Pillsbury United Communities in Partnership with the City of Minneapolis to Host a Gun Buyback:

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Pillsbury United Communities in Partnership with the City of Minneapolis to Host a Gun Buyback:

Continuing the conversation about the impact of gun violence in our community.

MINNEAPOLIS, July 26, 2016— Pillsbury United Communities in partnership with the City of Minneapolis are collaborating to host a gun buyback in August. Residents are urged to surrender firearms in exchange for Visa gift cards. This initiative is a unique partnership with City of Minneapolis, with support from Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis Fire Department, Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighter Association, Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, and the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Office.

Unlike typical gun buybacks, following the August 27 buyback at two Minneapolis Fire Stations (Station 14 in north Minneapolis and Station 17 in south Minneapolis) the weapons will be decommissioned and given to Twin Cities’ artists to create statements about the impact of gun violence in our community.

Building upon the momentum of the national Guns in the Hands of Artists exhibit that PUC recently presented in the Twin Cities, the reclaimed guns will be given to local artists to create statements about the impact of gun violence in our community. This art will be a part of a new campaign called “Art Is My Weapon: a Minnesota Installation of Guns in the Hands of Artists.” A call for artists will be posted soon at www.ArtIsMyWeapon.org.

“As someone who lost a cousin to gun violence, I am acutely aware of the emotional toll and the rippling impact it has on family and friends. This issue is personal for me, and unfortunately it is personal for many across our community,” said Chanda Smith Baker, President and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities. “There are too many Minnesotans losing their lives to street violence, suicide, domestic violence and accidental shootings. We are unwilling to look the other way, believing that there’s nothing we can do—but rather we will continue to do our part to make our community safer. We have a public health crisis with gun violence. It affects all of us, and we all must be part of the solution.”

"Some may see a 60-second story on the news and move on, but the effects of gun violence are devastating and everlasting. What I like about this initiative is it is deeply personal and it brings attention and emotion to a societal issue that really affects us all," Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said. "The current cycle of gun violence requires a community solution and this will be more than a conversation starter."

People can turn in up to three firearms per person, and can do so anonymously. They will receive $25 to $300 Visa gift cards, depending on the type of firearm (quantities are limited - when gift cards run out, individuals can still turn in a weapon, but will not receive compensation). Authorities from Minneapolis Fire Department and the Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighter Association will be on hand to accept the surrendered weapons at two local fire stations.

Saturday August 27, from 10am-6pm

Station 14: 2002 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Station 17: 330 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55409


 “The arts are where we come together as a city and as a people: it is where we show interest in each other, where the best of us shows up. The arts are also where we can have a transformative effect on the conversation in Minneapolis and across America about gun violence and the need to end it. I am very excited that we can creatively use the tool of a gun buyback to fuel this vital conversation through the arts,” stated Mayor Betsy Hodges.   

“We saw how the national Guns In the Hands of Artists exhibit sparked nonpartisan conversations about gun violence and know that those conversations need to continue,” said Smith Baker. “We are eager to see how local artists creatively use guns as raw materials to provoke thoughts, discussions and change.”

Pillsbury United Communities is accepting monetary donations from the public to help fund the buyback at www.puc-mn.org/art-my-weapon. Contributions will be used to purchase gift cards for individuals surrendering weapons.

The art eventually will be for sale; some of the pieces will be displayed throughout the community. More information, call for artists, and updates will be available soon.


About Pillsbury United Communities
Pillsbury United Communities works with underestimated populations across Minneapolis to foster the resilience and self-sufficiency of individuals, families, and community as a whole. We design solutions that address a spectrum of intersecting needs—from education, to employment, to health—while continually investing in our own capacity to innovate and improve. We’re creating a new model for nonprofit organizations with our interconnected system of programs, community centers, and social enterprises connects with over 63,000 individuals each year. More information about Pillsbury United Communities is available at www.puc-mn.org.



Brenna Brelie, Sr. Director of Communications & PR                                                                            
612-302-3407 | 

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