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Teach your kids to (literally) walk “A Mile in My Shoes” at the Empathy Museum

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Empathy is something this world seems to lack and now you can show your kids what it is like to step into a stranger’s shoes. Literally. 

The 2019 Biennial of the Americas Festival, in partnership with Riverfront Park Community Foundation, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and I Am Denver, will launch Empathy Museum’s “A Mile in My Shoes” exhibition on August 9 in Tail Tracks Plaza (on 16th Street between Wewatta Street and Wynkoop Street). This traveling, one-of-a-kind, participatory exhibition, conceived by British artist Clare Patey in collaboration with philosopher and author Roman Krznaric and produced by Artsadmin, allows participants to literally walk in someone else’s shoes while listening to a story about that person’s life.

Empathy Museum originated in the United Kingdom and has traveled throughout Europe and to Australia, Brazil and Siberia. The “A Mile in My Shoes” exhibition was in New York City last year. In Denver, the exhibition will house between 30 and 40 pairs of shoes alongside audio recordings of stories from the shoes’ owners. Visitors are invited to walk a mile in the stranger’s shoes while listening to a story about that person’s life. 

“Empathy Museum is a series of participatory art projects dedicated to helping us look at the world through other people’s eyes,” said Empathy Museum director Clare Patey. “With a focus on storytelling and dialogue, our traveling museum explores how empathy can not only transform our personal relationships, but also help tackle global challenges such as prejudice, conflict and inequality.”

The exhibition will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Triangle Park through Sept. 27. On Sept. 28, a visual representation of the project will move to Civic Center Park where the Biennial of the Americas Festival culminates with a free family-friendly event, “Cosmico Americas,” from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“The theme of the 2019 Biennial of the Americas Festival, ‘Empathy in Action,’ will showcase the people and ideas across North and South America that are moving beyond divisions to build solutions to important issues,” said Erin Trapp, CEO and executive director of the Biennial of the Americas.“Launching the ‘A Mile in My Shoes,’ exhibition in August provides a unique opportunity to think about and experience empathy as we lead up to the Festival.”  

Following the Biennial of the Americas Festival, the stories will be housed on the I Am Denver website. The shoes and stories will form part of Empathy Museum’s growing collection, traveling the world along with nearly 300 other stories as part of the larger “A Mile in My Shoes” exhibition. 


Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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