Connecting to the Community




Based on a visit to Hazelwood, (interview with Barbara Carol, and Tim’s talk) we tried to organize their key thoughts and tried to discuss about their current feeling and needs. 


  1. Both Carol and Barbara seemed to miss their old days. They recalled as kids that they used to know each other and hang out together. They all went to the same school, and spend their whole youth together. They see that kids and their families today are more isolated and want to find a way to bring kids back together.
  2. In addition to the fond memories they recalled there were places that they were “not allowed” to go due to the racial tension between communities. The “neighborhood across the tracks” was too dangerous for African-Americans. They recalled stories of violence and abuse between the communities. (Tension between properties is still existing due to different issues)
  3. The mothers expressed their distress with the access kids have to guns. They expressed some concern for their own safety, and were careful not to talk specifically about who might have shot their children.

We started to brainstorm ideas for the exhibition before we boiled it down to three.  We used post its to digest our conversations with each person, and pull out the key concerns and needs that we heard from each person.

We found that Barbara has four key values: God, Love, Community, and, Kids. She lost her son, and then her daughter to gang violence. Carol grew up in the southern portion of Hazlewood, she moved between multiple places all within the same couple blocks as she grew up.

Our goals are to

  • Remember the children lost.
  • Investigate  and communicate how the Kids and teens in the community today feel.
  • Communicate and showcase how kids are developing in their own talent and interest to the community.KakaoTalk_Photo_2017-02-13-06-17-43_73.jpeg 

During the class activity, we get to look other groups best ideas, and had a discussion about each ideas. Also we tried to sort and group ideas with similar goals and directions.

In order to clarify our ideas, and understand about kids better, we listed down things that we need to find out and learn.

  • Current kids’ interest
  • How do they spend their time
  • If they know anyone who is been shot and how do they feel about this.
  • Perception of Hazelwood

Visit to Hazelwood (Intervie from Library)

We e-mailed Tim to ask how can we get connected to kids from Hazelwood. Tim recommended to check out Hazelwood library where a lot of young kids visit during weekends.

We had 3 interviews with teenagers:IMG_0185.JPG


  • Keelan got jumped right next to the library (he’s only 11), since he had to cross the bridge to go home
  • He wants to ride his bike but there are no bike repair shops or anything around, so he plays video games in the library (or his friends’ house) or xbox at home
  • He wishes art store was here (it is hard to get art supplies near Hazelwood without car)
  • He wants to be a computer game engineer!
  • Madeline, 13, (she’s white) has 3 dogs, is one of Keelan’s best friends, and met him through school (they ride the same bus)
  • Likes volleyball
  • Clothes store , there are some clothes store, but not many. (Normally goes to Target, Walmart to buy clothes)
  • Riteaid for snacks
  • Kyra (or kara?) likes doing art and wants to become a chef.
  • A lot of kids do homework in the library after school.
  • Likes to do crafts (art related)
  • She misses old school and she likes the old school better than the current school
  • A lot of younger kids tend to spend time in library

Further plans

  • Since the age range was too young, our group felt that we need to talk to older kids (kids from high school or early 20s) to are facing the problem more closely and directly.
  • Also we will discuss and think deeper based on the teenagers’ interest and needs and also consider the limitations and possible results for the exhibition. 

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