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Little Brothers mural celebrates elders

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) dedicating its newly installed exterior mural on Thursday, June 20 at its offices at 1845 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. The three-part mural, which was funded by a Great Streets grant through the Lake Street Council, celebrates elders and the importance of friendship to offset isolation and loneliness as we get older.
The mural was created by local artist Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl and spans the 45-foot length of LBFE’s brick building. At its highest point, the mural extends nearly 18 feet from the ground. It depicts three separate pairs of friends.
“The whole time I was designing this mural I was thinking of my relationship with my grandmother, the things we would do together, and the warmth I felt for her,” said Dahl. “I tried to embody these feelings with the different friendship pairs, showing a closeness and a comfort.”
Dahl painted the images of the pairs of friends, who are representative of LBFE’s Visiting Companions program, on parachute cloth and adhered the cloth to the brick. To create the elements surrounding the elders, Dahl collaborated with LBFE’s elder program participants.
“The elders who helped to create this mural chose objects and symbols that represent the friendships they found through LBFE,” she explained.
“LBFE has a simple mission to connect caring volunteers with lonely older adults,” said James Falvey, LBFE’s Executive Director. “This mural shows the beauty of those friendships while depicting a positive image of aging. We hope it will inspire more people to join us and forge a new friendship with a wonderful older adult in our community.”

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