Traveling murals call for a better Upper Harbor Terminal development

by Colleen O'Connor Toberman

As Minneapolis releases its latest plan for the Upper Harbor Terminal, murals in North Minneapolis front yards raise awareness of the project's risks.

This fall, three large murals have been traveling from yard to yard in North Minneapolis, hosted by residents concerned about the city's plan for redevelopment at the Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) site along the Mississippi River.

Each mural is unique, but the theme is the same: This planned community development brings a risk of gentrification and displacement.

North Minneapolis resident Sebastian Rivera led the project with fellow artist and community organizer Ricardo Perez. Rivera has been involved in UHT advocacy for a long time, driven by his belief that the proposed development along a mile of city-owned riverfront will bring more harm than benefit to his neighborhood.

(Video by Ryan Stopera, music by Isaac Specktor)

"Our mindset [with the murals] is 'resist and make it yours,'" Rivera told North News in a recent interview.

The artists' goal is to raise community awareness and action in a time when COVID-19 has made it tough for neighbors to connect and stay informed. Lawn signs also feature the mural art and are now distributed around the neighborhood. (North Minneapolis residents can request a free sign for their yard or window.)

FMR provided financial support for this project through the generosity of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Center for Prevention

Show your support for a better UHT

The city recently released its coordinated development plan for UHT and is accepting public comment through January 15. Sign up to be a River Guardian, and we'll let you know about upcoming webinars on the plan, advocacy actions and other ways to get involved for a better UHT.