Exercise Stencil Arts throughout North Minneapolis

image1068320image1068330This past summer the Asian Media Access (AMA) launched the Bicultural Active Living Lifestyle (BALL) marketing campaign on north Minneapolis.

AMA youth used stencil arts to develop its own “guerrilla marketing” to reach a targeted audience of African-American and Asian-American members to call for policy, system and environment changes. By the end of the summer, supported by youth artists, AMA hit the streets with daily door knocking activities to invite neighbors to join the BALL movement, and put out 163 stencil arts as colorful Asian Zen symbols, and on top, the word “Exercise.”

image1068339Additionally, homeowners were given choices of the language for “Exercise,” as a conscious effort to engage and honor diverse cultural residents in Northside. Besides the stencil arts beautifying the sidewalks and reminding people to exercise, the campaign generated BALL educational materials (booklet, brochure and folding card) targeting the public and translated into Hmong and Somali, 10 bus shelter posters with 13 fruit cartoon characters to promote the BALL to families, a series of animation posters with 13 fruit characters posted at Northside elementary school cafeterias and 25 one-minute street video testimonies in diverse languages to be used through social media.

image1068347BALL’s targeted audience – Africa-Americans and Asian-Americans have experienced low levels of fruits and vegetable consumption and low physical activity, with high obesity rates (about 20 – 24.9 percent of adults being obese). BALL is not only about exercise and food, but also a healthy living lifestyle while navigating two or more cultures, promoting the understanding that society is composed of fluid cultural communities that have the ability to find cross-cultural solutions for local, national and global challenges to strive for the collective good.

November 16, 2015
The Journal For Community News, Business and The Arts serving the African American community in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Available on news stands and online at

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