New Exhibit Highlights Cultural Partnership of Minnesota Teens with Iraqi Youth

For immediate release

Release dated: 
November 6, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Wendy Jones • Minnesota History Center • 651-259-3411 •

Quick facts: 

Event: "Iraqi Cultures Through Youth Eyes" Exhibit Opening

Date: Dec. 14, 2013

Time: Noon to 4 p.m.

Place: Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd W., St. Paul MN 55102-1903
Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.
Phone: 651-259-3000, 800-657-3773

New Exhibit Highlights Cultural Partnership of Minnesota Teens with Iraqi Youth

Exhibit Opening Dec. 14 at Minnesota History Center

The Minnesota History Center is proud to host a new exhibit, "Iraqi Cultures Through Youth Eyes," created by and featuring the youth of Baghdad, Iraq on display Dec. 3 to 31.

Developed in partnership with the Al-Baghdadi Museum in Iraq and the U.S. State Department, a group of Iraqi youth helped to create this collaboration. This summer they met with current and former members of the Minnesota Historical Society's Teen Advisory Council through videoconferencing to discuss daily life, culture and hopes for the future. They also talked about exhibit design and how collection items tell a story.

Iraqi teen exhibit
(Members of the History Center's Teen Advisory Council)

Through objects, photos and independent research, the Iraqi youth have captured and documented Baghdad through their young eyes. The resulting exhibit at the Minnesota History Center includes additional context and reflection pieces by the American teens who collaborated on this project.

Sergio Portesan, one of the Americans involved in the project, viewed the experience as "a great way to push boundaries, challenge preconceived notions, expand minds, form meaningful connections, and gain a deeper understanding of the world. Getting to know Iraqi youth halfway around the world helped me gain a new respect and appreciation for different cultures, while also underscoring how similar we all are as people. I realized that we share the same goals and aspirations, experience the same frustrations and emotions and have the same interests and passions."

The public is invited to an opening reception on Dec. 14, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center. The event will include music, souvenir activities and cultural presentations as well as the opportunity to meet the teens who participated in this unique, collaborative project. The reception is free with admission of $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $6 for children ages 6-17 and free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

This project is funded in part by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Legacy logo

The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.