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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.


The Forgotten Islands Beneath the Falls

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

Before Minneapolis turned into the Mill City and tamed the riverfront, there was a clump of three islands located downstream of St. Anthony Falls. Cataract, Spirit, and Upton Islands were limestone outcroppings left behind from the receding waterfall. While these islands were not large, like Hennepin and Nicollet Islands, that did not stop early settlers and entrepreneurs from attempting to start up businesses on these river islands.

Light pole powered by the first hydroelectric plant in the US.The first of these islands, Upton, was located immediately downriver of the falls, roughly where the northern portion of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam lies today. The island’s claim to fame is that it was home to the first hydroelectric power station in the United States. In 1881, a group of men, which included Joel Bassett and C. M. Loring, started the Minnesota Brush Electric Company. Once the company bought land on Upton Island, they built a small central power station with five generators that used power lines to connect to businesses along Washington Avenue. The island was completely removed by the Army Corps of Engineers when they built the upper lock and dam.

About 1,000 feet to the East and between Spirit and Hennepin Islands was Cataract Island. In 1855, the Lovejoy Brothers constructed a shingle factory, with a small wooden bridge that connected the island to Hennepin Island. This was done so their employees could have easier access to Cataract Island. Unfortunately, since the island was very small and in the middle of turbulent water, the sandstone located underneath the island eroded rapidly, and Cataract Island collapsed into the river in 1860.

Spirit Island, 1899

The most well-known of the three islands, Spirit Island, held high importance to the Dakota who called this part of Minnesota home well before pioneers settled the area. The mist of the falls would float over the majestic spruce trees that sprouted from the rocky surface, and to top it all off, bald eagles frequently nested on the island. However, once more and more people started moving to the area, the beauty of the island started to decrease. While the island never had any structures built upon it, Minneapolitans, or rather mill owners, valued the island even more than the previous two. For a few decades, the island turned into a Platteville Limestone quarry that provided building materials for many of the mills along the river. In 1882, the St. Anthony Water Power Company purchased the island, and they owned it up until 1957, when they ceded it to the federal government. This was necessary as Spirit Island was right where the lower entrance for the upper lock would eventually be constructed.

Both nature and humans have leveled the islands that once occupied the river at the base of St. Anthony Falls, but let us not forget the practical and spiritual role they once played for the many people that have called the Minneapolis riverfront their home.

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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


March Programs & Kids Day Camps at the North Mississippi Regional Park

Kroening Winter

Hike: Birds of Prey - Eagles - Saturday, Mar. 10th 1:30-2:30pm

Raptors, the predatory birds of the sky. Though usually solitary, in winter eagles congregate by the hundreds around areas of open water on the Mississippi River. Learn more about our national bird and look for these majestic predators along the river. Activity #81541

Outdoors: Leprechaun Secrets - Saturday, Mar. 17th 1:30-3pm

Learn the ways of the woods by following leprechaun clues. Discover tricks that plants and animals use to thrive in the wild, decipher messages left by animals, and identify helpful and harmful plants. Follow the leprechaun's path to uncover the secret. Activity #81511

Family Funday: Spring Arts & Animals - Sunday, Mar. 25th 1-3pm

Come meet our new baby false map turtle and learn about our neighborhood native species. Meet MN animals up-close, then let nature inspire your creation of spring themed artwork to take home. Activity #81595

Nature Art: Earthen Art - Saturday, Mar. 31st 2-3pm

Get down in the dirt to make sensational soil-based art. Wet, dry or somewhere in between, the earth beneath your feet is a fun medium to create a piece of art. Activity #81551

Public programs are FREE for all ages - Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult

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Spring Break Day Camps for Kids

Neighborhood Nature - March 26th - 30th   8am-4pm

You don't have to go out into the wilderness to find nature, it's right here in your neighborhood! Discover more about the animals that live alongside us as we explore the park, play games, make art and meet some local animals. Ages 6-12. Registration Fee $150.  Activity #81727

Animal Scientists - April 2nd - 6th   8am-4pm

Many animals utilize incredible science in their bodies and behaviors. Come find out more about these animal scientists and conduct some amazing science experiments for yourself. Make concoctions that ooze or explode, use extraordinary methods to create art and play games. Ages 6-12. Registration Fee $150. Activity #81728

Day camp is based out of Kroening Interpretive Center. Every day please bring a lunch, snack and water bottle. Dress for the weather and a mess.

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Nature Nuts Play Group Fridays

Come with your little one to play and have fun in nature with other children and parents/guardians. Each day is different, but will have nature themes about animals, plants, and seasons. Enjoy the outdoors together all winter! Ages: For kids 5 and under with an adult.

This is an Adult/Child interactive program. Registration Fee $15

Spring weather is always changing! Wear clothes and shoes for playing outside.

April 13th - May 4th  10:45-11:45am   Activity #81731

May 18th - June 8th  10:45-11:45am   Activity #81732

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Summer Day Camp Registration Now Open

Monday through Friday 8am-4pm all Summer! Summer Day Camp Registration Now Open Monday through Friday 8am-4pm all Summer!

Register kids ages 6-12 for week long, naturalist-led summer camps. Explore outdoors, get messy and learn by doing. Spend a summer of fun playing in the park at North Mississippi. Registration Fees: Full Day $150. Half Day (am or pm) $80. Find programs to start planning your summer today!

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Like North Mississippi on Facebook to stay in the loop
about what’s happening in our park.
Learn more about North Mississippi Regional Park at our website.


Reminder: Upcoming Closures on I-35W

Via a March 1 e-newsletter from the MN Department of Transportation: 

Metro - 35W@94Downtown to Crosstown in Minneapolis: 2017-2021 construction

We want to remind you of upcoming closures along I-35W between I-94 and Hwy 62, including a full weekend closure of I-35W, the five-month closure of the 38th St. bridge and the long-term closure of the 36th St. ramp to southbound I-35W.

Upcoming nighttime work will result in road and lane closures on I-35W the week of March 5. These closures are required to set the beams on the Franklin Ave. bridge.

 * * * * * * * I-35W full weekend closure * * * * * * *

Reconstruction of the 38th St. bridge starts Fri, March 2 and crews will begin demolition of the bridge, which requires a full weekend closure of I-35W in both directions. The weekend closure is from 10 p.m. Fri, March 2 and will reopen by 5 a.m. Mon, March 5.

Northbound I-35W will close from Hwy 62 to I-94 and southbound will close from I-94 to 46th St. Crews will work 24-hours-a-day during the weekend closure. Motorists will detour to I-394, Hwy 100 and Hwy 62

* * * * * * * 38th St. bridge closes Fri, March 2 * * * * * * *

The 38th St. bridge is scheduled to close 6 a.m. Fri, March 2, The bridge will remain closed to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists through early August. There will be a detour in place.

* * * * 36th St. ramp to southbound I-35W closes Fri, March 2 * * * *

To allow for the reconstruction activities near the 38th St. bridge, the ramp from 36th St. to southbound I-35W will close 2 a.m. Fri, March 2. Motorists will be detoured to Portland Ave. to 46th St. back to southbound I-35W. The ramp will remain closed through fall 2021.

This ramp needs to remain closed through fall 2021 for a number of reasons:

  • During the 38th St. bridge reconstruction, there is not enough room for vehicles to safely merge from the ramp onto southbound I-35W
  • Once I-35W freeway reconstruction work begins this summer, the number of southbound lanes will be reduced and shifted at various times while crews work for the three years after the 38th St. bridge reopens. This will make it difficult for vehicles entering from 36th St. to safely merge onto southbound I-35W.

* * * * Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave. S access closes early March * * * *

The intersections of Stevens Ave/38th St. and 2nd Ave. S/38th St. will also close from early March to early August during the 38th St. bridge closure. Reference the access map to navigate around the closure.

Note: Residents will be able to access Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave. S from 37th St. or 39th St.

During the closure, two-way traffic on Stevens Ave. between 37th St. and 38th St. will be allowed.

* * * * * Additional closures begin week of March 5 * * * * *

As crews continue to make progress on the Franklin Ave. bridge, some nighttime road and lane closures are going to be necessary to set beams. The following closures are scheduled to begin the week of March 5 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily:

  • On Mon, March 5 and Tue, March 6, an overnight closure of the access out of downtown (from 12th St/4th Ave) to southbound I-35W, and of the ramp from eastbound I-94 to southbound I-35W
  • On Wed, March 7 and Thu, March 8, an overnight closure of southbound I-35W between I-94 and Hwy 62
  • And on Fri, March 9, an overnight closure of northbound I-35W between Hwy 62 and I-94

To learn more, including all current traffic impacts and detour routes, visit the project website at:

Metro Transit bus routes will be impacted as a result of construction. For updated route information, and to sign up for Rider Alerts, visit

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit or dial 5-1-1. 


February 28 E-Newsletter from 3rd Ward Council Member Steve Fletcher

Taking Action on Gun Violence

On Wednesday, February 21, hundreds of Minneapolis students walked out of class to protest gun violence in schools across the country, and came to City Hall to demand that we take action. In response to and in support of their leadership, I worked with Intergovernmental Relations Committee Chair Andrew Johnson and Council Member Jeremy Schroeder to add to our state legislative agenda support for a statewide ban on assault weapons, bump stocks, silencers, and high capacity magazines.

As I made clear in my comments, this is a fight with the NRA, and it’s one we need to win if we are going to address gun violence in Minneapolis or across the state.

You can see my comments here or watch the full committee hearing with students' public comments here.

On Friday the 23rd, at our regular City Council meeting, we heard from students, Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence, and Mayor Jacob Frey before voting on a resolution that honors and remembers all victims and survivors of gun violence and declares that the City must do more to reduce gun violence and keep our schools and communities safe.

Grain Belt redevelopment area

Last fall, the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Grain Belt Riverfront Redevelopment Area, which is in between Marshall Ave. NE and the river between 13th & 14th Aves. NE. CPED received three proposals, and City staff are in the process of evaluating those proposals in a group that includes my staff and a representative from Sheridan Neighborhood Organization.

These proposals are still in a conceptual phase, and the final project design will undoubtedly be different from these, regardless of which developer is chosen.

Please join CPED staff and I for an Open House on Thursday, March 8 to share your feedback and ideas about this project and the three concept proposals that the City has received.

WHAT: Grain Belt Redevelopment Open House

WHEN: Thursday, March 8, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

WHERE: The Food Building, 1401 Marshall Street NE

After this Open House, City staff will meet again and make a recommendation on a developer for the City to enter into exclusive negotiations with regarding this project, based on their proposal. Once they make that recommendation, there will be a 45-day public comment period before the City Council acts on that recommendation.

You can see the project RFP here (click on the "Development" header).

NEW: Minneapolis Business Portal

The Minneapolis Business Portal is a new online platform designed to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners to the information and resources needed to plan, launch and grow a business in the city. The online portal features valuable tools to help startups and existing businesses, including a comprehensive checklist of the required steps to start a business, a library of business support resources, financing information and instructions on applying for a business license. 

For additional support, you can also contact the Small Business Team, who connect entrepreneurs with key City staff who can help you get your doors open quickly and efficiently.

Upcoming Transportation Projects

Between the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the State of Minnesota, there are a lot of upcoming projects happening in Ward 3 to repair and improve our transportation infrastructure for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Here are some notable projects to be aware of:

  • 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown: this is a major project by MnDOT that began last year and will continue through 2021. In addition to periodic closures along I-35W south of downtown, the most notable impact to downtown will be the closure of the 11th St. off-ramp from westbound I-94 beginning this spring. Visit the project website for more information.
  • Hennepin Avenue downtown between Washington Ave. & 12th St: the Hennepin Downtown Street Reconstruction Project will reconstruct the roadway from Washington Avenue to 12th Street beginning in 2019. City staff is in the preliminary stages of planning and design and would like to talk about current plans and hear from people who use the busy street.  For more information about the project and to take a survey about your Hennepin Avenue experience, visit the project website at or contact the project staff at or 844-887-8330.
  • North Loop Paving Improvements: in 2019, the following streets in the North Loop will receive paving and streetscaping improvements: North 3rd St. between 5th Ave. N. and 10th Ave. N.; 5th & 7th Aves. N. between Washington and N. 4th St.; and 8th & 9th Aves. N. between Washington and N. 3rd St. For more information, visit the project website or contact Forrest Hardy at or 612-673-5951.
  • 5th St. NE Resurfacing & Bikeway Upgrade: in 2018, 5th St. NE will be resurfaced between E. Hennepin Ave. and 9th Ave. NE. This project will also upgrades to the current bikeway. For more information, contact Erin Feehily at or 612-673-3614.
  • U of M Protected Bikeways: in 2019, the City will install 2.6 miles of protected bikeways connecting the University of Minnesota and surrounding neighborhoods, including Marcy-Holmes. For more information, visit the project website or contact Simon Blenski at or 612-673-5012.

Update on Stone Arch Bridge

On February 9, the City Council voted to add to our state Legislative Agenda that we "Fully support the Minnesota Department of Transportation's request for $13 million necessary for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Stone Arch Bridge; an iconic landmark and destination for Minnesotans and visitors alike."

The Stone Arch Bridge truly is an iconic Ward 3 landmark in the heart of Minneapolis, and I will work closely with our Intergovernmental Relations team in the months to come to make sure we maintain this vital public asset for decades to come.

We Had a Super Bowl!

It's easy to forget that just a few weeks ago, we had this little thing called Super Bowl LII happen in downtown Minneapolis!

I want to take the time to offer my thanks and congratulations to City staff, who did an incredible job showing off our city to the world. It was a huge, complex undertaking that took two years of planning, and the work paid off.

I had a chance to visit the Minnesota Super Bowl Joint Information Center where city staff from a variety of departments worked side by side with staff from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Metro Transit, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and more to make sure we were speaking in one clear voice to give everyone accurate information about mundane things like traffic, and to be ready to respond if anything had gone wrong. I'm so appreciative of everyone's hard work and dedication!

I also had a chance to visit the multi-agency coordinating center and see the agency coordination on public safety, which was very, very impressive. I publicly raised concerns about the visible military presence downtown and some civil liberties questions around surveillance, which I'll continue to raise. None of those concerns detract from my gratitude for the extraordinary professionalism and successful planning that went into keeping everybody safe with huge crowds at multiple locations around the city. I personally witnessed plain-clothes officers making targeted arrests of people selling fraudulent tickets, protecting fans from getting ripped off. I especially appreciated the way Minneapolis Police responded to protest activities in ways that de-escalated tensions and kept everyone safe, including the demonstrators.

We still have some analysis to do to figure out whether the economic impact of this event was everything we hoped, but what we can say for sure is that the performance of our City staff was everything we hoped for and more, and I'm prouder than ever to live in and work for the City of Minneapolis. 

MPD and Partners Crack Down on Human Trafficking During Super Bowl Week

Human trafficking is a problem throughout the year, not just during big events like the Super Bowl. However, Minneapolis police and 17 other law enforcement agencies used the 10 days of Super Bowl events to crack down on this illegal activity.

The Super Bowl Human Trafficking Operations team posted 30 to 40 decoy ads on several online sites, and 1,500 individuals responded. From those, 94 arrests were made and 89 charged with felonies. Of those arrested, 28 had no prior criminal histories and 55 had only traffic violations on record.

In addition to the arrests, police made 28 in-person contacts with potential victims. All were offered services through YouthLink and the anti-trafficking outreach team at SOURCE.

Minneapolis Police led the Super Bowl Human Trafficking Operation. The workgroup included police departments from Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Oakdale, Plymouth, Saint Paul, Shakopee, Savage and Woodbury; the sheriff’s offices in Hennepin and Washington counties; the attorney’s offices in Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington and Scott counties; Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI.

Sign Up for the City's Low-Cost Tree Lottery by March 9

City tree lottery

Minneapolis property owners (Minneapolis residents, businesses and nonprofits) can enter the City's low-cost tree lottery any time now through March 9, and lottery entrants will hear back by March 14. About 850 property owners will be able to order a five-to-eight foot tree to plant in their yards. 

The sixteen varieties available this year include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees. Large species shade trees are $30 each. Fruit trees and smaller species are $40 each. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery. 

  •  Limit one tree per property owner.
  •  Trees must be picked up May 19, 20 or 21 at the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot. Volunteers will be on hand to help load each new tree and a complimentary bag of mulch into vehicles.

In the past 12 years, the City Trees program has provided approximately 14,000 trees for planting on private property to beautify our neighborhoods, help clean the air we breathe, save on our energy bills by keeping the city cooler in the summer, provide homes for wildlife, and help manage stormwater.

Solid Waste & Recycling Guides and Service Survey

Attention, Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers: watch your mailboxes for the 2018-2019 service guide arriving soon! The guide includes a collection calendar and information on all Solid Waste & Recycling services.

You are also invited to participate in this 10-minute services survey. The information gathered will help staff evaluate current outreach and educational messages and help guide future conversations on potential program changes. Survey participants will be randomly selected to win one of 40 prizes valued at $10 each. If you would like a survey mailed to you, please call us at 612-673-2917

Good Morning Ward 3 at Kramarczuk's

We held our first Good Morning Ward 3 in February with Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson and had a great discussion about the City's Vision Zero initiative to end traffic-related deaths.

Join us on March 21st with special guest Heather Worthington, Director of Long Range Planning with the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) to hear about the City's comprehensive plan, Minneapolis 2040.

Good Morning Ward 3

Wednesday, March 21st from 7:30am - 9:00am

Kramarczuk's Sausage Company, 215 E Hennepin Ave

Coffee With Your Council Member

Council Member Fletcher will hold 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, get to know him, 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 laura.dorle@minneapolismn. gov and we'll add you to the agenda.

  • TONIGHT – Glam Doll Donuts NE, 519 Central Ave NE
  • March 7 – Café Alma, 528 University Ave SE
  • March 14 – No community office hours this week
  • March 21 – Conexion at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave S
  • March 28 –Nno community office hours this week
  • April 4 – No community office hours this week
  • April 11 - Corner Coffee, 514 N 3rd Street 
  • April 18 – Mojo Coffee Gallery, 2205 California Street NE

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


Graze 4 Good - Giving Back to the Community Never Tasted So Good!

Graze 4 Good celebrates the Twin Cities’ rich culinary community while addressing critical local needs. This unique fundraiser supports Fourth Generation, a program of The Minneapolis Foundation for emerging philanthropists. All proceeds from Graze 4 Good will go directly to grantmaking around this year’s issue: Affordable housing. The event is scheduled for April 15 at Aria, and tickets are on sale now

Guest chefs include Doug Flicker & Amy Greeley of Bull's HornAlex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa, Zen Box Izakaya's John Ng & Lina Goh, Grand Cafe's Jamie Malone, Fat Chance's Renay & Ben Dossman, with more chefs to be announced. Attendees will enjoy a variety of bites prepared by each chef while you sip on a craft beer or cocktail by Marco Zappia. The evening will be highlighted by a silent auction of food-inspired items - follow Facebook and Twitter to find out what foodie items you can bid on.

Vegetarian options will be available.

VIP Grazing
5 – 6 p.m.
Each of the chefs will prepare a legen-dairy bite that will only be available during VIP Grazing. Tickets are limited to 150 foodies to ensure quality face time with each chef. VIP tickets also include admission to the general event that immediately follows. Come early for this unique experience and stay late for even more incredible food.

General Grazing
6 – 8 p.m.
Our guest chefs give us a reason to Graze 4 Good: A chance to taste offerings from these notable culinary artists in one amazing location. Two drink tickets are included.

Presenting sponsors include Gardner Builders, VIP host Faegre Baker Daniels, gift card wall sponsor Tradition Bank, bar host NTH, Inc., chef table hosts AgMotion, Inc. and the Keadue Fund, and event sponsor Dojour.


MPRB Invites You to the Northeast Recreation Center Grand Opening on March 10

Join the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Northeast Minneapolis neighbors and community members at a Grand Opening Celebration for the new Northeast Recreation Center on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Northeast Recreation Center is located at 1530 Johnson St. NE

Northeast Recreation Center is located at 1530 Johnson St. NE, right next to Jim Lupient Water Park. It will be open from 9 am to 4 pm on March 10, with a great schedule of activities planned to showcase the new 15,000-square-foot facility:

9:00 amWalking track open; Yoga class
9:00-11:30 am: Kids activities, music, face painting
10:00 am: Ribbon-cutting ceremony with remarks from local officials and light refreshments
10:30-11:30 am: Zumba class
12:00-2:00 pm: 11U basketball games

The new recreation center includes a full-court gym, community learning kitchen and classroom, multipurpose room, lobby with a ping pong and foosball table, and solar power installation on the roof. It was constructed using sustainable building practices and the MPRB is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Room, kitchen and gym rentals begin in mid-April; rental application will be accepted beginning April 2.

New recreation center features full-court gym, track, classrooms, exercise/activity space & community kitchen.

A robust slate of programming begins this summer. There will be youth athletics, preschool, senior and adaptive programming, Rec Plus childcare and more! Click this link to view and register for programs starting in June.

Can’t make the Grand Opening? People may visit for a sneak preview of the building after it opens to the public on Monday, Feb. 26. Tour the building, play ping pong or foosball, or use the gym and gym floor walking track. Hours: Monday-Thursday 3-9 pmFriday 3-7 pm, (changes to 3-9 pm starting March 16); Saturday 9-4 pm. 


The Turtle Theater Collective: Bringing Native Lives and Experiences to the Stage 

Article by Claudia Kittock

Marisa Carr is a fascinating woman. Born in Milwaukee to the Ojibwe Turtle Tribe, Marisa learned her native Ojibwe language as a young woman. She earned a major in Native American Studies at the University of Minnesota and graduated with a BA. After graduation, Marisa started her professional life as an actor, but soon discovered that Native stories were not being told, or when referenced were shown in stereotypical ways.

Marisa began her writing career with the hopes of depicting contemporary representations of Native lives and experiences, and was soon named as a fellow at the Playwright's Center. She honed her craft there and made many valuable contacts, some of whom were interested in Marisa’s goal of adding Native stories to contemporary theater.

With a group of friends which included Ernest Briggs and Sequoia Hauck, both professional theater artists, a decision was made to try something bold and new. They formed the Turtle Theater Collective in March of 2017 with the goal of telling Native stories through Native artists. While is seems to be a common belief that there are only a few professional Native artists in Minneapolis, that is just not true. The Turtle Theater Collective hopes to show the theater world that there are many talented Native artists in Minneapolis just waiting for a chance to tell Native stories.

The first production of the Collective is Almighty Voice and His Wife, and it will be performed at the Southern Theater on March 9, 10, and 11. It is based on a true story from Canada where a man was arrested for killing his own cow. He was sent to prison, and while there, staged a jail break, running 13 miles through Canadian prairie. A huge manhunt ensued, using over 100 Mounties to find and kill the farmer. The first act tells this story, and Act 2 begins with the farmer and his wife as ghosts, inhabiting an abandoned Indian Boarding School, where they retell the story through the structure of a minstrel show.

There are already plans to stage a second production this summer, which will be a retelling of Our Town, with Native actors playing the part of the Webb and Gibbs family, as well as the Stage Manager. Previews will begin in early March.

What an exciting new venture! How do you help?

• Buy tickets!  They are available online
• Donations to the Turtle Theater Collective via GiveMN 
• Tell a friend, tell a co-worker, tell a neighbor, tell everyone!

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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).



Minnesota Musicians: Be heard! Submissions Open Today for MnSpin, Hennepin County Library's New Local Music Resource

Via an e-newsletter from Hennepin County Library:

From the Andrews Sisters to Atmosphere, from Bob Dylan to Prince, from Cantus to Dessa, and Bobby Vee to the Minnesota Orchestra, many great musicians have launched from Minnesota to the world.

Hennepin County Library is in search of Minnesota musicians to feature on MnSpin, an online music streaming and download resource that has been introducing local artists to new audiences since its launch last year. 

Submit a song

Minnesota musicians and bands of all genres are encouraged to submit one song for consideration between February 21 and March 28. A panel of local music experts and library staff will review all submissions, and invite selected artists to make one album available through the online platform. Artists will sign a license agreement and receive $200. The library plans to continue expanding this pilot project to offer additional submission opportunities.

Thanks to a grant from the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, music lovers will be able to connect to this new collection here. Anyone can stream from the platform, and Hennepin County Library cardholders can download songs for free.

“Minnesota is such an incubator for musical artists,” said Hennepin County Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “MnSpin is an opportunity for the music community to have its music heard and for all music lovers to have access to the rich talents of local musicians.” 

A diverse collection

Hennepin County Library strives to create a collection that reflects the diversity of our community. Music featured on MnSpin will follow the same genre guidelines as in the general collection: 

  • Americana, bluegrass and country
  • Blues, jazz and soul
  • Classical
  • Christian and gospel
  • Folk, ethnic and world
  • Pop and rock
  • Rap, hip hop and R&B
  • Children's 

MnSpin is open for submissions February 21-March 28. For more information, visit here.


Glam Doll Donuts: Keeping it Local, and Always Giving Back

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

Teresa Fox and Arwyn Birch have been best friends since they were 10 years old. They have shared a history that only best friends can share. Each of them knew that they always wanted to work together, but outside of being waitresses together, that never happened. Then, on a trip to the West Coast, they were inspired by all the donut shops they saw and decided to learn how to make donuts.

Glam Doll Donuts opened at 2605 Nicollet Avenue five years ago, and last year they opened a second shop at 519 Central Avenue NE. If you've been inside a Glam Doll shop, you will never forget it. The array of donuts and the creativity used to imagine these delicious sweets is unbelievable. From bacon roses and heart shaped donuts for Valentine’s Day to the football themed donuts created for the Super Bowl, these shops have everything you could think of and so much more.

Arwyn Birch and Teresa Fox

The decor at these shops is both wonderful and hilarious. They were created to make every seating spot an experience, and it succeeds. The 1950s retro items create a feeling of stepping back in time to an old-fashioned donut shop, but this one has very modern donuts. There is even a photo booth!

Teresa and Arwyn talk about creating their own dream world where everyone is on the same page, and that is obvious when you're in Glam Doll. They have 60 employees and are interested in hiring people with a passion for the community and a desire to be part of their world.

Ingredients used in Glam Doll Donuts are locally sourced whenever possible, and they use local businesses for their work. Being part of a community in every sense of the word is critical to this business.

I first learned about Glam Doll Donuts at YouthLink. Every Monday and Friday morning, there is a delivery of 4 huge boxes of donuts at the drop-in. When I asked "Why?," Teresa and Arwyn answered, “Because it is the right thing to do. How can people not respond when they know that there are young people without a home?”

Five years ago, these two best friends with a donut dream opened up their first shop in hopes they could sweeten up the city! To celebrate making it this far they are going big with two parties, Glam Doll style. On Friday, February 23rd, they will party down at the Eat Street shop on Nicollet Avenue with their Glam Doll 5 Year Anniversary Party pt 1! event. There will be divine cocktails for purchase from Eat Street Social, music by DJ Espada, and of course FREE HOT DONUTS circulating throughout the evening. Half of all proceeds of the evening will benefit the amazing folks at YouthLink. How can you resist eating hot donuts and drinking delicious cocktails all the while supporting homeless youth in our community?!

The second party, Glam Doll 5 Year Anniversary Party pt 2! - the Bold & Beautiful Bash, is March 2nd at the Central Avenue NE location. There will an amazing lineup you will not want to miss. DJ Sarah White will be in the house, plus Burlesque by the stunning Queenie Von Curves and Deeva Rose! Not enough? Insight Brewing will be sampling FREE BEER! Of course, there will be more donuts than you can handle, and to top it off they will be debuting the new DREAM YOUR OWN DONUT BAR!!! Who does a donut bar??? Glam Doll, that’s who.

These are two amazing women who are living their dream while sharing their skills and hearts with each and every one of us. If you haven’t checked out either location, run, don’t walk. You will not 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).



Interstate 335: Lower Northeast’s Ghost Highway

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

The next time you take a stroll through James I. Rice Parkway on West River Road or watch the Fourth of July fireworks from Boom Island Park, imagine a six-lane highway right in front of you. The Twin Cites has a history of splitting communities in half, like with I-94 in St. Paul, and I-35W in South Minneapolis, but there was almost one more. This is the story of how a neighborhood was shaped by a project that was never built.

Map from 1975 of the plan for I-335

Interstate 335 was first proposed in the 1940’s to connect I-94, at Plymouth Avenue N, to I-35W, between East Hennepin Avenue and Broadway Street NE, which would complete a highway loop around Minneapolis. Since this “North Ring” section would go right through a big chunk of lower Northeast, it took a few decades for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to carefully choose the most fitting design for the area. In 1970, the project started to pick up steam when a federal highway bill granted money to the project to buy right-of-way land and prepare the route for construction. In fact, if you head southbound on I-35W, you can still see the beginnings of an on ramp as you approach the East Hennepin Avenue overpass.

Google Maps picture of I-35W near the East Hennepin Ave overpass showing an unused on-ramp

I-335 was planned to start at Plymouth Avenue N with its first on/off ramps at Washington Avenue N. It crossed the Mississippi River just south of the Plymouth Avenue bridge, curved its way through Boom Island and B.F. Nelson parks, and its first on/off ramps on the Northeast side would have been at Main Street, where Marshall Street breaks off, roughly where the Pioneer monument currently stands. I-335 would have then continued east, with on/off ramps at University Avenue NE and 4th Street NE. Its last on/off ramp before it that would have connected to I-35W was planned to be at Monroe Street NE.

It’s hard to comprehend a six-lane highway going right through my favorite riverfront park, but it was very close to happening. Understandably, the residents of the St. Anthony West neighborhood were not happy about a highway going through their backyard. Led by their president, Patrick Rainville, Sr., the grandfather of yours truly, the St. Anthony West neighborhood board fought tooth and nail to stop this project. This was a daunting task, as no neighborhood organization has ever shut down a federal government project. Well do I have good news for you! History was made on July 25, 1975 when the Minneapolis City Council listened to one of their oldest neighborhoods and passed a resolution opposing the I-335 project.

When the weather warms up and you find yourself at Boom Island Park, take a moment to look at the Minneapolis skyline, smell the wildflowers in the fields, wave hello to the canoers and kayakers, and appreciate the natural beauty of the Minneapolis riverfront.

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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


North Loop's The Bar Method Opens a Second Location

The Bar Method, located in the T3 building at 323 N Washington Ave, today announced that its second Twin Cities location is now open at Centennial Lakes in Edina.

Kayla O'RourkeThe 2,100-square foot studio, located at 7509 France Avenue South, becomes the 115th in the country. The Edina location is the second studio owned and operated by instructor Kayla O’Rourke, a longtime runner who started taking Bar Method classes four years ago. “After the first class, I was hooked," said O’Rourke. “Not only was the exercise a body-changing experience, it was also life changing.”  

Centennial Lakes features a studio with an urban-chic feel offering amenities that include a bright lobby, locker room, shower amenities and childcare services. O’Rourke’s first studio opened in the Minneapolis North Loop’s T3 office building in Oct. 2016; a third studio is planned for St. Paul in 2019.

“The Bar Method is the pioneer in growing barre-based exercise programs that provide intense, safe and fun, hour-long workouts incorporating ‘shake strengthening’ isometric exercises to strengthen and tone all major muscle groups and elongate, lengthen and align the body,” said O’Rourke. “It was developed under the guidance of physical therapists to reshape muscles, burn body fat and improve posture.”

In celebration of the opening, O’Rourke is offering a limited-time Founder’s Membership Rate of $129 per month, with no contract required. During February, clients are invited to try the workout for a week, free-of-charge.

A formal grand opening event will occur in March to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by the Edina Chamber of Commerce.

About The Bar Method
Founded in 2001, The Bar Method is the pioneer in barre fitness. Hundreds of thousands of students have experienced The Bar Method as the optimal workout for developing a strong, sculpted body. It strengthens and tones all major muscle groups, burns fat, and improves posture and flexibility.  Classes are led by highly-trained instructors who provide personal attention and ensure that exercises are safe and effective. For more information, visit: or via Facebook and Instagram


Free Minneapolis Event in February: Wells Fargo's WinterSkate at Loring Park

Enjoy free skating and fun programming at Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate throughout February
Tuesday skating lessons, Friday movie skates and more in Loring Park

The Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink is located in Loring Park near Willow Street and Grant Street. Through March 4 you can enjoy fun programming, including:

Free Skating Lessons: Join the Figure Skating Club of Minneapolis for free skating lessons
   o Tuesdays, February 13 & 20, 4:15-5:15 pm
Friday Movie Nights: Stop by to skate and watch classic movies on the ice
   o Friday, February 16: “The Mighty Ducks”, 6-8 pm
   o Friday, February 23: “Miracle”, 6-8 pm
Collegiate Day: Wear your favorite school’s colors! Saturday, February 17, 9 am-9 pm
Gold Medal Skate Weekend: Join us and skate during the medal rounds
   o Saturday, February 24, 9 am-9 pm
   o Sunday, February 25, 10 am-6 pm
Drag Queen Skate: Friday, March 2, 7-9 pm

The rink is open daily and offers free skating during Loring Park’s hours through March 4. The Warming House presented by CenterPoint Energy is open 3 – 9 p.m. on Mondays - Fridays, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays. On February 4, the rink will be open until 10 pm. There are special hours on select holidays. The rink is also open from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Minneapolis Public School release dates. Complimentary skates are available for use during all Warming House hours. A full schedule can be found at

Wells Fargo is giving away FREE WILD TICKETS to sit in Wells Fargo’s center-ice suite as part of a special social media campaign at the Mpls WinterSkate. Skaters are encouraged to take photos on the rink and post them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging @WellsFargo and using the hashtag #mplswinterskate. There are cutout social media frames for use as well. Each month from November through March, one individual who posts from the Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate and uses the @WellsFargo and #mplswinterskate hashtag will be selected to receive two (2) tickets to sit in Wells Fargo’s center-ice suite at Xcel Energy Center for the March 25 game between the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins. A total of 10 tickets will be awarded (5 winners + 1 guest each) during the promotion. For more information on Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate, visit

About the Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate:
The Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate is an open-air ice rink with a chilled sheet of ice located inside Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis. It is produced in partnership with the mpls downtown council, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and A Vibrant and Safe Downtown. The Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate is sponsored by Wells Fargo, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, Power Partner MN, Egan, VEIT, Kraus-Anderson, Xcel Energy, Love Your Melon, BUZ’N 102.9 FM, 104.1 JACK FM and 830 WCCO-AM. The rink is free and open to the community and has a heated warming house available for use during operating hours. Complimentary skates are available for use during warming house hours. For hours and programming information visit:


Announcing Northern Spark 2018: June 15 and 16 


The first ever two-night version of the free public art festival explores participatory projects in Downtown Minneapolis with the theme Commonality

Northern announces plans for the eighth annual Northern Spark, the free annual arts festival illuminating public spaces in the Twin Cities. Known for continually experimenting with size, location, and theme, this year’s Northern Spark will shift from a one night dusk to dawn event to two nights of art and connection with community—Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16—starting at dusk (9:02 pm) and ending at 2 am. Artists will explore the theme Commonality, with projects located in walkable and bikeable areas of Downtown Minneapolis, including The Commons, the Minneapolis Central Library, and Nicollet Mall.

Northern Spark 2018 theme: Commonality

The theme of this year’s festival takes its cue from its venues: The Commons, the Minneapolis Central Library, and Nicollet Mall. What is a 21st century commons? A 21st century library that serves everyone? A pedestrian avenue that is open to anyone?

At a time when the darkest parts of our collective identity surface daily in public forms — overt racism, everyday sexism, challenges to our rights to free speech, policies that fly in the face of climate science — Northern is committed to providing platforms that resist discriminatory ideas, open dialogue and create relationships. What do we have in common? In the context of Northern Spark, what do we share when we gather together in physical space?

The theme of commonality also grounds this year’s Creative City Challenge, a competition for artists, architects and designers in Minnesota to create an interactive work sited at The Commons through the end of July. Opening on the night of Northern Spark and supported by the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis, the competition winner will be announced in March.  

Artists are currently submitting proposals for this year’s festival and will also be announced in March.

“The theme of commonality emerged organically from this moment in time. As everything from politics to family relationships can feel divisive, there is a call to look at what connects us, but to do so critically. We’re interested in the ways that artists will celebrate and complicate the idea of commonality,” says Steve Dietz, co-director of Northern Spark.

The shift to two nights is both experimental and practical. In the words of Sarah Peters, co-director of Northern Spark, “A two night event gives us a built in rain date, but it also gives attendees more opportunity to experience the festival. So many people tell us they can’t see everything in one night. Now there are two!”

Programming and art will be the same each night.


The venues for Northern Spark 2018 are in downtown Minneapolis:

Dates and Times

In 2018, Northern Spark will take place over two nights, the third weekend in June until 2 am:

  • Friday, June 15, from 9:02 pm to 2 am

  • Saturday, June 16, 7 - 9 pm: Festival Launch Party

  • Saturday, June 16, from 9:02 pm to 2 am

Northern Spark Venue Partners

Northern Spark has always been a collaborative effort. Northern is grateful for the generous involvement of several organizations in the support and programming of Northern Spark 2018. Hennepin County Library at Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DiD) along Nicollet, Green Minneapolis at The Commons, and The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis. We are also excited to continue a programmatic partnership with African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) to support an artist at project at Northern Spark that will be re-presented at AEDS’ Little Africa Fest in August 2018. Northern Spark 2018 festival offerings will also include a project co-commissioned with Native American Community Development Initiative. Additional Programming Partners will be announced in March.

Northern Spark Background

Since 2011 thousands of Minnesotans and visitors have enjoyed Northern Spark, an annual arts festival illuminating public spaces in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In early June, tens of thousands of people gather to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces. Late into the night the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences.

Northern Spark is known as a dusk-to-dawn event. In 2018 we are experimenting with a two-night model for attendees to experience the artful magic of Northern Spark for two nights in a row until 2 am.

Memorable projects from past Northern Spark festivals include Chris Larson’s Celebration/Love/Loss, Jim Campbell’s Scattered Light, Luke Savisky’s Ex-MN, Pramila Vasudevan’s Census, and countless other projects from artists such as: Ananya Dance Theater, Marina Zurkow, HOTTEA, and Million Artist Movement.

Northern Spark is produced by Northern, a Twin Cities non-profit arts organization whose work ranges from large-scale public art platforms like Northern Spark to Art(ists) On the Verge, a year­long mentorship program for 5 emerging artists working with digital culture. We support artists in the creation and presentation of art in the public sphere, such as at St. Paul's Union Depot (Amateur Intelligence Radio), "choir karaoke" at the Minnesota State Fair (Giant Sing Along) and most recently Illuminate South Loop, a mini outdoor festival of nine interactive projects in Bloomington, MN’s South Loop in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Through projects such as Ruination: City of Dust, a location-­based environmental mystery game, and large scale festivals themed around social issues, our work helps audiences explore expanded possibilities for civic engagement through art.


City Pages Best of the Twin Cities Readers' Poll: Vote for Your Favorites

Each year, the annual Best of the Twin Cities issue highlights all the best things our metro has to offer, from the tastiest bars and restaurants, to the coolest people, parks, museums, and music.

Creating the list is a two part process. First, we vote in the 2018 Best of the Twin Cities Readers' Choice Poll. During the first round of voting (February 6 until midnight on February 27), nominate your favorite people, places, and things in 100 select categories.

Next, City Pages tallies the nominations, and from March 6 until midnight on March 27, we vote on the top five nominees in each category. The Readers' Choice Poll results will be revealed in the annual Best of the Twin Cities issue, online and hitting newsstands April 18.

Participants in the Readers' Choice Poll will automatically be entered to win four V.I.P. tickets to the Best of the Twin Cities party in April at Orchestra Hall.


From the mpls downtown council: 2017 by the Numbers

Downtown Minneapolis 2017 Year in Review

The mpls downtown council hosted its 62nd annual meeting on Monday, February 12 at the Hilton Minneapolis in front of a record crowd. More than 1,300 people registered for the event, which featured a comprehensive year in review. The annual meeting was emceed by WCCO-TV’s Amelia Santaniello, and the in-audience reporter was WCCO-TV’s Mike Augustyniak. 

Top 15 downtown employers:

  1. Target (8,333 Employees)
  2. Hennepin County Medical Center (7,105 )
  3. Wells Fargo (7,000)
  4. Hennepin County (6,595)
  5. Ameriprise Financial (4,893)
  6. U.S. Bank (4,651)
  7. Xcel Energy ( 2,351 )
  8. City of Minneapolis (2,060)
  9. RBC Wealth Management (1,475)
10. Thrivent Financial (1,352)
11. Capella Education (1,258)
12. Star Tribune (1,096)
13. SPS Commerce (1,002)
14. Federal Reserve Bank (970)
15. ABM (910)

2017 by the numbers:

- Current Downtown Population: 43,456

- Since 2006, downtown has gained 11,552 residents, a 36.2% increase

- Minneapolis topped $1 billion in construction permits for the 6th straight year. Of the $1.497 billion in permits, $777 million were from downtown wards 3 and 7 alone

- A combined 1,203 rented units and 374 owned residential units are currently under construction downtown

- Metro Transit ridership topped 81.9 million on buses and trains.

- Green Line LRT ridership reached 13.1 million rides, and Blue Line LRT’s 10.6 million rides

- Downtown’s Central Business District = 36.67% of all Twin Cities office space

- There was a 77% reduction in crime by Downtown 100 Offenders within the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Boundaries, the 8th straight year of 65% + reduction

- Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Orpheum Theatre ranked 8th worldwide in Pollstar tickets sold

- Minneapolis DID picked up 21,965 bags of trash, 2,394 recycling bags, removed 32,084 gum spots and issued 89,615 pedestrian assists

- The mpls downtown council added 86 members, bringing it s total membership to 440 organizations. The mdc had a 19% memb ership growth in 2017

- The 2025 Plan committees include 358 volunteers from the downtown community


Two Dates Left: Winter at the Walker

Celebrate Winter at the Walker with myriad activities both indoors and out during Target Free Thursday Nights. Trek out into the cold or thaw out inside with a warm drink. The Main Lobby transforms into a hygge haven in the Walker Warming House with art-making, music, and more.


Moonlight Snowshoe Tours, 6 & 7:30 pm

Bundle up in your winter best and join us for moonlight snowshoe tours of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Meet your guide in the Main Lobby, then venture out to see the snow-covered sculptures. Snowshoes are available free of charge, courtesy the University of Minnesota Center for Outdoor Adventure.

Little Box Sauna, 5–9 pm

Not into the cold? Sweat it out in the portable Little Box Sauna! Check it out for free on Thursdays in February and meet the architect. Book a proper sauna experience on weekends (Fridays–Sundays) through March 4 at (fee applies).

February 15: Snowshoe Showcase

Art Demonstration, 5–9 pm

John Beltman of the North House Folk Art School makes the snowy trek down from Grand Marais to share his decades of expertise about the crafting and history of snowshoes. Available all night in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab.

February 22: Weather Cartography

Art-Making: Weather Maps, 5–9 pm

Ever curious about the color patterns in meteorological reports? Join artist Alyssa Baguss and Jenny Undis of Lunalux when they present their specially debossed maps of the state of Minnesota that allow us to track changing weather patterns through colorful cartography. Available all night in the main lobby.

Music from DJ Brian Engle, 5–9 pm

Relax and vibe out to tunes spun on vinyl by DJ Brian Engle.

Don’t forget, you can also escape the cold in the Walker galleries - Gallery admission is free from 5 to 9 pm.


Restaurant Week February 18-23

Celebrate the best of Twin Cities dining with a week's worth of great deals in some of the Twin Cities trendiest and best restaurants during Restaurant Week, February 18-23. Participating restaurants will serve two to three course, prix fixe menus for just $10 to $35 per person. (beverage, tax and gratuity not included)

Sponsored by: Josh Cellars (To learn about the "Glass on Josh" promotion during February Restaurant Week click here!). Non-Profit Partner: Dining Out For Life® facilitated by The Aliveness Project.


Spring 2018 Talk of the Stacks Series Announced

Via a February 8 e-newsletter from Friends of the Hennepin County Library:

We are thrilled to announce our Spring 2018 Talk of the Stacks series, featuring some of today's most compelling literary voices! We hope you'll join us for our series of insightful and thought-provoking conversations.

Talk of the Stacks takes place at Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall. Events are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:15pm, Programs begin at 7:00pm.

Tuesday, February 27: Alicia Eler & Stephanie Glaros in conversation with MPR'S Stephanie Curtis

This dynamic trio will explore identity, authentic storytelling, and how to build a personal brand through the lens of digital media. Alicia Eler is the author of The Selfie Generation: How Our Self-Images Are Changing Our Notions of Privacy, Sex, Consent, and Culture. Stephanie Glaros is a teaching artist, author, and speaker, best known for her blog and book, Humans of Minneapolis. Stephanie Curtis is the Senior Producer for MPR's The Thread and co-host of The Cube Critics, a weekly film review podcast. 

Tuesday, April 24: Alex Wagner, CBS News Anchor & Correspondent

In her narrative nonfiction debut Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, Alex Wagner takes a journey into her own ancestry and discovers the ways in which race and immigration redefine the American experience.

Wednesday, May 16: Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate & Pulitzer Prize Winner 

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is the author of The Body's QuestionDuende, and Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction. Smith's forthcoming collection of poems, Wade in the Water, deftly dissects the nature of citizenship in a time when the American past and present continuously collide. 

Note - The May 3rd and 4th events with Jesmyn Ward are already sold out.


News from Downtown Resource Group (DRG)

The Downtown Resource Group (DRG), located in the North Loop at 700 Washington Ave N, would like to share a few items with our readers.

First, there's the January 2018 Minneapolis Market Report:

Next, throughout the month of February, post your date night photos using the hashtag #DRGDateNight for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

Follow them on Facebook for more market updates, offers and related events.


Rewire Segment Delves into the Recycling Dilemma and Possible Solutions

This Rewire video looks at how China's discontinuation of processing US recyclable materials (due to too many contaminants) has forced changes in the recycling industry. Recycling contamination has been an issue for years, and we should all be concerned about it. It makes it difficult for sorting facilities to make a profit, and results in more trash going to landfills.

In this video, experts across the country discuss ideas on how to fix this difficult situation, and explore the solutions that were piloted at the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis.