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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.


New Facilities for People Biking in Downtown Minneapolis

Excerpt from September 24 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

A few new resources to support people biking are being installed near the Hennepin County Government Center in Downtown Minneapolis.

Fixit station

This resource is located across the street from the Government Center at the 701 building near the intersection of 4th Avenue South and 7th Street South. Like other Fixit Stations around Hennepin County, it includes some basic bike tools to aid in simple repairs such as fixing a flat, tuning your derailleur, or checking your brakes.

View all Fixit Station locations

Bike parts vending machine

A new vending machine with spare bike parts and accessories will be installed this fall. One-on-One bike shop will supply items like spare inner tubes, rim tape, water bottles, bike lights and more.

New bike racks at Government Plaza LRT station

New bike racks were recently installed near the Government Plaza light rail station. The new racks make it even easier to combine transit and biking for a truly multimodal trip in downtown Minneapolis.

These new resources were made possible through a partnership between Hennepin County's Active Living team, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Minnesota Department of Health's Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.


Minnesota Tellabration 2018 - Story Artists Donate Day of Storytelling at Open Book, November 24

Tellabration!, an annual event promoted by The National Storytelling Network and hosted in over 300 venues around the world, will be celebrated in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, November 24, 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave S.

The day-long event, which is free to all, features a dozen panel discussions, classes, and workshops that explore a wide-range of topics about storytelling, narrative techniques in other disciplines (e.g. film, podcasts, poetry), and how to craft, promote, and refine stories for audiences and print. Topics include: Storycrafting, Creating and Hosting a Spoken Word Series (with five veteran hosts), Growing a Social Media Presence, and Smart Micro-Publishing That Makes the Effort Worth It.

There will also be a literature/merchandise table, games and stories to which guests can contribute, and, most importantly, a hosted open mike from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where all visitors are invited to tell a story, or a story about a story.

The event will conclude with an evening concert in the Target Performance Hall featuring the donated talents of Kevin Kling, Tom Cassidy, Erica Christ, Dorothy Cleveland, Loren Niemi, Laura Packer, Richard Rousseau, Sue Searing, and Jim Stowell.

Three of the region’s story organizations - Cheap Theatre, Northlands Storytelling Network, and Story Arts of Minnesota - combined efforts to produce this engaging showcase of spoken word expertise and talent as part of Tellabration!’s international reach.

For additional details visit All classes and the concert are free though donations are appreciated. Doors for the concert open at 6:30 p.m. 


Mill City Players - New Season, New Call for Community Support

Mill City Players Summer 2018 - Rehearsal

Article by Claudia Kittock

The Mill City Players will begin another session in mid-October. We are so very excited to begin rehearsing with this group of talented young actors. They bring their considerable talents, intelligence, and enthusiasm to this group and we are so very grateful to be able to do this work.

Our community has been incredibly generous in helping this group and we are, again, asking for your help. 

Friends of the Mill District makes sure each and every actor gets a meal during all rehearsals. In the past, we've asked community members to help us by preparing and bringing the meals. We again request your help to feed our actors, but this time we're asking for a different type of help: monetary. Ordering in food from a restaurant is the easiest and most consistent method of feeding the actors, but also costly (about $7,000 to cover every rehearsal for the duration of this session). 

If you are interested in helping build our "food fund", please:

• Send a check, made out to Friends of the Mill District, to: Claudia Kittock at 212 10th Avenue S, #102, Minneapolis, MN 55415; or


We are so grateful for your support and help. Feeding young people is an important part of the work we want to do, but we can only do this work because of you!

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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).



Out of the Box Opera - Opera for New Audiences

Article by Merle Minda

Out of the Box Opera Enters 3rd Year with Reboot of “Diva Cage Match 2.0”

First-Ever Season Planned for 2018-2019 

Out of the Box Opera enters its third year with a return of its wildly popular “Diva Cage Match 2.0”, to be held Saturday, October 20th at 7:00 PM at the Uppercut Boxing Gym, 1324 Quincy Street NE, in North East Minneapolis. Last year’s sell-out audience was treated to spectacular “Diva” performances by sopranos in full evening dress who climbed into the boxing ring to sing their hearts out.

“It’s hard for me to explain why you should see world-class opera singers strutting around a boxing ring competing to see who can hit the highest glass-shattering note. But trust me, this one’s worth it!” said former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

“Diva Cage Match exceeded my every expectation,” said singer, rapper and writer Dessa, a Diva Cage Match judge in 2017. “It was funny, stocked with impressive talent, and brilliantly staged.”

And “pure genius!” said renowned gospel singer J.D. Steele, who was also a judge in 2017.

As in last year’s performance, “Diva Cage Match 2.0” will feature six world-class sopranos competing against each other in a first-round sing-off, with the top finalists returning for a second round finale. Judges this year are American soprano Emily Pulley; Penumbra Theater veteran actor and singer T. Mychael Rambo and jazz singer Patty Peterson. Three singers will present the ‘home team’, locally-based divas, and three others come from various opera communities and companies around the nation. Pianist/accompanist is Lara Bolton. This year’s winner will be crowned by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. This production is co-sponsored by Ten Thousand Things Theater.

David Lefkowich, Founding Artistic Director of Out of the Box OperaArtistic Director for the company is David Lefkowich, well-known to Twin Cities’ audiences for his stellar productions at both the Minnesota Opera and six years of artistic leadership of Mill City Summer Opera. “We are delighted at the Twin Cities’ response to Out of the Box and even more pleased to announce that our Diva Cage Match will also be performed in cities around the country, including Pittsburgh, PA; Austin, TX, and Detroit, MI,” said Lefkowich. “Out of the Box will also present its “Opera/Jazz/Fusion” production in New York City on November 28, 2018.”

For this first full-year season, Out of the Box Opera will present “Opera & Gospel" on February 9, 2019 in cooperation with the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus. “Opera & Gospel” is co-conceived and directed by Artistic Director David Lefkowich and J. D. Steele.

And in May 2019, "Heroes and Villains" a site-specific theatrical experience featuring a pastiche of music and famous operatic characters will be presented at the Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis. This production will wind throughout all levels of the Pillsbury A Mill, ending up on the roof overlooking the Mississippi River. A spring date for this event is still to be announced. As usual for Out of the Box events, a full bar will add to the casual atmosphere and fun.

Tickets for Diva Cage Match 2.0 in the Twin Cities are available online. The Uppercut Boxing Gym is located at 1324 Quincy Street in North East Minneapolis with free onsite parking. Tickets are $35 and $65. Doors will open at 6:15 PM.

Scenes from last year's event:


Out of the Box Opera was founded in 2017 to explore opera in new and different ways, presenting opera concerts and pop-up performances in unique spaces with extraordinary talent.

David Lefkowich is Founding Artistic Director of Out of the Box Opera. David is well-known to Twin Cities audiences through his work with the Minnesota Opera and six years of artistic leadership of Mill City Summer Opera. David has also worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. David believes in presenting opera in new ways and notes, “Opera should be an experience and not an obligation.”

Noah Eisenberg is a Founding Producer of Out of the Box. Noah has been an active supporter of the performing arts, serving on the boards of Mill City Summer Opera, Weisman Art Museum, Children’s Theater and Illusion Theater. Jim Berman is also a Founding Producer of Out of the Box. Jim has been a life-long opera fan and formerly served on the New Projects Committee of Mill City Summer Opera.

Out of the Box will be presenting its opening performance of the 2018-2019 season with a return of “Diva Cage Match 2.0” on October 20, 2018 at the Upper Cut Boxing Gym, 1324 Quincy Street NE in North East Minneapolis. Performance at 7:00 PM; doors will open at 6:15 PM, onsite parking is free. This production is co-sponsored by Ten Thousand Things Theater. Out of the Box will also present “Opera & Gospel” on February 9, 2019 in cooperation with the Weismann Museum, University of Minnesota campus, co-created by David Lefkowich and well-known gospel singer J.D. Steele. A third performance scheduled for May 2019, date to be determined, titled “Heroes & Villains” will be presented at the Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis.

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About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


SteppingStone Theatre announces Fly Guy the Musical

The team at SteppingStone Theatre asked us to share information on their upcoming production of Fly Guy the Musical, which is ideal for kids aged 4-12.

Show description:

Discover Friendship! What's the best pet in the world? According to Buzz it's not a cat or a's Fly Guy, his pet fly! Join Buzz, his new friend Liz and their pet flies on a surprise field trip to...a flyswatter factory?! It's gonna take brains, bravery, and friendship to get through this crazy adventure!

Tickets are available thru Brown Paper Tickets.

Fly Guy by Austin Zumbro

Adapted from FLY GUY by Tedd Arnold

Originally Commissioned by Oregon Children’s Theatre, Inc., Stan Foote, Artistic Director, and Bay Area Children’s Theatre

Nina Meehan, Artistic Director 



The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul announces 6th Cine Latino Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival, Nov 8‐11

Via a September 20 Press Release from The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul:

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul announced today the forthcoming Cine Latino Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival, November 8-11, showing at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre Screen #3.

Returning for its sixth edition, this year’s Cine Latino selection highlights the tremendous cinematic energy and creativity offered by the ever bourgeoning Latin American, US Latino and Ibero American cinema nurtured by their vast diversity, unique histories and rich tradition of storytelling to bring urgent, reflective and highly entertaining stories.

Cine Latino 2018 will showcase some of the most acclaimed cinematic works currently on the festival circuit, including: Iranian Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi’s thrilling first Spanish feature EVERYBODY KNOWS (Todos lo saben) starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, and Ricardo Darín; four official Oscar® Entries to the 91st Academy Awards category for Best Foreign Language Film with BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Pájaros de verano, from Colombia by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra), CHAMPIONS (Campeones, from Spain by Javier Fesser), THE HEIRESSES (Las herederas, from Paraguay by Marcelo Martinessi), and RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME (Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades, from Panama by Abner Benaim); the most awarded 2018 Goya winner GIANT by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño; and, an intimate look at student life at the US/Mexico border in the moving documentary HOME + AWAY by Matt Ogens.

“It is exciting to witness a new generation of talented filmmakers join established directors to defy stereotypes, look across age, gender, and an array of socially diverse characters and subjects to explore a wellspring of untold stories.”  said Hebe Tabachnik, who returns as Cine Latino Artistic Director for a third year. “Including the powerful cinema from Central America which are seeing brilliant films emerge this year like RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME from Panama and MIRIAM LIES from Dominican Republic.”

Other highlights include a Nextwave screening of ¡VIVA KID FLICKS!, a collection of Mexican animated, family-friendly shorts in collaboration with the New York International Children’s Film Festival. “Nextwave is the Film Society’s youth programming initiative,” said Susan Smoluchowski, Film Society Executive Director, “Our youngest audience members will view films by some of the most talented and inspiring Mexican artists in this whimsical and endearing program.”

Strengthened by a record-breaking number of film productions, timeless in its treasuring of traditions and celebration of diversity, Latin American and Iberian cinema traveled farther across the world garnering critical acclaim, media attention, and winning the most coveted awards.

Cine Latino 2018 will feature some of these gems and offer the unique opportunity to meet the creative force behind these provocative stories.Together with a variety of engaging film-related events: workshops, panels and parties, with great food and music, Cine Latino is back to surprise, thrill and entertain us all.

All-Access Passes, 3-Packs, and 6-Packs are now on sale on Additional Cine Latino titles, the full schedule, guests, events and more will be announced in mid-October. Artistic Director Hebe Tabachnik is available for interviews in English and Spanish.

Cine Latino is presented by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, Minnesota’s leading non-profit exhibitor of international independent cinema. Our mission is to foster a knowledgeable and vibrant appreciation of the art of film from around the globe and its power to inform and transform individuals and communities.

2018 Cine Latino Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival Lineup (alphabetical):

Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) The origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. Colombia’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Black Hole (Agujero Negro) The life of 30-year-old Víctor takes an unexpected turn when his girlfriend Marcela announces her pregnancy. Instead of taking responsibility and assuming his role as a soon-to-be-father, Víctor spirals into a second adolescence when he meets Valentina, the bright but defiant 16-year-old girl who lives next door.

Champions (Campeones) Acted by a crew of intellectually disabled actors that will steal your heart, writer/director Javier Fesser’s Champions is not just Spain’s newest box office smash, but a rollicking and unforgettable reminder that none of us is truly “normal.” Spain’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) Laura and her children travel from Buenos Aires to the village where she was born, on a Spanish vineyard, to attend her sister’s wedding, but unexpected events lead this gathering toward a crisis that exposes the family’s hidden past. Starring Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Ricardo Darín.

Giant (Handia) Home from war, Basque farmer Martin discovers his brother Joaquin has grown to an enormous size, driving the ambitious elder brother to exploit his brother’s condition and into a reckoning with his own soul in this unforgettable new film from the creators of Spanish Academy Award submission Loreak. Winner of 10 Goya Awards.

The Heiresses (Las Herederas) A daughter of Paraguay’s fading aristocracy who’s on the cusp of financial ruin, introvert Chela finds work as an ad hoc chauffer, leading to an encounter with earthy, sexually adventurous Angy-and an unexpected late-in-life coming of age-in this sly and funny debut feature from writer/director Marcelo Martinessi. Paraguay’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Home + Away Following the search for the American dream on the extreme edge of the nation, Home + Away explores the lives of student athletes at El Paso’s Bowie High School, with dreams inspired by family, fueled by sports, and deeply complicated by the US/Mexican border – the fault-line between two worlds.

The Last Suit (El último traje) Facing the waning years of a rich life, cantankerous Abraham finds himself ditching his Buenos Aires-based family and en route to Europe in order to payoff a secret debt, encountering a colorful band of cohorts and fellow wanderers, as well as discovering the man he truly is, in this lively and touching new film from Pablo Solarz.

Miriam Lies (Miriam Miente) A quiet middle class world of good intentions begins to crumble when fourteen-year-old Miriam meets her internet boyfriend. While her family and friends prepare for her a traditional fifteen birthday party, Miriam doesn’t know how to explain that her boyfriend is black.

Ruben Blades Is Not My Name (Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades) An energizing and intimate look at the life and legacy of musician/actor/politician Ruben Blades as he begins a new chapter in his life, reflects on his triumphs, failures and surprises-and a fearless love of others that has fueled a legendary career. Panama’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

¡Viva Kid Flicks! The Film Society is partnering with the New York International Children’s Film Festival to offer a new Spanish-language program of animated, documentary, and live action films full of warmth, wit, and the cultural richness of our friends and neighbors to the south: Mexico. Drawn from NYICFF’s annual Friends and Neighbors program spotlighting a different country every year, this lineup is co-curated with Mexico’s Morelia International Film Festival. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles or no dialogue, perfect for Spanish learners, speakers, and all seekers of fun, artistic, and enriching cultural experiences, ages 7+. Titles will be announced on


New Exhibition at Minnesota Center for Book Arts Explores the Storytelling Power of Quilts

Quilt Not Quilt by Tari "TJ" Goerlitz 

Via a September e-newsletter from Minnesota Center for Book Arts:

Quilt, Not Quilt: The Afterlife is a new exhibition at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA), on view from October 12th ­­­- December 2nd in the Open Book Cowles Literary Commons. This exhibition features artwork that repurposes old, tattered quilts into new forms while still preserving the quilts’ heritage, craftsmanship, and legacy. The opening reception for Quilt, Not Quilt will take place on Wednesday, October 17 from 6-8pm. The reception includes an artist talk and poetry reading from 7-8pm in the Target Performance Hall on the second floor of Open Book, as well as a meet and greet with the artists and poets. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Twelve participating artists created paper, poetry, broadsides, and other works from quilts, drawing inspiration from the textiles themselves as well as from the stories they tell. The artists explored the political, economic, and social contexts surrounding the creation of the quilts, making connections between the makers’ history and their work. The artwork created for the exhibition touches on themes of craftsmanship and labor, scarcity and wealth, and stories both recalled and forgotten.

Quilt, Not Quilt showcases artists from the MCBA community and beyond. Participating artists include Zoë Bird, Katy Collier, Tari “TJ” Goerlitz, Georgia A. Greeley, Darius Homayounpour, Karen Kinoshita, Dana LeMoine, Rosa Maria de la Cueva Peterson, Jerry McClelland, Cathy Ryan, Patty Wheeler Andrews, and Morgan Grayce Willow. Each artist transformed their chosen quilt in unexpected and thought-provoking ways, and the resulting exhibition both honors the practice of quilting and expands established notions about what it means to craft and make art.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit


Water Works Update: Open House Scheduled for September 27 at the Mill City Museum 

An artist's rendering of the "City Steps" section of Water Works

Attend Water Works Open House September 27, 6-8 pm at Mill City Museum

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Minneapolis Parks Foundation invite the public to view and comment on the design progress of Water Works at an open house scheduled Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, 6-8 pm at Mill City Museum, 704 South 2nd Sreet

The project team will present the updated design of the riverfront park project, take questions and provide project updates. Open House attendees are invited to review project materials, ask questions and provide comments that will be considered in the final stage of design evolution before construction begins in 2019. Light refreshments will be provided.


Mpls Downtown Improvement District Announces 2018 Greening & Public Realm Award Winners

Via a September 18 News Release:

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) announced today its 9th annual Greening & Public Realm Award winners, a group that included four first-time winners among the 12 categories decided by an interactive public vote.

The Greening Awards aim to showcase greening efforts by organizations and companies that help beautify the downtown area through enhancing our urban landscape. This summer’s voting turnout was the largest in Greening Awards history, nearly doubling the 2017 voting numbers.

This year’s first-time award winners [full list below] in this year’s categories are the Colonial Warehouse Alleyway (Small Activated Space), Fulton Taproom (Streetscape Greening), Nicollet (Streetscape Green Infrastructure) and the Nicollet Lanterns by Blessing Hancock (Public Art).

Westminster Presbyterian Church, which last won a greening award in 2012, won two awards this year, claiming top spot in the Small Green Space and Public Realm Improvement categories.

Loring Greenway won a Greening Award for a record ninth straight year—winning Best Large Green Space. The Local won its seventh Greening Award (Best Façade Greening), Brit’s Pub won its sixth (Best Outdoor Café), Loring Park won its fourth straight Best Neighborhood award—by one vote over Downtown East, and The Commons won a Greening Award (Best Large Activated Space) for the third straight year since opening in 2016.

“The emphasis on quality public realm spaces we’re seeing from downtown businesses, organizations and individuals is extraordinary,” Mpls Downtown Improvement District President & CEO Steve Cramer said. “Congratulations to this year’s DID Greening & Public Realm Award winners, and thank you for being shining examples of how added greening helps enhance the vibrancy of everyone’s overall downtown experience.”

Winners will receive a commemorative Greening Award created by Wood from the Hood, a Minneapolis-based company that reclaims discarded trees from urban neighborhoods and creates high-quality wood products. Each award will display the year the award was issued. Winning locations also received a Greening Awards winning logo placed on site.

The Mpls DID accepted public nominations for green spaces throughout August, and finalists were announced on August 28. Voting for finalists remained open through September 14.

The finalists, nominated by the public, were selected by members of the Mpls DID staff based on criteria including overall year-over-year enhancements as well as continued excellence in adding vibrancy to the public realm.

This year’s results include the following winners:

Small Activated Space
• Colonial Warehouse Alleyway* - 41.56%
• Kieran’s Irish Pub – 35.44%
• 100 Washington – 23.00%

Small Green Space
• Westminster Presbyterian Church – 42.01%
• Hennepin Healthcare Pocket Park* - 37.07%
• Target Plaza, South Entry – 20.92%

Large Activated Space
• The Commons – 54.19%
• Nicollet* - 30.23%
• Hennepin County Government Center North & South Plazas – 15.58%

Large Green Space
• Loring Greenway – 56.25%
• Cancer Survivors Park – 29.38%
• Triangle Park – 14.37%

Façade Greening
• The Local – 45.31%
• Lenox Brownstones* - 32.61%
• Mills Fleet Farm Parking Garage – 22.09%

Public Art
• Nicollet Lanterns by Blessing Hancock* - 36.64%
• Carry On Homes by Peng Wu, Zoe Cinel, Shunjie Yong, Preston Drum and Aki Shibata* - 34.96%
• Prairie Tree by Ned Kahn* - 16.03%
• 5th & Hennepin Mini Mural* - 12.37%

Outdoor Café
• Brit’s Pub – 46.82%
• Haskell’s Wine Bar* - 22.24%
• Eastside* - 18.60%
• The News Room* - 12.34%

Streetscape Greening
• Fulton Taproom – 51.43%
• Millwright – 26.71%
• Kraus Anderson Development* - 21.86%

Streetscape Green Infrastructure
• Nicollet* – 57.52%
• Minneapolis Convention Center – 27.15%
• Washington Avenue S* - 15.33%

Entryway Greening
• Aloft Minneapolis - 54.97%
• HQ Apartments* - 28.47%
• Mpls DID Pop-up Satellite Office* - 16.57%

Public Realm Improvement
• Westminster Presbyterian Church – 22.04%
• Hennepin Healthcare Pocket Park – 19.51%
• Nicollet Redesign – 14.72%
• Kraus Anderson Development – 10.04%
• Colonial Warehouse Alleyway – 9.76%
• Carry On Homes by Peng Wu, Zoe Cinel, Shunjie Yong, Preston Drum and Aki Shibata* - 7.77%
• Haskell’s Wine Bar – 6.32%
• Washington Ave S Redesign – 5.33%
• Nicollet Lanterns by Blessing Hancock – 2.08%
• The News Room – 1.63%

Best Neighborhood
• Loring Park – 35.63%
• Downtown East – 35.53%
• North Loop – 12.91%
• Elliot Park – 11.31%
• Downtown West – 4.62%

*New Nominee in this category

For more information, visit or log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram searching @MplsDID.


Call for Public Artists for Samatar Crossing

The City of Minneapolis is seeking up to (three) 3 artists to collaborate on the design of public artwork for Samatar Crossing. Artists of any discipline - including spoken word, poetry, graphic design, and visual arts - are invited to apply. 

Samatar Crossing is named in honor of Hussein Samatar, a former Minneapolis School Board member who was the first Somali-American elected to public office in Minneapolis. The crossing is symbolic of Hussein Samatar’s life and values. Samatar spent his life making connections between immigrant communities – especially the Somali community – and the mainstream. The bridge serves as a reminder of his work – as a reconnection between downtown and the West Bank.

Pop-Up Resource CenterOctober 2, 3-6 p.m.Mixed Blood Theatre1501 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Springboard for the Arts staff will be onsite to help artists prepare applications, document artworks (video and photography), and answer any questions artists have about preparing applications for the call.

Amount: $10-12,000 for participation in the design process for the project. There is approximately $120,000 in additional funding for the fabrication and installation of art.
Deadline: All potential applicants must submit their Intent to Apply no later than 4 p.m.October 9. Early submission is recommended.

Find the Call for Artists on the City of Minneapolis website.


Absentee Voting for 2018 Election Begins September 21

Vote early September 21 – November 5

All eligible voters in Hennepin County can vote absentee — either in person or by mail — beginning Friday, September 21.

Vote early in person

In-person absentee voting will be available September 21 through November 5 at city halls across Hennepin County and at the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis at 217 S 3rd Street. Each city location can accommodate voters who live in that particular city.

Voters who live anywhere in Hennepin County can in-person absentee vote at the Hennepin County Government Center — 300 S 6th Street, Minneapolis — skyway level. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Learn more about absentee voting in person

View a sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s website.

Vote early by mail

Voters must fill out an application online or on paper to receive a ballot. Paper applications are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khmer and Amharic.

Voters do not need to be registered to vote to apply to vote absentee. To make the process easier, you may want to register or ensure you are registered before applying for an absentee ballot.

Ballots will be mailed to voters within one to two days of receiving the application. 

Completed ballots must be received on or before Election Day, November 6. Voters can return ballots by mail or in person.

Learn more about absentee voting by mail.


The Elliot Park Hotel to Open September 20

Via a September 17 e-newsletter from East Town Business Partnership:

The Elliot Park Hotel, a new 168-unit luxury hotel at 5th Avenue at 9th Street in downtown Minneapolis, will open on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Set to become a distinct downtown destination, the completion of the eight-story hotel is the final component of a comprehensive, mixed-use block development that also features Kraus-Anderson’s new home office, a 17-story HQ residential tower and Finnegan’s microbrewery.

Built by Kraus-Anderson (KA) and developed by Wilkinson Corporation, the upscale hotel is a member of the Marriott Autograph Collection®, featuring a unique design, inherent craft and a direct connection to the community.  Hotel amenities include a fireside lounge, event space, meeting rooms and a fitness center.  Coury Hospitality will operate the hotel.

The Elliot Park Hotel also introduces Tavola, a farm-to-table Italian restaurant designed to be inviting to both locals and hotel guests as a gathering place.  Tavola will feature pizzas, pastas and steaks, and a wide variety of wines and craft cocktails.

Hotel valet service and the highly visible restaurant both have dedicated entrances off 5th Avenue.

Designed by ESG Architects, the hotel is created to fit into the fabric of the existing historic Elliot Park neighborhood.  The property is a key part of a full block urban redevelopment that builds on the City of Minneapolis’ East Town vision to transform Portland Avenue and Fifth Avenue into widened vibrant, pedestrian oriented streetscapes, connecting Elliot Park to the new Commons Park and the Mill District.

“It’s been extraordinarily rewarding to see the vision of our hotel and the entire KA Block become reality,” said Mike Harral, vice president of development for Wilkinson. “This development has been a huge success for Wilkinson, thanks in large part to the long list of partners that have been involved with the design and construction. We are very excited to join the Marriott Autograph Collection and to begin operations on September 20th.”

A Grand Opening celebration is planned for October 3, 2018.

Renderings and Animation of the hotel’s exterior, lobby and Tavola bar.


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

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


Nicollet Island could mean so much more for Minneapolis
Ile de la Cite is one of the most beloved places in the world. Notre Dame, Pont Neuf, romantic, lantern-lit bridges and storied riverside streets -- this island sitting in the Seine is home to pretty much everything that makes Paris… well, Paris.

Minneapolis could have its own Ile de la Cite. We have the perfect spot. As Devin Hogan, a parks enthusiast and previous candidate for Minneapolis Parks Board, pointed out in a tweet: Paris’ crown jewel is about the same size as Nicollet Island, which punctuates the Mississippi between the North Loop and St. Anthony Main.

Can you give up your car for one day? Minneapolis hopes you can
On Friday, Minneapolis is hoping some of its 160,000 downtown workers find a new route to work. A way that doesn’t involve one person in one car, white-knuckling through miles of gridlock and construction detours, then fighting for a parking spot.

Downtown Minneapolis exhibit turns The Commons park into refugee experience
Doctors Without Borders exhibit aims to raise awareness of growing crisis.

How Hell's Kitchen recovered from a near-death experience
Seeing profits evaporate, co-owner Cynthia Gerdes asked nine staffers for ideas to cut costs at the restaurant. Their plan saved its life.

New images unveiled for Hennepin Av. apartment tower
New renderings now show what an apartment tower on the corner of Hennepin and Washington avenues in downtown Minneapolis could look like.

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The Week Ahead in Mill City


September 16 Parkway Closures for Minneapolis Bike Tour 

The annual Minneapolis Bike Tour is Sunday, September 16, and the following roads will be closed approximately 7am-1pm (but each section of road will open as the last biker rides through):

Grand Rounds - West River Parkway – Nokomis Parkway – Minnehaha Parkway – Lake Harriet Parkway – Lake Calhoun Parkway –Cedar Lake Parkway – Theodore Wirth Parkway – Webber-Victory Memorial Parkway – St Anthony Parkway – William Berry Parkway.

More Info


The Calhoun Beach Club

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

The 1920’s was one of Minneapolis’ most successful decades. Buildings for business and residential use were popping up left and right as the city’s population went from roughly 380,000 to 464,000, which sounds an awful lot like this city in the 2010’s.  Minneapolis was, and is, a bustling city. With people working long work days and tending to their families, the need to unwind and relax also grew. Social and athletic clubs were being established to cater to these needs, such as the Minneapolis Club, the Minneapolis Athletic Club, and the Minikahda Club. However, these clubs were very exclusive and were mainly for the city’s elite. Well what about those who couldn’t afford those high membership fees? This is were the Calhoun Beach Club comes in.

The future site of the Calhoun Beach Club as it appeared in 1926. 

Harry Goldie, a former featherweight boxing champion and boxing instructor at the University of Minnesota, operated a boxing camp on the site of the soon-to-be Club in 1916. Throughout the years he would acquire more parcels of land around his camp, and in 1923 he had the idea to build the Calhoun Beach Club, an apartment hotel with space for an athletic club. During the next few years, Goldie would welcome more business partners, such as Earle Buell, an editor at the Minneapolis Star, and they would look for buyers for their club’s membership. To get the ball rolling, they gave honorary memberships to Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, and French tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen. Soon after in June of 1927, a groundbreaking ceremony for their eight-story building took place. The cornerstone was laid in 1928, with the inscription "Dedicated to Healthful Recreation, A. D. 1928.” Construction continued for over a year until the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression halted any more work on the building.

The beach and Beach Club, 1940. 

The building in 1944.

Harry Goldie would have to wait for WWII to come to a finish, and seventeen years later, in 1946, his Calhoun Beach Club & Apartments would officially open. His dream of having a social and recreational club that was affordable for the growing minority and working-class populations of Minneapolis came to fruition.  The club lasted nearly a decade, but the financial burden was too much, and the building was transitioned to a hotel. During this time, the Calhoun Beach Club hosted many proms, parties, banquets, and wedding receptions. WTCN, now known as KARE, also had their radio and TV studios on the second and third floors of the building complex. These studios saw popular shows taped there, such as Lunch with Casey and Verne Gagne’s AWA All Star Wrestling.

In 1976, the building was sold to Robert Mecoy and Gary Benson, who hired Arvid Elness, Architects, Inc. to transform the building back into its original intended purpose as an athletic club. The swimming pool reopened, the radio and TV studios were renovated back into a gymnasium, the handball and squash courts were restored, and an outdoor tennis court, saunas, and a jogging track were also added. A couple decades later, Mecoy and Benson constructed a twelve-story apartment building adjacent to the Club in 1997, and soon after, the original Calhoun Beach Club began a restoration process and was converted back into apartments.

For almost 70 years, the Calhoun Beach Club has not only added to the beauty of the Grand Rounds and chain of lakes, but it also has served as a focal point for recreational and social events for thousands of Minneapolitans. From weddings to wrestling, the Calhoun Beach Club has seen it all.

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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 a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 5+ years.

He can be reached at


September 21 Fundraiser for The Dignity Center - Celebrate Triumph Over Adversity

Article by Claudia Kittock

I wrote the following article about The Dignity Center over a year ago, but asked Mill City Times to re-run it to spotlight this amazing group yet again, and to let people know about their September 21 fundraiser. This will be an incredible event for an organization that does such important work.

The Dignity Center - Working with People to Achieve and Maintain Stability

Located on the grounds of the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, the The Dignity Center is housed in a beautiful old mansion. Built in the 1930s and eventually donated to the church, the Center is open 3 mornings a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 – 11:30 AM. The front door remains locked, so that everyone who comes there is greeted by name and welcomed.

Mary Martin, the Director of Outreach, greeted me at the door and introduced herself. She is a dynamic and enthusiastic advocate for the work done here. The mission is to assist people to reach the goals they have in their lives by providing structure, support, and resources. It is free and open to all, but the requirement is for the people who come here to do the work. It is a unique relationship-focused program, and when people reach their goals they are welcome to volunteer at the Center.

When people enter the Center, they meet with an advocate to assess the nature of the problem and assist in setting steps needed to resolve that problem. The responsibilities of each client include:

  • Making and keeping appointments
  • Taking part in programs to help succeed
  • Following action plan and documenting progress
  • Staying clean and sober

The Dignity Center works with people to achieve and maintain stability. They work together on skills such as problem solving, decision making, organization and budgeting. Progress is measured as improved housing, improved financial situation, completed education and training, obtained employment, and supportive community.

In pursuit of its mission to support each person’s stabilization, the Center is a host site for the Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) brief legal services clinic. The on-site legal clinic allows clients to address their legal issues side-by-side with other issues creating instability in their lives. The VLN clinic is generally open on the same schedule as the Dignity Center.

At the VLN clinic, clients meet face-to-face with an attorney for approximately 30 minutes free of charge. The attorney will answer questions and/or refer people to other places for help. Clients will not receive any ongoing representation or ongoing services by the attorney. Any action taken after this meeting with the attorney is the client’s responsibility.

Attorneys can provide brief services, such as: writing a letter, making a phone call, obtaining specific information from a third party, drafting pleadings or a portion of pleadings, assisting in service of process, and providing written information regarding your legal issue and the next steps to take. Once again, any action taken after the meeting is the client’s responsibility unless a specific agreement has been crafted with the attorney in writing.

If you are interested in supporting the vital mission of this group, here are some ways to get involved:

1)     Learn more at

2)     Volunteer at

3)     Participate in their annual fundraiser at Westminster Presbyterian Church on September 21, 7-9 pm. JD Steele is the featured performer. The theme of the evening is “I’ve Come Up from Down” and is an event that you don’t want to miss.

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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).



ARTCRANK's 2018 Minneapolis Show Set to Take Place Saturday, October 13 at IDS Center Crystal Court

Via a News Release from the mpls downtown council:

ARTCRANK’s 2018 Minneapolis show will take place on Saturday, October 13 at the IDS Center Crystal Court. Staging a show in one of the most iconic buildings in Minneapolis is a far cry from the show’s DIY bike shop roots, but one thing remains the same: Affordable, bike-inspired poster art created by local artists.

This year’s edition of ARTCRANK features new bike-inspired posters created by more than 40 artists from around the Twin Cities. The artist roster is a near 50/50 split between first-time participants and returning artists, including perennial favorites Adam Turman, Amy Jo, Ellen Schofield, and Allan Peters.

“I fell in love with bicycling and ARTCRANK at the show in 2012,” said first-time ARTCRANK artist Andria Chinander. “Now, six years later, I’m honored to celebrate both as an artist.”

Given ARTCRANK’s history of showcasing top-notch talent and helping local artists make a name for themselves on what’s become an international stage, even longtime contributors feel the pressure to bring their best.

“ARTCRANK is the most exciting and stressful project I have all year,” said Todd Zerger, who’s done poster for shows dating back to 2012. But I love the energy: The pages of sketches. The crossed eyes at midnight trying to resolve details on the computer. All the ideas I throw away because they don’t quite rise to the occasion. The stress of trying to come up with something special that’s never been done before.”

For the fourth consecutive year, ARTCRANK is teaming up with Fulton Brewing to provide adult refreshments and benefit a local nonprofit organization. A portion of proceeds from beer sales will benefit the Minnesota Cycling Federation and its programs that introduce kids to the sport of cycling, let them try out racing for the first time, and learn how to ride like pros.

ARTCRANK is also partnering with IDS Center — which is donating the space for the event — and the mpls downtown council to create a showcase of all the ways that cycling is transforming the downtown neighborhood, from commuting to shopping to sightseeing. Show attendees will be encouraged to take advantage of the revamped Nicollet and arrive by bike, with free valet bike parking near IDS Center’s Nicollet entrance provided by the Cultural Wellness Center's My Bike Project, another longtime ARTCRANK partner.

“We’re thrilled that ARTCRANK will be returning to its roots here in downtown Minneapolis,” said Leah Wong, mpls downtown council vice president of external relations. “We have an incredible bike and art culture in Minneapolis, and we can’t wait to welcome ARTCRANK’s followers here to gather in our city’s core and celebrate the creativity within our community.”

ARTCRANK Show Details

When:  Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 4:00pm – 10:00pm

Where: IDS Center, 80 S 8th Street (Show will be held in the first-floor space at the corner of 8th Street and Marquette Ave., just off the Crystal Court.)              

What + Why:

  • Partnership between ARTCRANK, Fulton Brewing and mpls downtown council
  • Original limited edition prints by 40+ local artists – all sold for $50
  • Selection of craft beer by Fulton Brewing – $5-$8 per glass
  • Portion of proceeds from beer sales benefit Minnesota Cycling Federation
  • Free valet bike parking by My Bike Project

More info:


ARTCRANK® is a poster show about bicycles. We make art as accessible as bikes are, and use creativity to change the way people think about cycling. Since 2007, ARTCRANK has introduced hundreds of thousands of people to handmade, affordable bike posters created by independent artists, holding live pop-up bike art shows in cities across the U.S., as well as in London and Paris. Bicycling Magazine called us "Cycling's Coolest Art Show," and named ARTCRANK founder Charles Youel one of its "Cyclists Who Are Changing The World."

About the mpls downtown council:

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the mpls downtown council (mdc) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The mdc’s collaborative developments of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals.


Explore Downtown Living is scheduled for September 22

Explore Downtown Living on September 22 offers new property tours, look at downtown Minneapolis residential life

Explore Downtown Living is a FREE event that lets you tour Downtown Minneapolis and all it has to offer at your own pace. On September 22, visit 20 residential communities and see their roof decks, residential units, party rooms, fitness centers & more up close—all while learning about their surrounding neighborhoods and getting a sense of what the community has to offer.

This September, 365 Nicollet—a new property located at 4th and Nicollet—joins the tour and is available for viewing.

Sign up for Explore Downtown Living at, and use an online interactive map to help you navigate around downtown. View the full list of participating properties on the interactive map:

Through five previous event weekends, Explore Downtown Living showcased approximately 19,000 unit tours. During September’s event, you can get there (and around downtown) for FREE courtesy of Metro Transit’s Free Ride Pass. Print the pass at and ride free on September 22 from 9 am-6 pm.

Explore Downtown Living is produced by the mpls downtown council’s Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan’s Development Committee in partnership with Target, VON91, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the Mpls Downtown Improvement District. It’s goal is to help the 2025 plan’s efforts to double the downtown population by the year 2025.

September 2018 properties:
222 Hennepin Apartment Homes365 Nicollet4MarqChurchill ApartmentsEast End MPLSEDITION, Eitel Apartments, Encore MPLSJunction FlatsLaurel VillageLoring Park ApartmentsLPM ApartmentsMill & Main ApartmentsThe Nic On Fifth110 Grant ApartmentsThe PaxonVÉLO ApartmentsVue Apartments

September 2018 partner offers for September 22 (visit for more info 
AC Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown - BOGO cocktails at AC Lounge
Cooks of Crocus Hill - 15% off purchase
Kisa Boutique - 20% off purchase
Pacifier - 20% off 1 regular item - North Loop store only
Rosenthal Interiors - Free design consultation
CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar - Free app w/ $30 purchase
Gluek's Restaurant and Bar - Extended happy hour deals 2-6 pm 
Haskell's Wine & Spirits - BOGO glass of wine
Inbound BrewCo - 1st 50 to visit Junction Flats can receive free beer token to use in Inbound BrewCo taproom next door
Key's at the Foshay - Free app w/ 2 beverage order, Happy Hour at 3 & trivia at 7
Kieran's Irish Pub - BOGO pint 
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company - BOGO pint of beer
The Local - BOGO pint
Mercury Dining Room and Rail - $5 off $25 purchase
Nordstrom Rack - September is 25% Off Red Tag Clearance items throughout our whole store from October 5-8 
Pizza Lucé - BOGO Brunch 10 am-2 pm 
Pryes Brewing Company - BOGO taproom beverage
Sawatdee Thai Restaurant - Free appetizer with entree purchase
Union Rooftop - Free appetizer w/ $30 purchase
Jeromeo Wellness Center & Shoppe - BOGO one hour massage
Metro Transit - Free rides with printed pass from www.exploredtliving.comfrom 8 am-7 pm on September 22


Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge Repairs Update

Boom Island-Nicollet Island repairs September 2018

Significant material delays push project completion back to early November

Recent work on the Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge rehabilitation project includes sandblasting and repainting of the bridge substructure, with deck installation scheduled to begin next week. 

Unfortunately, significant material delivery delays and construction staging challenges have pushed back expected project completion to early November. All efforts are being made to reopen the bridge as soon as possible. 

Please continue to follow the posted pedestrian and bike detours and stay out of the construction area. The Mississippi River East Channel below the bridge is closed to all boat traffic until the bridge reopens, so the Paddle Share kayak return station has been relocated to the Boom Island Boat Launch.

Project page