Celebrating Rondo: The beating heart of Saint Paul


Reception at 6:00pm
Program at 7:00pm

Before Interstate 94 split apart the neighborhood, Rondo was the heart of Saint Paul’s largest African American community. Black businesses thrived, black families owned homes, and black social and cultural life were vibrant. Rondo was the seat of great political power; in 1921 Minnesota was among the first states to pass an anti-lynching law largely due to the advocacy efforts of Rondo residents. In the 1960s, as Civil Rights efforts gained traction, the construction of the freeway displaced thousands of black Minnesotans, leaving them vulnerable to widespread segregation and a discriminatory housing market. The roots of Rondo are still strong. Penumbra Theatre, along with other black businesses in the neighborhood, anchor the heart of this powerful legacy and serve as beacons where a historic and living community can congregate and celebrate. Join us to learn more about Rondo from the elders who were responsible for its stewardship and hear plans for increased vitalization.

PANELISTS: Marvin Anderson, Rondo Avenue Inc.; Lou Bellamy, founder and artistic director of Penumbra Theatre; Debbie Montgomery, former St. Paul City Council member and retired senior commander with the St. Paul Police Department; Nieeta Presley, executive director of St. Paul’s Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC)

Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

Let’s Talk Series sponsored by 3M and MPR News


Monday, December 12, 2016 // 6:00PM