Love East Lake: An Interview with Anna Bloomstrand
Love East Lake is a growing group of community members who are focused on nurturing proactive participation in the health & safety of all members of the East Lake St Corridor community. We sat down with Anna Bloomstrand of the Love East Lake project last week to talk about the project, inspiration and community.
PPNA: What inspired you to start Love East Lake?
AB: I have always been concerned with the disconnect between businesses and residents on our corridor. We don’t get a lot of time to interact because Lake Street becomes a passthrough on a commute for many people. I really wanted to work on that connection and create a sense of place on in our business for the people that live around it. I want to see us work together to develop an identity. I was inspired to bridge this gap through visual art and started a conversation with a group of community members. A lot of our conversations were centered around public safety and the challenge to address safety issues with compassion and mindfulness of the roots of those issues.
We decided to start with elevated neighborhood watch signs, that sent the message that we support and care about the people who live and spend time on Lake Street. It was a challenge to develop this messaging, and we collectively decided to ask ‘How do we 'see' in a healthy community? How does real noticing take place when we're caring for each other and our shared spaces?’ with the project.
PPNA: What do you hope Love East Lake will bring to the community? What impacts would you like to see?
AB: The nature of living and working on the corridor is part of the commute. Our minds turn off, and we stop seeing the people and places around us. I hope that Love East Lake will inspire people to pause and think about the impact they have, and could have in our community. In the end, I hope they see Lake Street as a place for them, not a passthrough.
PPNA: How can people get involved with Love East Lake?
AB: There is a call for art open right now! We are looking for yard sign designs for the project. You can check it out here. We are always looking for more people to join the conversation and help develop the project.
They can reach out to us via email EastLakeLove@gmail.com or join the 'Love East Lake' Facebook group for updates. We also host a monthly meeting about corridor specific issues and folks interested in working on the overall health & safety of the corridor are always welcome to join that group!