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‘Your story matters’
She and Dave, a counselor at Perspectives in St. Louis Park, now live about a mile away from Courageous HeARTS. She wanted to work “in my community.”
The center will offer evening classes, open studio and after-school activities. The focus is middle- and high school students. “This is an age when students start to say, ‘I’m not an artist.’ They self-censor, limit.” She wants to make art accessible to them again and forever.
“Your story matters,” she writes in chalk on a big board, dressed in bluejeans and a gray T-shirt with a bicycle.
“Dig deep. Be courageous. Imagination leads to possibility.”
She hopes to recruit youths through park programs, schools, youth worker referrals and her advisory board, now with nine members, which meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. They help her “make the space interesting to kids.”
Last Wednesday, she listened respectfully as they shared ideas about classes and getting the word out about their Aug. 1 fundraiser at the Riverview Theater, featuring a screening of “Inocente,” the 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary short.
Seated with them, Walz no longer wishes away “what I hoped could be my life.” Instead, she said, “I’ve tried to make it a lesson about myself, and about grief and trauma. About the ways the ground falls out from underneath each of us.”