Giant shoe box on 16th Street Mall encourages people to ‘walk a mile’ in someone else’s shoes

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DENVER — A giant shoe box currently sits on the 16th Street Mall, and many people go in to try on a pair, but not because they need footwear.  They just want to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Erin Trapping, Biannual of the Americas executive director, said the exhibit is a great opportunity for people to expand their perception of Denver residents.

“Walk a mile in our shoes is an opportunity to listen to the story from someone from Denver who has a very different background than yours while actually wearing their shoes," she said.

The exhibit was created by an English artist, and is part of the Empathy Museum in Denver. It will be featured at the Biennial of the Americas Sept. 25 event at Civic Center Park.

“The Biennial of the Americas is a festival that connects north and south America with art, culture and ideas," Trapping said.

The idea is simple and tactile. You go in, put on a pair of shoes, and listen to that person's story.

Ami Truemper, from Chicago, tried on a pair of shoes this week, and listened to that person's story.

"I put on a pair of white, kind of worn out tennis shoes," she said.

You may not walk away with a new pair of shoes from the exhibit, but the empathy is on the house.

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