Floral patterns designed by illustrator, Genessis Lopez

unsung heroes


Pollen partnered with the McKnight Foundation and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to create an editorial feature honoring awardees of the 2020 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. The award recognized four individuals from the Twin Cities Metro area and Greater MN who have made a significant impact in their communities.

Client Pollen is a media arts nonprofit that harnesses the power of narrative change to build towards a society that is free, just, and loving.

Project Illustrate a portrait of each hero in honor of their community work and services.

Content Portrait illustrations created from images provided by client

Vibe & Style Representative of each individual

Usage Website editorial, social, print

Sources McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Pollen

“North Minneapolis has a very rich history. It’s a phenomenal place to live. I have an opportunity to unveil that, to deepen that.” – Desralynn Cole

“I wanted to take my children out of the city, out of their element, to have some kind of cultural experience — whether it was a pow-wow or medicine picking or canoeing.” – Lisa Bellanger

“Community is not just your immediate family, it’s everyone. If your neighbor is suffering and you’re doing well, that doesn’t mean much.” – Hani Jacobson

“We’d pass the hat for dollars to keep the heat on in the building,” she says. “It wasn’t an easy task, but we were a very determined group, and we succeeded.”- Patti Ballan