Chippewa Valley Postcard Project continues for its second year

The Chippewa Valley Postcard Project aims to help educate the Chippewa Valley community on topics related to Racial justice, through artwork

Kiara Jackson

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Photo by Kiara Jackson

A postcard drop-off bin

After kicking off its project in the spring of 2021, the Chippewa Valley Postcard Project continues its fight for racial justice for the second consecutive year. 

Created by a group of interfaith individuals, the Postcard Project provides postcards for individuals in the Chippewa Valley area to create art about racial justice issues. 

According to Amy Renshaw, an organizer of the Postcard Project, it aims to make Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley feel more welcoming for people of all backgrounds and convey the importance of racial justice.

“One of the big issues that a white community would have is that we don’t have these conversations about race,” Renshaw said. “For people of color, my understanding is that race is a topic.”

Renshaw said that the project is important because they combine them and create collages that later get hung around the community. Some places where these collages were displayed in 2021 were Rice Palace, ECDC and the Chippewa Valley Museum

According to Renshaw, the reason for these displays being hung up around the community is to make the community more welcoming for people of color and more diverse populations. 

“It’s a very white community and it’s easy for white people to kind of insulate themselves from the more diverse populations and I don’t think that’s very welcoming to people of color,” Renshaw said. 

In order to participate in the project there are four steps. First grab a 4×6 postcard, which can be found at different locations at UW- Eau Claire and are being offered for free by the Project at  [email protected].

Secondly, look at the list of questions on any “Art for Racial Justice” poster and reflect on the questions before choosing one to provide inspiration to begin drawing. 

Third, create a piece of artwork in collaboration with friends, family or a neighbor. Renshaw said the art can be as simple as just writing a few words or as detailed as telling a story. 

And finally, submit the postcard before June 1 by mailing it to 930 Galloway St. Mailbox 4, Eau Claire, Wis. 54703, or dropping it off at Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope, 505 S. Dewey St. Suite 204, Eau Claire, Wis. 54703.

“I hope that young people, students and families participate, and that they get the message,” Renshaw said. “Diversity is something beautiful to celebrate and we need to make it clear that that is something we value here.” 

Lori Arsenault, a volunteer with the Postcard Project said that her goal is to help create a stronger awareness of racial justice in the Chippewa Valley community.

“I started working with the project because I am concerned with racial justice and the lack of awareness in this community, because we are so monocultured here and it’s basically just white,” Arsenault said. “I think we should look at other cultures and welcome more diversity in our community.” 

Renshaw said that the Postcard Project obtained around 200 postcards last year and that the organizers are hoping for a better turnout this year.

“It would be wonderful to get at least double the amount of postcards back in,” Arsenault said. “We’re working with different groups and providing tables for people to sit down at and make postcards together or even do it individually.” 

Jackson can be reached at [email protected]