Minneapolis pays artists to build ‘shrines’ to ‘victims of state violence’

"The nine shrines represent one shrine for each minute that George Floyd suffered before he died," the city says.

A mural at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, now known as George Floyd Square. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

The city of Minneapolis is paying two artists to build nine temporary shrines along Lake Street to “victims of state violence from Minnesota.”

“The nine shrines represent one shrine for each minute that George Floyd suffered before he died,” the city says.

Artists Meyer Warren, known as St. Paul Slim, and Sydney Latimer, known as Divinewords, received funding for their “A Poem for the Southside” project through the city’s Creative Response Fund.

“Divine and Slim will create a series of nine public artworks in the form of temporary shrines and memorials to be displayed on Lake Street to promote community healing,” a project description states.

“These shrines will honor heroes, artists, and other victims of state violence from Minnesota and who are now revered as ancestors,” it adds.

Latimer says her artwork focuses on “using shrines, memorials, and altars” to transform “ordinary places into sacred spaces where people can heal from grief caused by loss, state abuse, and isolation from the pandemic.”

The Creative Response Fund is “intended to recognize the often-unpaid labor of artists as they respond to multiple health and racism emergencies.”

Now in its third year, the fund is partially financed by The Kresge Foundation, but the city does not disclose how much each project receives.

Twelve projects received funding this year, the city announced in late June.

Minneapolis also has “trained conservators” preserving “burned scraps of paper” and “handwritten signs” that were left at George Floyd Square.


Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.