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Claudia Kittock
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Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
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Ryan Ojard
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Mill City Cooks
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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Saturday
Sep142019

Join us for The Steeles and Taste of the Mill District on October 17

Article by Claudia Kittock

'An Evening with the Steeles' event to benefit The Mill City Singers
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We are excited to announce the Steele Family is coming to the Mill District. On October 17, the Steeles will be in concert at the Mill City Museum. The evening will begin with a 6:00p happy hour, featuring light appetizers from area restaurants as part of the ‘Taste of the Mill City’ portion of this evening. A cash bar will be provided by D’Amico.

At 7:00p, the Steeles will begin their 90-minute concert. If you have had the privilege of hearing the Steeles, you know what to expect. It will be an evening of joyous music, sung from the hearts of these incredibly talented singers, accompanied by their equally talented band. 

This is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Mill District. 100% of the proceeds will go to pay the salaries of J.D. and Fred Steele who lead the Mill City Singers. The Singers are a dynamic and integral part of our community, and we are determined to keep them singing. We can’t do it without you! Please come and be part of a joyful evening. 

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. If you're unable to attend, but want to support this dynamic neighborhood charity, please consider donating at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/millcitysingers. Don’t wait!

All of the labor to organize and maintain the Singers is donated.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org 
Thursday
Sep122019

Pulling Back the Curtain: Remastered Premieres at The Southern

The Southern Theater to Premiere the First Program of the New AMPLIFY Series
Pulling Back the Curtain: Remastered uses dance to make the marginalization of African-American people visible

The Southern Theater’s AMPLIFY series begins September 20-22 with Pulling Back the Curtain: Remastered, a dance show that makes visible the marginalization of African-American people. Each of the choreographies explores themes of oppression, survival, joy, and healing. Created by the collective PBC Nation, the show features the choreographies of Gabby "The Baddie" Abram, Peace Madimutsa, Nehemiah Lucas, and Rayna Bell, and is curated by Gabriel Blackburn.

This group of artists have previously collaborated on an initial version of Pulling Back the Curtain and have continued to expand and develop the production. As PBC Nation, they have collaborated to choreograph two pieces at the beginning and end of the show. These bookends explore self-awareness and showcase individuality within a collective. The pieces were built first from conversation, which then went through stages of improvisation, setting movement material, and revising. Curator Gabriel Blackburn shared, “This came so easily because we all felt comfortable listening and speaking. When one person had the flood everyone respected that and was fully engaged.” Through each of the pieces in Pulling Back the Curtain: Remastered, as well as the additional community events and intentional talkbacks, PBC Nation creates a space for artists freedom of expression, inspires conversations, and engages a diverse audience.

Other shows in the AMPLIFY series are: A Cripple’s Dance Oct 18-20, Hit The Wall November 14-17 and Ancestral Origins: An Afrofuturist’s Exploration of Joy and Beauty.  AMPLIFY was created to give voice and platform to underrepresented stories.  Through movement, music, and narrative, AMPLIFY artists will use their art to share stories that represent the many voices that make up a community. “Art is a powerful way to connect,” says Acting Executive Director Janette Davis. “Our hope is that these performances will spark important conversations, open up minds, and share perspectives.”

This inaugural year of the AMPLIFY series will feature four stories from African American, disability, and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Thursday
Sep122019

Out of the Box Opera Announces Oct 26 Diva Cage Match at Minneapolis Cider Company

DOUBLE THE SINGERS, DOUBLE THE FUN!
Annual Diva Cage Match features Tag Team Duets
Saturday, October 26 at 7pm
  
Out of the Box Opera is upping the ante with this year’s Diva Cage Match on Saturday, October 26 at 7pm. The Sing-Off of the Century returns for its third year with a new edition: Tag Team Duets! Six pairs of opera singers will face off in two rounds, with three celebrity judges ultimately crowning one twosome the final champions! The event moves to a different dramatic location: Minneapolis Cider Company, 701 SE 9th Street in Minneapolis’ Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood.
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In Round 1, two couples from each category (Emerging Artists, Pros, Masters) will compete. The judges choose their three favorite duets who will then move onto Round 2.  Round 2 will feature virtuosic singing and theatrics, and ultimately, only one couple  will be named Diva Cage Match Tag Team Champions! An Audience Favorite will also be selected.
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The competing couples include Emerging Artists Lisa Rogali and Mia Athey vs. Sarah Coit and Stephen Carroll; Pros Karin Wolverton and Christina Christensen vs. Alissa Anderson and Kyle Albertson; and Masters Dennis Peterson and Andrew Wilkowske vs. Jill Gardner and Jake Gardner.
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Dessa, who was a judge at the original Cage Match, rejoins the judges panel, along with Michael Christie, Minnesota Opera’s former music director, and Jevetta Steele, legendary Twin Cities gospel and R&B singer. Bryon Wilson will accompany the singers and Out of the Box’s Artistic Director David Lefkowich again serves as MC.
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Tag Team Duets will also feature pre-show and half-time entertainment at Minneapolis Cider Company’s taproom, which has a modern industrial vibe and boasts a 10-ton overhead crane. David O’Neill, the cidery’s co-founder, says, “We are so excited to partner with Out of The Box to host this year's Diva Cage Match. We love how this event presents opera in a different way, bringing new folks into an area of arts and entertainment they might not have experienced before. This idea pairs extremely well with our cider - as we challenge people’s perceptions and introduce new styles. Bringing these two concepts together in the same space is going to be a blast!”
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Tickets are $70 (ringside premium seats) and $40 general admission. Standing room only tickets will be available for $20 on the day of the show. Tickets are available at outoftheboxopera.com 
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ABOUT OUT OF THE BOX OPERA
Out of the Box Opera upends the expectation of what opera is and what it can be. Its vision takes opera out of its traditional settings - literally "out of the box" - and into extraordinary locations to create exceptional, affordable entertainment for all. In addition to Diva Cage Match, past productions have included “Fusion” events at the Weisman Art Museum where opera has been combined with other musical genres, including Jazz and Gospel. In May 2019, Out of the Box presented its immersive, site specific mini-epic, The Amazing Adventures of Acis and Galatea The Wonder Nymph, at the historic Pillsbury A Mill on the Minneapolis riverfront.
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ABOUT MINNEAPOLIS CIDER COMPANY
Minneapolis Cider Company has two distinct start-up backgrounds, brought together to build a cidery and taproom in Minneapolis. David O'Neill and Jason Dayton started a cider company (Lionheart Cider) as part of an entrepreneurial class project at the University of Minnesota and eventually started planning their own facility. Rob Fisk, who was formerly the orchardist and cidermaker at two orchards in southern Minnesota,  joined the team as the head cidermaker. Minneapolis Cider recently opened their taproom doors in May, with the mission to inspire curiosity and foster a passion for what craft cider brings to the table.
Wednesday
Sep112019

Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society Announces 2019 Arab Film Fest

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Mizna will present the 14th Twin Cities Arab Film Festival September 26-29, 2019 at St. Anthony Main Theatre (on the MSP Film Society's Screen 3). Included will be more than thirty contemporary films from Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as those from local Arab filmmakers.
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Mizna recently announced the full schedule, and this year features an exciting lineup which includes the latest from Elia Suleiman, a spotlight on Sudan, a Tunisian horror film, local shorts, and visiting filmmakers.  Individual tickets, ticket packs and all-access passes are now available. View the full lineup and purchase tickets.
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It Must Be Heaven

This year's opening film is It Must Be Heaven, award-winning director Elia Suleiman's comic saga exploring identity, nationality, and belonging. Playing himself, Elia Suleiman escapes from Palestine seeking an alternative homeland, only to find that Palestine is trailing behind him. Having received a Jury’s Special Mention Award at Cannes in June, this is one of its first screenings in North America. The film will screen again during the fest on 9/28. 

Join us for afterward for the opening party, featuring music by local Somali American DJ, Deka. Suggested donation of $10, RSVP HERE.

9/27 at 7pm: Western Arabs | Denmark / Netherlands + Visiting filmmaker

Filmmaker Omar Shargawi wants to understand his Palestinian father Munir better. Although Munir has lived in Denmark for years, he hasn't settled in this society. Shot over a period of twelve years, the film examines Omar's relationship with his father and the latter's influence on his son's identity.

The filmmaker will be in attendance for a post-film discussion. More Info.

9/27 at 9:15pm: Dreamaway + Manivelle | Egypt + Lebanon

Dreamaway follows a group of young workers in a luxury hotel compound, holding onto the town despite the lack of tourists. They lead a double life in the shadow of the shimmering hotel facades, as their families are unaware of the temptations of Sharm El-Sheikh. With no tourists, they are left in a vacuum, lacking opportunities and leading them to an existential quest for their identity. Manivelle, a short Lebanese mockumentary will screen before the feature length. More Info.

9/28 at 11am: Sudanese Shorts (Sudanese Film Group) | Sudan

In the seventies and eighties, a group of filmmakers issued a periodical named CINEMA and went on to found the Sudanese Film Group to seek more independence from the state and to maintain a Sudanese passion for cinema. Mizna will screen a selection of these films by Eltayeb Mahdi, Suliman Elnour, and Ibrahim Shaddad. More Info.

9/28 at 9:30pm: Dachra | Tunisia

Dachra, a contemporary Tunisian horror film, revolves around Yasmin, a journalism student, and her two classmates. They set out on a university assignment to solve the cold case of Mongia, a woman found mutilated twenty-five years ago, suspected of witchcraft. As they pursue their investigation, the three friends stumble into the archaic and ominous world of Dachra, an isolated countryside site filled with goats, silent women, mysterious drying meat, and steaming pots. More Info.

9/28 at 4 pm: Local(ish) Shorts | Midwest + Visiting Filmmakers

In this segment, we showcase films by and about Arab American artists and filmmakers who use cinema to tell their unique stories and to expand definitions of what it means to be visible while living in diaspora. These 5 short films challenge our ideas about cinematic narratives while expanding the frame of our local community. More Info.

9/29 at 7:30 pm: EXT. Night | Egypt                                                 

EXT. Night tackles class and gender disparities among three unlikely companions over the course of an evening, by exploring and exposing their Cairo with a rawness and grit unusual to both Egyptian films and “festival films.” This closing night film is the newest from Egyptian filmmaker Ahmad Abdulla. More info.  

Tuesday
Sep102019

19th Annual Autumn Brew Review Festival at Boom Island Announced

Brewers from across Minnesota will gather for one of the largest and oldest annual celebrations of craft beer in the state.

On October 19, 2019 craft beer fans can celebrate autumn with unlimited samples of Minnesota-made beer from more than 100 Minnesota breweries. Attendees of this evening festival can expect special seasonal releases and classic favorites, non-alcoholic and gluten free options, food trucks, music, activities and games, and a bonfires tended by the Minneapolis Fire Department. 

Autumn Brew Review, in its 19th year, is one of the state’s oldest beer festivals and will draw thousands of attendees to Boom Island Park. It is the third and final Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild festival of the year. Like other MNCBG festivals, ABR exclusively showcases the talent of Minnesota breweries, offers beer-education activities from leaders in the industry, and features games and activities created and lead by the breweries themselves. 

Regular tickets are $50, sober-driver tickets are $15, and VIP early-access tickets are available to members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild MNthusiast program. Tickets, event details, participating breweries, and MNthusiast membership information can be found online at www.bit.ly/AutumnBrewReview.

About The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild

The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 2000 and is made up of more than 140 Minnesota brewery members. The Guild showcases the talent of Minnesota’s craft brewers and promotes Minnesota’s booming brewing industry by sponsoring festivals and special events including: Winterfest, MN Brewers Cup, All Pints North, and the State Fair’s Brewed in Minnesota exhibit. The Guild’s goals are to promote Minnesota breweries, create an open line of communication between brewers, and connect Minnesota beer to the consumer. 

Sunday
Sep082019

Public Enemy No. 1 in the Twin Cities

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

The Gangster Era in the United States was full of crooked cops and crafty criminals. From Al Capone and John Dillinger to ‘Baby Face’ Nelson and Bonnie and Clyde, gangsters ruled. The Midwest states witnessed firsthand how ruthless and ironfisted these criminals were, and the Twin Cities were no exception. While many gangsters frequented the area, one gang in particular left a lasting mark in the Twin Cities, the Barker-Karpis Gang.

A wanted poster of Fred Barker and 'Creepy' Karpis.

The story of the Barker-Karpis Gang begins well before the gang formed in March of 1931. Kate ‘Ma’ Barker, a resident of Missouri, had four children, Herman, Lloyd, Arthur ‘Doc’, and Fred. These four brothers traveled around Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma robbing banks and stealing cars for most of the 1910s and 20s. While serving time is places like the Oklahoma State Prison and Leavenworth Penitentiary, the brothers gained notable reputation in the criminal world. Upon Fred’s release from the Kansas State Prison in 1931, he met up with one of his fellow inmates, Alvin ‘Creepy’ Karpis, and formed the Barker-Karpis Gang. After murdering police chiefs and robbing banks, they fled to Chicago. They quickly realized they wanted nothing to do with Al Capone’s gang, so with a tip from a colleague, they moved their operation to 1031 South Robert Street, West St. Paul.

By this time, St. Paul had garnered a reputation for being a safe haven for criminals. In 1900, Police Chief John O’Conner agreed to sign an unofficial contract, called the Layover Agreement, that meant criminals would not be arrested in St. Paul as long as they checked in with the police chief when they arrived and they could not commit any crimes within the city limits. Good news for St. Paul, bad news for Minneapolis. One of the Barker-Karpis Gang’s first notorious crimes in the area occurred on December 16th, 1932 when they robbed the Third Northwestern National Bank on East Hennepin and Central Ave. Unbeknownst to the gang, the bank teller quietly alerted the authorities. When the gang’s lookout, Lawrence DeVol, noticed a squad car approaching quickly without its sirens on, he shot a few rounds into the car killing Officer Leon Evans and wounding Officer Ira Gorski. After a brief gun fight, the gang fled down East Hennepin to St. Paul. However, the crime caused so much commotion that they fled further to a small hideout in Webster, Wisconsin. Once the authorities discovered their small hideout, they found the gang was long gone but had left ‘Ma’ Barker’s husband on the property with a single bullet hole to the head. He was very loose-lipped when drinking and the gang worried he had already tipped them off.

Interestingly enough, my family was involved in the Third Northwestern National Bank robbery. The accountant for the Rainville Brother’s Funeral Home was running an errand to the bank when the gang arrived, and after laying on the ground with his hands on his head and telling the police what he saw, he returned back to the funeral home four hours later. The boss, Edward Rainville, was very upset and accused him of going to the bar for a few drinks, but once the local beat cop provided an alibi for the accountant, Great Great Grandpa Ed took him out for a drink once the day was over and gave him the next day off.

The scene after the robbery of the Third Northwestern National Bank.

Bullet holes in the windows of the Third Northwestern National Bank.

The most noteworthy crimes the Barker-Karpis Gang committed in the Twin Cities were two separate kidnappings. The first, which happened in June of 1933, was the kidnapping of a member of the Hamm’s Brewery family. They set the ransom at $100,000, or over $1.95 million after inflation. The ransom was to be brought to Duluth by the brewery’s sales manager, and once that was completed, the gang released the family member later that same month.

The other, and even more noteworthy, kidnapping took place in January of 1934 when the gang took Edward Bremmer, the president of the Commercial State Bank. This time, the ransom was set at $200,000, or almost $3.8 million after inflation. The gang sent a letter to Bremer family friend Walter W. Magee with ransom instructions. Once Magee had the money, he was to print “We are ready Alice” in the Minneapolis Tribune's personal ads. Magee followed the directions, but the gang did not follow through. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a family friend of the Bremer’s, even mentioned the kidnapping in one of his fireside chats. The crime was gaining national attention, so the gang had to act quickly and collect the ransom. Once they did, they realized the FBI had recorded the serial numbers of the bills and they couldn’t do anything with the money.

Fingerprint evidence on a gas can used to refuel their car in Wisconsin revealed the Barker-Karpis Gang as the culprits, and at the end of the day, it was this kidnapping that did the gang in. Fred and ‘Ma’ Barker were shot by the FBI in a home in Florida, and ‘Creepy’ Karpis, who was Public Enemy No. 1 at the time, was eventually arrested and sent to Alcatraz. Other gangsters come to the Twin Cities during this notorious era of American crime, but few left an impact as great as the Barker-Karpis Gang. 

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

A 6th generation Minneapolitan, Michael Rainville Jr. received his B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in their M.A. in Art History and Certificate in Museum Studies programs.

Michael is also an intern at the Hennepin History Museum and a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 7+ years.

He can be reached at mrainvillejr@comcast.net.

Sunday
Sep082019

In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

Majority of Minneapolis residents back hiring more patrol officers
Citywide survey shows strong support for adding officers to the overburdened force.

Homeless patrons find community, comfort at Minneapolis Central Library
It's proof that libraries have always been more than just buildings full of books.

Three injured when distracted driver hits pedal bar in Minneapolis Saturday
Two people on the party bike were injured and taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Bus-only lanes arrive on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis
Bus-only lanes mean more efficient flow and less congestion during rush hours.

The Vikings just cut their long snapper. Wanna buy his condo?
Just look at 801 Washington Ave. N. #304, the fabulous Minneapolis condo that's being sold by recently cut Minnesota Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott.

West Elm Is Coming to North Loop
After rumors of a West Elm Hotel, the Brooklyn-based home retailer has finally signed a lease in North Loop—but for a store, not a hotel.

West Elm furniture will open in North Loop next year
Furnishing retailer's plan to open hotels appears to be up in the air.

First Bite: A Look Inside Graze Food Hall
North Loop's new food hall opens officially on Friday, here's the what.

5 things to know about Graze, the North Loop’s (now open) food hall
With so many stacked amenities, a deep roster of food vendors, playfully upscale drinks, and an indoor/outdoor setting unmatched in downtown Minneapolis, we figured a cheat sheet for how to best approach this colossus was in order.

North Loop’s Sweet Chow closes after 18 months in business
In its fleeting run, Sweet Chow developed a devoted fan base thanks to chef John Krattenmaker’s reputation for creating delectable dishes like steamed buns, fried soft shell crab, pho, and Vietnamese coffee pot de creme from their 80-seat home at First Street and First Avenue North.

16 Essential Twin Cities Pizza Restaurants
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the perfect pizza. Thin crust/thick crust/whole wheat or even fried crust? Should the shape be a traditional triangle or a Minnesota-made square? How much and how seasoned should the sauce be?

Visit the In the News Archive...

Sunday
Sep082019

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, September 9

Tuesday, September 10

Wednesday, September 11

Thursday, September 12

Friday, September 13

Saturday, September 14

Sunday, September 15

Sunday
Sep082019

River Hub: News from the Minneapolis Riverfront

Our weekly digest of news relating to the Minneapolis Riverfront, in collaboration with The Great River Coalition:

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

Scandal on the Water Front - The Theater of Public History!
Come hear stories from guests Penny Peterson, author of "Minneapolis Madams" and Iric Nathansen, author of "Minneapolis in the 20th Century".

Learn about the scandalous history of Minneapolis along the waterfront. Former Mayor “Doc” Ames had a corrupt and dangerous administration, but was it fun? What was it like when Madams once held influence over the Governor? Plus improv comedy!

‘It Smells Dangerous’: Whistleblower Tips Off MPCA About Northern Metals Violation

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking the courts to immediately get involved after a Northern Metal Recycling employee said the company altered its pollution control equipment readings.

Mississippi Park Connection Newsletter
The Fall 2019 / Winter 2020 print newsletter is hitting the stands in a few weeks. Sign-up to have a copy delivered to your front door…

Plant for the Future
As the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area’s urban canopy faces increasing pressure from invasive pests, a changing climate, and challenges with regeneration, Mississippi Park Connection is committed to building resilience in our urban forests.

At Pig's Eye Lake, officials split over using artificial islands to boost ecology
Wind across the shallow lake in St. Paul’s remote southeast corner stirs sediment in the water, blocking sunlight and preventing vegetation from taking root. Under the surface, carp root along the bottom, exacerbating the problem.

Save the Date - My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story - Family Day
Using natural and found materials guests can make their own images of St. Anthony Falls and the Minneapolis riverfront milling district during a family day that celebrates the new exhibit "My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story."

Visit the River Hub Archive...

Saturday
Sep072019

August by the Numbers from Cynthia Froid Group

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group:


Friday
Sep062019

Art Pop! Block Party: Live Music, Local Vendors, & Community Celebration  

The ART POP! Block Party is a full-day event for all ages celebrating the dynamic artists, creatives, and small business owners living, working, and thriving in one of Minneapolis’s most historic neighborhoods, Elliot Park. ​​ART POP! Block Party ​will feature music and live painting, food trucks and brews, local vendors in a pop-up art market, and interactive activities from one end of the block to the other. 

This year neighboring independent businesses located on South 10th Street came together to create the Elliot Park Arts Quarter​ (EPAQ). In partnership with the ​Elliot Park Neighborhood (EPNI)​, EPAQ was awarded funding by the Great Streets Business District Support Program. With that funding, EPAQ is proud to host the inaugural ​ART POP! Block Party​ on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 from noon - 6pm. For the first time ever, the intersection of 10th Street & Centennial Place will be filled with music, dancing, food, and a live-art showcase reflective of the diverse and growing Elliot Park community.
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Key Event Features & Partners:

● Live Music & Performances​ by Sarah White, Al Church, 26 Bats, Craig Clark Band, Somali Museum Dance Troupe, and Mickey Breeze.

● Live Art ​by Anton Horishnyk and Kristi Abbott

● Interactive Art Displays​ by Mary Jane ​Mansfield, Celina Kane, and the Colab Creation Station by Gamut Gallery

● Historical Art Walk Tours​ by the playful members of the Theater of Public Policy

● Pop-up Art Market​ with local artists vendors Astralchemy, Va Va Voom Studio, Thraxis Threads, Paradox Coalition, ​Vimage Photography, Nelson Cain, Nice Nice Ceramics, Matt Hintz Art ​ and more!

● Wow Metal Lab​ ​and Show​,​ ​a traveling sculpture foundry and exhibition space in a converted metro transit city bus

● Beer Garden​ hosted by ​FINNEGANS Brewery​ and Erik the Red benefitting FINNEGANS Community Fund-- ​donating 100% of its profits to hunger relief charities

● Food Trucks ​Chicks on Wheels, Electric Noodle, Icy Icy Baby, Sara’s Tipsy Pies​ ​and featured eats by local diner ​Band Box Diner ​- v​oted Best Diner by City Pages, 2013.

Thursday
Sep052019

Minneapolis Park Officials Seek Proposed Tax Levy That Focuses on Youth Investment

Via a September 5 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

The funds, if approved by the Board of Estimate and Taxation, would come from the city levy and would impact the property tax owed on a median valued house of $266,000 approximately an additional $6 annually. 

At its Sept. 4 meeting, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) commissioners passed a resolution seeking a 2020 property tax levy that invests in the city’s youth.

“The Park Board and the City of Minneapolis have a responsibility to invest in, and serve, youth in ways that make a substantial difference today and for generations to come,” said Al Bangoura, Superintendent for MPRB. “We have the solutions and places to enrich the lives of Minneapolis youth, and we will continue to work with the mayor and city council members towards making that happen.”

In response to funding levels not keeping pace with current needs, the MPRB is proposing $1.3 million for expanded youth services, including increasing youth employment and developing four ideation tech labs in recreation centers. The funds, if approved by the Board of Estimate and Taxation, would come from the city levy and would impact the property tax owed on a median valued house of $266,000 approximately an additional $6 annually.  

Currently, the MPRB receives seven cents on every dollar in property tax paid by Minneapolis homeowners. The additional funding being sought would result in an 8.06 percent increase in Park Board property taxes, which is a 1.52 percent increase on total City of Minneapolis property taxes, or approximately $24, which includes the $6 for expanded youth services, per homeowner of a median valued house.

“Superintendent Bangoura has outlined a bold vision for a Minneapolis youth agenda. This means investing in programs that help young people grow into healthy, happy, productive adults. I hope in the days ahead, the Mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Park Board will take actions that reflect our shared commitment to the youth of the city,” said Brad Bourn, President of the Park Board of Commissioners.

According to Bangoura, the MPRB is strategically positioned to offer high quality youth employment programs which provide unique and lifelong skill building opportunities.  Additional funding will allow the MPRB to expand critical employment programs in the City of Minneapolis, including Teen Teamworks, Conservation Corps crews, Urban Scholars, Youth Design Team and new trades apprenticeships. 

“For us, youth employment is not just about the job,” explained Bangoura. “We provide work readiness training, career pathway exploration, and a foundation for education and career planning for successful futures.”

Bangoura also envisions ideation spaces that will teach digital literacy, engage youth with a variety of technologies, and support youth in developing the high demand skills and abilities wanted by employers.

“With appropriate resources, the MPRB can provide youth exposure to professions they did not know existed, spark vocational interests, and help set forth a clear and potentially a more cost-effective pathway for attaining career goals,” explained Bangoura. 

The MPRB’s commitment to youth services is supported by knowledge of community needs gained through extensive community engagement and prior citywide survey results indicating high public support for youth services. Staff shared the Closing the Gap: Investing in Youth report at the Sept. 4 Board meeting. The report states that almost 20 percent of the Minneapolis population is children and youth under age 18, and that almost 30 percent of those youth are experiencing poverty. The report shows how current resources fall short in meeting service levels by approximately $2 million annually for youth.

Tuesday
Sep032019

Green Minneapolis Invites You to Participate in the Fall Tree Census

Via a September 3 e-newsletter from Green Minneapolis:

 

It's almost time for the Fall Tree Census! We're looking for volunteers who love trees and want to help grow the downtown forest! Join us at one of two Greening Lab kick-off events this September to join the effort.

At the event, volunteers will sign up for a route to survey trees in neighborhoods across downtown. They will also receive a short training session, tree swag as a thank you for participating, and be entered into a raffle for our tree lover prize pack!

The events will be held Thursday, September 19 at The Commons and Tuesday, September 24 at Peavey Plaza. Both events run from 4:30-6pm, with a presentation at 5pm.

Click here for more information, and RSVP to info@greenminneapolis.org by 9/13 to participate.

Tuesday
Sep032019

The Southern Theater Announces the September Installment of Good Night at The Southern

The Southern Theater Announces September Installment of Good Night at The Southern!
Dance, Film, and Theater on The Southern Stage at 7:30 pm on September 9th

 

Good Night at The Southern on September 9th will offer works in three different mediums, featuring tap dancer Davon Suttles, playwright and performing artist Keila Saucedo, and filmmaker and performer Takawi Peters.

The Southern is thrilled to share the work of these artists and hope you will join us at the bar starting at 6:30 for a local beer, glass of wine, pop, or a snack. Davon Suttles is presenting “MELANIZED,” a multimedia tap dance production looking at the strength it takes to live as a person of color. Through tap dance, live music, and film we will address systemic racism by looking into issues such as Red Lining, Concentration Camps, and Police Brutality while also showcasing the beauty that comes with living as a person of color by exploring various art forms created by POC such as Gospel, R&B, and Konnakol. The “MELANIZED” cast includes Davon Suttles as producer, choreographer, and dancer, Noah Parker Brewington and Nina Maxwell as dancers, Kennadi Hurst, Keston Wright, and Mackinnley Moren Jacobs as singers, plus more Twin Cities musicians to be announced. Keila Saucedo is presenting their play “Brujería for Beginners,” which explores what it might mean to reimagine Mexican people as complex, magical, and in touch with the realities of their spirituality. As a grieving family tries to process their worlds, they explore catholicism, witchcraft, and indigenous spirituality to find their way to the holy. Guided by spirits, love for each other, and ancestors (always) they find their way to claiming power and possibility. Takawi Peters is a second generation American with Guyanese (Afro-Indo-Chinese) ancestry. She holds a B.I.S. in African American & African Studies, Asian Languages & Literatures, and Dance from the University of Minnesota. Her degree looks at how learning about one’s cultural ancestry enhances self-esteem and how artistry in pedagogy bolsters academic success. She is showing "Redefining Success," a mini documentary that highlights a single narrative from a NextGen American striving to self-define success despite familial and cultural expectations.

Tickets are Pay What You Can and are purchased online or at the door. All proceeds from this event will go to support the artists and The Southern Theater.

About Good Night at The Southern

Good Night at The Southern is a monthly series that highlights new ideas, works in progress and previews. It is an opportunity for artists and companies to share their upcoming work, and for audiences to get a first glance into what’s coming up in the Twin Cities arts scene. 3-5 companies or artists are selected for a different Monday night each month with performance genres ranging from theater, dance, music, spoken word, comedy and more.

Monday
Sep022019

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates

WORK THIS PAST WEEK

5th Ave N

  • Began driveway placement
  • Began installing curb and gutter
  • Began installing light bases
  • Continued installing conduit for lights
  • Placed the second lift of asphalt from 4th St N to Washington

7th Ave N

  • Continue work on the north side of Washington

8th Ave N

  • Grading for walks and driveways
  • Continued sidewalk placement
  • Continued placing driveways
  • Continued work on the north side of Washington
  • Started placing parking bays

9th Ave N

  • Continued placing driveways
  • Continued placing sidewalks
  • Continued work on the north side of Washington

3rd St N

  • Finished amending poor soils between 8th and 10th Aves N
  • Finished grading and bringing in aggregate in preparation for paving
  • Placed the first lift of asphalt from 5th Ave N to 6th Ave N
  • Continuing the underground utility work
  • Began relocating power poles

WORK ANTICIPATED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK 

5th Ave N

  • Continue with driveway placement
  • East side sidewalk placement
  • Continue with light foundation installation
  • Remove globe lights on the east side of 5th Ave N

7th Ave N

  • Place the 3rd lift of asphalt either 7-30 or 8-4
  • Finish placing driveways
  • Continue work on the north side of Washington

8th Ave N

  • Finish placing sidewalks
  • Finish placing driveways
  • Continue work on the north side of Washington

9th Ave N

  • Continue placing driveways
  • Continue placing sidewalks
  • Continue work on the north side of Washington

3rd St N

  • Complete underground utility work
  • Placement of the first lift of asphalt is tentatively planned between 8-30 and 9-4
    • 6th Ave N to 7th Ave N Currently paving this
    • 7th Ave N to 10th Ave N -Hoping to finish this stretch today 8-30, if not will continue next week
  • Installation of curb and gutter will follow asphalt placement

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates

Crews will be coming back in September to finish up the job.

WORK THIS PAST WEEK

  • 1st St N & 4th Ave –Finished water work
  • 2nd St N and 3rd Ave N – Continuing sewer work

REMAINING WORK ON THIS PROJECT

1st St N

  • 2nd Ave SE corner
  • 4th Ave SE and NE corner

2nd St N

  • 1st Ave N - All corners
  • 2nd Ave N – NE, SE and SW
  • 3rd Ave N – All, currently the City is working in this intersection, pedestrian ramps will be done after the sewer work is complete
  • 5th Ave N – SE corner
  • 8th Ave N – South side and NE corner
  • 10th Ave N – SE and SW corners

4th St N

  • 10th Ave N – NE corner
  • 7th Ave N – South side

Other

  • All signal installation will start late in September due to long lead times on materials
  • Remaining concrete work will continue through September

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Miscellanious

Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Date/Time:   September 4, 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Location:    Corner Coffee 514 N 3rd St #102
.

Contact Information

Project Manager: Stephanie Malmberg, stephanie.malmberg@minneapolismn.gov, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector: John Benjamin, john.benjamin@minneapolismn.gov, 651-443-1096

Friday
Aug302019

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project Update

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Ave. reconstruction project, led by City of Minneapolis Public Works, will be reconstructed between 12th Street and Washington Avenue beginning Spring 2019.  The project will reconstruct the pavement from building face to building face, including improvements to public and private utility infrastructure, and improved infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and vehicles.
.
Latest Project News
 

Both Public and Private Utility construction continues throughout the corridor.  This work is continuing to be more and more as we go through the season. Traffic lane restrictions will continue on Hennepin Ave. as well as the cross-streets. The 9th Street intersection will be re-opened this week as the Sewer contractor completed the pipe crossing.  CenterPoint Energy has began some of their work north of 5th Street heading north toward Washtington Ave.  Centerpoint and Xcel will be working within the same lane closures on Hennepin.

What's Coming Up 

7th Street will remain reduced at Hennepin for the following weeks.  9th Street will have 2-lanes open this week. 10th street will be reduced significantly to cross street traffic starting 9/3.  Expect delays. 10th St will then be closed to cross traffic starting 9/7 through 9/14.

Xcel and Centerpoint continue their work on the north end of the project between 5th and Washington.  The City Sewer contractor continues work at 9th and progressing south, while Xcel is continuing their work at 7th St.  Xcel will continue to head south along the corridor to 12th.

Please see update attached for more details: Hennepin_Update_Vol11.pdf

For more information on this project contact: 

Construction Manager, hennepinCM@minneapolismn.gov or 612-225-4049

www.hennepindowntown.com 

Thursday
Aug292019

Mill District Resident Doug Verdier Continues to Capture the Water Works Project

Editors Note: Mill District resident Doug Verdier continues to document the progress of the Water Works project. Below are his photos from the August 28 press conference and groundbreaking ceremony.

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Far left is Commissioner Jono Cowgill of the Park Board, with Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation, Sean Sherman, founder of Sioux Chef is at podium, and Dana Thompson, Sioux Chef Co-owner/COO, on the far right.

Various groups of organization reps and sponsors took part in ceremonial groundbreaking with "golden shovels."

Attendees had an opportunity for a limited behind-the-scenes visit to the construction site. This photo is inside the former Columbia Flour Mill basement. 

Lineup of TV cameras on left in position during remarks. Park Board Superintendent Al Bangoura at podium.

Remnants of a railcar scale and pit uncovered during excavation of area on river side of the Columbia Flour Mill.

Thursday
Aug292019

Annual Minneapolis Monarch Festival - Festival de la Monarca - is September 7

Via an e-announcement form Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Join the celebration from 10am to 4pm at Lake Nokomis Regional Park. It's free to all!

Butterfly, music and art lovers from the Twin Cities and beyond come together on Saturday, September 7, from 10 am to 4 pm for the free Minneapolis Monarch Festival - Festival de la Monarca. 

Filled with music, art activities, games, food, plants that monarchs love and more, the day offers many fun ways for people of all ages to learn about these amazing pollinators and their role in the ecosystem.

The festival takes place at Lake Nokomis Regional Park, near the Nokomis Naturescape, a certified Monarch Waystation featuring native plants that monarchs need to lay eggs, host caterpillars and get nectar.

More Info

Festival Highlights:

  • Costume parade 
    The Chicks on Sticks stilt-walking and performance group leads this always-popular march. Children ages 0–12 are encouraged to dress up in monarch-themed costumes. Line-up is at 10:50 am and parade at 11am.

     

  • Monarch migration & monarch-friendly plants
    Get an up-close and personal encounter with these incredible creatures and learn about their 2,300-mile journey between Minnesota and the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico. Find out about and purchase native flora to create a habitat in your yard for butterflies and other pollinators, and discover other simple actions restore their populations.

  • Performances galore on an all-day stage 
    Performers include In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre's "The Way of the Monarch" in English and Spanish with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation; plus music and dance highlighting the Minnesota/Mexico connection: Mariachi Mi Tierra, Ballet Mexico Azteca, Marimba Bullies, the Aztec dance troupe Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue (“Precious Mother Earth”), Tropical Zone Orchestra, and Salsa del Soul.
  • Art activities 
    Get creative with Art in the Park with Mia; fold paper flowers with Karine Rupp; make prints with Sarah Nassif and Sol y Luna; paint giant monarch caterpillars with Heart of the Beast; create paper from plants with Paper Plains - or puppets with Lynette LaRue. And much more!

  • Great tastes 
    Minnesotan and Latin foods plus other eats and treats available for purchase from Taco Taxi, La Dulce Bakery, Habanero Tacos, La Loma Tamales, Naturally Delicious Ice Cream, Twin Cities Paella, Tibet Momo, Tequenice, 9Yum Yum ice cream treats, Taqueria Victor, La Guadalupana, Phil’s Mini Donuts, D & D Goodies, and Finer Meats & Treats.

  • ASL interpreters 
    Available upon request all day from the Info Booth.

  • Join us as a volunteer!

    The Festival offers many opportunities for a rewarding volunteer experience. For information please call 612 313-7781 or email volunteer4monarchs@gmail.com.

Wednesday
Aug282019

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Parks Foundation Commemorate Groundbreaking at Water Works

Via an August 28 e-announcement form Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Representatives from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Parks Foundation and The Sioux Chef gather for a ceremonial golden shovel toss to commemorate the beginning of construction on Water Works

Grand opening of Mill Ruins Park expansion and Water Works Park Pavilion anticipated in fall 2020

Restaurant run by The Sioux Chef anticipated in spring 2021

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) celebrated a milestone today when they commemorated groundbreaking on the expansion of Mill Ruins Park known widely by its project name, Water Works.

The occasion was marked by a “golden shovel” ceremony featuring MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura and Commissioner Jono Cowgill; the Parks Foundation’s Tom Evers, Executive Director, and Tom Paul, Board Chair; General Mills Foundation Executive Director Nicola Dixon; Bank of America Minneapolis Market President Katie Simpson; Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey; and Sean Sherman and Dana Thompson, co-owners of The Sioux Chef.

Construction on the highly anticipated park project began in late July and will continue through winter, with grand opening of the 2.8-acre park space and mill-embedded pavilion expected in fall 2020. The Sioux Chef’s restaurant, tentatively called Owamni: An Indigenous Kitchen, is expected to open in spring 2021.

Water Works/Mill Ruins Park expansion overlooks St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge; it’s located on Dakota homeland and has been sacred to both the Dakota and Anishinaabe people for millennia. It is a RiverFirst signature project that will bring visitor services and recreational and cultural amenities to one of Minnesota’s most highly visited destinations – the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, which attracts more than 3 million visits annually, a number that is expected to nearly double in the next decade.

The park and pavilion are designed to reveal layers of untold stories, in acknowledgement of the location as both the birthplace of the city’s milling history and a spiritual place that has shaped cultural and economic connections for Indigenous people and immigrants. The project will be completed in two phases, beginning with the Mezzanine phase, now under way.

An illustration depicting Water Works from above

Park, Pavilion, and Restaurant Details

The 7,800 sq. ft. two-story Water Works Park Pavilion will include a public lounge, multi-purpose room, The Sioux Chef’s restaurant, along with restrooms, and stairs and elevator to transition between the site’s two levels on First St. and West River Parkway.

On the park grounds, and adjacent to the pavilion, tree-sheltered city steps will provide a place for contemplation and programming, while a south plaza will be a gateway to the Central Riverfront. The wooded hillside on the north end of the site will retain its character and be enhanced with native vegetation, including plants with edible or medicinal value, and a direct trail link into downtown promoting access and circulation.

The Sioux Chef will conceive and manage both the four-season dine-in and take-out restaurant, as well as programming in the Water Works Park Pavilion and on the grounds. The Sioux Chef plans to create events and educational opportunities to elevate Indigenous voices as part of its larger mission to promote Native American cultures, honor plants and natural resources, and foster a vibrant Indigenous food movement.

The restaurant’s name is derived from Owamni Yamni, the Dakota name for what is called St. Anthony Falls in English; it means swirling or laughing waters.

Minneapolis park officials and local media take a tour of the mill ruins that will be incorporated into the Water Works Park Pavilion

Construction Update

Initial construction activity started in July with excavation around the buried Columbia Mill walls and rehabilitation of historic stonework masonry. Much of the initial work consisted of site excavation, grading, and utilities work. Next steps include an enhanced crossing on West River Parkway in the late fall, ongoing site work and utility installation, selective building demolition, and framing for the new building. Over the winter construction will continue inside the building.

Minneapolis-based Damon Farber Landscape Architects with HGA Architects and Engineers and a multidisciplinary team that also includes expertise in cultural resources, programming, and engineering led the design development of the project.

Following completion of this first phase, the project’s second phase addressing the area between West River Parkway and the Mississippi River is anticipated to begin in 2021.

Tuesday
Aug272019

A Letter from Mayor Frey on Neighborhoods and His Proposed 2020 Budget

Via an August 27 e-announcement from David Rubedor, Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations, City of Minneapolis:

2020 Budget Letter from Mayor Frey

On August 15, the mayor presented his proposed budget for 2020 at his yearly budget address. In his budget, he outlines a path forward for funding of the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department and neighborhood organizations.

I would like to share with you a letter from the mayor regarding his budget plan:


Dear neighborhood and community leaders:

On August 15, I shared my 2020 Budget priorities with the public and City Council. Our proposed 2020 budget includes funding for several tailored strategies for economic inclusion, affordable housing, and police-community relations.

Our budget proposal also includes an array of measures to protect the city’s financial security in the years ahead – a number of which will be relevant for those who work with our city’s neighborhood organizations.

The state-created consolidated Tax Increment Finance district – which has funded neighborhood associations and NCR for years – is set to expire in 2020. That would leave a big hole in the City’s budget of over 7 million dollars in 2021. It would have been easy to kick the can down the road. But I felt strongly that we could not leave our neighborhoods and an entire City department in limbo.

Instead, we have laid out a proactive plan to provide funding for this work and an opportunity for Council Members to make the best decisions for the future, freed from the looming question of whether any funding is available. In other words, we are ensuring that even with the elimination of TIF funding, NCR and neighborhood organizations are funded at current service levels from the general fund. With the issue of funding resolved in the short term, we can now shape both NCR and neighborhood funding in the best way possible for our city.

For further information on this funding change, please feel free to reach out to Jaime Makepeace on my staff, who can walk through any outstanding issues. You should also feel free to share your opinion and experience with your Council Member or at any of the upcoming budget hearings taking place through the end of the year.

Thank you for all you do for our city and diverse communities.

Yours truly,

Mayor Jacob Frey


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

David Rubedor

Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations
ADA Title II Coordinator

City of Minneapolis – Neighborhood and Community Relations
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425 105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Office: 612-673-3129
David.Rubedor@minneapolismn.gov
www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr