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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
Oct192018

Public Invited to the Sheridan Memorial Park Improvements October 25 Groundbreaking

Via an October 18 announcement from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

A new picnic shelter is part of a major park improvement project at Sheridan Memorial Park

Major park improvement project includes new playground, picnic shelter, basketball court and playable art

Please join the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Northeast Minneapolis neighbors and park users at 11 am on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 for a special groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the beginning of construction on a host of new park amenities coming to Sheridan Memorial Park.

The Sheridan Memorial Park Improvements project features a new playground, picnic shelter, basketball court and playable art, along with benches, a drinking fountain, portable toilets and path connections. The $1.5 million project began with soil cleanup earlier this year. This fall construction crews will perform site work like grading and paving to set the stage for installation of all the new park structures in 2019.

The MPRB would like to thank the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization, which has committed thousands of dollars in funds and many volunteers to help plan and construct past improvements in the park.

An illustration showing part of the new areas

Project History

In April 2015 the MPRB received a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership project to develop recreation facilities at Sheridan Memorial Park. The grant was matched with $1 million from Minnesota Parks and Trails Legacy Funding, administered by the Metropolitan Council.

Community engagement in 2016 and 2017 helped decide which improvements were chosen for the park and how those improvements were designed. Project work was first bid in 2017 but the bids received exceeded the project budget, so the design was adjusted and bid again in 2018. Construction will occur fall 2018-summer 2019.

A sundial/radial feature will be part of the playground

Park History

A grand opening celebration for the Sheridan Veterans Memorial occurred on June 28, 2014 after nearly 20 years of planning, fundraising and environmental remediation.  Read more of the park’s fascinating backstory on the MPRB website: Sheridan Memorial Park History

Currently the park centers on a large spherical sculpture of protective shields created by local artist Robert Smart. The sculpture is surrounded with quotes about peace engraved into granite and vertical markers describing the ten conflicts in which Minnesotans have served. Smart imbued the steel and granite markers with faces of veterans cast in iron.

In 2016 the Mississippi East Bank Trail opened. The two-way, off-street, lighted riverfront trail runs through the park.

Project Page

Thursday
Oct182018

October News from the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

Via an October 18 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Parks Foundation:

Making Progress on Water Works

If you’ve been by the Water Works site on the Central Riverfront recently, it’s evident that a great deal of work is being done to prepare the land and mill remnants for the future park's next phase – construction. It's within this context that the Parks Foundation, together with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, recently released a refined design for the project that sets us up for a successful launch. Read More »

Design Team Named for Great Northern Greenway River Link

On October 3, 2018, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board approved the selection of a design team to advance the 26th Ave N Overlook, a RiverFirst signature project also known as the Great Northern Greenway River Link. The design team is led by two esteemed local firms with ties to the community - TEN X TEN landscape architecture and 4RM+ULA architecture. Design and planning get underway this month, ahead of planned construction and grand opening in 2019. Read More »

"The Nature Fix" with Florence Williams

Join us for opening night of the 2018-2019 Next Generation of Parks Event Series, featuring Florence Williams, renowned author of the best-seller, The Nature Fix. At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Get your free tickets today! Thursday, Nov. 15, 6:30pm • Free Read More »

Three Fall Foliage Superstars

According to the Minnesota DNR, we're at peak leaf-peeping season. Now's the time - with sunshine and more temperate temps - to get out and explore these three sites for maximum color: Wirth Lake (from the boardwalk), West River Parkway near Bassett Creek, and Wabun Park to the Ford Bridge. Read More »

Call for Ideas

In 2018, we introduced small group tours of Minneapolis parks that opened eyes to new places and practices. These events proved so popular last summer that we're expanding the program in 2019. If you have an idea for a location, speaker, or theme that you think we could explore, please share it with Christine Moir at CMoir@MplsParksFoundation.org.

 

Stories and Ideas of Interest and Impact

2018-2019 Next Generation of Parks™ Season

Through the Parks Foundation’s always-free Next Generation of Parks™ events, global design innovators and thought-leaders showcase the most exciting new parks destinations and delve into important issues of place affecting the Twin Cities community today.

Thursday
Oct182018

MNHS Staffer Caps Off Over Year-Long Project to Digitize 700+ Women’s Hats

Via an October 18 e-newsletter from the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS):

While visiting one of the Minnesota Historical Society’s 26 historic sites, you’ll only get a glimpse of a small percentage of the history that MNHS collects for the state of Minnesota. Beneath the Minnesota History Center, MNHS houses hundreds of thousands of items: everything from furniture to maps to historic papers and fashion.

Staff is constantly at work to digitize collections and make them available online to the public. In early 2017, Stephanie Olson, collections associate, noticed a gap in online collections: women’s fashion hats. MNHS has a collection of more than 700 women’s hats, but the public could only explore about 12 percent of that on mnhs.org

So in May 2017, Olson began a project to review and digitize the full collection. In addition to photographing hats as they were worn, she also researched designers, different eras of hat fashion and other information to create robust records documenting the history and style of each hat. 

Olson learned a great deal about women’s fashion history in her work. “The oldest hats we have are from the 1860s, which mirrors women’s fashion trends. Before then, women wore more bonnets,” she said. “The majority of the collection dates from about 1910 to 1950. From the 1960s onward, hats were falling out of fashion, but we do have several from the 21st century.” 

The collection varies from everyday straw and felt hats to more elaborate numbers made of velvet, silk or lace with feathers, beads and even stuffed hummingbirds. The largest one is a Merry Widow-style hat from about 1909 that spans a staggering 22-inches wide. 

Olson completed her work in September 2018, digitizing a total of 717 hats which are now available to view online. 

Her next digitization project? Clothing from national and international designers. “Some people are surprised to learn how fashion forward Minnesotans have always been,” she said. 

Digitization of collections items for online access is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Thursday
Oct182018

Superintendent Presents Recommended 2019 MPRB Budget, Public Comment Meetings Scheduled

Via an October 17 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

Proposed 2019 MPRB Budget Focuses on Youth Services, Fiscal Responsibility, Environmental Protection and Engaging the Communities' Power

Public comment opportunities scheduled Nov. 7, 14, 28 and Dec. 5

The Superintendent’s Recommended 2019 Budget for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) focuses on the four priorities adopted in April by the Board of Commissioners, which this year includes six new commissioners. The budget supports the priorities: invest in youth; be financially sustainable; protect the environment; and engage communities’ power. It also maintains current service levels, continues the use of racial equity tools throughout the budget process, and reflects initiatives to meet the changing demographics and needs of the community, including funding to pilot the wrap-around full-service community school/park model.

A wrap-around, full-service site will be the hub in the community where families will have access to resources where all their needs can be met. The Park Board's role in this partnership will be to find where a park and school share the same site and work together to leverage both park and school resources and services in support of young people and their families.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from commissioners, community members, city leaders and state legislators that our city has a critical need for enhanced youth programs and services, and youth violence prevention strategies,” explained Superintendent Mary Merrill. “The Park Board is uniquely positioned to address this need and we appreciate Mayor Frey’s support for the work we do and his down payment towards the ongoing investment needed for youth services. We are very proud to partner with the Mayor and the Minneapolis Public Schools on piloting the new wrap-around, full-service community school/park model for Minneapolis children.”

The Superintendent’s Recommended 2019 Budget totals $120.1 million, including $84.2 million for the general operating fund, $1.8 million for the special revenue fund, $11.9 million for the enterprise operating fund and $22.2 for capital project funding.

For details about Proposed 2019 Budget, public-comment opportunities and 2019 budget initiatives, read the full news release on the MPRB website.

Thursday
Oct182018

Fall Street Sweeping Begins October 23

Minneapolis Public Works will begin the big task of curb-to-curb sweeping and leaf collection on streets throughout the city on Tuesday, Oct. 23. During the four weeks of the comprehensive fall street sweep, crews will clean about 1,000 miles of city streets. To make sure crews can do the best job possible, temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance so streets will be clear of cars when they’re swept. The first signs will be posted Monday, Oct. 22, and sweeping will begin the next day. Anyone who parks on the street will need to follow posted parking rules or their cars may be ticketed and towed.

Ways to stay informed of the parking rules:

  • No Parking” signs – City crews will post “No Parking” signs at least 24 hours before sweeping any streets. Parking will be banned from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the day a street is swept. The “No Parking” signs will be removed as soon as possible after a street has been completely swept to allow people to resume parking. Vehicles not in compliance with “No Parking” signs may be ticketed and towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.
  • Social media – The City will use Facebook and Twitter to post periodic street sweeping updates and information.
  • Phone calls to residents – In addition to the “No Parking” signs that will be posted the day before sweepers come through, the City will make about 3,000 automated phone calls each evening to let residents know their street will be swept the next day.  There’s no guarantee that the calls will reach everyone, so residents should be sure to check the various ways to be aware of the rules, and watch for signs.
  • Interactive web feature – Folks can use a feature on the City’s website to find out when the sweepers are coming through their neighborhoods. The tool will be available at www.minneapolismn.gov/streetsweeping once we get closer to the start date. The fall street sweep takes four weeks, and visitors to the website will be able to find out which week their street is scheduled to be swept. Then, on the weekend before each of the four weeks, the schedule for the upcoming week will be broken down to show which day of the week streets are scheduled to be swept.
  • Videos – Street sweeping is explained in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish as part of the City’s  “Did you know…” series of short videos that can be viewed at www.YouTube.com/cityofminneapolis and on Minneapolis City TV. Residents who have friends or neighbors who speak these languages are encouraged to share links to the videos.
    • English: See how and why Minneapolis sweeps streets and what you can do to help keep streets and waterways clean in this video from the Minneapolis “Did you know…” series.
    • Spanish: Vea en este video de las series “Sabia Usted” como y porque Minneapolis barre las calles y limpia las vias fluviales.
    • Somali: Ka daawo fiidyowga taxanaha… ee Minneapolis ee loo yaqaan “Ma Ogtahay” siyaabaha iyo sababaha minneapolis jidadka ay u xaaqido oo ogow sidii aad uga caawin lahayd ilaalinta nadaafada jidadka iyo biyo mareenada.
    • Hmong: Yog xav paub ntxiv, sais nroog Minneapolis cov tshooj xov xwm hu, “Koj pos paub.”
Wednesday
Oct172018

Video from Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) Celebrates 25 Years of Progress

To celebrate 25 years, Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) collaborated on a film showcasing their programs, stories and reflections by members and friends, and of course beautiful footage of the Mississippi River. Set aside 10 minutes to learn and enjoy!

Wednesday
Oct172018

Join MnDOT for a Bus and Bike Tour of the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project October 28

Via an October 17 e-newsletter from MnDOT:

Join us for a bus and bike tour

Join our project team for a bus and bike tour of the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project. During the tour, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the project from the 35W@94 team and learn about project benefits including the new Lake St. Transit Station and Midtown Greenway Green Crescent while biking or driving through the project area. This event is free for the public to attend. For more information or to RSVP, please email amy@willow-consulting.com by Oct. 24 to secure your spot for either tour.

October 28, Kingfield Farmers Market, 10 - 11:30am

More About This Project
To learn more, including all current traffic impacts and detour routes, visit the project website at: mndot.gov/35w94.
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Metro Transit bus routes will be impacted as a result of construction. For updated route information, and to sign up for Rider Alerts, visit metrotransit.org/35W.
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Minnesota Valley Transit Authority routes will be impacted as a result of construction. For updated route information, visit mvta.com.
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Stay Connected
- Visit the project website:  mndot.gov/35w94
- Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/mndot and Twitter: @mndotnews
- Email the project team at info@35w94.com
- Call the project hotline at 612-284-6125 
- For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org/ or dial 5-1-1. 
Wednesday
Oct172018

Sumunar At The Southern Theater!

Sounds and Sights of Indonesia presented by Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance this week at The Southern Theater

The cultural of Indonesian art comes alive this weekend as Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance presents two programs at The Southern Theater. Endang Nawangsih: Thirst for Water, presented as a dance drama, is based on a folk tale of a young woman’s quest to secure fresh water for her village, while encountering a prince and evil ogres along the way. Featured guest dancers Wisnu Wicaksono and Baghawan Ciptoning will join the Sumunar Dance Ensemble to perform contemporary and traditional Indonesian dance in this performance on Thursday and Friday evening at 7:30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Saturday evening’s performance Javanese Classics highlights the traditional music of Java. Again featuring distinguished guest dancers Wicaksono and Ciptoning, this performance also showcases world-renowned Javanese Gamelan musicians I.M. Harjito, Midiyanto, Djoko Walujo, and Darsono Hadiraharjo. Both programs bring the beautiful artistry of Indonesian music and dance to the forefront. Ornate costumes accompany the musical gamelan ensemble, featuring bronze percussion instruments and gongs that echo the sounds of the Islands.

For those wanting to experience a bit of the artistry first hand, Sumunar is offering a free dance workshop with Wisnu Wicaksono on Tuesday, October 16, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Southern Theater.

Show dates and times:
Thursday, October 18 at 7:30pm
Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 20 at 2:00pm
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Tickets:
Tickets available at southerntheater.org 
General admission: $20 online, $24 at the door. 
Students and seniors 65+: $12 
ARTshare members: Free
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About Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance 
In Indonesia, the word sumunar means a glowing, brilliant light-one that is radiant and beautiful, and one that illuminates and warms the soul. Dedicated to teaching, performing and sharing the arts and culture of Indonesia, Sumunar’s mission is to promote understanding and appreciation for Indonesian music dance and culture through education and performance.  Established in 2002, Sumunar offers community classes in Javanese gamelan and dance; school residencies that teach traditional music, dance, and puppetry; and public performances of music dance and wayang kulit (shadow puppets). www.sumunar.org
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About The Southern Theater
A historic Minneapolis theater, The Southern opened its doors in 1910, offering a variety of entertainment.Throughout the 20th century, The Southern played many roles: arts venue, warehouse, antique shop and restaurant, to name a few. The Southern resumed its role as a theater when the Guthrie Theater renovated the space for use as a second stage. With the assistance of the Minneapolis Arts Commission, The Southern Theater Foundation emerged in its present nonprofit structure in 1983.
Today The Southern remains a performing arts venue offering almost 50 weeks of programming to its patrons per year. In 2018, The Southern's signature ARTshare initiative will collaborate with more than 25 artists and companies to present a wide range of performances. Audiences may purchase monthly ARTshare memberships which provides access to all ARTshare shows. Learn more at www.southerntheater.org. 
Monday
Oct152018

Replacement of West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail Continues This Fall

Via an October 15 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board:

85-foot section of wood plank trail will be replaced over 2-3 weeks; parkway remains open

The second phase of a project that will eventually replace all planks on the West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail is scheduled to begin in late October. Construction is expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

Closures and Detours

  • During construction, the east (river) side of West River Parkway Trail will be closed between Portland Avenue and 11th Avenue South. The parkway will remain open.
  • Pedestrians will use a detour to the sidewalk across the parkway. 
  • Bicyclists may choose to use the parkway or travel south one block and use the bike lane on Second Street.
  • Motorists traveling in this area must use caution and share the road with bicycle traffic.

Project Details

  • Last year approximately 100 linear feet of planks were replaced. This work is Phase II, which will replace another 85 linear feet.
  • The new planks are made from Douglas Fir, replacing the old White Oak planks.
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board maintenance and planning staff are evaluating the new plank design before replacing the entire plank trail, which will occur as funding becomes available.

Project History

  • 2003: This section of West River Parkway (between Portland and 11th Aves.) was converted to an oak plank road similar to the original plank road used during the area's milling heyday. 
  • 2010: The parkway planks were replaced by concrete due to deterioration of the wood and noise the planks created under the weight of motorized traffic.
  • 2015: Some of the most-deteriorated trail planks were replaced as part of a project that repaved and realigned more than three miles of West River Parkway Trail.
  • 2016: A report assessing the state of the plank road and alternatives was published: Plank Road/Trail Assessment and Alternatives [PDF]
  • 2017: Approximately 100 linear feet of trail planks were replaced, beginning at Portland Avenue and traveling north.
  • 2018 and beyond: Planks will continue to be replaced as funding becomes available.
About this project
The West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail Replacement project will eventually replace all of the warped wooden planks on West River Parkway Trail near Mill Ruins Park. 
Monday
Oct152018

Discover More Local Flora and Fauna with "A Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities"

Here's a new reference book for anyone who likes to get out and explore our beautiful landscape.

A Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities

By John J. Moriarty
Photography by Siah L. St. Clair
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John J. Moriarty is a congenial expert on the remarkable diversity of plants and animals in the region’s habitats, from prairies and savannas to woods and wetlands, to fens and bogs, lakes and rivers, and urban and suburban spots. Featuring remarkable photographs, maps, and commentary on natural history, this field guide invites readers to investigate the Twin Cities’ wildlife.
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John is senior manager of wildlife for the Three Rivers Park District. He has been a natural resources manager for the park systems of Ramsey and Hennepin counties and has been active in local natural history organizations. He is author of five books on Minnesota natural history, including, with Carol D. Hall, Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota (Minnesota, 2014). 

Siah L. St. Clair was director of Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota, for thirty-five years. He serves on the board of directors of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis and has been involved in state and national environmental education and interpretation programs.

More info.

Sunday
Oct142018

Upon the White Cliffs of Kaposia

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

As I research various topics for these history columns, I look to my everyday life for inspiration. While working, going for a bike ride, or running errands, something always catches my attention. This week, I found that inspiration at grad school. One of the classes I’m taking is focusing on various types of sacred places, and a local example that was recently discussed was Indian Mounds Regional Park in St. Paul. Let’s take a look into this often-overlooked park that has served as an important site throughout the history of the land we call home.

Long before the city of St. Paul would acquire the land to make it into a park, it was used by many Native Americans as a sacred burial site. Starting around 200 B.C.E., people used this high bluff, now known as Dayton’s Bluff, to perform ceremonies and bury their dead. These people were associated with the Hopewell tradition. One of the cultures that was included in the Hopewell tradition would eventually branch off a thousand years later to form the Mississippian culture, with their most prominent city being Cahokia, near modern day St. Louis. At its peak in the 13th century, Cahokia had a population of roughly 40,000 people, which made it the largest city in the world with London coming in at second, and the largest city to have existed in the U.S. until the 1780’s when Philadelphia grew to over 40,000. From Florida to Ontario, and New York to Kansas, the people in this large area of North America were all connected via trade routes. Because of this, all these cultures shared goods, ideas, and spiritual beliefs. A popular tradition for those cultures that lived in major river valleys, such as the Ohio and Mississippi, was building burial mounds for those who passed away. The 19 mounds at Indian Mounds Regional Park represent the northern most mounds on the Mississippi River.

A painting by Seth Eastman Little Crow's Village on the Mississippi from 1848.

Not much is known about the people who started this tradition of burying their dead in mounds on Dayton’s Bluff, but we do know that their spiritual successors, the Mdewakanton Band of Dakota have continued this tradition. When the Mdewakanton people first called Imniza-Ska, or “white cliffs,” their home, they established the village of Kaposia. The Mdewakantons were a migratory people, travelling between various locations throughout the seasons. Those who went to Kaposia every year also established a chief, who would go by the name of Little Crow. The most famous of these chiefs is Taoyateduta, who led the Dakota in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. He is also first cousins with Miniyuhe, who is my 9th great aunt. The first European-American to befriend the people of Kaposia was Captain Jonathan Carver, who explored the area in 1766. He noted that the people return to this site every year because of a burial site on the bluff above Wakon-teebe Cave, or “Dwelling of the Great Spirit,” now known as Carver’s Cave. In a later archaeological study over 100 years later, it was noted that there were 11 different sites of Kaposia along the banks of the river, which highlights the importance of this area and the burial mounds.

In most religious and spiritual beliefs throughout the history of humankind, the closer you are to the sky, the closer you are to heaven or the afterlife. Much like the Cathedral of St. Paul is located on the highest point of Summit Hill, the burial mounds are located on the highest bluff that overlooks the river valley. No matter where you are on the river, you will see the mounds. No matter where the Mdwakantons placed their village of Kaposia, they would see the mounds. All it takes is a visit to the park to realize why Native Americans have considered this area sacred land for over 2,000 years.

Postcard from 1900 that faces south.

Unlike most instances of settlers moving West and claiming land as their own, there has always been interest and respect for the burial mounds, but not everything can be perfect. Archaeological digs have been conducted numerous times in the 19th and 20th centuries to attempt to further understand the many cultures who visited the site. To preserve the mounds, the city of St. Paul began to acquire parcels of land in 1892 that would eventually make up the park. Unfortunately, as the city developed the park, they also leveled many of the mounds to make way for paths, open lawns, a pavilion, and other amenities.  During the Winter Carnival of 1987, one of the medallions was hidden somewhere in the park, which gave the public the idea to dig into the remaining mounds. Because of this, fences were installed around the mounds to prevent further destruction in 1990, and shortly after, a ceremony took place where repatriated remains of 61 Native Americans were reburied in the park.

A modern day image of the burial mounds at the park.

All in all, of the 19 mounds that were originally recorded, only 6 remain. The land may look different, but the natural beauty remains. From the people of the Hopewell tradition who originally saw the sacred power of the bluff, to the Mdewakanton Dakota who continue to honor those who walked the land before them, the white cliffs of Kaposia have been and will continue to be a spot of memory, serenity, and tranquility. Trees will grow, and new paths will be paved, but this area on Dayton’s bluff will always be one of Minnesota’s most important historical, spiritual, and naturally beautiful places.

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

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

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

He can be reached at mrainvillejr@comcast.net.

Sunday
Oct142018

In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

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

WEEK OF OCTOBER 15, 2018

VERIFY: What is that stuff floating in the Mississippi?
When mysterious looking white objects suddenly appear in the Mississippi River, concerns start flowing.

When big downtown Minneapolis buildings change names, it can be a confusing mess
Some names in downtown Minneapolis have stood the test of time. Others have changed names so many times we can't keep track.

Quiz: How well do you know the names of downtown Minneapolis buildings?
Building names seem to change with ever-increasing frequency. Put your noggin to the test and see if you can correctly guess the current names of these prominent buildings in downtown Minneapolis. (Scroll to the end for the answers)

The Depot in Minneapolis is closing in on its latest transformation
CSM Corp. is renovating the former Milwaukee Road railway hub again to add more event space.

Lookit this very tall building coming soon (?) to downtown Minneapolis, maybe
Seeking a great close-up view of the Mississippi River while still living in close proximity to downtown Minneapolis?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct142018

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Friday
Oct122018

7th Creative City Challenge Open Call

Via an October 12 News Release:

Creative City Challenge seeks proposals

2018 Creative City Challenge Winner, Carry On Homes, at the Opening Ceremony of Northern Spark 2018. Photo: Sean Smuda.

The annual City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge competition will be sited at The Commons, the 4.2 acre public green space and an anchor in the Downtown East area transformation for the third year. The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with Green Minneapolis and Northern Lights.mn and the Northern Spark festival, announce the seventh annual Creative City Challenge based on the theme of We Are Here.  

Entries are being accepted now through November 26, 2018

The Creative City Challenge is conceived as a showcase for local creative talent: Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds to create and install a temporary, destination artwork, which acts as a sociable and participatory platform for 4 months.

Three finalists will receive $2,500 to create full proposals. The winning Creative City Challenge proposal will receive a $50,000 commission to execute the project.

Theme
We Are Here with the subthemes Resilience, Renewal & Regeneration was generated through responses from community members in the places where Northern Spark 2019 is taking place –Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul and the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis in addition to the Commons in downtown Minneapolis. The responses were molded into this theme by the collective voices of the Program Council, a group of nine artists of color working with Northern Lights to think differently and more rigorously about how to address tough challenges of access and opportunities in all aspects of the organization.

Eligibility
The Creative City Challenge is open to any artist living in Minnesota. For teams, the lead artist and at least 50% of the team must live in Minnesota.

Timeline
Entries are accepted until 9:00 p.m. CST, November 26, 2018.  A committee of stakeholders will select three finalists by December 5. A separate jury will select the winner based on in-person presentations by the finalists on or around January 28

The winning Creative City Challenge project will be unveiled and featured at the opening of Northern Spark, an annual late-night festival with tens of thousands of participants, taking place in Minneapolis and St. Paul on June 14 and 15, 2019, and will remain in The Commons through October 15.

Submissions
For much more information on how to apply and site specific considerations, view the full open call here.
Email creativecitychallenge@northern.lights.mn with questions. 

Inspiration
Get ideas and inspiration from Creative City Challenge installations of the past! 

2018: Carry On Homes 
2017: Orbacles 
2016: Wolf and Moose 

The Creative City Challenge is produced by Northern Lights.mn in partnership with the Art, Culture and Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis,  Green Minneapolis and The Commons.

2018 Creative City Challenge Winner, Carry On Homes, at a Poetry in the Park event, summer 2018. Photo courtesy The Commons. the Opening Ceremony of Northern Spark 2018. Photo: Christopher Sticha Photography

2016 Creative City Challenge Winner, Wolf and Moose by Christopher Lutter, Heid E. Erdrich, Kim Ford, Karl Stoerzinger, Coal Dorius and Missy Adzick. Photo by Jayme Halbritter.

2014 Creative City Challenge winner, Balancing Ground, by Amanda Lovelee, Christopher Field, Kyle Waites, and Sarah West. Convention Center Plaza, Northern Spark 2014. Photo: Kory Lidstrom.

Wednesday
Oct102018

October E-Newsletter from 3rd Ward Council Member Steve Fletcher

Addressing the Homelessness Crisis in Our City

The City Council has approved a site in south Minneapolis for a temporary Navigation Center that will provide a safe and service-rich environment for people living at the Franklin/Hiawatha homeless encampment who face challenges connecting to traditional shelter housing. This has not been an easy process, and I do not expect it to get easier. We are leaning in to the challenge of serving a segment of our community that has been invisible and neglected for a long time, and that has complex, sometimes contradictory needs that often cannot be met by existing programs. The path we are choosing will take significant resources, compassion, and persistence in the face of frustrations and setbacks while we work to approach the people at the encampment with the empathy and dignity we all deserve.

The Council voted to direct City staff to work with community and government partners to establish the center at 2109 Cedar Ave., a 1.25-acre site that includes parcels owned by the Red Lake Nation and the City. The goal is to open the Navigation Center by early December. Until the center opens, there are no plans to close the encampment. Ongoing outreach efforts at the encampment continue to focus on harm reduction strategies to improve health, hygiene and sanitation in addition to assessments to help people secure emergency shelter and supportive housing.

The City is making a significant investment, along with the Red Lake Nation, to establish the temporary Navigation Center. We are hopeful that Hennepin County, nonprofit partners and community will take the lead on developing and implementing the services at the Navigation Center with support from the City. As a longer-term solution, the City and coalition partners have also recommended a new transitional housing program geared toward Native Americans experiencing chronic homelessness. An update to the Council on that recommendation is scheduled for October 24.

It's worth noting that the homelessness visible at the encampment is not the full extent of the homelessness crisis our city faces, even if it is the most visible. While we work with partners and tribal leaders on this site, we also must work in parallel to add extremely low-barrier housing, supportive housing, and short-term emergency shelter throughout the region. The Mayor had the vision to reserve a significant affordable housing investment in the budget, and we need to have the courage to allocate it to the most urgent needs in a way that preserves as much as possible for long-term solutions to eliminate housing instability.

Click here for more information on how you can support people at the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment.

New Ward 3 Policy Associate: Emma Youngquist

I am very pleased to share that Emma Youngquist has joined my office as Policy Associate! Her first day was Friday, September 28. Emma will be the primary point of contact for my office all meeting requests and event invitations, constituent service requests when you have a problem to resolve, and general informational inquiries.

Emma was most recently Director of Scheduling, Policy, and Special Projects for Erin Murphy's campaign for Governor, and prior to that worked for Senator Klobuchar in a variety of roles over two and a half years. I’m really excited about the skills and experience she brings to my office, and I look forward to introducing her to folks across the Ward soon!

You can reach Emma at Emma.Youngquist@minneapolismn.gov or at my council office main line, 612-673-2203.

Vote Early!

Early Voting Has Begun for November 6 General Election; Election Judges Needed

Early voting has begun for the November 6 general election, and Minneapolis voters may cast their ballots at the Early Vote Center, 217 S. Third St., in downtown Minneapolis.

Standard hours for the Early Vote Center are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The center will also have Saturday and Sunday hours for the last two weekends before the election. It will close 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. All early voting hours are posted on the Elections website at vote.minneapolismn.gov/events.

Absentee Voting is Easy

Any voter can vote early with an absentee ballot; no reason is required. If you plan to vote absentee by mail, please allow enough time to complete the process, which can take longer than seven days. Absentee ballot applications are available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee and may be submitted anytime throughout the year.

Are You Registered to Vote?

While people can register to vote at the polls, pre-registering makes voting on Election Day a faster process. You can check the status of your registration at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register. Anyone who has moved to a new address or had a name change since last registering will need to re-register. Voters who haven’t voted in the past four years also must re-register to vote this November.

You can pre-register online or fill out and mail in a registration application, which are available at government offices and the elections website. Pre-registration ends 21 days before the November 6 election, so applications need to be submitted by October 16.

Voters can register at the polls and vote on Election Day if you miss the pre-registration deadline. In Minnesota, individuals may register at the polls on Election Day by providing one of the forms of identification required by Minnesota law. They will need to allow extra time at the polls to register. See the elections website for the list of identification required to register and vote on Election Day.

Sample Ballot

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete your ballot — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. Your sample ballot is customized to your specific ward and precinct, and you can get yours at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/BALLOT.

Election Judges Needed! Earn $15.75 per hour; Judges with a Second Language Especially Needed

Election judges are needed for the general election on November 6 to serve voters in local polling places. Election judges are paid $15.75 per hour for their service, which includes training. Judges who are fluent in a second language – including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Lao, Vietnamese, Russian and American Sign Language – are especially needed to provide additional language support in the polling place.

Selection and placement of judges is based on qualifications of applicants and political party balance within the precinct. Preference will be given to those willing to serve a full day in a precinct with a vacancy.

The Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services Division is responsible for administering elections in the City of Minneapolis. For information about registering and voting in Minneapolis or to serve as an election judge, residents can visit vote.minneapolismn.gov or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Fire Department Announces Mobile Integrated Healthcare Pilot

In the Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee meeting on September 27, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel and Firefighters Local 82 President Mark Lakosky presented on a planned pilot program in collaboration with Hennepin County EMS for mobile integrated healthcare, which will run out of Fire Station 1 Downtown.

This model has the potential to bridge a gap in local healthcare infrastructure needs and relieve pressure on firefighters. Mayor Frey included five additional positions for the Department in his proposed 2019 budget to help carry out the work of this pilot program.

The Fire Department responds to over 30,000 EMS calls a year, and many of those don’t need a fire truck, so this is a smart way for the Fire Department to respond to calls with the right staff and the right vehicles to save fuel, reduce wear and tear on our fire trucks, and relieve excessive pressure on our firefighters.

Adding these positions to the Fire Department through this pilot program will also provide new pathways into the firefighting profession for those who have historically faced barriers to employment, including women and people of color, who successfully complete the EMS Pathways Academy.

I really want to commend Chief Fruetel for his leadership in bringing this idea to fruition in partnership with our firefighters and with Hennepin EMS. I am also working with Council Member Cunningham to author an amendment to the ordinance defining the Fire Department's powers and responsibilities - which has not been updated in a long time - to add their role in emergency medical response. This ordinance change will have a public hearing in the Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee before coming back before the full City Council.

2019 Budget Process Update

The Budget Committee of the City Council is meeting regularly to hear the proposed changes in Mayor Jacob Frey's proposed 2019 budget, and you can follow that process in a number of ways:

Here is the currently planned calendar of remaining City Council meetings for the 2019 Budget:

  • Thursday, October 18  Budget Committee Meeting — presentations from these departments — Emergency Management, City Council, City Clerk, Elections, City Coordinator, Internal Audit, Intergovernmental Relations, 311, Neighborhood & Community Relations, Communications, Information Technology, Human Resources, Finance & Property Services 
  • Monday, October 22  Budget Committee Meeting — presentations from these departments — Public Works, Capital & Debt Budget, Municipal Building Commission, Park Board
  • Thursday, November 1  Budget Committee Meeting — Public Comment Forum
  • Wednesday, November 28  Adjourned City Council Meeting — Public Comment Forum on Property Tax Levy and Budget
  • Friday, November 30  Budget Committee Meeting — Budget Mark-Up
  • Wednesday, December 5, 6:05 P.M.  Adjourned City Council Meeting — Public Hearing #2 – Final Action (adoption) on 2019 Budgt.

Comprehensive Plan Process Update

On Friday, September 28, the Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) Department released their revised draft of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan at minneapolis2040.com based on over 10,000 comments received over three months between April and July. You can review a PDF version here. Goals and Topics of the Plan that have been revised are marked as such on the navigation pages, and those revisions are all clearly highlighted, as is all text that was struck-through.

In general, the changes reflect a lot of the feedback we heard about the initial draft at Ward 3 listening sessions. In particular, we heard concerns that fourplexes would not fit on many lots without changing the mass of the building substantially, by getting rid of setbacks. Planners looked at what a fourplex would look like on a standard 40-foot lot, and agreed, so the new draft for standard Interior 1 lots allows for up to a triplex, rather than a fourplex, and it more clearly affirms standard setbacks.

The new draft also reduces some proposed building heights for interior blocks stepping down from transit corridors. In Ward 3, that’s most impactful in Sheridan and Bottineau. This change reflects mixed feedback we received from residents. For people wanting to maximize housing along transit, this may feel like a small step backward. For people who worried that step up would feel extreme, this change should be comforting.

This draft also goes into significantly more detail on our city’s commitment to increasing affordable housing – language that I joined many of you in insisting be included. While that section doesn’t represent the limits of our ambition for either the policies or investments needed to achieve our affordable housing goals, it is substantially expanded. It includes a longer narrative outlining the need for both additional housing supply and housing affordable at specific income levels, and additional action steps pertaining to affordable housing production and preservation, as well as ways for us to address homelessness.

Additional public comments on this revised draft can be submitted to the Planning Commission and City Council online. CPED staff will not be making any further revisions to the plan; any further edits will be made by the Planning Commission or City Council as formal amendments.

Here is the planned calendar of remaining public meetings for the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan:

  • Monday, October 29, 4:30 P.M. — City Planning Commission – Public Hearing 
  • Wednesday, November 14, 4:30 P.M. — Adjourned City Council Meeting – Public Comment Forum
  • Wednesday, December 5, 1:30 P.M. — City Council Committee of the Whole – Regular Meeting
  • Friday, December 7, 9:30 A.M. — City Council – Regular Meeting (final meeting planned for 2018)

GAF Commits to Installation of Oxidizer

I have heard from many residents in Ward 3, particularly in Bottineau and Sheridan, about pollution and odor coming from GAF (a roofing shingle company in North Minneapolis) as a major problem that needs to be addressed. Residents in North Minneapolis, together with Northeast, have been organizing on this for a long time. 

I know many people would prefer to see GAF leave the City altogether, and based on that feedback we declined to renew a lease for the city-owned piece of land next to GAF, which they had previously been using for storage. Some hoped that would prompt them to relocate, but they have not.

However, GAF recently announced plans to install a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) at their facility along the Mississippi River. This investment of roughly $4 million is not required by any laws. The City of Minneapolis Health Department and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff are very supportive of it from the perspective of public health. 

RTO technology eliminates between 95% and 99% of volatile organic compound pollution and will reasonably be assumed to eliminate the chemicals causing odor concerns in this area. City staff have met with GAF to go over the details of their planned investment and installation. This is the latest in a long line of conversations that staff have had with the company, neighborhood groups, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) over many years towards progressive enforcement and attempts at solutions.

The RTO has not yet been installed, and the City will continue to enforce based on whether or not the issue has been resolved. While staff are very optimistic that this RTO is a viable solution to pollution and odor issues that have long been a challenge in North and Northeast Minneapolis, until the RTO is installed in 2020, the City will continue to respond to issues at the site and enforce our regulatory standards.

Central Riverfront Bridge Repair Projects

Two of the major bridges across the Mississippi River in the Central Riverfront are in need repairs and will be closing to receive those repairs in the next two years.

The 10th Avenue Bridge, which is owned by the City of Minneapolis, has been in critical need of rehabilitation to maintain its long-term safety for several years. This project is scheduled to start in the Spring of 2019, with completion slated for Fall of 2020. At this time, Public Works plans for it to be open to traffic during the 2019-2020 winter. 

The 3rd Avenue Bridge, which is owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, also needs major rehabilitation. MnDOT has said that this project is tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2019 or early 2020. The current anticipated closure length is about 20 months, with a total project duration of about 30 months. 

Both of these project timelines are tentative and fluid. City Public Works staff are working in close coordination with MnDOT staff to sequence these projects in order to minimize the impact of necessary closures, and at this time no firm construction dates have been set.

The Stone Arch Bridge, which is also owned by MnDOT, is also in need of significant repairs, and those needs are being assessed this month. MnDOT received $1 million in state bonding funds this year to pay for this assessment.

I'm working closely with City Public Works staff and with State Senator Kari Dziedzic to make sure that everyone who will be impacted by these projects can stay informed. We are planning a community meeting to discuss all three of these projects and will share details on that as soon as they are set.

U.S. Census 2020 is Now Hiring

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring throughout Hennepin County to support the 2020 census. The U.S. census creates hundreds of jobs every 10 years in Minnesota. If you or someone you know is looking for a job and wants to make a positive impact on Minneapolis, please encourage them to apply at the Census Bureau's online job portal: https://2020census.gov/jobs.

An accurate count of the state's population is crucial for all of us in Minneapolis. U.S. census information determines the political and financial resources available to our communities. U.S. census data determines how many residents live in Minneapolis, which in turn determines funding for public programs such as public schools, health care, and transportation.

2020 census data will also determine how many people will represent you in Washington, D.C., the state capitol and in Minneapolis City Hall. Government, nonprofits and businesses also use U.S. census data to make good public policy decisions.

North Loop Neighborhood Association Beautifies 394 Roadside at Washington Avenue

The North Loop Neighborhood Association recently worked with MnDOT to landscape a piece of land along I-394 where it meets North Washington Avenue at one of the gateways to the neighborhood, transforming a plot that was previously overlooked and in need of some love into a Welcome Park for the neighborhood. Check out the Star Tribune's coverage here! 

From the Minneapolis Park Board:

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

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

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

Fall Street Sweeping Begins October 23

With fall’s arrival, crews are preparing to sweep streets across Minneapolis to completely clean the streets before winter, and keep leaves and debris out of the storm drains and ending up in our lakes and rivers as much as possible.

On Tuesday, October 23, Minneapolis Public Works will begin the big task of curb-to-curb sweeping and leaf collection on 1,000 miles of streets throughout the city. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance so streets will be clear of cars when they’re swept. The first signs will be posted Monday, October 22, and sweeping will begin the next day. Anyone who parks on the street will need to follow posted parking rules or their cars may be ticketed and towed.

Ways to stay informed of the parking rules:

  • No Parking” signs – City crews will post “No Parking” signs at least 24 hours before sweeping any streets. Parking will be banned from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the day a street is swept. The “No Parking” signs will be removed as soon as possible after a street has been completely swept to allow people to resume parking. Vehicles not in compliance with “No Parking” signs may be ticketed and towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.
  • Social media – The City will use Facebook and Twitter to post periodic street sweeping updates and information. Facebook: To “like” the City of Minneapolis Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/cityofminneapolisTwitter: To follow the City’s Twitter account, go to www.twitter.com/CityMinneapolis.
  • Phone calls to residents – In addition to the “No Parking” signs that will be posted the day before sweepers come through, the City will make about 3,000 automated phone calls each evening to let residents know their street will be swept the next day. There’s no guarantee that the calls will reach everyone, so residents should be sure to check the various ways to be aware of the rules, and watch for signs.
  • Interactive web feature – Folks can use a feature on the City’s website to find out when the sweepers are coming through their neighborhoods. The tool will be available at www.minneapolismn.gov/streetsweeping once we get closer to the start date. The fall street sweep takes four weeks, and visitors to the website will be able to find out which week their street is scheduled to be swept. Then, on the weekend before each of the four weeks, the schedule for the upcoming week will be broken down to show which day of the week streets are scheduled to be swept.
  • Videos – Street sweeping is explained in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish as part of the City’s “Did you know...” series of short videos that can be viewed at www.YouTube.com/cityofminneapolis and on Minneapolis City TV. Residents who have friends or neighbors who speak these languages are encouraged to share links to the videos.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Good Morning Ward 3 at Kramarczuk's

Join me for my next Good Morning Ward 3 on Wednesday, October 17!

Our guest speaker will be Linda Roberts, Business Licensing Manager in the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development. She will discuss how the City of Minneapolis approaches business licensing, upcoming changes to liquor and entertainment license classes, and this summer's late night food truck pilot downtown!

Wednesday, October 17 from 7:30 - 9:00am, Kramarczuk's Sausage Company, 215 E Hennepin Ave.

Coffee With Your Council Member

Council Member Fletcher holds regular open community office hours at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at a rotating neighborhood coffee shop in Ward 3 for constituents to drop by, ask questions, and raise any issues you see in the community.

All are welcome! RSVP on Facebook or just show up. If you want to discuss a specific issue or project, email emma.youngquist@minneapolismn.gov and we'll add you to the agenda.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for all the details on future scheduled events, or contact our office at 612-673-2203.

Wednesday
Oct102018

Pre-register to Vote by October 16

Register early and save time on Election Day

Get ready to vote in the 2018 general election. Voters who meet the October 16 pre-registration deadline will save time at the polls on Election Day, November 6. Voters must update their registration if they changed their name or address since the last election.

Register or update your registration online

To register online, voters must provide an email address and an identification number from one of the following:

  • Minnesota driver's license
  • Minnesota ID card
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

You can register online at mnvotes.org.

Register in person or by mail

Voters who meet eligibility guidelines to vote can submit a completed voter registration application to Hennepin County Elections by mail or in person.

Access the voter registration application.

Register on Election Day, November 6

Voters can register or update their registration when they vote, whether at their polling place on Election Day or at an early voting location. Voters will need proof of residence to register. 

Learn more about voter registration.

For more information about elections in Hennepin County, visit hennepin.us/elections.

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at hennepin.us/news.

Discover how we're making a difference in our communities at hennepin.us/stories.

 

Tuesday
Oct092018

Entrepreneurs get a Boost at the October 10 Entrepreneur Expo at the Central Library

Small business owners will build their networks, learn new skills and find support and inspiration with panels, one-to-one consultations, workshops, exhibitors and more at the Entrepreneur Expo, an official Twin Cities Startup Week event. It will take place Wednesday, October 10, 9am to 3:30pm, at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.

Highlights include one-to-one business and tax consultations, guided networking and professional photography sessions. 

Collaborators:

Appetite for Change, The Business Women's Circle, James J. Hill Center, Joule Micro Nation, LegalCORPS, City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development, City of Minneapolis Small Business Team, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Neighborhood Development Center, NEON (Northside Economic Opportunity Network), Prepare + Prosper, Saint Paul Public Library, SCORE, Springboard for the Arts, WomenVenture.

Learn more about the Expo. 

Tuesday
Oct092018

MacPhail Announces Their 2018-19 Spotlight Series

MACPHAIL SPOTLIGHT SERIES EXPLORES THE UNEXPECTED WITH SURPRISING SIXTH SEASON
New facts about the old masters drives 2018-2019 season lineup

MacPhail Center for Music announces the sixth season of their premier concert series, the MacPhail Spotlight Series. The five-concert lineup draws unexpected connections between classical music masters, bringing four performances to MacPhail’s Antonello Hall, and three performances to the Paramount Theater in Austin, the Basilica of Saint Mary and the Lakeville Area Arts Center.

“This Spotlight Series season centers around colorful, vivid programs, returning to Antonello Hall and lovely touring locations in the surrounding area,” says Mischa Santora, Artistic Director, MacPhail Spotlight Series. “We’re drawing connections between seemingly juxtaposing questions—What do J. S. Bach and Thelonious Monk have in common? Why did a philandering 19th century virtuoso take the minor orders in the Catholic church? We’ll examine new facts about old masters, answering these questions and more.”

                The 2018-2019 Spotlight Series lineup features:

  • Masters of the Keyboard, November 10, 2018: The keyboard and its various historic iterations have played a pivotal role in Western music. The piano’s versatility has not only inspired many of the greatest composers, it fundamentally shaped their musical training and thinking. This performance features composers who mastered the instrument as performers, composers and even improvisers. Steve Staruch from Classical MPR will co-host this program.
  • Roaring Twenties, February 10 (Antonello Hall) and February 11 (the Paramount Theater in Austin), 2019: Hear iconic songs like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Sweet Sue,” and “Ain’t We Got Fun” alongside instrumental selections, as this program takes you back to America’s most transformative and mythical era. Dancer Vie Boheme will add her choreography to select tunes on the program as well as lead the post-concert dance party in MacPhail’s U.S. Bank lobby.
  • Liszt’s Spiritual Journey, February 28, 2019: Nineteenth century superstar pianist Franz Liszt was fascinated with Catholicism throughout his life. He became increasingly drawn to a spiritual life, and eventually took minor holy orders in the Catholic church. Join virtuoso pianist Richard Tostenson as he performs some of Liszt’s most impressive secular and spiritual works in the stunning atmosphere of the Basilica of Saint Mary.
  • Fanny and Felix, March 9, 2019: Catch a glimpse of the Mendelssohn household in the early 1800s: the two oldest children, Fanny and Felix, were equally brilliant, talented, and educated by the greatest music teachers of the day. And yet, Felix was supported to become a leading musician of his age, while Fanny was strongly discouraged from pursuing a musical career. This program is dedicated to Fanny’s life and the astounding quality and range of her compositions. Actress Jennifer Baldwin Peden will read from letters and contemporary accounts highlighting Fanny’s life and her close relation to her brother.
  • Pranksters and Protagonists, April 13 (Antonello Hall) and June 2 (Lakeville Area Arts Center), 2019: Join us for some of the most vivid storytelling in classical music: the lively scenery of the age-old commedia dell’arte (Suite Italienne), select adventures of a medieval German prankster (Till Eulenspiegel), and the fateful encounter between a soldier and the devil (The Soldier’s Tale). Evocative melodies and rhythms drive the narrative throughout this colorful program. We are pleased to welcome renowned actor Raye Birk, narrating The Soldier’s Tale.

Tickets for concerts held at Antonello Hall are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors (ages 55 and older) and youth (ages 6 through 18). Basilica of Saint Mary concert tickets $12 adults, $5 MacPhail students; both may be purchased by calling 612-767-5250 or by stopping by Student Services at MacPhail locations in Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Apple Valley or White Bear Lake.

Tickets for the Paramount Theater go on sale December 28, $20 adults, $5 seniors and youth, free to MacPhail students at austinareaarts.org/events. Tickets to the Lakeville Area Arts Center are $18 adults, $15 seniors and youth (Age 60+ or 18 and under) and can be purchased at lakevilleareaartscenter.com or by calling 952-985-4640.

The MacPhail Spotlight Series explores diverse musical themes performed by MacPhail Center for Music faculty and special guests – showcasing some of the finest musicians in the Twin Cities.

MacPhail Center for Music is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives and enriching the community through exceptional music learning experiences. Each year, MacPhail opens its doors to more than 16,000 students offering programming for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, at locations in Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Chanhassen, Apple Valley and Austin, as well as 127 community partnerships across the Twin Cities and online at MacPhail Online. MacPhail has a 110-year history of excellence, promoting life-long learning and building long-term relationships between students and teachers.

Sunday
Oct072018

October 14-19 is Restaurant Week - Check Out the New "Special Diet" Category

Mpls.St.Paul.Magazine Restaurant Week

Celebrate the best of Twin Cities dining with a week's worth of great deals in the Twin Cities trendiest and best restaurants from October 14 – 19. 

Participating restaurants will serve two-course lunches for $10-$25 and three-course dinners for $15-$35 (beverage, tax and gratuity not included).

New this year! Check out the Special Diet category, which features participating restaurants whose menu includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and/or dairy-free accommodations.

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Restaurant Week started in 2007 in an effort to connect Twin Cities food enthusiasts with the best in Twin Cities dining. Since then, Restaurant Week has become a tradition embraced by Minnesotans. To see menus and make reservations, visit: mspmag.com/restaurantweek.

Tag Instagram posts and tweets with #MNRestaurantWeek!

Friday
Oct052018

A Challenge to Mill District Condo Residents: Serve a Shelter Meal!

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photo by Rick Kittock

Did you ever wonder what draws people to a particular place? Why did you choose the neighborhood you chose? What drew you there? People experiencing homelessness choose a place to sleep the same way each and every one of us does. Is it safe? Is it comfortable? Am I around people I am comfortable with? Do I blend in? It was no surprise to find a sense of community and familiarity at a recent visit to the shelter at First Covenant Church.

Last week the board of Friends of the Mill District, all people who live in or work in Downtown, brought dinner to the shelter at First Covenant Church. It was a group of neighbors taking dinner to a group of neighbors.

The shelter offers beds to 50 people experiencing homelessness, and is now open year-round. We arrived early and chatted with people lined up outside the church. The first thing we heard from our neighbors at the shelter was “Thank you.” Thank you for coming, thank you for talking with us, and thank you for bringing food.

Everything about that evening felt comfortable and was something I grew up doing. In my hometown, when a neighbor is in trouble, you show up. Showing up with food was the norm. It didn’t matter what the trouble was, just show up and bring food. I once asked my Mom why that was what people did. She explained that food is always comforting and necessary, so when you don’t have answers to people’s troubles, bring food.  It never hurts.

Being at the shelter to serve dinner felt like a ‘back home’ moment. I talked with Marie, a woman with 2 master’s degrees in the production of computers. Another woman, LeeAnn, has a 4-year degree in nursing, and an 18-month-old daughter who is the light of her life. Both of these women are living lives with challenges, and while they work to find their footing again, food and a warm place to sleep are essential.  They are your neighbors.

We also talked with a man in a wheelchair, Greg, who loves to sing. He loved the idea of coming to the Mill City Singers' rehearsal and was there on Saturday. Greg came and sang a soaring solo that had the entire group cheering and clapping. He left surrounded by neighbors and new friends and swears he will be back to sing with us every week.

It was a great evening and one the Friends of the Mill District is challenging each and every one of you to replicate. You can find all the information you need at http://www.1stcov.org/shelter/. Organize a group of friends to bring food and serve dinner. I guarantee a special night of community. Let’s make this a condo challenge! We challenge the Bridgewater, Stonebridge, Stone Arch Lofts, the Humboldt, the Carlyle, the Whitney, the Humboldt, the Washburn, and Zenith! Find a group of friends in your building and sign up to help your neighbors. Show up. You don’t have to solve homelessness, but you can do what matters. Be a neighbor, bring food, and show up! Let’s see how many condo buildings respond. You won’t be sorry.

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About Claudia Kittock

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