Salem Arts Exchange

Serving our refugee neighbors through the universal language of arts and crafts.

In May of 2020, Arrive Ministries acquired Salem Arts Exchange to further continue our mutual goal of welcoming refugee and immigrant neighbors in Minnesota.

Salem Arts Exchange exists to be a joyful, creative gathering place for refugee women where friendships are formed, beautiful handicrafts are created, and lives are pointed to Christ.

Salem Arts Exchange is located in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Other Arrive Ministries sewing sites operate in St. Cloud, Willmar, and Oakdale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Salem Arts Exchange started in 2013 from the invitation of New City of Nations Church’s Asset-Based Community Development Program. SAE was founded by Kris Engel, Trudi Whitson and Anna Behnen, and previously operated under the umbrella of Bethlehem Ministry Initiatives.

They are paired with a volunteer teacher who starts to teach beginning sewing skills using a 14-lesson curriculum. A completion of each curriculum takes a variable amount of time, depending on the student attendance and ability to become proficient at skills taught.

At this time, countries throughout Africa and South America

The student works on learning and creating items to be sold. The student is required to master the product before it is sent out to market to sell. After a mastery is achieved, a student will be eligible to apply to the Lydia Program.

The items are sold at “pop-up” shops, church boutiques, coffee shops, and artisan consignment shops. Fifty percent of the proceeds go back to the students and the remainder is used to cover materials, supplies and other expenses incurred to operate Salem Arts Exchange.