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Women of Banglatown Youth Arts

Women of Banglatown has a unique origin story. The founder, Ali Lapetina, was working on a photography project in Hamtramck, Michigan when she noticed these young girls playing in an alleyway. She befriended them and found out they were a part of the Bangladeshi community located in Hamtramck. As she continued her friendship with these girls and their families, she noticed a lack of space for the Bangladeshi girls and young women. Boys zip through the neighborhoods on their bikes and find commune with each other but there was no equivalent for these girls. Women of Banglatown was created to provide that space. Now we provide weekly art and wellness classes as well as just a space for girls to make friends, create, and find unity with each other.

Each week we bring in local artists to teach a lesson. Women of Banglatown has taught screen printing, photography, sun prints, henna, pressed flowers, weaving, natural dyes, paper making, and more. Alongside our arts programming we focus on wellness by providing zumba lessons, yoga on the roof, and self care days. Overarchingly, we want our all women community space to be a place where girls can relax and have fun, whether it’s movie nights or homework help. Our mission at Women of Banglatown is to empower girls and women through diverse programming while creating a comfortable space for community conversation.

Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (March 2019)