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CLUES hosted a Ribbon Cutting Wednesday, July 31, to welcome partners and donors to its new expansion doubling the size of its headquarters building on the East Side of Saint Paul.
“We are thrilled to dedicate this newly expanded 40,000 sq ft building to Minnesota’s Latino community,” said Ruby Lee, CLUES President and CEO. “Our new spaces are representative of our institutional commitment to uplift Latino narratives and leadership, foster community healing through cultural engagement, and improve social and economic odds for the people we serve.”
Special guests including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Carlos Tortolero, President of the National Museum of Mexican Art, CLUES board members, donors, and funders joined the Ribbon Cutting celebration. More than 150 donors, volunteers, and partners toured the new spaces and learned about the organization’s growth and new programs and services.
CLUES’ expanded headquarters will form a cornerstone for the East Metro’s rapidly expanding community and the cultural corridor on East 7th Street. The 39,000-square-foot space includes a new Day Center for Latino elders, a Teen Tech Center, a Latino Art Gallery and classroom space for multigenerational learning. Together with the Mexican Consulate, the building brings more than 35,000 people to the neighborhood each year.
As Minnesota’s largest Latino-led nonprofit agency, CLUES is positioned to serve Minnesota’s growing Latino population, which is expected to reach half a million by 2035 – more than 8.5 percent of the state’s total population. CLUES bundles culturally and linguistically relevant services across Health & Wellness, Economic Empowerment, Educational Enrichment and Arts & Culture to meet the complex and interrelated needs of the community.
Construction on the $7.5 million expansion began in September 2018, with programs and services beginning to occupy the new space this month. The public is invited to experience the new building at CLUES Fiesta Latina 2019, to be held August 10 from 11 am-4 pm on East 7th Street surrounding CLUES.
“Our new programs are designed to empower Latinos and youth by providing them with access and opportunities so they can realize their own American Dream,” said Ruby Lee. “Our new spaces reaffirm our mission to support Latinos and new immigrants to be healthy, prosperous, and engaged in their communities.”
CLUES capital campaign has been supported by a variety of generous corporate and private donors, including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Cargill Foundation, 3M Foundation, Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, Katherine B. Andersen Fund, Best Buy Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust, Butler Family Foundation, Chiasson Family Foundation, City of Saint Paul Neighborhood STAR, Ecolab Foundation, Hardenbergh Foundation, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Mardag Foundation, Securian Foundation, St. Paul Foundation, Super Bowl 52 Host Committee Legacy Fund, Target Foundation, Thrivent, Travelers Foundation, Wells Fargo MN Leadership Council and generous individual donors.
Latino Art Gallery
A new home for Latino/a/x arts and culture in St. Paul. The gallery will be a space to define narratives– exploring the diversity of our community, where we came from, and where we are going. Latino/a/x artists will amplify narratives that provide a sense of belonging and power for our people, and that support marginalized members of our community as we collectively overcome fear and isolation. CLUES would like to thank all of them for their generous contribution and we hope that they will visit our new facilities next Saturday, August 10th at Fiesta Latina!
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Latino Elder Day Center
Including a day center, caregiver support programs and connections to community services
Best Buy Teen Tech Center
A youth-centric space designed to foster creativity and critical thinking by engaging youth in music recording, film production, coding, and design. This maker’s space will encourage youth to pursue their dreams and create with the support of skilled mentors.
La Cocina de Cargill - Commercial Teaching Kitchen
A gathering place for elders and youth alike - a space to build community, learn about healthy eating, get access to healthy food and pass along cooking traditions to younger generations. Beginning in August, we will have weekly food distribution events, “La Canasta Familiar,” to provide free healthy food to the community. In the fall, community meals will celebrate and uplift traditional meals while strengthening our social connectedness.
Six New Classrooms
Three multipurpose rooms, two technology rooms, and an art room will create new opportunities for Latinos and immigrants of all ages to develop workforce skills, learn English, earn their GED, pursue citizenship, access technology and be creative. These spaces foster intergenerational learning and a sense of community.
Flexible Meeting Space
A large community gathering space with a capacity of up to 140 people to host community engagement opportunities and events, learning forums and neighborhood events. This space creates new opportunities for building community and strengthening our social fabric.