“Then they started laughing at me, and it made me sad. But it did not pull me down. It held me up.” - Bina, 4th Grade
Those lines are from 826 MSP’s latest chapbook “We See Each Other.” The chapbook is made up of writing by youth in 1st through 12th grades. 826 MSP releases one of these chapbooks every semester.
826 MSP is an arts education nonprofit that promotes writing and literature to K-12 students throughout the Twin Cities. Located in South Minneapolis, it provides programs during and after school, including tutoring and leadership councils.
Cristeta Boarini is 826 MSP’s Program Director. As an Asian-American, she says she places an emphasis on multicultural writing for students, many of whom are East African and BIPOC. She says because different cultures share similarities, it’s a way to build connections.
“Thinking about the importance of writing, we also think about who is doing the writing,” explained Boarini. “Who has the microphone? Who has the attention of people when it comes to the written word?”
826 MSP has amplified youth writing through podcasts, plays, and print publishing. Boarini is hoping to expand 826 MSP programming to include more broadcast performances and other ways to get youth voices out into the world.
“I think that it’s important to encourage young people to write what they want,” said Boarini. “Write what they want to see in the world so that we can build that future.”
826 MSP’s latest chapbook “We See Each Other” was released on May 19 and is available for purchase on its website.