Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits

Kathleen Boe
River Matters Columnist

Meg Forney
Contributor

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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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.

Friday
Jul212017

Habitat for Humanity: Women Build!

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photos by Dave Tinjum

Have you ever thought about building a house? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to gather a group of friends and actually build a house for someone else? That fantasy recently came true for a group of 15 women at a Habitat for Humanity site in Minneapolis. Our team was put together by Cynthia Froid and Susan Boren, and included Lynn Burn, Penny Hunt, Ellen Breyer, Chris Bray, Claudia Kittock, Megan O’Hara, Karla Ekdahl, Roberta Walburn, Frances Wilkinson, Jan Conlin, Chris Shea, Mary Reyelts, Ann Ciresi, and Angela Morken.

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

We built for a full day on Monday, July 17. If you remember that day, it was in the mid-90s with high humidity...it was HOT!!!! Some of us lifted and helped to put in trusses in the garage, others hung sheetrock, while still others helped to finish framing in the basement. It was work that no one had done before, but we were shown how to do it, and had expert help in actually doing it. Our supervisor, Ashley, was incredible. She was skilled, calm, kind, and infinitely patient!

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

 “I LOVED our day together and am
so proud of what we accomplished! I
would definitely do it again, and will
work to improve my construction skills
now that I know how to raise a roof.”

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Habitat for Humanity first grew from Koinonia Farm, a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia, founded by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. On the farm, Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders Millard and Linda Fuller developed the idea of “partnership housing.” The idea centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. The houses would be built at no profit. New homeowners’ house payments would be combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fundraising to create “The Fund for Humanity,” which would then be used to build more homes.

Today, the vision is for “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”  The principles include a focus on shelter, advocating for affordable housing, promoting dignity and hope, and supporting sustainable and transformative development. Habitat for Humanity partners with people in this community, and all over the world, to help build or improve a place they can call home.

Habitat is currently building 40 homes in the 7-county metro area, while hoping to increase that number to 120 next year. Approximately 2600 people have applied for these homes, emphasizing the crisis in finding affordable housing. Families are chosen for this program by a local Habitat committee. The selection is based on three criteria:

  • The applicant’s level of need.
  • Their willingness to partner with Habitat.
  • Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

Once chosen, each family makes a ‘down payment’ of 300 hours of sweat equity. Most of these couples are working 2-4 jobs while finding a way to work those hours. Once the house is finished, the family gets a mortgage from Habitat, or one of several banks who are now partnering with Habitat. The Habitat mortgages are available at 0% interest, while the bank loans range from 2-3%. Mortgage payments are set at 30% of the mean income of the neighborhood of the home. Habitat has a 1% foreclosure rate!

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

What was the day like? Here are some comments from our group. Megan O’Hara said, “I'm definitely on board for another year since it was so heartening to work shoulder to shoulder with strong and fearless women.” Penny Hunt added, “I LOVED our day together and am so proud of what we accomplished! I would definitely do it again, and will work to improve my construction skills now that I know how to raise a roof.”   Everyone agreed that they would do it again in a moment...after a good shower and a great night’s sleep.

If you are interested in helping, there are many ways. Here are a few:
Volunteer or organize a team.
• If building is not something that interests you, click here to learn ways to offer financial support.

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org

- - - -

And soon, there will be a family looking out this window! 

Women Building & Cynthia Froid Group

Friday
Jul212017

Blood Drive and Giveaways at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet’s First Thursday Event, August 3rd

Via a July 21 News Release from Meet Minneapolis:

Blood Drive and giveaways at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet’s First Thursday event

Participants in Memorial Blood Center’s blood drive receive partner giveaways!

Join in on Minneapolis Visitor Information (MVI) on Nicollet’s First Thursday event in August to save lives. On Thursday, Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., MVI is teaming up with Memorial Blood Center and seeking 50 blood drive participants who will receive special perks just for showing up to donate. Interested persons may register at www.mbc.org/searchdrives with the code 4574 to access this blood drive.

Giveaways and offers participants will receive (blood donors only):

  • 20 percent discount throughout the day on Love From Minneapolis merchandise (excludes transit sales from Move Minneapolis)
  • $25 Fogo de Chao gift certificate
  • $2 off Hell’s Kitchen Bloody Mary token
  • Free Hell’s Kitchen lemon ricotta hotcakes order coupon
  • Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon bargain book
  • 15 percent off bulk candy bucket certificate to iCandy Sugar Shoppe at Minnesota State Fair
  • Chance to win a pair of tickets to one of three great events, including a Minnesota Vikings game, Minnesota State Fair and Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Available to all who stop by:

  • 10 percent discount throughout the day on Love From Minneapolis merchandise (excludes transit sales from Move Minneapolis)

First Thursdays are held each month to encourage visitors and Minneapolis locals alike to learn more about Minneapolis Visitor Information and our partners, Love From Minneapolis and Move Minneapolis, as well as highlight community organizations, partners and events. MVI, 505 Nicollet Mall, is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

ABOUT MINNEAPOLIS VISITOR INFORMATION ON NICOLLET: SHOP. MOVE. FIND.
Minneapolis Visitor Information includes three services in one convenient location:
      
Shop: Love From Minneapolis offers Minneapolis- and Minnesota-themed apparel, art, specialty foods, souvenirs and gifts, including many made by local artisans. Products are also available at: https://lovefromcompanies.com/shop-minneapolis
Move: Move Minneapolis (formerly the Commuter Connection) provides services to commuters, carpool information, transit passes, schedules and maps, MnPass and bicycling commuting information and accessories. Visitors seeking help with transit options should make this their first stop downtown.
Find: Meet Minneapolis staff is available to answer questions, share visitor maps and provide suggestions about things to do in Minneapolis and the surrounding area. The Visitor Information Center in the Minneapolis Convention Center also is available to provide similar information to visitors and convention attendees.

ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS

Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.

Thursday
Jul202017

I-94 Construction Project Update

MnDOT logo

Via an e-newsletter from MNDot: 

Lowry Tunnel project work details

The first stage of the work in and near the Lowry Tunnel is scheduled to be complete early next week. The plan is to shift two lanes of westbound traffic into the westbound side of the tunnel late Mon, July 24. Two eastbound lanes will remain in the east side. If it rains, the work will be pushed to late Tue, July 25.

When the change is made, this will allow the ramps from westbound I-94 to westbound I-394 and from westbound I-94 to Hwy 55 to open.

The ramps from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94, from Hwy 55 to eastbound I-94 and from Fourth Ave. to westbound I-94 will remain closed. 

This configuration will be in place for about seven to 10 days.

Upcoming Portland Ave. Tunnel closure July 20

Beginning 11:00pm tonight, July 20, eastbound I-94 will close at the Portland Ave. tunnel. Motorists will be detoured I-35W S to 46th St. to northbound I-35W to eastbound I-94. The eastbound side of the Lowry Tunnel will be reduced to a single lane and the ramp from eastbound I-394 to eastbound I-94 will also close during this time. These closures will last until 5 a.m. Fri, July 21.

More about this project

Just a reminder: the speed limit in the work zone is 50 mph. In the tunnel it is 40 mph. Trucks weighing more than 9,000 pounds are prohibited for using the Lowry Tunnel. We are still seeing some trucks go through. The State Patrol is nearby enforcing.

For more details on project work, visit: www.mndot.gov/metro/projects/i94brooklyncntr/  

Tuesday
Jul182017

East Town Business Partnership Announces 2017-2018 Business Forum Dates/Topics 

Via a July 18 e-newsletter from East Town Business Partnership (Formerly the East Downtown Council):

2017-2018 EAST TOWN BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
BUSINESS FORUM SERIES

Business Forums take place on the third Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at various locations in East Town. Registration, networking and lunch starts at 11:30 a.m., with the East Town Business Partnership Update and guest presentations beginning at Noon. 

Here is the 2017-2018 Business Forum Series: 

2017

September 21: Making a Mall for Everyone: The Nicollet Mall Project
A joint business forum with the mpls downtown council celebrating the progress and ultimate outcome of the Nicollet Mall construction including key accomplishments and future programming aspirations for this new public amenity.

October 19: Getting Around in East Town Now and for the Next 25 Years
Transit and access to downtown is a hot topic! This forum will include local and regional leaders talking about transit and access policy and strategies alongside emerging pedestrian, bike, and car technologies that are changing the way we move to and from East Town.

November 16: Super Bowl 52: Let’s Get the Party Started!
Super Bowl 52 Host Committee Leadership providing an overview of all the activities and events of Minnesota’s moment on a global stage.

December 19 (Tuesday) : Innovative Business Models + Start Ups
East Town is becoming a new hub for startup companies! This shared forum with the mpls downtown council will feature successful entrepreneurs discussing the theory and practice behind their success and strategies.

2018

January 18: Helping Businesses Lead on Energy Efficiencies, Waste and Pollution Reductions
This forum will feature subject experts discussing several new and innovative partnerships that are transforming how Minneapolis businesses can play a leading role in new energy efficiencies and waste reductions that are both good for business and the community.

February 15: Destination Transformation 2030 Meet Minneapolis Tourism Master Plan
Executive Leadership from Meet Minneapolis presenting on the long range goal to be a region that hosts 50 million visitors annually through regional branding and marketing and efforts across an array of sectors.

March 15: First Look at the New HCMC Clinic and Specialty Center
$222 million, 377,00 square foot, 40 clinics moved from 9 buildings into one new clinic that is skyway and tunnel connected to the HCMC campus! This shared forum with the mpls downtown council will feature HCMC Executive Leadership sharing unique details about the project.

April 19: A Big, Bold North, Booming East Town Extraaaaavaganza (Annual Meeting)
This meeting will include annual district highlights and emerging priorities. And, our feature presenters, the very popular Theater for Public Policy will provide a humorous and improvised look at what it means to be East Town in the Bold North!

May 17: Water Works + Lock and Dam: All Things Riverfront Development
This forum will feature leadership from the Riverfront Partnership and the Minneapolis Park Foundation giving us a comprehensive look at projects transforming the riverfront for generations to come.

June 21: Celebrating the Opening of the Kraus Anderson Block
The redevelopment of an entire block of East Town is a celebration of urban innovation and best practices for mixed use development. This shared forum with the mpls downtown council will introduce us to all that is new on this block including new housing, the Elliot hotel and restaurant, the Finnovation Center, and the new Kraus Anderson headquarters.

Tuesday
Jul182017

Road Closures for Aquatennial Events, July 19 and 22

Please note the following road closures for these Aquatennial events:

Wednesday, July 19
7pm – 9:00pm  Life Time Torchlight 5K
- West River Parkway - From N 4th Ave to Portland Ave
- Stone Arch Bridge
- SE Main St - From SE 3rd St to 6th St SE
- Third Street South, from First Avenue North to Second Avenue South.
- First Street North, from Hennepin to Fourth Avenue North.
- Fourth Avenue North, from First Street North to West River Parkway.

8pm - 10:30p CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade
Hennepin Avenue will close from Dunwoody Boulevard to Third Street South. Traffic will be able to cross Hennepin Avenue at Fourth Street, Fifth Street, 10th Street, 11th Street, Maple Street/16th Street and southbound on Lyndale Avenue. Also Dunwoody Boulevard will close to traffic, along with the Interstate 394 exit onto Dunwoody Boulevard. These streets will reopen after the parade is finished at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 22 - Aquatennial & Fireworks
8am – 10pm
West River Parkway from 4th Ave to Portland

Sunday
Jul162017

ZeSa Fitness Founder Selected as a Presenter at the 2017 IDEA World Convention

Via a July News Release from ZeSa® Fitness:

Shanti Rainey, the founder and chief visionary officer of ZeSa® Fitness, a new Minneapolis company, has been chosen as a presenter at the 2017 IDEA® World Convention. This convention is the premier conference featuring the freshest, most diverse educational programming from world-renowned presenters, featuring personal training, sports conditioning, group training, nutrition, business, marketing and much more. This year is the 35th anniversary of the convention and it will be held July 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with more than 10,000 fitness, wellness, nutrition, business and mind-body professionals gathering from over 60 countries. 

ZeSa® Fitness has taken balance training and functional training to the next level, and it’s unique focus on unstable training redefines strength as the maximum recruitment of ALL muscles – primary, secondary, and tertiary.

At the heart of ZeSa®, and what differentiates ZeSa® from all other programs, is its focus on training on a progressive series of rotating, unstable training platforms called ZeSa® Activators. When a participant is on the platforms, all muscle groups are recruited, including primary muscles as well as stabilizers and neutralizers. While training on the unstable ZeSa® Activator Platforms, the body’s natural bio-feedback system triggers the muscles resulting in the ultimate dynamic and rapid development of strength, agility and balance.

The new ZeSa® Fitness Studio, located in downtown Minneapolis at 1024 Washington Avenue S, is currently the only place you can try the Activators and take classes focused on their use. Those who try them instantly recognize the unique, profound effects on their bodies. The company name of ZeSa® is the Sanskrit word for balance. 

ZeSa Studio offers a variety of classes several times a day, every day of the week. The patented equipment and unique classes were both created to enhance the lives of everyone at all levels of fitness, from workout beginners to fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes. ZeSa® is also effective for people requiring physical rehabilitation.

- - - - -

Editor's Note - I've been practicing at ZeSa® weekly since they opened on the retail level of the Bridgewater Lofts building about a year ago. It is the perfect addition to my weight training and cardio routine because it adds a new dimension that cannot be attained any other way. Shanti and his business partner Cindy Vavra are both fantastic to train with, caring and inspirational. :D

Shanti and Cindy

Sunday
Jul162017

Scenes from the July 15 Mill City Farmers Market

If you missed the July 15 Mill City Farmers Market - don't despair! The first Night Market in The Commons is Tuesday, July 18, from 3:30p to 7:30p.

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The first peppers of the season!

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The first Mokum carrots of the season! They ARE the Cadillac of carrots, you know. ;) Find them at Burning River Farm.

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

July 15, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Sunday
Jul162017

In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

TOP STORIES LAST WEEK

Park Board gives final approval for first Water Works phase design
Park commissioners recently voted to approve a plan for a new destination park site with little fanfare, but the move is years in the making.

From one city council to — maybe — another
Tim Bildsoe brings his experiences on the Plymouth City Council to the Ward 3 race

9 things you didn't know about Twin Cities streetcars
When the streetcar system was scrapped for buses in the early 1950s, concrete was poured over the rails and slathered with asphalt, and the reminder of the city’s once-thriving transportation network was buried.

It's not a lot, but some lanes on Washington Avenue downtown reopen
In a summer when it seems like all the news concerning roads in downtown Minneapolis is about which street is closing next, here's some that drivers will gladly take, even if it is small.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul162017

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Saturday
Jul152017

"Sports Check It Out" - Cedar Riverside Youth Showcase Their Positive, Entrepreneurial Talents

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photos by Rick Kittock

I met Charly Tiempos, Hamsa Osman, and Sayed Adan by the playground in the middle of several of the high-rise apartment buildings in Cedar Riverside. As I approached the playground, the boys jumped up, extended a hand and introduced themselves. They are the innovators of an exciting program called "Sports Check It Out". They are students at the Cedar Riverside Community School, one of the original charter schools in Minnesota. The school opened its doors in the fall of 1993, making this the 24th year of continuous operation.

Coach Jennifer Wigchers Weber told me about these young entrepreneurs over coffee. While Coach Weber has introduced her students to many sports, these young men came to her with an idea. They wanted to start a sports ‘library’ with equipment for kids to play with after school. Jennifer told them to come back with a plan, and they did. The plan included a business model for running the system and obtaining sports equipment.

"Sports Check It Out" is a library system within the Cedar Riverside Community School for students to check out sports equipment, sports safety gear and quality winter clothing. They assign different levels, representing different sports equipment based on levels of responsibility. When a student wants to use the program, they start at the 100 level and can only check out equipment at the 100 level. After doing 5 ‘check outs’ and returning the equipment unhurt and on time, they will move to the 200 level, which continues with the same system until they are at the 300 level, which includes things like bicycles.

Not only was this system devised by the boys, it is run by the boys. On two different visits, we found the library to be alive with kids and equipment, everything from bubbles being checked out by a 6 year-old girl to blow bubbles with her friends in the courtyard, to a full set of equipment to play lacrosse and another set to play street hockey. All the children who came and went looked excited and were happy to answer each and every question I had. They clearly loved this system.

Last year, Coach Weber suggested that the boys enter the 2016 SAP Social Innovation Series (SAP). Starting in October of 2016, SAP teamed up with GENYOUth to present the 2016 SAP Social Innovation Series, powered by AdVenture Capital. The events were held across six different cities with over 300 student entrepreneurs from 69 different schools. Each event included design workshops and culminated in a Shark Tank-like “pitch tank” where students shared their ideas to promote school health and wellness with a panel of judges. At each event, 10 winning teams were awarded $1,000 each to implement their projects. Finalists from each city were then nominated for a national online voting contest with the winning project being decided by more than 8,000 voters.

Charly, Hamsa, and Sayed won the Grand Prize, and the title of Teen Innovator. They received an additional $50,000 in support, including $10,000 in additional grant support. The team met with leaders at SAP in Houston while enjoying a trip to Super Bowl LI!

What happens after you win the grand prize in a national event and are still in junior high? I asked each of the young men that, and they quickly and unanimously agreed, "Franchise our idea and write an app to streamline the system.” That is exactly what they are doing. The boys took a class in writing computer applications and are working on finishing that while talking to other communities. They want to spread the story of Sports Check It Out to other communities around the country.

These are incredible young men. Every time I talk with them I leave feeling uplifted and hopeful for the future! I explained that when I write my articles for Mill City Times, I always end with a section on how people can help. Here is the rather short list the boys gave me:

·  Someone with skill and knowledge about writing applications to help them finish the app they have begun to design.

·  Contacts both in the community and around the country. They want this idea to spread and they are ready to be the ambassadors.

·  Any and all questions about this program can be sent to Jennifer Wigchers Weber at j.weber.mn@gmail.com

Meeting these young men was an honor. Anything you can do to assist them makes all of us stronger, and we are stronger with Charly, Sayed, and Hamsa as our neighbors!

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org

Friday
Jul142017

2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival runs August 3 - 13; Preview Events July 17, 24 and Aug 2

Minnesota Fringe is a Minneapolis­ based nonprofit organization with a mission to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. As one of the largest Fringes in North America, Minnesota’s annual Festival welcomes roughly 50,000 audience members to view more than 160 works culminating in over 800 performances by greater than 1,000 artists on 15 or more stages in late summer.

Fringe shows are 60 minutes or less with a half hour break between each performance. Attendees can purchase a day pass that allows for entry into any show at any venue on that particular day. Venues are chosen in clusters to make traveling to multiple shows simple by walking, biking, personal and public transportation options. Ticket info

Check out these events leading up to the Festival:

Monday, July 17 @ 7:30pm - Fringe Previews #1
Three-minute previews of 30 different shows at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Thrust stage.
RSVP on Facebook

Monday, July 24 @ 7:30pm - Fringe Previews #2
Three-minute previews of 30 different shows at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Thrust stage.

Wednesday, August 2 - Touring Artist Showcase @ Mixed Blood
Previews from shows by artists from around Minnesota and across the country.

During the Fesitval:

Thursday, August 3 - Opening Night
Kick things off with a bang by welcoming the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival in style.

Friday, August 11 - Volunteer Appreciation Night
Salute the spectacular team of 400 volunteers who make our box offices run like clockwork. This special evening brought to you by Peace Coffee, the official volunteer sponsor who keeps the crew firing on all caffeinated cylinders throughout the 11 days of Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl.

Saturday, August 12 - Encore Announcement
Be the first to hear this year's winners of the Fringe Encore - the show in each venue that sold the most tickets and gets an encore performance on Sunday, August 13 at 8:30pm. Don't forget to book your reservation before bar close!

Sunday, August 13, Closing Night Party, 10pm at The Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave.
Bid a fond farewell to this year's amazing artists, thank volunteers and staff for pulling off a Herculean happening, and dance 'til you drop with your new Fringe Friends.

- - - - -

Minnesota Fringe is overseen by a governing board of directors and operated by a year round staff that balloons to nearly 100 seasonal hires leading up to the Festival. They receive critical support from nearly 400 dedicated volunteers logging a combined 5000 hours in just 11 days.

Thursday
Jul132017

International Youth Choir and a World of Entertainment Featured at Sister Cities Day in Minneapolis July 16

Via a July 12 News Release from Meet Minneapolis:

International youth choir and a world of entertainment featured at Sister Cities Day in Minneapolis July 16

Celebration marks 25th anniversary of Minneapolis’ Sister City relationship with Harbin, China

This year’s Sister Cities Day celebration in Minneapolis is an afternoon of entertainment honoring our global connections through music, dance and performing arts. This family event is free and open to the public, and it also includes free make-your-own ice cream sundaes and refreshments, while supplies last.

Featured entertainment this year includes Sounds of Hope™, an international youth choir featuring performers from a dozen countries around the world, as well as musicians and performers representing Japan, France, China, Mexico, Somalia and Sweden.

The 10th Annual Sister Cities Day will take place from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, July 16 at Nicollet Island Pavilion. The event is sponsored by Meet Minneapolis and will feature remarks at 2 p.m., with entertainment running all afternoon. The program will also recognize the 25th anniversary of Minneapolis’ Sister City relationship with Harbin, China.

Highlights of the entertainment throughout the afternoon include:

  • Ibaraki Dance Group, representing Ibaraki City, Japan
  • Songs of Hope™ youth choir, with performers from a dozen countries
  • Robert Everest, representing Tours, France
  • Ha Family Lion Dance Troupe, representing Harbin, China
  • Somali Museum Dance Troupe, representing Bosaso, Somalia
  • Tjärnblom music group, representing Uppsala, Sweden
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca, representing Cuernavaca, Mexico

Full program details and performance times are available at http://www.minneapolis.org/partners-and-community/sister-cities/sister-cities-day/.

MINNEAPOLIS SISTER CITIES PROGRAM

The Minneapolis’ Sister Cities program was established in 1961 with the signing of the first Sister City agreement between Minneapolis and Santiago, Chile. Additional official sister cities include Cuernavaca, Mexico; Eldoret, Kenya; Harbin, China; Ibaraki City, Japan; Kuopio, Finland; Novosibirsk, Russia; Winnipeg, Canada; Tours, France; Uppsala, Sweden; Najaf, Iraq; and Bosaso, Somalia. 

Minneapolis’ Sister Cities program is managed by Meet Minneapolis and provides global connections and exchanges between international cities and the residents of Minneapolis, with the purpose of creating cultural awareness and fostering mutually beneficial opportunities. These relationships are supported and implemented by local citizen groups in Minneapolis and is recognized by Sister Cities International in Washington, D.C.

Sister Cites International is a program started by President Dwight Eisenhower to foster people-to-people citizen diplomacy. Sister Cities promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation—one individual, one community at a time. The International organization focuses on creating and strengthening partnerships between communities around four key themes: sustainable and economic development, arts and culture, youth and education, and humanitarian assistance.

ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS

Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

Wednesday
Jul122017

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts Invites You to the 2017 Book Art Biennial

Via an e-newsletter from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA):

Our 2017 Book Art Biennial, Shout Out: Community Intervention, Independent Publishing, and Alternative Distribution, is less than two weeks away!

Join us from 6-9pm next Friday, July 21 for a reception for the unprecedented seven (!) exhibitions presented in coordination with the Book Art Biennial. Kick off the Biennial celebrations, mingle with artists and fellow art lovers, and enjoy light refreshments.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to the Facebook event here. 

All work will be on view through August 13. Here is a brief overview of the seven exhibitions:

• Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.’s democratic and collaborative project, Open Book Takeover, features 5,000 community-made prints that cover the 55,000 square foot Open Book Building.
• An interactive zine reading lounge, Free for All is in MCBA’s Main Gallery, organized by Twin Cities Zine Fest.
• Guest curator Heid E. Erdrich has gathered Native American voices in the exhibition (About that) Water is Life in MCBA’s Main Gallery.
• Reader’s Art: Control/Alt/Shift, a juried exhibition of artists’ books exploring the politics of control and alternative methods of public discourse, is on view in Open Book’s Cowles Literary Commons.
• End of Times 2, a portfolio of broadsides by 41 letterpress printers organized by Mary Bruno, is on view in the Lerner Bindery Gallery.
• Stamp of Disapproval showcases counter-culture work from MCBA’s S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive.
• Meander, new work by environmental artist Alyssa Baguss, is on view in the Outlook Gallery.

Wednesday
Jul122017

Minneapolis closing streets near U.S. Bank Stadium for X Games

From the City of Minneapolis website:

The City of Minneapolis is closing streets and lanes around U.S. Bank Stadium for the X Games, four days of actions sports at the stadium July 13-16.

Full road closures include:

- Chicago Avenue, from Fourth to Sixth Street, through July 19.
- Fourth Street South, from Park Avenue South to the U.S. Bank Stadium loading dock, July 13-17.
- Park Avenue South, from Fourth Street to Fifth Street, July 13-17.
- Portland Avenue South, from Fourth Street to Fifth Street, July 13-17.

Several lanes around the stadium on The Commons will also be closed for the festivities. These street closings are for traffic safety and security needs related to a large stadium event.

For additional information about the X Games, visit minneapolismn.gov/xgames.

Wednesday
Jul122017

Nominations now open for the 8th Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (MDID) plays an active role in helping make downtown a more green and beautiful place. This summer, their team will plant and maintain over 16,000 annuals in planters, boulevard gardens and light pole baskets. Ambassador watering crews, who start work at 4:30 am, navigate downtown on a daily basis to make sure plants are watered and cared for. 

Nominations for the 8th Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards are now open. The Greening Awards celebrate outstanding examples of private greening and placemaking happening in Downtown Minneapolis. The MDID’s mission through the Greening Awards is to encourage all downtown businesses to participate in the greening effort. 

During this year’s nominations, the general public will be able to let MDID know which greening projects throughout Downtown Minneapolis are their favorites. To participate, you can submit using the hashtag #GreeningAwardsMpls on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, online submission form, or by emailing your nominations to Info@MplsDID.com.

Nominations will close July 31, and the finalists will be selected and categorized by MDID staff for an online vote in mid-August. Winning locations in each category will receive a display prize to showcase their greening achievement.

Sunday
Jul092017

Call for Entries: Mississippi Minute Film Festival

The Mississippi Minute Film Festival is back for a fourth year! As you enjoy time along the Minneapolis riverfront this summer, picture the stories you could tell. It doesn't take a lot of high-end equipment to make a 60-second video, but it does require some vision.

The Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership has opened up entries for the 2017 Mississippi Minute, with a Sept. 15 deadline. Here's a look back at some moments from previous years' films to jog your memory, get the creative juices flowing and remind you that the clock is ticking!

If watching a short film is more your speed, remember to save the date and we'll see you at the Mississippi Minute Film Festival on Monday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.

Complete details:

http://www.minneapolisriverfront.org/riverfront-initiatives/mississippi-minute-film-festival/

Sunday
Jul092017

X Games Come to Downtown This Week

The X Games are coming to Minneapolis July 13th-16th! The X Games will be taking place at US Bank Stadium and showcase four days of the best action sports competitions in the world featuring skateboarding, BMX and motocross.

Ticket info: http://xgames.espn.com/xgames/minneapolis/

Here's the complete schedule:

Thursday

Women’s Skateboard Street Qualifier 1 p.m.

BMX Vert Final 5 p.m.

Skateboard Vert Final 5:45 p.m.

Flat Track Racing Final 9 p.m. (ESPN)

 

Friday

BMX Dirt Qualifier 12:30 p.m.

Skateboard Big Air Qualifier 2 p.m.

Men’s Skateboard Street Qualifier 3 p.m.

BMX Street Final 5 p.m.

Women’s Skateboard Street Final 6:30 p.m.

BMX Big Air Final 8 p.m. (ESPN)

MotoX Freestyle 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

 

Saturday

Women’s BMX Park Demo 11 a.m.

Men’s BMX Park Final Noon (Ch. 5)

MotoX Step Up Final 1:45 p.m. (Ch. 5)

Skateboard Big Air Final 3:30 p.m. (Ch. 5)

Skateboard Street Am’s Final 5 p.m.

Men’s Skateboard Street Final 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Women’s Skateboard Park Final 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

MotoX Best Whip Final 8:45 p.m. (ESPN)

MotoX Best Trick Final 9 p.m. (ESPN)

 

Sunday

BMX Dirt Final Noon (ESPN)

Men’s Skatebard Park Final 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

BMX Park Best Trick 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

MotoX High Air Final 3:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Sunday
Jul092017

Mill City Summer Opera Announces 2017 Dates and Venue for Maria de Buenos Aires

Mill City Summer Opera’s Maria de Buenos Aires Unveils a Cast of Acclaimed Performers to Heat Up Minneapolis
National cast and creative team includes the dynamic opera tango duo of Catalina Cuervo, Luis Orozco

The sultry lament of the bandoneon, the thrilling atmosphere, alluring tango dancers, and a wildly acclaimed cast new to Twin Cities opera audiences, will take the stage for Mill City Summer Opera’s 2017 chosen production Maria de Buenos Aires, by famed tango composer, Astor Piazzolla.

MCSO today unveiled the stellar cast and creative team for this year’s production, including the key casting of Colombian soprano Catalina Cuervo in the leading role of Maria. As Maria, Cuervo has performed the role worldwide and is often referred to as the Fiery Soprano. Starring with her is baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco who has been hailed for his vocal and dramatic presence in the signature role of El Payador.

“Pairing Cuervo with Orozco in the heat of a Minnesota summer will be the hottest ticket in town this year; together they are the ideal duo to marry opera with tango,” notes returning artistic director David Lefkowich. “Dance is at the heart of this opera, so we will be integrating dancers as part of the cast for the first time in MCSO history.”

Opening night is Friday, July 14, with additional performances July 16, 18, 19 and 20.

With a ticket to the opera, attendees will be guided through dance instruction by professional tango dancers prior to the performance. After watching the tango performed as part of the opera performance, those that wish may join in the be dance with the cast to the splendid music that compliments the dangerous dance that is the TANGO.

Doors open at 7:00pm with tango dancing, the show begins at 8:00pm and more tango dancing at 9:30pm.

In light of the Ruins Courtyard’s extensive renovation throughout the Summer of 2017, MCSO is taking the opera across the Stone Arch Bridge for our sixth season. The shift in venue to the Machine Shop, 300 2nd Street SE, is temporary as restoration work continues in the Ruins Courtyard.

For tickets & more information visit http://www.millcitysummeropera.org/.

Sunday
Jul092017

Scenes from the July 8 Mill City Farmers Market

Ta-da! It's raspberry season!

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Wild and crazy heirloom tomatoes from Nistler Farms. According to their Facebook page, sweet corn is running about a week behind what Jeffrey considers normal, and the melon crop is looking fantastic. 

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

It's like a cloud - if you stare at it long enough it will resemble something...

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Big Rivers Farms is operated by Minnesota Food Association (MFA), a nonprofit that provides a guarenteed market for farmers representing 10 countries around the world. They are located by Marine on St. Croix, and are holding an Open House on July 15.

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Stop by the Info Booth to learn what's in these Bee Friendly packets.

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Squeezed while you wait - refreshing drinks from The Bolt!

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Below, Cara Lahti and Anna Bottila debuted Fair Anita at the July 8 Market. The jewelry, clothing, cards and other items offered are fair trade products made by over 8,000 talented, yet marginalized, women in 16 countries. Look for an article about Fair Anita on our Farmers Market blog later this week. 

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

With regard to the following three pictures - WEI Executive Director, Karen Clark, explained to me that these items diplayed at their booth are from the Mashkiikii Gitigan (Ojibwe for medicine garden). The garden was created on a formerly vacant, contaminated lot by the 24th Street Urban Farm Coalition as a way to address the food justice needs of people living in the Phillips community of South Minneapolis.

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen demonstrated Hot & Tangy Strawberry Jam during the Mill City Cooks demo. With only 5 ingredients, this one-pan recipe is quick and easy.

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

New from Horner's Corner: Maple Grenadine Syrup. Steve will be happy to provide suggestions on ways to use it.

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

July 8, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Saturday
Jul082017

2017 YouthLink Graduation - a Cause for Celebration

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photos by Danae Hudson

YouthLink Executive Director Dr. Heather Huseby addresses the graduates.

Wherever I work, I always look forward to graduation.  Each and every student has a story that was part of this moment in their lives. I am often honored to know many of those stories, and it is always an inspiring and wonderful moment in my life.

Since becoming a tutor in the GED program at YouthLink, I have begun attending the annual graduation there. If you have never been to one, put it on your calendar for next year. The ceremony is filled with laughter, joy, and enormous pride. These graduates have stories few of us can comprehend, and yet here they are, graduating and life is filled with new possibilities. At the June 14th ceremony, 41 young people graduated from the GED program, high schools, and training programs.

Bianca (pseudonym) was the speaker. I met Bianca when she came to the GED department and announced she wanted her GED and she wanted it fast. She had plans, and not having her GED was getting in her way.  Bianca planned to become a nurse, and she wanted to begin that career by working as a CNA while she finalized her plans for nursing school. Two months was as long as she had to ‘get it done’, and two months later Bianca put a piece of paper in front of me, sat in the chair next to me and grinned from ear to ear. The paper was the certification of a completed GED. When the celebrating died down, I asked her how her family felt.  She said, “None of my grandparents graduated from high school, neither of my parents, none of my aunts and uncles, and none of my cousins. I’m the first, and my brother has watched me do this and is now working on his GED. Things get better when you work hard.” Graduation was on a Wednesday afternoon, and Bianca’s first shift at her new job as a nursing assistant was on Monday. Impressed? Inspired? Me too!

Danny graduated too. He was the first student I met at YouthLink. He is a quiet, smart young man who has been on and off the streets for four years. As with all the students I teach, he taught me far more than I have taught him. Danny explained what it was like to experience homelessness, which overpasses were ‘safest’ to sleep under, and how being on the street with a partner was essential. While one person slept, the other kept watch for dangers, and kept track of the time so that neither slept too long in the bitter cold.

When I asked Danny what he wanted to do with his life, he told me he wants to be a chef. He has always cooked for his family and loved the feeling of preparing good food for people he cares for. Every day when I left, Danny said, "Don’t worry about me! You just get home safely.”

Danny is working in a bike shop for the second summer and has learned bike mechanics and repair. He hopes to continue to do that while earning enough money to continue his education. Will he become a chef? It really doesn’t matter what Danny does in his life of work. All of us with children in college know how often those plans can change. What does matter is that this young man is on his journey with more resources than he had before.

If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of these young people, here are some suggestions:
1. Sign up for the newsletter.
2. Learn more about youth homelessness.
3. Sign up for the Night of Hope.
4. Get involved at YouthLink.

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org