CANDO
  • Artists working in Communities discussion – Springboard for the Arts
  • CANDO Kick-It
  • A River and Longing
  • MPLS Greenzones project – Witt Siasoco, Mike Hoyt
  • HECUA Making Media Making Change
  • Winter Solstice Event – Miré Regulus


  • Neighborhood Social – Samie Johnson/CANDO
  • Plan Grow Share – CANDO
  • Its Sweet Out Here – Food, African American History bike tour, film screenings of OUT NORTH produced by TPT/Daniel Bergin, and Sweetness of Wild by Junauda Petrus/Free Black Dirt
  • HECUA Art for Social Change community feast and community art activities
  • Studio raising/Room for Improvement – Mike Hoyt
  • Street Lab discussion – Piotr Szyhalski
  • Annual Central Fair – CANDO


  • Community Meal and Art Activities – Host Esther Ouray
  • Dreamsland Community Garden planting day – Kevin Loecke
  • Open Eye Driveway Tour – Puppet Show
  • Powderhorn Kitchen Tincture workshop – Jess Hirsch
  • Plant Grow Share/Little Free Farmers Market free weekly produce pickup – CANDO
  • On This Spot – Southside Stories Vol. 1 – Daniel Pierce Bergin, Esther Ouray, Valerie Deus
  • Solidarity Kids Theatre performance – The Edith & Arthur Lee Story
  • Unbound Imaginations – paper fermentation – Mike Hoyt
  • NODAPL – Standing Rock fundraiser – Gabriel Rodreick
  • Unbound Imaginations – book binding – Mike Hoyt
  • NODAPL – Standing Rock fundraiser #2 – Gabriel Rodreick


  • Open Eye Driveway Tour – Puppet Show
  • Dreamsland Community planning and Development workshops
  • Dreamsland public build workshops/community offset smoker sessions
  • Plant Grow Share/Little Free Farmers Market free weekly produce pickup – CANDO
  • Powderhorn Kitchen – Jess Hirsch
  • Art Blocks – Esther Ouray
  • Annual Central Fair – CANDO
  • Movie screening – On This Spot – Daniel Bergin Twin Cities Public Television (TPT)
  • Health Equity Fair – CANDO

Photos by Ari Newman and Mike Hoyt

Author: hapa9

My creative practice includes drawing, painting, graphic storytelling, network technology, public participation, and community land stewardship. I believe that art and creativity can serve as a critical catalyst for social and political change by engaging people in deliberative dialogue, illuminating concealed stories, building cross-sector platforms, and advancing agency and equity.

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