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


The Second Sex // Guerrilla Girls Takeover Event at Gamut Gallery



The first invitational of Gamut Gallery's 2016 programming, The Second Sex is a group exhibition curated by Genie Castro, Juleana Enright and Jade Patrick which explores the imbalance imposed by the secondary designation that patriarchy places on women. Through paintings, photography, printmaking, video, performance and sculpture, artists will examine the injustices brought on by patriarchy and visualize how to manifest balance in society.

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 5th, 3-7pm
Exhibition runs Tuesday, March 1st - Saturday, March 19th

Featured Artists: Judy Chicago, Shanna Allyn, Jennifer Bong, Genie Castro, Perci Chester, Sue Cranston, Justine Di Fiore, Juleana Enright, Caila Darling, Nadia Honary, Nicole Houff, Allison Johnson, Allea Lovely, Kate Renee, Amy Sands, Heidi Sime, Carla Alexandra Rodriguez

For The Second Sex, the curators sought pieces which had active synergy and were representative of the diversity amongst the ever-evolving feminist movement. With intersectionality in mind, the exhibition seeks to unite the social identities of an oppressed gender and act as a safe place to explore individual struggles and demand attention. Made up solely of women artists from different walks of life, a variety ages, sexual orientations and mediums, The Second Sex creates respect and equality for a gender historically overlooked and underrepresented in the art world. In addition to bringing visibility to local and locally-bred female artists, the exhibit makes a statement and seeks a continual discussion on how to balance the distribution of art produced by artists whose gender and sexual designations have rendered them “lesser” by patriarchal standards.

Judy Chicago’s, “Birth Tear/Tear” serigraph circa 1985 was chosen as a cornerstone of the show. A pioneer of the Feminist Artist Movement, Chicago addresses the power and importance of the women who participated in earlier feminist movements and who have sought change and fought for recognition. Her career, which spans over five decades, endeavors to “reflect on women’s lives, call attention to their roles as artists and alter the conditions under which contemporary art was produced and received.” A co-founder of CalArts Feminist Art Program, Chicago has articulated her vision through, not just her art, but her work as an educator and organizer. Her vision of change was an inspiration for The Second Sex initial concept.
Though separate artists, Heidi Sime and Amy Sands share a similar mindset by visually exploring the conventional feminine roles at the dinner table. Sime’s “Dinner Party” is a two-dimensional, patinaed steel-cut table in metallic blue. While employing a medium traditionally thought of as masculine, Sime reclaims it as a tool to define her interpretation of the feminine mystique. Sands’ “Gathering at the Dinner Table” is a mixed media piece highlighting the artist’s mastery of printmaking and drawing. Using the lace tablecloth as symbolism, Sands’ work provides the perfect delicate juxtaposition to Sime’s andric piece.

Photographer Shanna Allyn’s work examines women’s personas through portraits that are awkwardly edgy and surreally provocative, while Carla Alexandra Rodriguez explores analog photography with black and white portraits. Intimate and emotional, Rodriguez expels a peaceful drama such as the one displayed in her piece, “A Metaphor,” which embodies the curator’s emphasis on manifesting balance with a feminine form embracing darkness.

As part of the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover, this exhibit exists to challenge the negative designations patriarchy has placed on women with emphasis on the female artist. Through their artwork and through the show’s curative process, The Second Sex sets out to refine the contemporary Feminist Art Movement, its goals and the role art can have in restoring the equality.

Follow Gamut on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for sneak peeks and special announcements leading up to these events.

Special hours opening week:
3-7pm / Tuesday, March 1st - Saturday, March 5th

Regular hours resume through end of exhibit March 19th:
3-7pm / Thursdays & Fridays
1-7pm / Saturdays


Register Now for Free Open Data Code-a-thon Event, Geo:Code 2.0

Via a February 10 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Register Now for Free Open Data Code-a-thon Event, Geo:Code 2.0

Geo:Code 2.0 will connect civic-minded community members with geographers and technologists to create solutions that improve public services, give residents better access to government data and make a difference in Twin Cities communities. The event is free and open to people with all backgrounds, skills and ideas.

Event details: 

  • Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • University of Minnesota Robert H. Bruininks Hall, Room 412
  • 222 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis

“Geo:Code 2.0 will provide community members with the opportunity to collaborate on existing projects or jumpstart new ideas that improve the places we live, work and play,” said Hennepin County District 3 Commissioner Marion Greene. “We are excited to partner with organizations from all over the metro.” 

Event organizers want to generate a cross section of coders, cartographers, data visualizers, designers, developers, dreamers, makers, mappers, students and technologists.

“You never know where a project will take you or what skills will be needed,” said event organizer Kelly Clausen. “It does not matter what you do, you have something vital to contribute.”

Come for a few hours or the entire event 

Participants may stop in for a single workshop or stay for the entire two-day event. Space is limited, so organizers ask all attendees to register in advance.

At the end of the event, teams will present their projects. Possible projects include:

  • Code an open source project
  • Design visuals for public data sets
  • Help out with research
  • Test a website or solution

At the first code-a-thon event in 2015, participants worked on eight projects, including:

  • Guidelines for creating accessible maps online
  • App for bikers based on Open Street maps
  • Tool to identify vacant lots that would be good candidates for urban farming

Learn more and register for Geo:Code 2.0 at

This year’s event is hosted by Open Twin Cities, Anoka County, Carver County, the Citizen’s League, city of Minneapolis, city of St. Paul, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs—University of Minnesota, Dakota County, Hennepin County, Metro GIS, MnGeo, Ramsey County, Scott County and Washington County. 


Take Advantage of Free Access to Magna's Gym February 15-20

Here's the perfect opportunity to check out what Magna, 616 S 3rd Street, has to offer. During the week of February 15-20 they are offering free access to their gym, featuring:

• 1200 square feet of open, clean space
• Squat racks
• Battle ropes
• Dumbbells up to 100 lbs.
• Tires
• Plyo boxes
• Bumper plates
• TRX straps
• Rowers, treadmills, ellipticals
• Prowler sled, and more!

To sign up, contact Ali Palm at or 612-424-6840, or drop in.  They're open Monday-Friday 5am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-1pm.


February 13 - Escape the Cold at the Mill City Farmers Market Inside the Mill City Museum

The Mill City Farmers Market returns to the Mill City Museum February 13 from 10am - 1pm.  Use this handy Vendor Map to help plan your trip.

While you're there, stop by the information booth and ask about renewing your membership or becoming a new member. Memberships are $40 and include $10 in MCFM tokens, weekly market specials, a package of coupons from vendors and sponsors, and a donation to the Market.

What's new in 2016? This year MCFM is offering even more valuable member specials, including MCFM token deals, member appreciation events, and continued dedication to popular programs. Sign up for the MFCM e-newsletters to receive updates on vendor specials, events, and more.

Exclusive Member Specials at the February 13 Market:
 - Ames Farm: Purchase 6 beeswax votives and receive 2 free glass candle - holders
- Bliss Granola: $1 off any gourmet granola or muesli
- Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm: $1 off a dozen eggs
- Horner's Corner: $1 off any $10 maple syrup purchase
- Kiss My Cabbage: $1 off select sauerkraut and kimchi
- Martha's Joy: $1 off select pickled vegetables
- Olsen Naturals: $1 off any $10 body care purchase
- Singing Hills Goat Dairy: $1 off when you purchase 2 feta
- Zula Juice: 10% off all organic cold-press juice and juice cleanse purchases
- Sassy Knitwear: 10% off organic and up-cycled women's clothing
- 1 bonus $5 token with the purchase of $40 or more in tokens at the MCFM Info Booth
Just show your 2016 Member Key Tag for all these deals and more!

MCFM welcomes Spark-Y Youth Action Labs to the February 13 Market.  They'll be demonstrating their aquaponic and vermicomposting systems. Find them on the lower level and learn about their organization.


In the News - News from Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Minneapolis’ downtown population rose 25 percent in 10 years

Building on downtown's successes

In downtown Minneapolis, growth comes with roadblocks

Hodges vetoes $15M park tax plan, urges rewrite

Beer-and-fitness building on Washington Avenue sells for $6.1M

Minneapolis' Grain Belt sign to be re-lit in 2017


Why is the Downtown East Commons park such a tough sell?

Nicollet Mall redo won't include any brick-like pavers

Where can we go with 1st Avenue?

Inside Mill City Museum: A Review

Minnesota legacies: Remembering Stuart MacPhail

Who Is Ned Abdul? And how did he buy one of the best redevelopment spots in town?

Wells Fargo wins first round against Vikings in U.S. Bank Stadium photo-bomb fight

Minnesota DNR tags cost of refilling White Bear Lake at $100 million plus

Enterprising homeowners start lining up renters for Super Bowl and Ryder Cup

3 base jumpers leap from River Towers in Minneapolis

Coming soon: City Works in Mayo Clinic Square

Northeast Farmers Market Update



Minneapolis, 1913: A new cornerstone, a visiting celebrity and the joys of 'pedestrianism'

Modest innovator helped make Minneapolis a milling mecca

Gallery: Minneapolis, one corner at a time


How the Walker's Sculpture Garden will grow

Business donations help new Downtown Park get halfway to $22 M goal

Several Commons’ features put on hold for park’s debut

Parts of park near Vikings stadium now likely to be phased in

If we all pitch in a dollar, we can name it Hoi Polloi Park

Minneapolis park superintendent seeks $300 million via November referendum

Minneapolis skyway system is biggest in the world – and about to get bigger

Target Center renovation could bring a new skyway link

Mpls. officials scramble to redesign Nicollet Mall overhaul after project hits snag

First Avenue Freeze-Out

Where can we go with 1st Avenue?

How frozen Minneapolis became a biking mecca


Ramsey Excavating Company Parcel: Set for Park Board acquisition

Minneapolis parks set to purchase key riverfront land

Introducing Our New Digital Journal Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi

Minneapolis start-up wants to install small-scale hydropower without the need for dams

Minnehaha Falls January 2016 [Video]


Minneapolis seeks to protect Armory as overhaul heats up

General Mills mulls sale of Minneapolis R&D center

Into the wood: America's first modern tall timber building rises in Minneapolis

City could get condo comeback with 40-story Alatus tower

Lux decides 40-story tower at Washburn-McReavy site should be condos

Streetscapes review: Block E gets a welcome redo

For sale: Hotel development site next to Minneapolis Convention Center

Three high-profile Minneapolis projects advance

124-unit apartment building proposed for North Loop

City Council approves land sale of Nicollet Hotel Block

10 Redevelopment Projects Transforming MSP in 2016


No more wiggle room: Nye's set to close April 3

The Daytons create a North Loop trifecta with new café

The country's first vegan butcher shop prepares to open in Northeast

Vintage veteran opens retro clothing boutique in Northeast

Aster Cafe owner plans Mexican restaurant on Main Street


Frozen jeans put up for display in Northeast prove to be pretty cool

NE Mpls. finds frigid fun in frozen pants [Video]

The frozen pants phenomenon has gone international


The Week Ahead in Mill City


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

Monday, February 8

Tuesday, February 9

Wednesday, February 10

Thursday, February 11

Friday, February 12

Saturday, February 13

Sunday, February 14 


Traditional Chinese Medicine for Traditional Minnesota Winters

Article submitted by Robert Crane, Acupuncturist & Herbalist, MAGNA

Here we are, Minneapolitans; it’s that time of year again! The time when the general population is divided into two distinct groups. The first, a veritable petri dish of contagions, struggling to find the time between coughs and sneezes to utter a three-word sentence. The second, protecting themselves from the first, is living life in a near-literal bubble of sterilization with hands coated in a layer of hand sanitizer so thick the it damages the touchscreen on their smartphones. We all know about hand washing and vitamin C, but for many of us that doesn’t seem to be enough. Fortunately, we can turn to other forms of understanding about the body to help protect us from these viruses.

As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), part of my job is to view the body as a contiguous and integrated system. What happens on the outside is directly connected with what happens on the inside, and everything works together keep the body in relative health. That is why, when someone catches one of these seasonally ubiquitous bugs, we look not only for an unwanted external agent, but also for an underlying deficiency that has impaired the body’s ability to protect itself. The two organ systems that are primarily responsible for keeping you healthy year-round are the Spleen and the Lung systems. Sparing you the technical details (which, in TCM terms, sounds decidedly untechnical), the Spleen and Stomach, which are the primary digestive organs from our paradigm, are in charge turning the good food you eat into various essential substances that are responsible for both sustaining and protecting the body. The defensive energy is propelled outward by the Lungs to the outer surface of the body, where external pathogens are said to invade the body. We use acupuncture and TCM to both clear that virus as well as support the internal organs responsible for maintaining healthy immunity.

Between visits to your local acupuncturist, however, there are many options to help your body support its defenses and fend off unwanted bugs. Here’s a short list of Midwestern-mom tips to help you avoid catching one of these tenacious viruses.

Get some sleep!  It’s no secret that your whole body functions better after a good night’s rest, but a healthy 8-hours is especially important during wintertime. One of the primary tenants of TCM is the idea of matching your life with the seasons. During this part of the year, the nights are longer, making 7:00am bear an unnerving resemblance to 2:00am. As such, it is crucial, for both your physical health and your state of mind, that you focus on getting as much sleep as possible right now, even if that means going to bed before the late-night shows air.

Eat your soup!  Research over the last few years continues to reaffirm something that holistic practitioners have understood for ages: The key component of a healthy immune system is a healthy digestive system. When the gut is taxed with overly heavy, sweet, and greasy foods, your body has to work over-time to process the food and little energy is left for the body’s defenses. Hearty broths and soups, with thoroughly cooked root veggies and aromatic spices like ginger, are a good way to give your stomach a break. A good probiotic is another way to support your digestive system and, subsequently, your immunity. If you do start to get sick, adding a little bit of spice to your diet will help to push things out at the surface. Don't go overboard though, too much heat isn’t Spleen-friendly either!

Wear your scarf!  According to Chinese medical theory, the neck and upper back is the area of the body that is most vulnerable to external invasion. This is why one of the first signs of a seasonal cold is stiff and achy shoulders. One of the most important things you can do for yourself during this season is keep this area covered. Whether it is with a scarf, a thick hooded coat, or a bulky sweater, protecting yourself will keep you healthier longer during the winter months. This is particularly important after you have developed any of the initial signs of achey muscles, sore throat, and sneezing. After drinking a big bowl of broth cooked with ginger and scallions, wrap a thick blanket around you, watch a documentary on Netflix, and let your body sweat and push out the illness.

In short, whether you’re a person that is developing sneeze-induced whiplash or you’re the kind that’s downing Emergen-C like you’re at 2-for-1 happy hour, natural remedies like acupuncture and herbal medicine are extremely effective options for the treatment and prevention of seasonal viruses. Most practitioners are willing to do a brief consult with you at no cost, so go find your local acupuncturist and set up an appointment! You’ll be happy you did while you’re handing your coworker a kleenex and turning your dry nose smugly in the air!

Robert Crane L.Ac., Dipl.OM, MAOM
Magna Health and Fitness
616 S 3rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415


Volunteer Opportunities


American Red Cross – Multiple Positions
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FreeArts Minnesota – Multiple Positions
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MacPhail Center For Music - Multiple Positions
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Mile in My Shoes - Multiple Positions
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Mill City Museum - Greeter
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Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board – Multiple Positions
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People Serving People - Multiple Positions
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Webster Elementary - Multiple Positions
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Job Opportunities

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374 Unit "Legacy" Condos Planned for Mill District


DMNA Land Use Meeting - 6:00 PM at Open Book Target Hall

Agenda highlights:

- Legacy Condos presentation by developer

- Hennepin Ave Redesign project

- 11th Ave Protected Bike Lane

Project would add 700-800 new residents to the Mill District

Developer Jim Stanton will be going before the City Planning Commission next week to propose his latest condo project in the Mill District. City staff has a few issues with the project, outlined below from their staff report.

Download the report, includes artist renderings...

More coverage in the Journal  - Star Tribune - MSP Business

From the CPED Staff Report:

The applicant is proposing to construct a new 374-unit residential building. The building would be 14-stories in height and approximately 726,000 square feet in size. There will be amenity space within the building for the residents including a pet grooming area, community rooms, exercise space, a pool and roof terrace areas.

The site is over four acres in size. The applicant is proposing to construct one building on the site. The building is very large. The applicant has proposed to break up the mass of the building by stepping down the height of the building from 14 stories to 11 stories, by bumping out the 14-story portion of the building on the north side of the building and by incorporating both recessed and projecting balconies.

Staff has some concerns with the site and building design and would like to discuss them in more detail at the meeting:

• Overall massing of the building

• Length of building wall along 13th Avenue South

• The number of building materials and the amount of cement based material

• The ground level treatment of the underground parking levels

• The porte cochere along South 2nd Street

• The location of the building utilities

• The proposed stormwater treatment systems


The site is currently zoned I1 Light Industrial District and is located in the IL Industrial Living Overlay District, the DP Downtown Parking Overlay District and the DH Downtown Height Overlay District. The applicant is proposing to rezone the property to the C3A Commercial Activity Center District. Through this rezoning the IL Overlay would also be removed.

The parking requirement is one space per dwelling unit. However, the site is located within a half-mile of the DT East Light Rail Transit Station and can take advantage of the 50 percent transit reduction. The DP Overlay sets a maximum parking allowance of 1.7 parking spaces per dwelling unit. The building also has to provide one guest parking space for every 50 dwelling units in the building. The DH Overlay allows building heights up to six stories or 84 feet. The DH Overlay also allows a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 4.0.

Staff has identified the following land use applications for the project:

• Rezoning to C3A Commercial Activity Center District and remove the Industrial Living Overlay District

• Conditional Use Permit to increase the height of the building from 6 stories/84 feet to 14 stories/approximately 255 feet

• Variance to increase the maximum amount of parking from 636 spaces to 697 spaces

• Site plan review

This could also be reviewed as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). If it were to be a PUD the following applications would be required:

• Rezoning to C3A Commercial Activity Center District and remove the Industrial Living Overlay District

• Conditional Use Permit for a PUD

• Site plan review


Park Board Overrides Mayor Hodges Veto of Parks Funding [Video]

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board overrides Mayor’s veto of recommended ballot language for referendum to close neighborhood park funding gap

Above: Video of discussion and vote to override veto

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners overrode a veto by Mayor Hodges of the MPRB’s Jan. 20 resolution approving language for a 2016 ballot measure. The ballot measure will ask Minneapolis residents for a property tax levy to help maintain, rehabilitate and invest in its chronically underfunded network of 160 neighborhood parks.

Per the City Charter, the MPRB could only override the Mayor’s Jan. 27 veto if it took action at its Feb. 3 meeting by passing the resolution again by two-thirds vote.  The City Charter requirement of taking action on Feb. 3 didn’t allow time for any rewording of the resolution; however MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller and MPRB President Liz Wielinski will continue working with Mayor Hodges to discuss her concerns with the resolution.

The Feb. 3 action by MPRB Commissioners reflected the MPRB’s strong position to move forward with both the proposed ballot language and elements of an agreement with the Minneapolis City Council to address sustained current funding.

This year’s actions by MPRB Commissioners follow a year of public meetings about the current condition and maintenance service level of  neighborhood parks in the city during Closing the Gap: Investing in Neighborhood Parks (Closing the Gap)initiative.

Resolution 2016-112, passed Jan. 20 and again Feb. 4 by MPRB Commissioners, includes ballot language for a November 2016 referendum and elements of an agreement with the Minneapolis City Council to address sustained current funding. Superintendent Miller also provided an overarching implementation plan for a referendum. If approved by the residents of Minneapolis, the referendum will generate the additional resources needed to provide a long-term strategy to fund annual maintenance, repair and capital investments for neighborhood parks in Minneapolis, as long as other current funding sources are sustained.

The maximum annual amount of the proposed tax levy increase is limited to .0388 percent of the estimated market value by the city per year. It would begin in 2018 and continue to be collected for the next 20 years. If the levy had been in place in 2016, it would have generated approximately $15 million and added $65.68 to the property tax bill of an owner of a home valued at $190,000.

All expenditures related to the levy would be subject to full public examination. A one-page fact sheet gives an overview of how funding generated by the levy would be spent in the first five years; Superintendent Miller will provide specifics of the 2018-2022 implementation plan in April.


City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival - This Weekend!

From a February 4 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board e-newsletter:

City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival takes place in Minneapolis Parks

Thousands expected to participate in events at the Chain of Lakes, Theodore Wirth Park and The Mall this weekend

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is proud to host the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival this weekend, February 5–7, 2016.

The Loppet events will take place on MPRB cross country ski trails throughout the Chain of Lakes, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, and The Mall in Uptown. These parks and surrounding areas will be buzzing with activity and may make parking and navigating through the area difficult.

Expect road closures on Theodore Wirth and Calhoun parkways from 8 am–4 pm, Friday–Sunday.

Saturday, February 6

Wirth Winter Recreation Area will be open under regular hours. Ski trails from Theodore Wirth Park to Lake of the Isles will be closed to the public during Loppet ski races from 9 am– 4 pm.  Columbia, Gross and Hiawatha golf courses will be open for skiing.

Sunday, February 7

Theodore Wirth Parkway will be closed to traffic from Olson Memorial Highway (Hwy. 55) to the Wirth Chalet from 8:30–10:30 am. Access from Plymouth Avenue and Golden Valley Road will be maintained during that time.
•Ski trails from Theodore Wirth Park to Lake of the Isles will be closed to the public during Loppet ski races from 9 am–4 pm. Columbia, Gross and Hiawatha golf courses will be open for skiing.
•The snowboarding area and tubing hill at Wirth Winter Recreation Area will open at noon instead of 10 am.

For detailed information and a schedule of events, visit The Loppet Foundation’s website at


Valentine's Ideas - Go Out, Stay In, or a Special Gift for Later

What to do, what to do. Looking for something a little different this year? Here are three Valentine's ideas for going out, staying in, or enjoying later.

Whether you're a foodie or a drinkie, Taste Twin Cities Food and Drink Tours has a Valentine's Couples Tour for you.

Valentine's Couples Cocktail Distillery Tour

This is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's weekend! What's included in this 4-hour behind the scenes tour on February 13th? Visit 3 local distilleries via a luxury bus, and enjoy a cocktail and truffle pairing at each place. Featured distilleries are Tattersall Distilling, Du Nord Craft Spirits and Wander North Distillery.


Rather stay in?  Have Local Crate do the leg work:


Here's a surprise your loved one would be thrilled to get - a gift certificate from Farm to Fork. Use it for services such as having a chef prepare a special dinner at your home, or a one-on-one at home cooking class. 


Minneapolis Declares Snow Emergency

Via a February 2 e-newsletter from the City of Minneapolis:

Today is Tuesday, February 2, 2016 and Minneapolis has declared a Snow Emergency. Parking restrictions begin at 9 p.m. tonight.

Go to the City's snow information website, or call the Snow Emergency Hotline: (612) 348-SNOW (7669).

Crews can only plow the full width of the street if cars are out of the way. Please follow Snow Emergency parking rules or your vehicle will be tagged and/or towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.

Also, be sure to shovel your sidewalks and around your garbage cart. 


Enjoy “BRAZIL!” at MacPhail with Someone You Love - February 13

BRAZIL! Here's your chance to escape the cold Minnesota winter and enter the warmth and allure of Brazilian music and culture. This Valentine’s concert from MacPhail Center for Music captures Brazil’s sensuous melodies, evoking sun drenched beaches and wild carnivals through famous works of known composers and Brazilian artists. To top it off, MacPhail presents an eight piece Jazz combo, performing some of the most beloved tunes by Brazilian legends such as Jobim, Gilberto, and Pixinguinha. The collaborative artist for this concert is Contempo Physical Dance Company.

The MacPhail Spotlight Seriesis MacPhail Center for Music’s premier performance event. This four-part concert 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. Concerts start at 8:00 PM with a 30 minute pre-concert talk one hour before show-time to learn about the history and direction of each piece.

Tickets may be ordered by calling 612.767.5250 or by stopping by Student Services at MacPhail locations in Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Apple Valley or White Bear Lake. Since many performances may sell out, advance purchase is recommended. All tickets are general admission.


Historic Grain Belt Beer Sign Acquired by August Schell Brewing Company

Brewery and preservationists working together to gain historic designation for the landmark

August Schell Brewing Company, Minnesota-based brewers of Grain Belt beer, has finalized its purchase of an iconic Minneapolis landmark — the Grain Belt Beer sign on Nicollet Island.

The sale marks the culmination of longtime efforts on the part of the brewery to acquire the sign and the land on which it stands. Since purchasing the Grain Belt brand in 2002, August Schell had been in ongoing discussions with the property owners, the Eastman Family Trust, about the sign’s stewardship and restoration.

To help preserve and protect the sign in perpetuity, August Schell has partnered with local historical consultants Hess, Roise and Company to have the sign named to the National Register of Historic Places. Hess Roise worked previously on the rehabilitation of the old Grain Belt brewery in Northeast Minneapolis and was involved with the renovation of the North Star Blankets sign in downtown Minneapolis.

“Everyone at Hess Roise is delighted to be involved,” said Charlene Roise, president of Hess, Roise and Company. “It’s a gem, a bodacious Minneapolis landmark — and a rare survivor among the once common supersized signs that advertised products and attractions across the United States. It deserves to join the iconic Las Vegas sign in Nevada on the National Register of Historic Places.”

The sign was last lit in 1975, and plans are already underway to restore and relight it. The brewery is working with local architects, engineers and preservationists and hopes to have the sign relit by the summer of 2017.

 “The Grain Belt Beer sign both reflects and contributes to the downtown Minneapolis character as a historic industrial and commercial city,” said Ted Marti, president and fifth-generation descendant of brewery founder, August Schell. “As a historic Minnesota brewery, we’re committed to preserving our history and the history of our state.”

In celebration of the purchase, Grain Belt is releasing a new brew — Lock & Dam, named for another nearby landmark on the Mississippi River — in April.


The Grain Belt Beer sign is one of Minneapolis’ best-loved landmarks.  It is a reflection of the industrial and commercial history of the St. Anthony Falls area of the city, and it has remained important to the community because of it’s iconic and enduring presence.

• The porcelain-faced sign, which contains more than 800 feet of neon tubing and 1,100 incandescent lamps, is approximately 50 feet wide and 40 feet tall.

• Constructed for $5,000 in 1941, the sign originally stood atop the Marigold Ballroom, (now demolished), at 1330 Nicollet Avenue.

• It is the last remaining of four signs placed around downtown Minneapolis by the Minneapolis Brewing Company, original brewers of Grain Belt Beer.

• The sign was relocated to Nicollet Island, across from the Great Northern Depot, in 1950.

• The lighted portions of the sign include the spelling out GRAIN BELT BEER and displaying one of the GRAIN BELT BEER logos.


The sign has been noted as a unique and singular example of mid-century design.

• It is one of 100 items included in the Walker Art Center’s Minnesota by Design, a web-based initiative documenting “the rich landscape of design across the state.”

• The Walker Art Center refers to the Grain Belt Beer sign as “a local landmark and an excellent example of the great-lighted signs of the twentieth-century city.”

• The sign’s porcelain facing, use of neon and incandescent lighting were all new technologies for their time and represent the first stages of outdoor advertising as it related to the automobile.

• To help preserve and protect the sign in perpetuity, August Schell has partnered with local historical consultants Hess, Roise and Company to have the sign named to the National Register of Historic Places.

• Hess Roise worked previously on the rehabilitation of the old Grain Belt brewery in Northeast Minneapolis and was involved with the renovation of the North Star Blankets sign in downtown Minneapolis.

• If accepted, the Grain Belt Beer sign will be one of only a handful of iconic freestanding signs on the National Register, including the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and the Shell Oil “Spectacular” sign in Cambridge, MA.


After many years of discussion and planning, the August Schell Brewing Company purchased the Grain Belt Beer sign and the land upon which the sign is located from the Eastman Family Trust in January 2016.

The Eastman family had continuously owned the property since Minneapolis was incorporated in 1867.

It is the last remaining parcel of property in downtown Minneapolis to be sold by the Eastman family, who once owned the greater part of Nicollet Island.

Since purchasing the Grain Belt brand in 2002, August Schell had been in ongoing discussions with the Eastman Family Trust about the sign’s stewardship and restoration.


• Plans will begin immediately to restore and relight this piece of illuminated art that has been dark for nearly 20 years, turning it back into the best-known lit sign in Minneapolis.

• The brewery is working in consultation with local architects, engineers, sign experts, preservationists and members of the community on the project.

• August Schell hopes to have the sign relit by the summer of 2017.


Grain Belt, “The Friendly Beer®,” has a rich history that traces a 123-year legacy of midwestern brewing. Owned by the Minnesota-based August Schell Brewing Company, Grain Belt produces three American Lagers: Premium, Premium Light, and Nordeast®.  Grain Belt’s longevity, dedication to quality, and approachable nature are what make its Minnesota brews iconic. For more information, visit


August Schell Brewing Company specializes in brewing quality craft beer and boasts a proud heritage of 156 years of continuous family ownership. Founded in 1860 in New Ulm, MN, Schell’s is the oldest brewery in Minnesota and second oldest family-owned brewery in the United States. It became the largest brewery in Minnesota when the company acquired Grain Belt Beer in 2002. From innovative German brews to award-winning American lagers, the Schell’s brewing process begins and ends with quality-crafted beer.  For more information, go to


“Spirit of Roho” Exhibit on Display in Hennepin Gallery Feb. 1 - 26 for Black History Month

Via an January 29 Hennepin County News Release:

“Spirit of Roho” exhibit on display in Hennepin Gallery Feb. 1 - Feb. 26 for 2016 Black History Month
Illustrations, paintings, photography and craft will be on display in February, Black History Month, at the Hennepin Gallery in the Hennepin County Government Center. The exhibit will depict the diversity of creativity and culture in the metro Twin Cities among artists of color.

The exhibit, by The Roho Collective, features the work of 13 local artists and reflects the various backgrounds of the artists. This month’s exhibition reflects on living in history and creating it daily with hopes of inspiring others to create art that has a strong and influential presence in our communities.

Roho Collective is a collaborative group of urban artists who act as a network for the exchange of knowledge and creative ideas between visual artists of color in the Midwest. The group serves as a consolidated voice and platform for both emerging and professional artists of color by providing a place for development of technical skills, professional growth, and business opportunities. The collective also educates communities about the value of the arts in our society and acts as an advocate for the arts regionally and nationally. Roho is a Swahili word meaning soul/spirit.

Participating Artists:
Rakhi Bisen – Illustrator
Patrick Cunningham – Painter
Angela Davis – Painter
Delsita Day – Multi-media artist
Loretta Day / Art Coordinator – Illustrator, Designer, Painter
Christopher-Aaron Deanes – Painter
Christopher E. Harrison – Painter
Stephanie G. Mandy – Painter/Illustrator
Stephanie D. Morris – Photographer
Esther Osayande – Illustrator, Painter
Bobby Rogers – Photographer 
Lee Tarver – Illustrator
Barbara Thomas – Painter

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A Level, 300. S. Sixth St., Minneapolis.

The exhibit is sponsored by Hennepin County Administration. The Gallery is a project of Hennepin County Communications.

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at


Izzy's 3rd Annual 13 Days of Giving Starts February 1

Izzy's 13 Days of Giving 2016 kicks off Monday, February 1. $2 from every single cup or cone purchase will go towards the non-profit of the day.  Sounds like a good excuse to try 13 new flavors!  :D


Community Keg House!

Received an e-newsletter from Community Keg House today.

Their official hours are:

Monday: 4-10
Tuesday: 4-10
Wednesday: 4-11
Thursday: 4-12
Friday: 4-12
Saturday: 1-12
Sunday: 1-10

Location: 34 13 Avenue NE (in the Grain Belt building complex)

They showcase only Minnesota craft beers, plus two ciders at all times, and support local artists.  Learn about the beers from the tap tender, sample, and pour yourself a pint. They have food, too. Yum!  :D


General Mills commemorates 150th anniversary with $3M “birthday gift to Minneapolis”

Lead gift made to the RiverFirst Campaign at the site of General Mills’ early beginnings as a company

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation today accepted a $3 million “birthday gift to Minneapolis” from the General Mills Foundation in the form of a three-year lead corporate contribution to the RiverFirst Campaign. Ken Powell, Chairman of the Board and CEO of General Mills, presented the gift at an event in the Mill District on the Minneapolis Central Riverfront, the birthplace of General Mills 150 years ago.

RiverFirst is a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board-led vision for regional riverfront parks and trails that will transform the Upper Mississippi into a world-class cultural and recreational destination for residents and visitors, as well as a regional economic engine for the 21st century. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is the Park Board’s primary philanthropic partner in the public-private RiverFirst Initiative.

“We are truly honored to be playing a key role in an initiative that is so intertwined with General Mills past, present and future,” said Kim Nelson, Senior Vice President of External Relations and President of the General Mills Foundation. “Our investment, along with other funding from the private and public sectors, will enable RiverFirst projects to transform disjointed and formerly industrial stretches of the Minneapolis riverfront into a vibrant destination and community asset that can be enjoyed for the next 150 years.”

General Mills Foundation is making the RiverFirst grant in honor of the company’s 150th birthday and to commemorate the company’s community roots.

“150 years is cause for celebration and what better way to celebrate this milestone than to give a birthday gift to the very birth place of our company,” Powell said in his remarks at the event. “All that General Mills is today ties back to this very place [the river front] and is intrinsically woven into the foundation of this city. Our history is the city’s history.”

The multi-year grant will go toward three RiverFirst signature projects on both sides of the Minneapolis Central and Upper Riverfronts, including a critical trail link and pier at 26th Ave N, a future riverfront park and beach at Hall’s Island (Scherer site), and Water works, an iconic destination on the Central Riverfront.

The Water Works project is on the Central Riverfront, where General Mills was born. The area is already home to popular landmarks such as the Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Falls, the Pillsbury “A” Mill and original Washburn Mill. An expansion of Mill Ruins Park, the Water Works project will result in an iconic destination for residents and visitors – including a park pavilion, historic ruins, a natural classroom and play and picnic spaces.

General Mills’ $3 million commitment to RiverFirst brings fundraising to $9 million in the first six months of the Minneapolis Park Foundation’s $15 million philanthropic fundraising campaign, with other funding coming from private individual donors. The Minneapolis Park Board is providing public sector support to RiverFirst primarily through grants from local, state and Federal sources.

RiverFirst: Unlocking the Potential of the Upper Riverfront

When the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was founded in 1883, community leaders envisioned protecting the city’s lakes and riverfront for the public good. Already developed and heavily industrial, the 5.5 miles Upper Riverfront was the only stretch of the Mississippi River unavailable to early parks leaders, leaving North and Northeast Minneapolis scarce access to regional natural resources.

“Now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete our legacy and connect North and Northeast Minneapolis with the larger Grand Rounds and all that this chain of excellence has to offer,” said Liz Wielinski, President of the Minneapolis Park Board of Commissioners. “Visionary philanthropic investment from General Mills echoes the dedication of early leaders and carries forward a tradition of true public-private partnership.”

“Through RiverFirst, the city will provide access for under-served neighborhoods, support ecological systems, and establish new parks and trails in iconic locations, including where General Mills, and Minneapolis, were born,” said Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “We are grateful that a legacy company like General Mills is reaffirming its commitment to our community by investing in our parks for this generation and generations to follow.”

The Minneapolis Park Board, with philanthropic support from the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, will break ground on Water Works and Hall’s Island in late 2016.

To learn more about RiverFirst, visit For more information on General Mills’ 150-year history, visit

About the General Mills Foundation

General Mills and its Foundation contributed more than $150 million to charitable causes in fiscal year 2015. The General Mills Foundation partners with remarkable nonprofits across the globe to strengthen communities and nourish lives through grantmaking and employee volunteerism focused on our hometown communities. To learn more about our philanthropy and community engagement, join us on Facebook at or visit us at

About the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 179 park properties totaling 6,801 acres of land and water, the Park Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather and engage in activities that promote health, wellbeing, community and the environment. More than 21 million annual visits are made to the nationally acclaimed park system. Its Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work. Visit for details.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

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