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The Legacy Building opens its doors in South Minneapolis

A new Black-owned creative space officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Friday, June 17. Community members came together to celebrate the grand opening of The Legacy Building, an all-in-one photo, and video studio, recording studio, practice space, and storefront for creatives to rent and utilize. Emmanuel Duncan and Sarah Lanier-Duncan are a married couple who decided to create a space for creative expression in South Minneapolis. As local artists themselves, known as the Hip Hop duo “ILLism,” the couple understand the importance of what it means to have access to creative spaces. Related Story: Black Business Spotlight: The Legacy Building “I think access is going to be the hugest thing for me,” Duncan said. ”Having the space for people to operate is probably one of the toughest things especially if your skin looks like mine.” A crowd of family, friends, and community members gathered outside the doors of The Legacy Building as the couple gave a few words to welcome everyone into the building. “For us… our whole mantra is: connect community and create excellence,” said Lanier-Duncan. “We want to be able to collaborate with people and different creatives.” Some local musicians couldn’t help but show their support. Colin Mitchell, a local drummer who goes by the name “RAWTWHYLAH”, hosted a jam session for the grand opening. Many people who were just walking outside that evening were drawn to the infectious tunes. Mitchell says that The Legacy Building opens so many doors for artists like himself. “This is just only going to unite so many musicians and different artists from different walks of life,” Mitchell said. “It’s just a beautiful thing for everybody.” Plenty of community members are also excited to see what The Legacy Building will bring to their backyards. Ian Taylor found out about the ribbon-cutting by noticing a flyer attached to the building’s window a few days prior to the event. “I’m excited to just see a new Black-owned organization that’s going to uplift and energize some of the creativity that we see in the city,” Taylor said. “We’re contributing to the growth of our people,” Lanier-Duncan said. “When we do that, the community for people who are Black and look like us can flourish.” The Legacy Building is a space for “creatives to build their legacy,” Duncan said. “They say if you build it they will come. We built it. So come.”

iLLism Builds New Home for Twin Cities Creatives

The Legacy Building, a brand-new Black-owned business located in South Minneapolis, had its grand opening on Friday, June 17th. Founded by Emmanuel Duncan and Sarah Lanier-Duncan of the group iLLism, The Legacy Building’s mission is to foster growth and connect the community through music. Emmanuel and Sarah hope the Legacy Building will create a space for artists of all kinds to create their legacy. “We built this place out of necessity,” Emmanuel responded when asked why the building was created. As artists themselves, iLLism found it hard to find the resources needed to create. Obstacles outside of music kept them from creating. By founding the Legacy building, they hope to eliminate some of those barriers by being the provider of necessary services for anybody in the community who needs them. Amenities for creatives in the Legacy Building include a natural light studio, performance space, a recording studio, and a storefront. “We did this for our family,” Sarah said during her ribbon-cutting speech. “This building doesn’t just secure us with a space to create, but our kids and your kids as well.” It was the belief that creators are stronger when people work collaboratively that founded the Legacy Building. The weekend included an in-house jam session, community forum, children’s book festival, and Black movie night. The grand finale was the Soul of the Southside festival held on Juneteenth at Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis -- A free community festival showcasing local artists and businesses. Artists and community members in attendance on Friday shared a sense of excitement for the new possibilities the Legacy Building represents. “It’s named Legacy Building for a reason,” Sarah said. “Today, we are making history.”

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