Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven

Joan Bennett

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits 

Doug Verdier

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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.


"Hennepin County: A better way. Lived here." on Display in Hennepin Gallery thru May 26

"Hennepin County: A better way. Lived here." on display in Hennepin Gallery through May 26

An exhibit featuring the people and places that make Hennepin County a great place to live, work and play. 

Hennepin County dwells at the heart of a state and region known for strong values and good living. We expect our government to reflect the values we cherish in our own lives, and we believe our leaders embody our hopes for the future.

Here, we promise to be the first to respond when our residents are in need, and we strive to ensure that all who live, work and do business within our borders have the opportunity to pursue a better way of life.

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 and a project of Hennepin County Communications.


April is Donate Life Month, and HCMC Boasts Impressive Transplant Record

donate life 2017

Via an April 4 e-newsletter from Hennepin County Medical Center:

Organ, tissue and eye donations provide renewed hope to thousands of people waiting for transplants each year.  Through the remarkable process of donation, it is possible for a single donor to save or enhance the lives of up to 60 people. Such hope is truly a gift – one made possible by the generosity of individuals who said “yes” to donation and made the decision to give life or sight to those in need.

On Wednesday, April 5, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) continues its annual tradition of celebrating those who have given and received the gift of life and sight through organ donation. The annual flag-raising ceremony will take place in front of its 717 S. Sixth St. entrance at 9:40am.
DONATE LIFESince completing the upper Midwest’s first kidney transplant in 1963, HCMC’s transplant program has performed over 2,700 kidney transplants, with an increasing percentage involving living donors. In 2010 the first paired exchange transplant in the upper Midwest was completed at HCMC, adding to its 54-year history of “firsts” in transplant care.

HCMC is a Level I Adult and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and public teaching hospital. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, HCMC offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including its Transplant Program, which recently marked its 54th year of providing state-of-the-art transplant services.

For more information about organ donation or to register to be a donor, go to


Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis announce the 2017 Earth Day Clean-Up Event

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board along with the City of Minneapolis announce the 23rd Annual Minneapolis Earth Day Clean-Up event on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9:30 am – 12 pm. 

The Earth Day Clean-Up has become the largest community service project in Minneapolis and takes place at 37 clean-up sites throughout the city. Since 2008, more than 18,000 residents have removed more than 150,000 pounds of garbage. A special thank you to our 2017 Earth Day Sponsors for supporting this important community event; The Minnesota Lottery, The Wedge, and Birchwood Cafe.

It’s free to participate and residents are encouraged to participate by volunteering to help pick up trash in parks, neighborhoods, and watersheds. No registration needed, just choose a site and show up! To find a detailed list of clean-up sites and more information please visit or call 612-230-6479. 


MacPhail Spotlight Series Presents: Music in the Wild, featuring R.T. Rybak, May 6

Hop, swim, crawl, flutter! MacPhail Center for Music will take you on an energetic musical journey inspired by our natural world for the final Spotlight Series of the season.

MacPhail Spotlight Series: Music in the Wild features composers imitating racing horses, stomping elephants, braying donkeys, fluttering birds, crawling turtles and much more. Pieces include the ethereal “Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams, MacPhail composer Sarah Miller’s “Carnival of the Invasive Species” and a number of contemporary Bluegrass tunes inspired by Midwestern landscapes.

Former Mayor of Minneapolis and president and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation R.T. Rybak will be taking the stage as the narrator of the iconic “Carnival of the Animals” by Saint-Saens. Quite possibly Saint Saens' most popular piece, it musically depicts a number of animals, including pianists—his inside joke! “Carnival of the Animals” portrays characteristics, movements, gestures and sounds with precision and simplicity, placing it in the realm of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

"Music in the Wild is an appropriately energetic and colorful program for our final Spotlight concert,” says Mischa Santora, artistic director, Spotlight Series. “Highlights include Vaughan Williams' ethereal ‘Lark Ascending’, the wonderful bluegrass duo The OK Factor, and Minneapolis' former (and beloved) Mayor R.T. Rybak as narrator for ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint Saëns. Join us for this hopping, swimming, crawling and fluttering affair!"

Spotlight Series: Music in the Wild will take place on Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m. in MacPhail Center for Music’s Antonello Hall, 501 South 2nd Street in Minneapolis. A pre-concert conversation discussing the musical direction of the concert will occur at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available for $25 for adults, $15 for seniors (ages 55 and older) as well as youth (ages 6 through 18), and can be purchased by phone at 612-767-5250 or by stopping by Student Services at MacPhail locations in Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Apple Valley or White Bear Lake.

The MacPhail Spotlight Series is 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.

MacPhail Center for Music is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives and enriching the community through exceptional music learning experiences. Each year, MacPhail opens its doors to more than 13,000 students offering programming for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, at locations in Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Chanhassen, Golden Valley and Apple Valley, as well as 100 community partnerships across the Twin Cities and online at MacPhail Online. MacPhail has a 108-year history of excellence, promoting life-long learning and building long-term relationships between students and teachers.


Nonprofit Spotlight: Open Arms of Minnesota

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

Editor's note - This is the seventh in a series of articles spotlighting local nonprofits.

A short time ago, friends of ours got married and asked that instead of gifts to them, people donate to Open Arms of Minnesota. I am embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Open Arms of Minnesota. My research and visit there uncovered an amazing place, dedicated to "nourishing mind, body, and soul”.

The mission of Open Arms of Minnesota is to provide food for people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, ALS, and multiple sclerosis. I learned that ‘it’s a simple notion: people who are sick should not be without food. Yet every day people in our community with life-threatening illnesses find themselves unable to shop or cook — and, often, without the support network to help.’

As a cancer survivor, I know how critical the idea of food as medicine is. While undergoing chemotherapy, I lost my sense of taste.  Everything tasted like sawdust and my interest in eating disappeared. I found quickly that I needed to force myself to eat just as I needed to force myself to take medicine in order to heal.  Without good nutrition, healing is difficult if not impossible. Open Arms of Minnesota focuses on people with these challenges and provides nutritious food.

We were treated to a tour and conversation with Lisa Lane, Senior Director of Development and Community Engagement, and Jeanne Foels the Communication Manager. I learned that a day in a hospital costs about $2,500, while a year of healthy food from Open Arms of Minnesota costs approximately $3,100. Food is not only medicine, it needs to be part of any discussion about health care.

Lisa Lane and Jeanne Foels

Often the sickest people are also the most food insecure. Cooking and caring for a family does not change when you're sick. Tasks of daily living do not stop when you have a life threatening illness, and Open Arms of Minnesota strives to ease that burden.

Open Arms of Minnesota began in 1986 when Bill Rowe became concerned about people he knew who had HIV/AIDS and, with no treatment at that time, were suffering from wasting syndrome and dying quickly. He began cooking!  He was joined by other friends and they moved to a church basement to expand their services. By 1998, the Open Arms of Minnesota kitchen cooked and delivered meals to 429 people over the course of the year. The average client was a 36 year-old gay man, living in South Minneapolis. Many of these clients struggled to not only access good nutrition, but to eat at all. Volunteers delivered meals every single day in the early years at Open Arms of Minnesota, and these calorie-rich hot meals were often the only things their clients ate.

In 2010, Open Arms of Minnesota moved to a wonderful new facility on 2500 Bloomington Avenue South. The new facility is a 21,000 square foot building with a state of the art kitchen and bakery. Meals are cooked and delivered to over 1000 clients each week within the circle of highways 694 and 494. 5500 volunteers work at Open Arms of Minnesota every year, providing over 69,000 hours of service, which is the equivalent of 30 full time employees.

Meals at Open Arms of Minnesota are more than just food!  
· The meals are a daily reminder that you are not alone in your journey.
· The chefs take care of the work, so people can spend their energy on what’s important in their life instead of shopping and cooking.
· The service eases your financial burden.
· Open Arms of Minnesota helps you care for your family’s nutritional needs.

Clients are referred to Open Arms of Minnesota by providers, and while 80% are below the poverty line, money is not a qualifying factor. To qualify for Open Arms of Minnesota’ meal delivery service, you need to be diagnosed with one of four life-threatening illnesses; cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis or ALS, and live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The process can be started by accessing information online.

How can you help this amazing group? There are many ways. Donations are incredibly important and make a huge impact. Here are examples of what donations can do:
· $3,120 buys a year’s worth of meals   
· $1,680 buys a month’s worth of nausea care packs
· $500 buys five insulated delivery bags
· $240 buys a week’s worth of meals for a family of 4
· $60 buys a week’s worth of meals for a client
· $5 buys one delicious meal for a client

Open Arms of Minnesota holds fundraisers, including:
· Moveable Feast
· Open Arms of Minnesota Golf Classic
· Cook-a-thon

Claudia can be reached at


The Aliveness Project’s Annual 'Dining Out For Life' is April 27

On April 27 over 200 restaurants across Minnesota will participate in the 23rd Annual Dining Out for Life®, (DOL) a fundraiser for The Aliveness Project, a community center for Minnesotans living with HIV/AIDS. The restaurants donate a percentage of their sales to support the many services such as the hot meal program, food shelf, integrated therapies, health & wellness, case management and other programs. Over 400 Volunteer Ambassadors help on the day of the event for 1 or more meal times. More than $4 million dollars a year is raised to support the missions of 60 outstanding HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout North America.

Local participating restaurants include Wilde Cafe & Spirits and Zen Box. View a full list here.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl

Count down to Super Bowl 52 with this weekly video series of 52 love letters to Minnesota from notable Minnesotans. My North is an editorial video series created by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. Hear from tastemakers and stylemakers. Artists and athletes. Authors and entertainers. These are their odes to the state they love. Below are the first five videos - click here to see more


Today: Community Gathering and Remarks Acknowleding the End of the Heading Home Hennepin 10-year Plan to End Homelessness

Heading home header

There will be a community gathering and remarks acknowleding the end of the Heading Home Hennepin 10-year plan to end homelessness, a project of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis today, March 29, at the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue. Refreshments will be served at 4:00pm, program begins 5:00pm. Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the church

The project's mission was to help those facing homelessness find safe, decent and affordable housing and the supports needed to sustain it. This celebration will recognize the efforts made to achieve this mission and look forward to the work that remains.

Speakers include:
• Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis mayor and member of the Heading Home Hennepin Executive Committee
• Kimberly Carpenter, member of the Heading Home Hennepin Executive Committee
• Gail Dorfman, executive director of St. Stephens Human Services and original co-chair of the Heading Home Hennepin plan
• Jim Gertmenian, former head pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church and original co-chair of the Heading Home Hennepin plan
• David Hewitt, director of the Office to End Homelessness

Learn more about Heading Home Hennepin.


Dozens of Organizations Will Recruit Employees at April 3 Career Fair at Central Library

Dozens of organizations will recruit employees at next week's career fair

Job-seekers can connect with actively-recruiting companies at a career fair Monday, April 3, sponsored by Hennepin County Work and Economic Resource Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Event details:
• Monday, April 3
• 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
• Minneapolis Central Library, 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet Mall

Job-seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resume.

This career fair is part of a series of events to pair employers looking for workers with employees looking for job opportunities. All participating businesses are aiming to fill multiple openings.

Recruiters from nearly 40 organizations will attend the career fair, including:
• ACR Homes  • Augustana Care   • Carefree Living  • City of Minneapolis  • CobornsDelivers  • Comcast • Cub Foods  • Delta Global Services  • Doherty Staffing  • Domino’s  • DoubleTree by Hilton - Bloomington  Minneapolis South  • DoubleTree by Hilton - Minneapolis Park Place  • DoubleTree by Hilton - Minneapolis North  • Ebenezer Society  • Family Dollar • FedEx Ground  • First Student • First Transit • Goodwill-Easter Seals  • HMSHost • Hennepin County • Hilton Minneapolis  • Hyatt Regency Minneapolis • Indrotec • Mall of America • Minneapolis Marriott City Center  • Monterrey Security • Options Family and Behavior Services • PeopleReady • Select Comfort • Sojos pet food • Super America • SUPERVALU Distribution Center • Swissport North America • Target (downtown) • United States Postal Service • UPS • WIS International
• YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

This location is served by several bus routes. To find the best one, visit or call 612-373-3333.


Portion of Eastbound Washington Avenue to close Monday, March 27 thru June 1 

Eastbound Washington Avenue from Hennepin Avenue to Fifth Avenue South will close on Monday, March 27 afternoon until June 1. Westbound Washington Avenue will continue to have two lanes of traffic open.

A detour using Hennepin avenue to Fourth Street to Fifth Avenue South and then back to eastbound Washington Avenue will be in place.

This is a Hennepin County project. More information on this project is available at


Men in Trees!

Our neighbor Kathy Franzen captured a crew working on the trees in Gold Medal Park. (I'd want to be the guy with the ladder!)  :)


Nonprofit Spotlight: Dr. Heather Huseby of YouthLink

Article by Claudia Kittock 

Editor's note - This is the sixth in a series of articles spotlighting local nonprofits.

Dr. Heather Huseby is a force of nature.  She heads YouthLink and is a fierce advocate for the youth who use the services there. When I met Dr. Heather, she taught me that the most important thing we can do for the youth is to gently but firmly nudge them back onto a path, a future, and to support the journey. YouthLink does that. The people there share Dr. Huseby’s vision, and being part of the journey of the young people who come to YouthLink is an honor. I am proud to say I know her and proud to share her with the readers of Mill City Times.

How did you get this position?

I left my position as the Executive Director at Normandale Community College to become an independent consultant. As soon as I did, someone from the community called and encouraged me to consider an opening for a part-time consultant position at YouthLink. At the time, YouthLink was experiencing leadership and organizational difficulties. Coming from 30 years in higher education nonprofit leadership presented some interesting challenges and opportunities. Fortunately, I was hired as a consultant for 15 hours a week to bring alignment to the organizational vision and mission. After two years and hundreds of hours, the board offered me the position of Executive Director on a full-time basis. Our vision and mission was set, our strategic goals were aligned, and our commitment to always keep the needs of young people at the center of our work was a common value. 

One thing that stood out in my mind, and still remains in my mind today, was when I walked into what was then the drop-in for my interview for the part-time consultant position. There was a young woman sitting in the drop-in eating her lunch who looked exactly like my daughter. I asked a case manager about her and was told what they were able to tell me – she was homeless, waiting for housing with big dreams and hopes for her future but a lot of barriers in her way. That young woman I saw in the drop-in remains in my heart to this day as a reminder of why I am doing what I do.

What do you do in your current position?

In my current position, I make sure we are in compliance financially with our budget, that we secure and raise funds needed to meet and exceed our goals, and that we remain compliant to the fiduciary guidelines set by the nonprofit standards and laws of the state of Minnesota. It is my responsibility to ensure that our organization remains aligned with our vision and mission, including designing, building, and maintaining programming that transforms young people (16-24) experiencing homelessness into self-sustaining pathways of learning and work. The more than 2,013 unique young people we serve have a light and we want to help them shine - we will help them transform that spark into reality for their aspirations for the future. 

"I’d want others to know that any investment 
made is an investment in the future. These
young people are the next community leaders
and it’s worth the investment for our communities."

It is my job to make sure the outstanding, dedicated, and excellent staff members at YouthLink have the resources they need to implement the nine evidence-based principles for working with youth – and that they are able to work in an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment at all times. Finally, my position requires that I work directly with the board of directors to provide the information and knowledge necessary for this group of dedicated volunteers to follow the governance policies and bylaws. My job is making sure the young people we serve receive services of integrity, excellence, and self-empowerment.

What are you doing that is working?

For me, it is vital to always remain focused on a bold, clear, and consistent vision and always remember the bottom line is “what impact will this make on the young people we serve?” When we do that, and when we do that on a consistent basis, it works. When we are sidetracked and lose sight of our vision - when a vision gets buried, water-downed, diffused - conflict and fragmentation happens. 

What do you want the politicians of our city/county/state/country to know about the work you do? How can they help?

I want to say there are key public and elected officials who already know a great deal about our work; they continue to help bring about significant change for young people experiencing homelessness. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the leadership of Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman for her foresight and vision to bring together YouthLink and Project for Pride in Living (PPL) around the idea of creating permanent supportive housing for young people experiencing housing. Her dedication and advocacy is a significant reason “Downtown View” - our new five-story, 47-bed housing facility for 18-24 year young people - will open on site at YouthLink by spring 2018. Council Member Goodman, Council Member John Quincy, along with the entire City Council led by Council President Barbara Johnson has continually supported the YouthLink-PPL project.

Those involved with the workings of Hennepin County have also done much to support YouthLink’s work. Our partnership with the county goes back to the start of the agency more than 40 years ago. The commitment and dedication of the Hennepin County Board to ending homelessness has had significant impact on our work in finding solutions for young people experiencing homeless. In 2010, the Hennepin County Board provided financial support for YouthLink to become the host site of the Youth Opportunity Center. Board Chair Jan Callison, along with other key board members, have encouraged YouthLink and county staff to work together to find options for supporting the new YouthLink-PPL housing project. Our partnership with Hennepin County is a key to our progress.

I’d want others to know that any investment made is an investment in the future. These young people are the next community leaders and it’s worth the investment for our communities. The cost of making a difference with these youth is doable. It’s not a cost that is exorbitant and with just a small investment, the return is huge. A recent break-even analysis completed by Dr. Steven Foldes studied the economic burden of youth homelessness in Minnesota, focusing on the short- and long-term costs to taxpayers and society. The study examined comprehensive costs of more than 1,400 16-to-24 year olds who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless that visited YouthLink in 2011. The study found that all annual and support costs for the entire group can be covered if 89 youth (only 6.1% of the total young people in the study) were to earn enough so that they no longer need any public support, beginning at age 20. (Information on the dollar cost of homelessness can be found here:

One thing public officials and others can do to help is actually visit YouthLink to learn more about the young people we serve. But talking about the issue and not ignoring it can do the most help. Politicians can help by allowing youth service providers and the youth themselves to testify about the work being done; they can help by letting us bring legislation to them that they’ll accept; and letting us expand the legislation that we currently have. I really do want to thank the legislature for expanding funding for the runaway and homeless youth act, but there is still more to do, particularly in transformative services in programming and housing that we have that is making a difference and changing the lives of youth.

Individuals, community and business groups are all welcome to learn more about the young people we serve by visiting us at YouthLink, volunteering time to help in one of the many areas of need, or sleeping out at our annual Night of Hope Sleep Out. One example of making a difference is the support being provided by the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) to YouthLink. Starting in mid-2017, the new housing project will begin to ramp up by composing a team of navigators and coaches who will guide the residents toward their aspirations. Provided through a generous gift from the DMNA, this also means we will have additional peer outreach and staff outreach workers ready to go when the youth are ready to enter their new homes in Spring 2018.

Claudia can be reached at


Exploring the Upper River: LifeSource

Article by Kathleen Boe, Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Exploring the Upper River

A look at hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

LifeSource is an organization with a special mission and a special place in the hearts and minds of many people.

The organization manages organ, eye and tissue donation across the Upper Midwest, serving Minnesota, the Dakotas and areas of western Wisconsin. They work with hospitals and with the community to support the families of donors and encourage donor registration.

LifeSource also occupies a pretty special place along the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis. It’s at the end of the road, for now, along the west side of the river – driving along West River Road, the parkway and the bike trail come to an end right outside.

The organization moved here from St. Paul and broke ground on a sparkling new campus along the river in 2013. They were very taken by the view, and the sense of calm, and how that tied into the mission of helping both families who have lost loved ones and those who have benefited from organ donation.

The interior was designed with the families’ experience in mind. But on the outside, they took this to another level. The campus includes a memorial garden, which contains a wall remembering those who donated organs, eyes or tissue, as well as garden benches which serve to help memorialize donors as well.

And here’s where the site comes into play, because I’m really struck by the river in that area. It’s a wonderful view of the river because you can see south to the Broadway Avenue Bridge and the Plymouth Avenue Bridge and downtown. We often think of making connections with the river from downtown, but there’s a sense of magnificence when you see the river from this area. You get a bigger impression of the river’s role in the city.

Orvin “Ole” Olson ParkThe LifeSource Healing Garden offers people a chance to take a pause and take in what this river is. It’s wide, it’s powerful, and it’s a view of what the river should be: banked by parkland on both sides. Orvin “Ole” Olson Park sits between LifeSource and the river, ensuring that a clear view will be enjoyed by all for years to come.

Broadway Pizza, of course, is right nearby. But with further exploring, take another drive down Broadway to visit Breaking Bread Café or pick up a cookie at Cookie Cart. These are both locations that not only serve great food, but serve as job creation and job training centers, helping young people get the skills they need to be successful in the work force.

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at, or through


Ice Cream Flavor Idea Submissions for Izzy's 2017 People's Flavor Awards Due by April 23

Have you ever thought, "This would be a fantastic ice cream flavor!"?

If so, enter your idea in the 2017 People's Flavor Awards, an Izzy’s tradition held every-other summer. They're currently gathering customer submissions thru April 23, and finalists will be notified around May 9. The contest will conclude on Fathers Day, June 18, at Izzy's People’s Flavor Tasting Event in Minneapolis.

Four finalists are chosen from six categories (Kids, Chocolate, Mix-Ins, Fruit, Baked Goods, and Specialties). Izzy's team makes the ice cream, and customers vote at the contest. Ballots are counted and winners are announced in each category, including a Best in Show.

The next time you get a scoop of Chubby Bunny or Irish Moxie, just remember - those flavors resulted from previous People's Flavor Awards! Will you have the next winning flavor sensation?


MacPhail Summer Camps - For Ages 3 to Adult!

MacPhail summer camps blend high-quality instruction from experienced teaching artists with the fun and excitement of making music with other students who love music. There are camps for absolute beginners to advanced players in early childhood music, chamber music, piano, voice, composition, jazz and rock. Great for ages 3-adult.
New camps this year include Broken Instruments Camp, Encore String Orchestra Camp and a guitar camp for kids with no prior experience.

Click here for schedule.


Note Schedules for Buses Replacing Light Rail Trains During Track Maintenance, Repairs

Via a March 23 e-newsletter:

Buses replacing light rail trains to allow for track maintenance, repairs

Track work will improve light rail service in downtown Minneapolis, elsewhere

The first of several scheduled partial light rail shutdowns that will allow for track maintenance and repairs will take place this weekend.

Buses will replace light rail trains between the METRO Green Line’s Stadium Village and Snelling Avenue stations from 7 p.m. on Friday, March 24, through 3 a.m. on Monday, March 27. Replacement buses will operate on a similar schedule as trains but customers are encouraged to make extra time for their trips.

Light rail service will continue as scheduled on the Blue Line and on portions of the Green Line not impacted by the shutdown. 

This weekend's shutdown will allow for track repairs near Prior and University avenues. Additional track maintenance and improvements will require additional partial light rail shutdowns in the coming months.

Buses will replace Green Line trains between the Target Field and Stadium Village stations and Blue Line trains between the Target Field and Franklin Avenue stations on the following dates:

  • Friday, April 7, through Monday, April 10
  • Thursday, June 1, through Monday, June 5
  • Friday, June 23, through Monday, July 3

Buses will also replace Blue Line trains between the Franklin Avenue and 38th Street stations between Friday, May 12, and Monday, May 15.

The upcoming light rail shutdowns will begin in the evening and conclude early in the morning to minimize the customer impact. To the extent possible, major events have also been avoided. 

If there are weather-driven delays, the shutdowns may move to alternate dates.

Light rail service is being suspended for a variety of maintenance activities, including rail replacement, concrete and fence repairs and the construction of new track sections that will allow trains to move from one side of the track to the other in downtown Minneapolis.

There will also be lighting improvements at the Warehouse/Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Mall stations and a new pedestrian barrier installed at the Warehouse/Hennepin Avenue Station.

Metro Transit staff will be at stations throughout the shutdowns to direct customers to replacement bus service. More information can also be found at

Customers can stay informed about planned service changes by signing up for email or text Rider Alerts at

For Trip Planning assistance call the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333.  

Contact: Howie Padilla,, 612-349-7089


The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music, Walker Art Center and Schubert Club Mix present Roomful of Teeth at Aria, April 5

Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and sonic experimentalist Nick Zammuto (The Books) assemble a custom-built evening of sound explorations in a world premiere collaboration commissioned by the SPCO’s Liquid Music, Walker Art Center and Schubert Club Mix. In addition, the vocal ensemble performs the Minnesota premiere of Partita for 8 Voices, group member Caroline Shaw’s mesmerizing Pulitzer Prize-winning composition. The event takes place Wednesday, April 5, at Aria, 105 N First Street.

“We’re thrilled to join the line-up of world class, groundbreaking artists this year and are especially honored to be co-presented by Liquid Music, The Schubert Club and Walker Art Center, three of our favorite arts organizations in the country,” says Roomful of Teeth member Brad Wells. “Our collaboration with Nick Zammuto promises to elicit sounds and grooves that could only manifest in such a thoughtfully supported and artfully curated production.  Nick’s brilliance – creating intricate, tech-based grooves that seem to levitate – will be on full display in this new work. The piece features magical moments in which individual singers from Teeth are spotlighted as well as vast flowing musical tapestries for the whole group.”

Nick Zammuto explains that Self one, his new piece for Roomful of Teeth, “cycles between solos sung through a pitch/delay unit with an analog synth accompaniment, and highly rhythmic ensemble sections.” Nick elaborates that the the piece is about “finding our identities within a digital house of mirrors.”  
Wednesday, April 5, at Aria, 105 N First Street

“Roomful of Teeth’s Twin Cities’ debut is long overdue,” says Liquid Music curator Kate Nordstrum. “To make up for lost time, The Schubert Club, Walker and Liquid Music are banding together to commission a new work for the ensemble and jointly present the collaboration. We’re all great admirers of Nick Zammuto’s musical mind and so when we heard that Roomful of Teeth were hoping to work with him, we jumped on the opportunity. Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices will also be featured on the program, a special and electric piece that will sound and feel amazing at Aria.”

Roomful of Teeth is a GRAMMY-winning vocal project dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders.  

Nick Zammuto was one-half of the beloved experimental collage-pop duo, the Books. He lives and works in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, where he writes, records, mixes and masters his records in a small tractor garage converted into a studio. Just yards away from his studio is his house, which he designed and built himself, and large gardens where he and his wife manage to grow most of their own food for their three sons. This self-sufficiency and constant drawing of inspiration from his surroundings is synonymous with his musical vision; a statement about returning to a life in balance, while at the same time pushing the capacity of cutting-edge music technology to extend human emotion, rather than suppress it. Making music that sounds and feels like no one else is nothing new for Zammuto, but making music that doesn't even sound like his own past is a whole other impressive feat in itself.

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series develops innovative new projects with iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music. 

Schubert Club Mix is an innovative series presented by the Schubert Club that takes the formality out of classical music. Audiences are treated to remarkable and intimate performances with relevant artists who are influencing the musical landscape of today.

The Walker Art Center is catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences, the Walker Art Center examines the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. Established in 1927 as the Walker Art Gallery, in 1940 it adopted a new name and focused on modern and contemporary art exhibitions as well as screenings, performances and public programs. Today the Walker is one of the top-five most visited modern and contemporary art centers in the U.S. Multidisciplinary in focus, it is equally committed to advancing artistic innovation and interdisciplinary scholarship as it is with increasing access to lifelong learning in the arts. Led by Senior Curator Philip Bither since 1997, the Walker’s Performing Arts program under his tenure has been defined by its commitment to the increasingly blurred lines between artistic disciplines, including contemporary dance, new music-theatre, performance art, experimental theatre, avant-jazz, contemporary classical music, new global sounds and alternative rock and pop.


Preservation Alliance to Host Transit-Focused Tour Series

Via a March 21 Press Release from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM):

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is excited to announce three tours along transit lines in the Twin Cities this year. The tours are cultural and social explorations of major train or bus routes - Blue Line, A Line, and Green Line – and their immediate surroundings.
Tours will focus on the architecture, history, and development along each corridor. Tour groups will hop on and off the train or bus to explore nearby buildings and neighborhoods. Kristin Anderson, art and architecture professor at Augsburg College, will lead the tours, with commentary from Lucy Galbraith, Director of Transit Oriented Development at MetroTransit.
The series kicks off with a Blue Line tour on Saturday April 8th, featuring an exclusive tour of Target Field. The Twins are on the road, so it is a perfect time to explore the stadium and celebrate the return of baseball season. Entrance to Target Field is included in the registration fee for this tour.
Registration is available online through the Preservation Alliance of MN website, or Facebook page. Tickets are sold individually for each tour, not as a package. Sustaining Donors to PAM receive free admission to these tours.
Transit Tour #1: Blue Line $25
Saturday, April 8th, 9am-12pm
Meet at Target Field  (includes Target Field tour)
Transit Tour #2: A Line $20
Saturday, September 16th, 9am-12pm

Transit Tour #3: Green Line $20
Saturday, October 14th, 9am-12pm

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is a statewide nonprofit organization that leads and inspires people to connect to valued places in their communities. Whether it’s an old home or storefront on the corner, a rural community’s old high school, or an urban neighborhood’s long-retired factory, PAM works to preserve and protect the bond felt by community members toward these places, the memories such places represent, and the distinct characteristics they display. 
This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.


MPRB Announces the Ecological System Plan will Restart March 28

Via an March 20 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) are preparing the first-ever Ecological System Plan. This plan will set a vision for making parks and public lands more friendly to the environment.
An appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will resume its meetings, with the first scheduled on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 4:30-6 pm at MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road. The public may attend and participate in CAC meetings.

What is the Ecological Systems Plan?

The Ecological System Plan will seek to first understand the ecology of the city and watershed, then plan for parks and public lands management and improvements that benefit both humans and nature.
It will address specific threats such as climate change, decreasing water quality, explosion of invasive species, increasing runoff, and fragmentation of habitat. It will envision a more environmentally sound way of managing the impacts of the city, so that the city can be cleaner, greener, cooler, and more efficient.

Specifically, the ecological system plan will:
• Compile, create, and illustrate citywide ecological data;
• Craft a vision for natural resources and public lands within the watershed and city;
• Outline guiding principles for management; and
• Challenge the community to rethink the city around them—from the local neighborhood park to the Grand Rounds to backyards—in terms of ecological function, benefit, and health.

Get Involved

In addition to attending the first CAC meeting, the public may provide input and stay informed about the project in the following ways:
• Visit the project page to stay up to date on the project and see some of the amazing maps and drawings we plan to create.
• Attend any of the planned community events that will take place in the parks over the next year as the Ecological System Plan project page takes shape. More details will be made available on the project website as these events are scheduled and planned.
Sign up to receive email updates or, if you are already a subscriber, add “Ecological System Plan” to your subscription preferences.

Ellen Kennedy
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Phone: 612-230-6577


Magical History Tour 2017 Segway Season is Officially Underway

The Magical History Tour Historic Riverfront Segway Tours are now open for reservations, and they are offering some specials to get the season underway:

1) Pricing based on weather:  The outside high temperature is the price you pay for the tour (see website for details).

2) Birding Tour: The March / April tours run along the Mississippi River, a causeway for major bird migration in North America. 325 bird species use the Mississippi flyway to migrate North and South each year. With over 15 nesting pairs in Minneapolis you may even get to see a Bald Eagle!

Click here for reservations.