Humans of Minneapolis: Beliza (with Oveja), Powderhorn Park

June 13, 2017 by Chee Xiong

Stephanie Glaros’ Humans of Minneapolis portraits of park-goers remind us of the many powerful ways that parks can connect us, heal us and make us whole. This summer, her 10-image series is exploring how parks transform human life, as told through each person’s own words and Stephanie’s boldly compassionate lens.

Here, we’re reposting Stephanie’s 2017 series. View all images in this year’s series, and in 2016’s, via the Humans of Minneapolis category link

Beliza (with Oveja), at Powderhorn Park

“I come here every day to walk my dog. It’s my backyard, I live very close. I like that it has water and that it’s like a little valley. I also like that it’s very diverse. As a woman of color, it was important to me when I moved to Minneapolis to be in a community where I felt safe, and diversity makes me feel safe. It’s a rich community and the park reflects that.

I’m originally from Puerto Rico and I’m a theater professor at Augsburg College. I’m also a performer and director. I love that theater is a community art. You can’t do it alone. Even when you’re doing a solo performance, you still need help. I also see it as a space to create other skills. A lot of my students are not trying to get a career in the arts, but theater offers an opportunity to solve problems, work in cooperation, and improve public speaking skills. So I try to facilitate that for students who are not necessarily comfortable being the center of attention.

I remember the first time I flew over Minneapolis at night back in the ‘90s. The lights on the ground looked strange. A friend explained that it was because there are so many parks. Unlike other cities, you’re seeing the lights through the trees. It was a trade I was willing to make to be in a place that’s colder than I would like. It’s so full of green when it’s green. Nature here is very accessible to city-dwellers. For me and for many people, it adds to our quality of life.”

Listen to Beliza’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

 

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