Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven

Joan Bennett

Doug Verdier

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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.


Iranian architect Leila Araghian opens Next Generation of Parks™ Series, September 9

Minneapolis Parks Foundation debuts 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series on Friday, September 9, 7pm, at Northrop Auditorium

Internationally acclaimed architect Leila Araghian will talk about the award-winning Tabiat “Nature” Bridge with event host Marianne Combs

Minnesota Public Radio presents the 2016-2017 season, which also explores the themes of re-creation, water and play through the insights of plannerMaurice Cox, designer Mark Johnson and parenting expert Janet Lansbury

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation proudly announces the 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series, presented by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) Leila Araghian, co-founder of Diba Tensile Architecture in Tehran, Iran, and acclaimed architect of Tehran’s transformational Tabiat “Nature” pedestrian bridge, opens the season on Friday, September 9, with a7pm talk in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. MPR Arts Reporter Marianne Combs will host the evening, which begins with Araghian’s short presentation, followed by a deeper conversation with audience questions. The event is free and pre-registration via Eventbriteis encouraged due to strong interest in the speaker. The evening will close with a brief opening night reception with cash bar immediately after the talk.

Araghian’s talk is the first of four planned events in the 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. Additional speakers include Maurice Cox, Planning Director for the City of Detroit, Mark Johnson, co-founder of Civitas, Inc., and Janet Lansbury, author of Elevating Childcare: A Guide to Respectful Parenting.

“This year’s speakers bring Twin Cities audiences distinct experiences and points-of-view, yet share the same passion for people and place that imbues all of our work at the Parks Foundation,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director. “From the physical forms of the famed nature bridge of Tehran to the rebirth of Detroit, and important values like universal access to water and healthy outdoor play, these lectures help us aspire to create common ground through innovative parks and programming that meet the needs of this generation and generations to come.”

The Parks Foundation created the Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series in 2010 to jumpstart the conversation around parks design and city-building. Through the Parks Foundation’s always-free Lecture Series events, global design innovators and local thought-leaders showcase the most exciting new parks destinations and delve into important issues of place affecting our community today.

“Partnering with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helps strengthen our focus on topics we care about, including Minnesota’s fresh water resources, youth and education, mental health and culture,” says Nancy Cassutt, Executive Director of News and Programming at MPR. “We’re happy to be part of this year’s series.”

2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Speakers

Leila Araghian holds a BA in architecture from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, and two Masters degrees from Anhalt University in Germany and the University of British Columbia, Canada, where she won the UBC architecture alumni Henry Elder prize. In 2011, Araghian served as technical assistant at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. Araghian has given numerous lectures internationally, including at Anhalt University, American University of Dubai, University of Toronto, 5x15 talks in London, and University of Oklahoma.

Joining Araghian for the 2016-2017 Lecture Series are three additional acclaimed speakers:

RE-CREATION: December 2, 2016

Maurice Cox, City of Detroit

Maurice Cox, newly appointed Planning Director for the City of Detroit is an urban designer, architectural educator and former mayor of the City of Charlottesville, VA. Cox’s talk will address the role of parks in the rebirth of Detroit, including how public space design affects community health. His experience merging architecture, politics and design education led to his being named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company. In 2013, Cox was named one of the Most Admired Design Educators in America in the annual ranking of Design Intelligence. Cox has taught at Tulane University, Syracuse University, the University of Virginia and Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He also served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010 where he led numerous national initiatives and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the U.S.

WATER: March 9, 2017 – Co-produced with the Walker Art Center

Mark Johnson, Civitas, Inc.
Mark Johnson is co-founder and principal of Civitas, a Denver-based landscape design and urban planning firm that has made waves throughout the United States with their work on urban waterfronts. He is a recognized thought-leader in the design of urban parks and public spaces and the reuse of brownfield and industrial sites. He led the urban design for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and, in the Twin Cities, recently completed the Lake Effect Signature Project plan in Wayzata, Minn.

PLAY: May 2017

Janet Lansbury, Parenting Expert

Janet Lansbury is a parenting expert whose respectful parenting advice is quoted and shared by millions of readers worldwide. Inspired by the pioneering parenting philosophy of her friend and mentor, Magda Gerber, Janet encourages parents and childcare professionals to initiate and direct independent play for extended periods. In addition to Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting, she’s also authored No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. Lansbury’s town hall-style conversation will be the centerpiece of an outdoor all-ages daytime event featuring innovative ways to bring families and communities together through play.

Thank You to our 2016-2017 Partners & Sponsors

The 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series is presented by Minnesota Public Radio and produced in partnership with the Walker Art Center and University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture, with additional support from the Cynthia Froid Group. The Park Foundation is grateful for their support. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please email Janette Law, Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit that brings visionary leadership, philanthropic investment and private sector expertise to support innovation and equity throughout the Minneapolis park system. It co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and 26th Ave N to Ole Olson projects. MPF supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects through equity funding and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. Become a Member at


Mississippi National River and Recreation Area – Our Local Treasure

Story and Photos By Susan Schaefer

A rainbow frames the author’s bird’s eye of the Central Mississippi Riverfront adjacent to the University of Minnesota

National Parks Turn 100 and Mississippi Central Riverfront is Part of the Celebration  

My real estate sits in a national park! No, I’m not isolated in some inaccessible Montana or Colorado back county requiring a four-wheeler or snowshoes.

My personal strip of riverfront is an official section of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, affectionately known as MNRRA (pronounced minnra), established in 1988. It’s the only national park dedicated exclusively to the Mississippi River, protecting a 72-mile, 54,000-acre corridor from the Minnesota cities of Dayton and Ramsey to just downstream at Hastings. Best of all, it includes the Central Riverfront with its abundance of nationally significant natural, historical, recreational, cultural, scenic, scientific, and economic resources.

Just last week, August 25, 2016, marked the National Park Service’s BIG 100th birthday, so I wanted to offer a pictorial tour to celebrate our national treasure located smack dab here in the Mill City area.

Every day from my perch 23 stories above the river, I marvel at this riparian splendor set in an urban location rich with history and magic. The river and riverfront evoke reverent reflection as I witness the ever-changing climate and seasons. Life here is a perpetual blessing.

And when observing from my Eagle’s Roost isn’t enough, just outside the door of my aptly named Riverview Tower, it’s easy to walk or ride for miles in either direction with this ancient rolling wonder as a watery companion.

Fog enveloping the river produces a primordial atmosphere

Ancient, Long and Rich: This Once was the Ordovician Sea!

Old Man River is fittingly named. The Mississippi River has spent at least 12,000 years carving out its trajectory. But those numbers pale in compassion to its greater geologic provenance – 450 million years ago our slice of the riverside was a part of expansive beaches of an Ordovician sea from the Paleozoic Era that covered the mid-west. Under great magnification, the sandstone cliffs that line the riverbanks along our stretch reveal lithified remains – fossils of wondrous primeval creatures and microscopic grains that have been washed clean and made perfectly round from millions of years of tidal action.

Not only ancient, our mesmerizing waterway is one of the world’s major river systems in size, habitat diversity and biological productivity. Ranking as the third longest river in North America, it flows approximately 2,350 miles from its source at Lake Itasca through the center of the continental United States to the Gulf of Mexico.

Compared to other world rivers, the Mississippi-Missouri River combination ranks fourth in length at 3,710 miles, following the 4,160 mile-long Nile, the Amazon at 4,000 miles, and the 3,964 mile-long Yangtze River.

This Park is entirely free and easily accessible

Please, come along with me for mini-tour of a short stretch of our National Park.

Running adjacent to the softball fields at the northern end of the University of Minnesota’s West Bank, just across from the Mondale Law School, 20th Avenue South joins S.1st in a steep and winding decline towards the river depositing you at the juncture of West River Road and Bohemian Flats with its bustling River Boat and canoe launch area.

The reconstructed arches of the I35 Bridge gleam on a crisp winter’s day

Heading north and up a slight incline you’ll pass under Bridge #9, then the 10th Avenue and the I35W Bridges, which sit atop of one of the now idle river lock and dams. If you veer slightly off the main path, a short trek down a little used winding footpath takes you directly under the infamous I35 Bridge, which collapsed in 2007, to the riverbank.

The “I35W Bridge Remembrance Garden” features 13 pillars in memory of each person who died in the 2007 bridge collapse and a wall inscribed: "Our lives are not only defined by what happens, but by how we act in the face of it, not only by what life brings us, but by what we bring to life. Selfless actions and compassion create enduring community out of tragic events"

A short distance from the new bridge is the memorial dedicated to the victims of the 2007 collapse of the I35W Bridge that shook Minnesota and the world. A glistening granite wall is etched with the names of the 171 survivors. The wall backs 13 towering I-beams each inscribed with the name of one of the deceased that stretch 81 feet – a symbolic tribute to the date 8/1.

The 53-meter long Guthrie Theater cantilevered bridge is a unique architectural feature providing stunning views of the Mill City, St. Anthony Falls and St. Anthony Main on the opposite bank

Continuing along the trail you’ll soon pass the architecturally unique Guthrie Theater, which is free and open to the public providing stunning views the surrounding area, not to mention excellent performances from three world-class stages.

Magical views from inside the Guthrie are all part of our urban river park

Once you’ve viewed the river from the Guthrie, it’s worthwhile to take a short jaunt below grade at the Stone Arch Bridge where another magical scene awaits you.

Beneath the curving Stone Arch Bridge lies a grotto-kingdom of former industrial ruins

For the end of this tour you’re invited to come back above to stroll across the Stone Arch Bridge.

Naturally, St. Anthony Falls is the huge attraction, but for those who seek a less known view, keep to the north side of the bridge just past the falls and look down for a storybook ending to this tour.

Looking down to the banks at northeastern edge of the Stone Arch Bridge is a scene reminiscent of a Japanese woodcut

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little tour. The wonders continue in every direction, but by now you’ve earned a respite, so check out the numerous cafés, restaurants and bars that truly set this National Park apart. If you like, please share it with your friends. We love visitors!

Susan Schaefer can be reached at

Update From Friends of the Mill District

zAmya Returns to the Guthrie

The zAmya Theater Project is a unique creative process that brings together homeless and housed individuals to create and perform a theatrical production. zAmya turns “homeless” from a word back into a person. Or persons. Living, breathing, laughing, singing persons. Who act — yes, act — in entertaining, genre-defying productions that are guaranteed to change your mind, if not your life.

zAmya will be performing Home Street Homelessness: Minneapolis, at the Guthrie for two weekends in September. There are tickets available for September 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, and 25. Tickets can be purchased through the Guthrie box office and are $9.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see a terrific play, participate in a discussion after the play, and learn a great deal about people for whom homelessness has been a part of their lives. Grab some friends and neighbors for an evening you won’t soon forget.

Mill City Emanuel Singers

The Mill City Emanuel Singers, sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District are about to being another season.  Everyone is invited to come and sing.  Rehearsals are open to all and directed by the talented musician JD Steele, and the accompanist, Fred Steele.

J.D. Steele exploded onto the Minnesota music scene in the mid 1980’s along with Prince, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Soul Asylum and The Steeles, putting Minnesota on the National music map forever. Mr. Steele began his career singing and arranging jingles for local and national spots including Kodak, Target, and other national brands. Since arriving on the Minnesota music scene, Mr. Steele and his dynamic vocal siblings, “The Steeles”, have garnered every major music award and accolade the state has had to offer. J.D. and the family began touring the international hit show “Gospel at Colonus” with Morgan Freeman around the world before finally landing on Broadway in 1988 for a successful nine-month run.

J.D. has also developed a choral group of 200 kids at an orphanage in Nairobi Kenya. The group, Shangilia, made its debut in Nairobi in January of 2005. Mr. Steele has made numerous trips to east Africa. where he has also performed with the choir at the Zanzibar International Film Festival J.D. has taught and developed music workshop curricula across the country with K – 12 students as well as university music programs including students for Berkeley School of Music in Boston, MA, and San Francisco.Top of Form

Rehearsals for the Mill City Emanuel Singers begin on September 10 and will continue every Saturday through October 15, from 2-3:30 p.m. Most rehearsals will be at MacPhail for the first 6 weeks of rehearsal, but an announcement will be made about the site of each rehearsal.  The second group of rehearsals will again be on Saturday afternoons from 2-3:30, November 12-December 17.  All of these rehearsals will be held at the Guthrie.  The last session of rehearsals for this season will be on April 8-May 27. There are several performances that are in the planning stages. All will be announced as soon as the plans have solidified.   

Do you enjoy singing?  Are you looking for a community project?  I dare each of you to attend 1 rehearsal. You will be hooked!  For more information, please contact Claudia Kittock at

The Last Yoga in the Park

The wonderfully successful summer yoga in the park program has one more session on September 3rd at 9 a.m. in Gold Medal Park.  Over 160 people have participated.  Remember, it is free, it is fun, and it is a wonderful opportunity to practice yoga in this gorgeous setting.  You will remember this when it is -20 degrees!  Grab a mat and a friend and join us for the last session of 2016.


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods


Pohlads buy $6.3M Mill District condo; deal's likely a record-breaker
Minnesota Twins co-owner Bob Pohlad and his wife, Becky, have purchased a $6.3 million condo overlooking St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis.

Crime threatens the health of the downtown Minneapolis Warehouse District
Members of the Warehouse District Business Association (WDBA) recently told the Star Tribune Editorial Board that increased criminal activity is frightening customers and potential customers and making it harder to recruit and retain workers.

Post-defeat, Kahn looks back on 44 years in the Legislature: 'I just saw problems around me that needed fixing'
Phyllis Kahn doesn’t act like someone who just suffered a major defeat. Sipping iced chai Friday afternoon on the patio of the Aster Cafe, overlooking the Mississippi River in her Minneapolis House district, Kahn casually mentions the 22-mile bike ride she did earlier in the day with the “Hot Flashes,” a group of women riders who also work in public policy.

Mayor Hodges pitches $10.5 million overhaul of Minneapolis Convention Center plaza
It's the fourth-largest infrastructure item in Hodges' budget proposal, which was released last week and must be approved by the City Council.

Vikings setting up bar, music, kid games outside U.S. Bank Stadium
A music garden and a kids' play area join the centerpiece 800-person Longhouse bar.

U.S. Bank Stadium doors and Vikings Voyage open as game day gets closer
First they lifted ever-so-slightly up. Then came the beeping. And for the next five minutes, the five glass doors on U.S. Bank Stadium's western wall swung slowly open.

Minneapolis, Hennepin County seek volunteers to count cyclists and walkers
The annual counts are scheduled for Sept. 13-15 and are conducted from 4-6 p.m. at each count location. The two-hour counts are then extrapolated to provide an estimate of daily foot and bike traffic.

Cool Offices: Inside the new Wells Fargo twin towers (Photos)
Employees of the San Francisco-based bank enjoy environmentally friendly technology like energy-saving elevators and escalators and "daylight harvesting" light systems that dim or grow brighter based on how much natural light is flowing in.

Is everybody happy? At Eastside, the answer is "yes."
Current chef Nick Dugan — who opened the downtown restaurant as chef de cuisine to executive chef Remy Pettus, then took over the kitchen in February — is moving on to work for Gavin Kaysen at Spoon and Stable. And guess what? Everyone says they’re happy.

Minneapolis surpasses $1 billion in building permits — again, but faster
It is the fastest the city has ever hit the $1 billion threshold and it marks the fifth straight year.


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, August 29

Tuesday, August 30

Wednesday, August 31

Thursday, September 1

Friday, September 2

Saturday, September 3

Sunday, September 4 


Scenes from the August 27 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27 was Gluten Free Day at the Market, spotlighting options from Sift Gluten Free Bakery, Bliss Gourmet Foods, Sunrise Creative GourmetSunrise Flour Mill and Dumpling & Strand, along with a gluten-free recipe for the Mill City Cooks demo.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Dumpling & Strand uses blue labels for their gluten-free pasta packages.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Below, Nick Nelson from the Wedge Community Co-op's catering department prepares a Toasted Millet Salad.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Jeez, again with the rain?  :p

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Tickets are still available for the September 11 Harvest Social.  The special guest this year is local storyteller extraordinaire - the one and only Kevin Kling!

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Joe Tamburino manned the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) booth. The DMNA sponsors the music at the Market.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

If you haven't tried the cheese from Cosmic Wheel Creamery - you're missing out on a little slice of heaven on earth.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Pumpkin sighting!

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Slow Money Minnesota was the August 27 Community Booth. Started last year, Slow Money Minnesota is an emerging network that increases the flow of knowledge and capital in support of local food makers and farming.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Mystery item:

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Melissa Driscoll of Seven Songs Organic Farm weighs some ginger for me - the first of the season.

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Is it an alien? Why no, it's a potato from Seed to Seed Farm!

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Matt and crew from Wild Run Salmon are back!

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the Goat!

August 27, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market


Bicyclist and Pedestrian Counts 2016 - Volunteers Needed 

Volunteer for Bicyclist & Pedestrian Counts – September 13-15, 2016 

Minneapolis Public Works is gearing up to conduct its 10th annual Bicyclist and Pedestrian Count, and you can help! Volunteers are needed to count the number of bicyclists and pedestrians at many locations around the city. The main days for counting will be September 13-15. All count shifts are from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Public Works is also teaming up with Hennepin County this year, offering new counting locations outside of Minneapolis in first-ring suburbs. More information on this is available when you sign up.

Minneapolis and Hennepin County conduct bicyclist and pedestrian counts in order to understand the impact of non-motorized traffic on streets, sidewalks, and trails. Accurate counts allow us to plan and build for bicyclists and pedestrians, while tracking what’s successful and what should be done differently.

If you’re interested in volunteering for any of these counts, register online or contact Kurt Wayne at or 612-673-5011.


Vote Today (thru Sept 7) For Your Favorite Downtown Green Spaces In The 2016 MDID Greening & Public Realm Awards

MINNEAPOLIS (August 25, 2016) — The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (MDID) will again recognize the top green spaces in Downtown Minneapolis during the 7th annual Greening & Public Realm Awards, and its asking the general public to help out.

The Greening Awards, an MDID initiative since 2010, celebrate outstanding examples of greening and placemaking that improve public space in Downtown Minneapolis. Winners will be selected by public vote at The vote will be open Aug. 25 through Sept. 7.

This year, 37 unique finalists were selected through an interactive public nomination process were divided into 12 categories based on the project’s characteristics and size. Among the finalists selected were 15 unique new nominees—a continued sign of the growing diversity of greening in the downtown area—as well as 15 past winners. Five of last year’s 12 winners are nominated again this year, including six-time winner Loring Greenway and five-time winner Target Plaza South Entry.

“Enhanced greening continues to be an important goal in downtown Minneapolis, as it accentuates the vibrancy of our city,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District. “Each year, the Greening Awards helps raise awareness about the importance of greening and allows us to celebrate those who add greening to our community.”

The MDID Greening Awards aims to eclipse last year’s record participation of 1,312 votes, more than 400 more than the previous record.

This year’s vote also includes a new category that focuses on added art to our downtown public realm. Nominees for the Public Art category include the Eduardo Kobra and Greg Gossel murals, art added to Gold Medal Park from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (currently being renovated) and the new Medtronic Plaza Viking horn sculpture outside U.S. Bank Stadium.

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.

The MDID Greening Awards are intended to inspire all to work toward making downtown greener and more vibrant. The MDID’s mission through the Greening Awards is to encourage all downtown businesses and organizations to participate in the greening effort.

The public is encouraged to vote by visiting and clicking on the interactive vote link. Each category will showcase the finalists along with a photo of each location for easy viewing and identification. This year’s 12 categories include the following finalists:

Small Green Space Activation

  • Parklet at 13th & Hennepin (Espresso Royale & Salon Rouge) *
  • Living Room Station*
  • The Living Bus Shelter*
  • The Loon Street Café*

Small Green Space

  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Federal Courthouse Plaza
  • Target Plaza South Entry

Large Green Space Activation

  • Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza
  • Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza
  • Target Field Station

Large Green Space

  • Loring Greenway
  • The Commons*
  • Triangle Park

Façade Greening

  • 4Marq Apartments*
  • JB Hudson
  • Kenosha Building
  • MSFA Parking Ramp*

Public Art

  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Mural by Eduardo Kobra*
  • Greg Gossel Mural*
  • Gold Medal Park
  • The Horn (Medtronic Plaza Sculpture)*

Outdoor Café

  • 8th Street Grill
  • Bachelor Farmer*
  • Mason’s Restaurant Barre
  • The Local

Streetscape Greening

  • Central Lutheran Church
  • Target Plaza Commons
  • The Carlyle

Streetscape Green Infrastructure

  • 1st Street North Streetscape Improvements
  • Boulevard Gardens at 4th & Hennepin*
  • Wells Fargo Towers*

Entryway Greening

  • City Hall
  • Lindsay Lofts*
  • Textile Building*

Public Realm Improvement

  • 4Marq Apartments Façade Greening*
  • Bachelor Farmer Outdoor Café*
  • Boulevard Gardens at 4th & Hennepin*
  • Greg Gossel Mural*
  • MSFA Parking Ramp*
  • The Commons*
  • The Horn (Medtronic Plaza Sculpture)*
  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Mural by Eduardo Kobra*
  • Wells Fargo Towers Streetscapes*

Best Neighborhood

  • Elliot Park
  • Loring Park
  • Mill District
  • North Loop

* New Nominee in this category

The public is encouraged to not only vote on a winner for each category but to also celebrate greening on social media year-round. Send your greening photos to @MinneapolisDID on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreenAwardsMpls.

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

About the Downtown Improvement District:

Founded in early 2009, after more than five years of formative planning and advocacy by the downtown business community, the Minneapolis DID delivers higher levels of service to make downtown cleaner, greener, safer and more vibrant throughout a 120-block area, as is the case with most Business Improvement Districts. For more information, visit


Guthrie Theater Open House, Saturday, August 27




Come on over for a day jam-packed with exploration, discovery and play. No reservations required.

Here's what's on tap:
• Take a peek backstage and into our workshops on a self-guided tour.
• Curl up in our storytelling corner to hear a tale told by a Guthrie artist.
• Let your imagination run wild at our mask-making station.
• Tap into your talent in a mini-class for teens and adults.
• Be wowed by theatrical magic on our signature thrust stage.
• Snap a selfie using real Guthrie costume pieces and props.

With the Mill City Farmers Market open until 1 p.m., consider making a day of it and grabbing a bite to eat while you visit. For more information, call the Box Office at 612.377.2224.

ASL interpreters and audio describers will available through Access Services.


New Residential Properties Highlighted In Upcoming Explore Downtown Living Event on Saturday, Sept 17

MINNEAPOLIS (August 23, 2016) — New properties will again be added to the next Explore Downtown Living event, which will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Downtown Minneapolis.
Explore Downtown Living, a product of the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan Development Committee, is a free event that offers the public a chance to see 30 residential properties without solicitation throughout the Central Business District, East Town Mill District/Downtown East, Loring Park, North Loop and Northeast.

Next month’s Explore Downtown Living will feature several exciting new residential properties here in downtown, including 700 Central, Encore and Nolo Flats—as well as Edition, which just opened up its final of three buildings lining The Commons in East Town Mill District/Downtown East.

Over the span of five days since its inaugural event in May 2015, Explore Downtown Living has attracted 3,000 guests and offered more than 11,600 residential unit tours in the downtown area. Those interested in participating can sign up free of charge at

“Downtown’s residential growth is as thriving as ever, and as we strive to reach 70,000 residents as part of The 2025 Plan we know showcasing the benefits of living in the downtown area is crucial,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District. “Thanks to the Explore Downtown Living committee and leadership, more people are getting a chance to see first-hand what life could be like for them in the heart of our city.”

Those participating in Explore Downtown Living can enjoy free parking options at designated locations, and they can find their destinations through an interactive map on To begin, participants sign up on the website and receive their Field Guide at the first property they visit or at any Whole Foods during the week leading up to Saturday, September 17.

With their Field Guide in hand, participants can tour 30 properties at their leisure while also enjoying approximately more than two dozen promotions and giveaways from local downtown businesses.

“Part of the downtown living experience is the walkability to unique and exclusive dining options, shops and entertainment venues,” said Jennifer Gordon and Brent Webb, co-chairs of the 2025 Plan Development Committee’s Explore Downtown Living taskforce. “Explore Downtown Living invites you to not only see your potential future home, but also explore and get comfortable with the surrounding neighborhood in an inviting way.”

Along with the 2025 Plan’s goal to double the residential population, it also includes initiatives that complement achieving that objective including improved greening and public realm, creating a consistently compelling downtown experience and becoming a national leader in transportation options, among others.

All of those initiatives play into creating a downtown with inviting neighborhoods for all ages. As a result, downtown’s population has grown by 25.2 percent since 2006.

Residential communities being showcased at September’s Explore Downtown Living include:

4Marq | 222 Hennepin | 700 Central (Sales Center)* | Bolero Flats* | Brunsfield North Loop | Churchill | District 600* | Dock Street Flats | Edition* | Eitel Building* | Encore* | Junction Flats | LaSalle | Latitude 45 | Laurel Village | Loring Park Apartments | LPM Apartments | Marquette Place* | The Metro Apartments* | Mill & Main | Mill City Quarter (Sales Center)* | The Nic on Fifth | Nolo Flats* | One Ten Grant* | The Paxon | Red 20 | Soltva | Third North | VELO | Vue
*= New 2016 Residential Community

Also, enjoy specials from the following local businesses through Explore Downtown Living:

Alchemy | AlwaysMod | Bizzie Twin Cities | Corner Coffee | Crave | Dunn Bros. Coffee Loring Park | Eggy’s Diner | Hell’s Kitchen | Isles Bakery | JB Hudson | Jungle Red Salon Spa | Kieran’s Irish Pub | Ling & Louie’s | The Local | The Loop | Lowry Hill Meats | Martin Patrick 3 | Minnesota Orchestra | Pizza Luce | Red Cow | Rock Bottom Brewery | Stadium Bar & Grill | Taj Salon and Spa | Union | Yoga Fit

The Explore Downtown Living event is produced by the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Downtown 2025 Plan Development Committee in partnership with Target, VON91, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and JB Hudson.

For news and updates on the event, follow the @MplsDowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #ExploreDTLiving, #1MillionReasons and #2025Plan.

About the Minneapolis Downtown Council:

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the Minneapolis 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. For more information, please visit

About the 2025 Plan:

The Downtown 2025 Plan is a vehicle to help leaders and citizens build on Downtown’s assets and guide Downtown Minneapolis’ development. This includes initiatives to double downtown’s residential population, transform Nicollet Mall into a must-see destination, create a compelling and walkable environment around the clock, lead the nation in transportation options, end street homelessness, forge connections with the University of Minnesota and more. For more information on the 2025 Plan and its initiatives, visit, and The 2025 Plan is a Minneapolis Downtown Council initiative established in 2010. 


MPRB Fall Park Highlights Guide Now Available

FPH Cover

Via an August 23 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Fall into fun in Minneapolis parks!

Stay busy and active this fall with the help of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's (MPRB) latest Park Highlights brochure.
The publication features a sampling of MPRB activities, programs and events, fall foliage viewing locations, upcoming park improvements and long-term projects underway, registration dates for upcoming sports leagues, volunteer opportunities, and everything else the parks have to offer between September and December.
You can find the brochures at MPRB buildings (including recreation centers), Minneapolis libraries, coffee shops near parks and other Minneapolis locations. The brochure is also available on our website at for online viewing and downloading.

FPH Blocks


Entrepreneur Expo: Essentials for Small Business Growth - Sept. 22 at the Central Library

Entrepreneur Expo: Essentials for Small Business Growth

Small business owners at all stages of development are invited to learn from experts in the field about what it really takes to start and grow a thriving business.

Through workshops, exhibitors, and a panel of experts, event participants will gather skills and insights about starting and expanding their businesses.

The event kicks off with “Startup Success Stories: Twin Cities Entrepreneurs Tell All,” a panel of local, successful small business owners representing a wide range of industries, including health care, construction, art, and restaurants. Star Tribune business reporter and columnist Neal St. Anthony will moderate.

Workshops on marketing, finance, business operations, and entrepreneurship for artists will be presented by Twin Cities Media Alliance, WomenVenture, University of St. Thomas Small Business Development Center, and Springboard for the Arts. 

Nonprofit and government business development exhibitors will be on hand to share resources and answer questions about planning, licensing, and funding. 

The expo is sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library in collaboration with African Economic Development Solutions, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Northside Economic Opportunity Network, U.S. Small Business Administration, University of St. Thomas Small Business Development Center, and WomenVenture.

Register for this free event at or call 612-543-8000.

Hennepin County libraries offer business and employment programs throughout the year to help residents build skills and explore possibilities. Additional resources are available at


Construction Underway on Washington Avenue

Via an August 22 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

The next phase of reconstruction began last week on Washington Avenue (County Road 152) between Hennepin Avenue and Fifth Avenue South in Minneapolis. Prior to this, utility crews had been doing relocation work in the area.

Crews started by removing existing concrete. As the top layer of road is removed, workers will begin replacing storm sewer pipes underneath the roadway. Additional utility crews will also be relocating telecommunications, gas and electric utilities in the project area.

If you are driving or biking around the area, keep in mind that:

 - Access to local residences and businesses is being maintained.
 - Westbound lanes on Washington Avenue are closed for the rest of the construction season as work progresses (see detour information below).
 - Eastbound lanes will remain open, but traffic is now reduced to two lanes.
 - Except for some short-term partial closures, cross streets remain open to through traffic crossing Washington.
If you are walking around the area, keep in mind that:
 - The sidewalk along the north side of Washington Avenue is now closed between Hennepin Avenue and Third Avenue South. Pedestrians should use the sidewalk on the south side. 
 - There are no north to south sidewalk connections at Nicollet Mall.


As a reminder, the detour for motorists and bicyclists follows Portland Avenue, Third Street South, Hennepin Avenue and then returns to Washington Avenue. This detour will be in place until the end of this year's construction activity, which is expected to be mid-November. There is no detour for eastbound Washington Avenue.

Pedestrians should use the sidewalk on the south side of Washington Avenue. 

* * Meet with project staff * *

You are invited to an informal meeting with project staff:

Tuesday, August 30, 4:30pm to 6:00pm at Dunn Bros Freight House, 201 Third Avenue South

Project staff will be upstairs and ready to take your questions about the project.

If you can't make it to the meeting, we plan to host another meeting early in September. And, you can always contact the project at

Short-term partial closure at Marquette Avenue South begins this weekp

Starting early Wednesday, August 24, crews will be working in the northeast corner of the intersection of Washington and Marquette avenues. They will be installing light conduit and constructing the road base. 

As a result, motorists traveling northbound on Marquette Avenue South will be detoured onto Washington Avenue, Third Avenue South and First Street. The closure is expected to last one week. 

Pedestrians should use the crosswalk on the west side of the intersection. And, buses using the southbound lanes should be unaffected.




August 25: Mississippi River Visitor Center Grand Reopening

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Celebrates Centennial with New Visitor Center

Joining a national effort to connect with the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area has remodeled its visitor center just in time for the National Park Service centennial. Located in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the new visitor center will provide gateway experiences to the Mississippi River and other national parks across the country. The grand reopening will take place on Founders’ Day, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, with an early-morning sneak preview for press and members of Mississippi Park Connection.

“Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is excited about this project,” said Superintendent John Anfinson.  “The new exhibits will provide an interactive and fun way to learn about the Mississippi River in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area.” The new exhibits will introduce people to a national park experience without leaving the Twin Cities.

Mississippi Park Connection, the park’s nonprofit partner, has co-led the project and raised funds for the new exhibits. Katie Nyberg, executive director of Mississippi Park Connection, noted that “The new exhibits will give people unique experiences like seeing inside a bald eagle’s nest. All the exhibits will be interactive, hands on and fun.”

The project has garnered $630,000 of support from local and national sources, including the National Park Service Centennial Challenge, National Park Foundation, 3M, the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, and the Prairie Island Indian Community.

Who:    Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Mississippi Park Connection

What:   Mississippi River Visitor Center Grand Reopening

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55102

When:  August 25, 2016 – 8:00-9:30 am Remarks will begin at 8:30.

Scheduled speakers include Representative Betty McCollum, St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert, Superintendent John Anfinson, and Mississippi Park Connection Executive Director Katie Nyberg

About the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

The national park’s 72-mile boundary stretches along the Mississippi River from Dayton/Ramsey, through Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to just south of Hastings. It includes a range of cultural, economic and natural resources — from historic sites like Fort Snelling to unique features including the river’s only major waterfall, to public parks and wildlife refuges. In addition to protecting the river’s nationally significant resources and providing access points for recreation, the park offers a range of volunteer and educational activities, including ranger-led canoe, fishing, biking and hiking programs, and school programs.

About Mississippi Park Connection

Mississippi Park Connection is the official charitable partner of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The connection supports programs that educate, encourage recreation, revitalize our community, and restore our natural spaces. Mississippi Park Connection  also provides capacity for the park to enhance and expand programs that serve the general public, including outdoor activities, cell phone tours, web programs, and volunteer experiences.

About the National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 412 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube


YouthLink’s Springboard Fund – How $1K Can Change a Life

Story by Claudia Kittock

I met James in a conference room at YouthLink on a warm August afternoon. He had agreed to talk with me about YouthLink, his experience with homelessness, the Springboard Fund, and the impact all of it has had on his life. A soft spoken, shy man in his early 20s, James shared a compelling story of his life thus far.

InterviewClaudia and James

James was homeless for almost 6 years.  During that time he was arrested several times, most of the charges for loitering. As he explained, “When you are on the street you build walls around you to protect you from everything out there.” Finding work was difficult, but James is now working three jobs. He has moved from living on the street to living in an apartment, and is working on completing a college degree. One of his jobs is as an outreach worker for YouthLink. James walks the same streets where he once lived and talks with young people he meets. He shares his story and offers hope and help.

James finished his GED before he got to YouthLink. He attended college but found getting to class difficult.  His advisors suggested that he withdraw because of his poor attendance, but didn’t explain that he would still owe the college money. James found himself in debt and unable to re-enroll until the debt was satisfied. His case worker suggested he apply to the Springboard Fund for help.

The Springboard Fund requires a plan for both self-sufficiency, life goals, and a ‘how to get there’ series of steps. James said making those goals and plan weren’t the hardest part. Believing he could actually move past this debt and have a different life seemed impossible.  Remember the walls James said needed to be built around himself to stay safe? Now he says, “When someone does something nice or gives you hope, it breaks off a piece of that wall. The Springboard Fund should be called the Hope Fund!”

The money he received from the fund was used to pay off his debt to the college. Once that debt was satisfied, James enrolled in another college. He is currently attending class and successfully completing his course work.

The average 20-year-old who visited YouthLink in 2011 will impose an excess taxpayer burden of over $248,000 and an excess social burden of $613,000 over the course of her life if she remains disconnected from education and employment pathways. When these figures are applied to all youth who visited YouthLink in 2011, the lifetime excess costs would be more than $360 million to taxpayers and an excess lifetime social burden of more than $889 million. There would be $62.1 million dollars in savings to the taxpayers if just 1 in 5 YouthLink clients become self-sufficient, productive adults.

How did James find the help he needed to change his life? People at YouthLink believed in him. People at YouthLink gave him hope. They showed him what he was capable of and helped him make a plan to continue his journey. YouthLink helped him apply to the Springboard Fund, or as James would like it called, the Hope Fund.


The Springboard Fund is one of the ways to help and provide support for clients who are ready to transition from YouthLink to self-sufficiency, but still have unmet needs that are holding them back. The fund will provide up to $1000 per client and is available based on need or a particular barrier. Support is paid directly to the vendor, and may include things such as application fees for advanced training, housing deposits, transportation passes, basic professional wardrobe, etc. 

This fund changes lives. It gives hope and provides a ‘spring’ for youth ready to make that final move into self-sufficiency.  Donations can be mailed to YouthLink, Attn: Fund Development Office at 41 N 12th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403, or online at Please write in the designation: Springboard Fund. You can make a huge difference in the life of a young person who needs that one act of kindness.

You can reach Claudia at 


New Animated Film Tells the Heartbreaking Story of Minneapolis’ Lost Gateway

Excerpt from MinnPost:

John Akre’s new film, Demolition Dreaming, is dedicated to his mother, Katherine, who, as he puts it, “took me on a tour of the Metropolitan Building before I was born.” For those unfamiliar with it, the Metropolitan Building is largely recognized as the biggest loss for Minneapolis preservationists, a gorgeous 1890s Richardsonian Romanesque office tower torn down in the early 1960s as part of the city’s massive “Gateway” urban renewal project.

Akre’s new film, set to debut at this weekend’s Square Lake Music and Film Festival, tells a story of the lost Gateway neighborhood, a personal narrative that imagines the old city in a way that deeply humanizes the lost city. Of the many stories and remembrances of the old Gateway, Akre’s rough film stands out for its poignant beauty.

Read the full article on MinnPost…


Scenes from the August 20 Mill City Farmers Market

Well, Mother Nature did not cooperate for World Honey Bee Day at the August 20 Market. I rolled in at 8a sharp and managed to get the shopping done, but to avoid getting my purchases and camera soaked, I didn't get a chance to visit the community booths: Coloration of PolliNation™The Minnesota Landscape ArboretumMarket Science, and Land O’Lakes, Inc.  :(

Worker B introduced a new line of Barrel-Aged Raw Honey:

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

...and Sonny's had an Organic Goat Cheese with Organic Honey (from Ames Farm) ice cream.

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Yes! The super, super sweet corn arrived at the Nistler Farms stand this week.

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Dang it! The Mill City Cooks demo was rained out.  I was really looking forward to seeing guest Chef Robin Absell.

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Darrold and Marty of Sunrise Flour Mill were recently featured in a StarTrib article by Beth Dooley.

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Stop by the Wedge Community Co-op Pop-Up Market each week to check out a new recipe.  After hearing a lot of buzz about farro for the past year, I'm finally going to try it. It was the featured grain this week at the Wedge Pop-Up.

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the Goat!

August 20, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Looking head - next week is Gluten-Free Day at the Market.  Buy gluten-free baked goods from Sift Gluten Free Bakery, gluten-free cereals from Bliss Gourmet Foods, gluten-free pasta from Sunrise Creative Gourmet and Dumpling & Strand, enjoy a gluten free buckwheat crepe from Spoonriver restaurant's booth at the market, and learn how to prepare a delicious gluten-free salad from the Wedge Co-op's catering department at the Mill City Cooks cooking demo!


Minneapolis closes several streets near U.S. Bank Stadium for weekend concerts

The City of Minneapolis will close/change streets around U.S. Bank Stadium for tonight’s Luke Bryan concert and tomorrow’s Metallica concert.

  • Fourth Street will close at Park Avenue at 6 p.m. today and 3 p.m. on Saturday. The street will reopen 30 to 45 minutes after each concert.
  • Chicago Avenue, from Fourth Street to Sixth Street will close at noon today and remain closed until after Saturday’s concert.

These street closings are for traffic safety and security needs related to a large stadium event and are similar to ones that will be in place for upcoming Vikings football games.

Drivers should also be aware that westbound Washington Avenue, from Portland Avenue to Hennepin Avenue is closed for street reconstruction.  Traffic is being detoured onto Third Street South at Portland Avenue. 


Rebirth: The Mississippi's National Park to be re-aired on TPT

Produced for Friends of the Mississippi (FMR) by award-winning local filmmakers John Kaul and Tom Reiter with Twin Cities Public Television, and narrated by Minnesota Public Radio's Steve Seel, Rebirth: The Mississippi's National Park tells the little known story of the creation of the Mississippi River's first and only national park right here in the Twin Cities.

This designation, initiated locally by self-proclaimed "river rat" Tom Kelley and championed at the federal level by Sen. David Durenberger and Rep. Bruce Vento, sparked the local river renaissance we enjoy today — a river that is thriving with fish and bald eagles, a river increasingly connected to our communities via parks and trails, a river seen as an asset instead of a convenient dumping ground.

"Rebirth" will air on TPT-MN August 28, 6:30pm and September 4, 12:30am, 6:30am and 12:30pm (channel guide). You can watch the entire film below:

With challenges like agricultural pollution, development pressure and habitat degradation, this story reminds us of the powerful, long-term impact citizen-based stewardship and advocacy can have on the natural wonders we love.


Here's What's on Tap From the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul

NOW SHOWING & COMING SOON to the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main:


Starting Friday, August 26, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul opens the 2016 Sundance romantic comedy SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU. Inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama's first date, Richard Tanne's romantic drama recounts the eventful summer day in 1989 when a charming young law associate tries to woo a reluctant attorney during a day-long date spanning numerous Chicago landmarks.



Now thru August 25 - THE SEVENTH FIRE


August 18 at 7pm - YARN 

August 19-21 - CZECH THAT FILM - A touring program of eight new and classic Czech films.

August 26-September 8 - SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU

September 8 at 9pm - ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING -One night special screening of Nick Cave documentary.

September 9-15 - MORRIS FROM AMERICA


TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: or at the box office before each show.