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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.


Road Closures for April 28 Get in Gear Races

The following roads will be closed Saturday, April 28, from approximately 8:30a - 1pm for the Get in Gear 5K, 10K & Half Marathon:

- Godfrey Parkway
- West River Parkway (from Godfrey to Portland Ave S)



Jennifer Weber Named Youth Coach of the Year

Article by Claudia Kittock 

The 6th Annual Women Coaches Symposium took place on April 19, and it included the first ever Youth Coach of the Year award. We are thrilled to announce that our very own Coach Jennifer Weber was the recipient. Jennifer is a board member of the Friends of the Mill City, and an integral member of our community. I was honored to nominate her, and am even more honored to share some of her story.

Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Brian Klempke of Jostens, Coach Weber, Gretchen Hunt, Cheryl Reeve. Submitted photo

Three years ago, I felt the need to connect with our neighbors in the Cedar Riverside community. Building a community involves many coffees, many meetings, and a willingness to talk with everyone. After an initial meeting with Bihi Abdirizak, he urged me to meet with “Coach.” As he explained, everyone in the community knew her, respected her, and she would be the best person to guide me in my work. As she told one of the kids we were working with, “If you find yourself in Cedar Riverside and aren’t sure if you are safe, just say, ‘I’m with Coach Jennifer’ and you will be fine.” She was right.

When we met we immediately ‘recognized’ each other as we share many interests and passions. Coach Jennifer began as a volunteer in the Cedar Riverside Community School while finishing her teaching degree at Augsburg. She has worked in the community for 25 years. Upon graduation she was hired as a behavior specialist and founded the Cedar Riverside Community Traveling Basketball program five years ago.

Jennifer is indomitable. There are no problems she cannot and will not tackle and solve. Her entire approach to athletics is to use them to teach young people responsibility, hard work, command of their bodies, and doing things the right way. Her teams are consistently good. They play up-tempo, intelligent basketball. As a long-time aficionado of the game, I love to watch Cedar Riverside basketball. At one game I attended, her team was up by 10-15 points throughout the game, then got sloppy and lost. She let them lose, and used the game as an excellent lesson in intensity, hard work, and respect for their opponent. It was an amazing sports moment.

Her Muslim athletes have experienced poor sportsmanship from other adults and other teams. She uses each and every instance to show her players how to respond, and her athletes do as they are taught. They respond with dignity, calmness, never answering with anything other than calmness and respect, even when they are not shown the respect they deserve.

Coach Jennifer works equally with the girls of Cedar Riverside, and in predominately Muslim community, that has been anything but easy. She started with the elders of the community, explaining what she wanted to do and asking them what she needed to do to be able to teach these young women the game of basketball. One strenuous objection was modesty. Coach Jennifer worked with a fashion designer to design a sport hijab that was acceptable to the elders of the community. I don’t know any other coach who would do that.

Jennifer helped me start the Mill City Players, a theater program for young people from the Cedar Riverside neighborhood and for teens experiencing homelessness. For ease we refer to ‘her kids’ and ‘my kids’.  Jennifer loves to say that even though we refer to them that way, they are all ‘our kids’, and they are. One of ‘my kids’ is, once again, living on the street. Jennifer is working with him to help him qualify as a basketball referee. He is a devoted basketball player, works two jobs, and, with her help, will be able to work three.

Jennifer holds a multi-day garage sale every spring to fund her programs. Her athletes solicit the contributions, price them, and work the sale. It is hard work, and her student/athletes do all of the work.

I know I have missed many, many things Jennifer has accomplished, because it is impossible to list everything she has done as a teacher and as a coach. As an educator, I am incredibly critical of other educators, and very picky about who should work with children. Jennifer passes all tests with flying colors. I would put ‘my’ children on her teams and be thrilled by what they are learning.

She is extraordinary in every way. I am honored to know Jennifer. I am even more honored to work with her. I am even more honored to be able to watch what she does. She is my friend and a woman I admire with all my heart.

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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).



Minneapolis Veterans Job Fair April 25 at TCF Bank Stadium

DAV and RecruitMilitary will host the Minneapolis Veterans Job Fair on Thursday, April 25 at TCF Bank Stadium from 11am to 3pm for veterans, transitioning military personnel, National Guard members, Reservists and military spouses. This event features 55+ employers and coincides with RecruitMilitary’s new partnership with Google and its MOS Job Search Tool for military trained talent.

Google’s new MOS Job Search Tool changes the way Minnesota military trained talent can find civilian jobs based upon their military job experience. Job candidates can now use RecruitMilitary’s job board to preview available job opportunities near Minneapolis/St. Paul or nationwide and experience a refined search that’s powered by Google’s machine learning algorithms and built-in military occupational specialty (MOS) understanding to civilian job matching.

  • The new search function is key to those veterans or service members who are actively seeking new career opportunities but are unsure of where to begin.  Now with help from Google’s search, RecruitMilitary provides an enhanced running start that is needed by job seekers who are new to the civilian job search process.  
  • This functionality will make it easier for veterans to find the next step in their career in the civilian workforce.
  • In early testing of this service, RecruitMilitary’s average daily job searches by logged in job seekers is up 37%.
  • Daily job applications submitted by job candidates are up 91%.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s February report, the rate of veteran unemployment holds steady at an all-time historic low – currently at 2.7%, which means military trained talent is in demand by civilian employers.  
  • Now Google and RecruitMilitary are making it easier for both job seekers and employers by changing the job search and job placement processes for both parties.

Details on the new Google search tool can be found here:


Exclusive Luxury Condo Planned for North Loop; Features Twin Cities First Mass Timber Residences


Developer Unveils Plans for Glass and Terracotta Structure with Sustainable Features

The North Loop in Minneapolis will soon play host to a Minnesota first. Todd Simning and Colin Oglesbay announced that they will break ground on a 10-story, 7,500 square foot retail, 79-unit LEED Gold luxury mixed-use condominium building, TMBRTM, this fall with completion early 2021.

Simning is president of Excelsior-based luxury homebuilder Kroiss Development and Oglesbay is managing principal of Minneapolis-based D/O Architecture. Simning and Oglesbay are developing the project under newly formed TMBR Development, LLC.

TMBR, planned for a half-acre parcel located at 100 North Third Avenue, will feature the Twin Cities’ first residency constructed using mass timber frame. Mass timber construction creates an efficient, sophisticated and durable post-and-beam system while incorporating minimal steel and concrete. It is also sustainable, renewable, durable and uses the least amount of energy to build and contributes to lower greenhouse emissions.

TMBR, the vision of Oglesbay, will be a showcase of sustainable features, including a partial green roof and gardens, high performance thermal windows and electric car charge stations. The design features a singular mass of glass and terra cotta paneling resting upon a base of black steel. Residents will be treated with expansive views of the Minneapolis skyline and the Mississippi River, within easy walking distance of the North Loop retail shops, grocery and restaurants. Reservations for this new residence are limited to 79, with options for one, two, three-bedroom and penthouse units, starting at $450,000.

“TMBR will appeal to those seeking a boutique style luxury home but who also want more than just another condo. They are seeking something different, something smarter, more ecological, sustainable and with high end finishes,” said Simning. “We’re starting a new revolution in development.”

Simning believes TMBR will do for residential construction what T3 did for office buildings. In 2016, T3 became the first mass timber construction office building in the Twin Cities.

Visit for more information. To get your name on the insider’s list, contact Joe Grunnet of Downtown Resource Group. Follow TMBRnorthloop on Facebook and Instagram.


Sports Fans: Enter Your Nominations Now for the 3rd Annual “Minnesota Sports Awards”

Via an April 23 e-announcement form Meet Minneapolis:

The Sports Minneapolis awards gala highlights Minnesota’s top high school, college and professional athletes plus the 2019 Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Nominations are open now for the third annual Minnesota Sports Awards, hosted by Sports Minneapolis, and powered by Meet Minneapolis. Sports fans from around the state are encouraged to nominate their favorite athletes and coaches who have demonstrated excellence in their sports and leadership within the community. The deadline for high school and college athlete nominations is June 21. Nominations for professional athletes, Courage Award, Coach of the year and Sports Moment of the Year close in August. Winners will be announced at the Minnesota Sports Awards on December 11 at a celebration that also features the Star Tribune’s 2019 inductees to the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.

The Minnesota Sports Awards categories available for nomination submissions include:

High School Athlete of the Year (Girls/Boys)

Awarded to the high school athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the 2018-2019 athletic season.

Collegiate Athlete of the Year (Women/Men)

Awarded to the collegiate athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the 2018-2019 athletic season.

Professional Athlete of the Year

Awarded to the professional athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the 2018-2019 athletic season.

Coach of the Year Award

Awarded to the coach – at the high school, collegiate or professional level – who has set the highest standard for excellence for their team, their sport and in their contributions to the community during the 2018-2019 athletic season.

Minnesota Sports Moment of the Year Award

Recognizing a single Minnesota sports moment from a game or competition in the past year that energized sports fans, displayed remarkable athletic skill or demonstrated incredible sportsmanship.

Courage Award

Awarded to an athlete or sports figure who overcame significant challenges on or off the playing field, inspiring others with their courage, perseverance and determination during the 2018-2019 athletic season.

This year’s Sports Minneapolis Minnesota Sports Awards gala dinner will take place Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot. Ticket sales will be announced in September. The evening features honorees, iconic Minnesota athletes and team representatives to share stories about their teams and sports. In addition, the award program will be carried live by FOX Sports North across multiple digital platforms and rebroadcast at a later date.

For recaps of past years’ Minnesota Sports Awards, go here.


Sports Minneapolis leads the region in bidding, winning and executing major professional and amateur sporting events that impact the city of Minneapolis and beyond. Sports Minneapolis, a division within Meet Minneapolis, has played a major role in securing events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four, Major League Baseball All-Star Game, USA Girls’ Jr. Volleyball, CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer, X Games and more. Amateur and professional sports events increase visitor spending and tax revenue that benefits the local community.

In addition to securing upcoming NCAA championships and major events, such as the 2020 
Division I Wrestling Championships, 2021 Division I Men’s Gymnastics Championships, and the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Regional, Sports Minneapolis and its partners will be the local organizing committee for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four. For more information on Sports Minneapolis, visit


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

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


Our Lady of Lourdes & the City: Part II

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

The history of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the city of Minneapolis has been intertwined since their beginnings. In my November 27 article, I went over the early history of the church’s building and congregation. In 1855, the Universalists built their place of worship in a Greek Revival style, and twenty-two years later in 1877, the Catholic French-Canadians of Minneapolis and Old St. Anthony bought the building. During the next five years the congregation transformed it into a breathtaking French Gothic church that seemed like it was taken right out of France. From 1877 to the turn of the century, the church and the city of Minneapolis grew at very rapid paces as they welcomed settlers and immigrants, but that was just the beginning. 

In 1882 the parish had over 350 families attending Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, and with that many families there became an apparent need to expand their school, which was located in the basement. The school was outgrowing the space and it was not exactly in a convenient location for the neighborhood children to walk to, so in 1888, the parish acquired land on 6th Avenue and 5th Street NE for $4,000 to build a new school building. Once the new Notre Dame de Lourdes School was completed the Grey Nuns of Montreal took over and ran the school, and they taught every subject in French except for English language and Math classes. Soon after in 1906, the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet from St. Paul took over operations of the school upon the request of Archbishop John Ireland, and thus ended the tenure of French being used as the predominant language during classes.

Notre Dame de Lourdes school

Notre Dame de Lourdes School classroom taken around 1900

The population of Minneapolis was continuing to grow very quickly during the turn of the 20th century. However, this growth did not include more French-Canadians immigrating to the city. Because of this, the parish saw its highest membership in 1901 of over 2,000 parishioners. The decline in membership was not immediate, but it was noticeable during the years to come. Those who grew up going to the now English-speaking Notre Dame de Lourdes School were more likely to intermarry with other English-speaking cultures throughout Northeast Minneapolis. This led to more families leaving the parish and moving to other parts of Minneapolis as Northeast was becoming crowded. Some time later in 1917 Archbishop Ireland once again made a change at the French Church by assigning the Marist Fathers to run the parish, and it became one of two churches in the archdiocese to not be run by diocesan clergy. 

Ten years later in 1927, the Christian Brothers of nearby DeLaSalle Catholic High School agreed to assign the Marist Fathers of Our Lady of Lourdes as the chaplains of the school. This made the parish’s connection with the community even stronger. While the Marists are French in origin, the priests of the American Province of the Society of Mary who were now at the French Church decided to stop conducting Mass in French. It was not a permanent change, but this marked the end of a forty-year run of Our Lady of Lourdes truly being a French church.

The back of the church taken from 2nd Street SE

As made apparent by his actions with Our Lady of Lourdes, Archbishop Ireland made it a priority during his tenure to get the Catholics of Minneapolis and St. Paul to leave behind their cultures and become more American. If you visit any Catholic church in the archdiocese, it is clear that traditions have been passed down and are still important to the congregations, but if Archbishop Ireland’s campaign to make his churches more American did one thing, it was to make English the predominant language. In a melting pot of a city like Minneapolis, this was the only realistic outcome.

Both the city and its Catholic churches have always been diverse. From German and Italian to Ecuadorian and Vietnamese, this mosaic of cultures can be seen in every parish, including Our Lady of Lourdes. This diversity did not happen overnight, however. As churches began opening their doors to their neighbors and coming together under the English language in the early 1900’s, the slow process of uniting not only the Catholics of the community, but everyone in the community, had started. This change was difficult for the French Church as its membership was steadily going down for much of the following decades. The years to come for Our Lady of Lourdes would be the most challenging, but after these difficult times one of the church’s most prosperous periods would follow.

While my next installment of this series will touch upon Our Lady of Lourdes working hard to find success in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st, we already know the outcome. The church is once again a pillar of the community as they continue to welcome everyone with open arms and show support for the East Hennepin area. During this important week for Catholics around the world there are themes of redemption, rebirth, and renewal. By keeping these motifs in mind, the perseverance of the church and congregation have helped Our Lady of Lourdes make a strong comeback.

However, that story has yet to be written for another Our Lady. The fire at Notre Dame de Paris is heartbreaking for not only those who are religious, but also those who appreciate architecture, history, art, and culture. It may be sad and overwhelming, but if there’s a will there’s a way, and the Human Will is a very powerful force. It may take quite some time, but if Notre Dame de Lourdes in Minneapolis can make a comeback, so can Notre Dame de Paris, I know it. 

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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 6+ years.

He can be reached at


Friends of the Mississippi 2018 Annual Report

Friends of the Mississippi invites you to enjoy their interactive online annual report. Listen to the amphibian chorus at a restored wetland, play before and after videos of a soybean field transformed into prairie, and maybe even spot yourself in photos of volunteers replanting the river’s banks. They shine a spotlight on the river and dedicated supporters in this 25th Anniversary video.


Neighborhoods 2020 Public Comment Report

Via an April 19 e-announcement from the City of Minneapolis:

Good afternoon, neighborhood and community leaders.

I am pleased to share the Neighborhoods 2020 Public Comment Report with you today.

NCR received over 300 statements, comment cards and letters from the community during the 63-day public comment period. NCR attended 40 presentations to neighborhoods, community groups and the general public, reaching over 1,000 people, to solicit this valuable feedback.

A small, multi-perspective group reviewed the comments and created a set of recommendations to the Neighborhoods 2020 Framework in response. You can view the summary, original comments and the original Neighborhoods 2020 Framework at

Based on this community input, NCR is revising the framework and will be presenting to the City Council’s Public Health and Community Engagement Committee on May 6. We expect to publicly release the proposed Neighborhoods 2020 Framework with revisions by April 26.

As always, please contact the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department at 612-673-3737 or email to if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your time and contributions to this process.

David Rubedor
Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations
ADA Title II Coordinator
City of Minneapolis – Neighborhood and Community Relations
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425 105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Office: 612-673-3129
For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact Nick Ngo at or 612-673-3737. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.  TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626. Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

Eleven Project Prep Gets Underway

Submitted photo

If you travel West River Parkway between 11th Avenue S and 12th Avenue S, you'll notice the Eleven condominium project prep is underway, starting with a fence wrap pictured above. (Picture was taken from Gold Medal Park across 11th Avenue S.)

Thank you to Evans Larson Communications, a communications firm working with developer Ryan Companies, for providing us with periodic project updates to share with our Mill City Times readers.


Fashion Week MN Announces Spring 2019 Lineup, April 28 - May 4

Via an April 18 Press Release form Fashion Week MN:

Fashion Week MN (FWMN) has announced it will host its Spring 2019 edition on April 28 through May 4. 

This spring, expect another exciting lineup that showcases the work of local fashion veterans and fresh up-and-coming talent. This spring’s lineup features 15 events that represent a cross-section of the Minneapolis-St. Paul fashion community, showcasing the diverse talent within the local fashion community.

Returning events include I AM Fabulous, a fashion show celebrating beauty and style of Minnesota women over 65; and FLAGRANT: Fashion of the Fringe, an eclectic runway show produced by Fox Den Salon showcasing one of the most imaginative hair styling teams in Minneapolis in collaboration with local fashion designers.

The week of events kicks off with W Minneapolis presents Minnstafashion: Official Fashion Week MN Kickoff in partnership with The Scout Guide Minneapolis on Thursday, April 24, where attendees dress to impress while mingling with members of the local fashion community at the W Minneapolis hotel. This year’s circus-themed event features live fashion presentations featuring top emerging designers, pop-up shopping, and a live DJ.

The full Fashion Week MN: Spring 2019 Official Lineup includes:

Sunday, April 28:

I AM Fabulous: The 4th annual event produced by I AM Sarah Edwards celebrates the distinctive style and beauty of women and men of advanced age. Bring the whole family to this afternoon runway show featuring models aged 65 and older, plus cocktails and pop-up shopping. (11am-2pm @ The Hutton House. Tickets now available.)

A Night of LEXURÌE Season 2: This runway presentation will showcase ready-to-wear, couture and high-end streetwear from the Spring/Summer 2019 LEXURÌE collection by Minneapolis designer Alexis Brazil. The black-American designer will showcase her designs on models from a range of cultural backgrounds and body types to represent a new beauty standard. (6-9pm @ Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Tickets now available.)

Monday, April 29:

Emerging Designer Showcase & Mixer: Mix and mingle with other members of the local fashion community while viewing looks by emerging designers at this casual social event. Free. (5-7pm @ location TBA)

Tuesday, April 30:

Trippy Stylez Fashion Show Pt. 2: Trippy Stylez is a Minneapolis-based hair braids and extensions salon creating styles inspired by fashion and self expression. After debuting at last fall’s FWMN, this fashion show will celebrate Minnesota’s diverse fashion community through colorful hairstyles paired with custom art and fashion by local designers. (7-10pm @ location TBA)

Wednesday, May 1:

IamMoody presents Spring Has Sprung: IamMoody has been producing fashion shows in the Twin Cities for 30 years. This spring, Richard Moody & Co. present a runway show featuring new spring collections from a group of local designers in a high-energy runway show, showcased by models of diverse ethnicities and genders. (6pm doors, 7pm show @ Piggy Bank. Tickets now available.) 

Thursday, May 2:

Inherit the Lifestyle: Silhouettes of the City: In celebration of its 2nd anniversary, North Loop boutique Queen Anna—founded by local retail vet Nicole Jennings—is hosting its first-ever in-store fashion show. Modeled by Queen Anna clients, the inclusive runway show celebrates the diverse styles and body shapes of working women on-the-go in the Twin Cities. (6-9pm @ Queen Anna House of Fashion. Tickets now available.)

Friday, May 3:

Larissa Loden Jewelry presents You’re a Gem Museum: Presented by local jewelry brand Larissa Loden, this “content museum” is an immersive, artist-inspired installation featuring local designers and artists, with each room highlighting various properties of gemstones. Think Museum of Ice Cream, only with gems. (6-10pm @ Northrup King Building)

Fox Den Salon presents FLAGRANT: Fashion of the Fringe 2: Following their debut at last year’s Fashion Week MN, Fox Den Salon’s FLAGRANT Fashion of the Fringe is back—and this time, it’s going to be a hair brawl. Four salons, each paired with a fashion designer, competes for the title onstage with live music, judging and audience participation. (7pm doors, 7:30pm show @ The Pourhouse Uptown. Tickets now available.)

Saturday, May 4:

Ice Cream Bow Ties presents ANIKI: Kids’ Fashion Show: Inspired by his love of cold treats and LEGO, 11-year-old designer Aniki Allen created Ice Cream Bowties, a line of handcrafted bow ties for kids. This event highlights the diversity of Twin Cities youth through a runway show featuring the brand paired with fun and edgy kids’ fashions. (Noon-2pm @ location TBA. Tickets now available)

St. Kate’s Katwalk: St. Catherine University’s annual student fashion show features designs by nine seniors and nine juniors from the school’s apparel, merchandising and design program. Featured designs also emphasizes sustainability and cultural diversity, including modern Hmong designs and a line inspired by Día de los Muertos. (4:30pm & 7:30pm shows @ St. Catherine University. Tickets available 4/1)

HWMR presents KING KUNTA Official Launch: HWMR’s retail store and barber shop is fast becoming an iconic cultural gathering space in the Northside of Minneapolis. The official launch event for the brand’s new line will include a high-energy, in-store fashion show and the first chance to shop the new designs. (6-9pm @ HWMR. Tickets now available)

The Fitting Room presents Spring Soirée Fashion Show + Shopping Party: Minneapolis boutique The Fitting Room was founded in 2018 by fashion designer (and former co-owner of Showroom boutique) Kimberly Jurek-Valanzasca to showcase designs by a curated group of local fashion designers. This runway show will highlight spring collections from the store’s roster of designers, which can be purchased in a pop-up shop following the show. (7pm @ Center For Performing Arts)

Additional information, including participating designers, locations, times and tickets, will be announced soon. Learn more at, and follow Fashion Week MN on Facebook at, and @fashionweekmn on Instagram and Twitter.

What is FWMN?

Fashion Week Minnesota is a bi-annual event of runway shows, presentations, panels, and shopping events used to highlight the current collections of Minnesota-based designers, brands, and retailers. The event is organized by Fashion Week MN, a volunteer-run, community-oriented, not-for-profit organization that organizes two fashion weeks each year—a spring edition in April, and a fall edition in September. Annually, FWMN is attended by more than 2,500 attendees during more than 15 events in 7 days. Fashion Week MN was founded in fall 2015 by Jahna Peloquin and Sarah Edwards. 


Be Prepared to Feel the "Shake" at Pure Barre North Loop

Aritcle by Brianna Ojard, photos by Ryan Ojard

Nestled into a retail space in the Mill City Quarter building you’ll find Pure Barre North Loop. Barre, if you’re not familiar, is a workout that focuses on small, isometric contractions and high rep, low weight endurance exercises that activate Type I, or slow twitch, muscle fibers. When done correctly these exercises result in what’s referred to as “barre shake”, basically a muscle overload that causes involuntary trembling. The shake is a good thing, it means your muscles are changing and you’re making progress.

I spoke with Studio Manager and Instructor Leah Donnelly and she likens barre classes to a fusion of ballet, Pilates, and yoga that will help to tone your entire body, improve balance, and boost energy when practiced consistently. To help you achieve these outcomes Pure Barre offers 3 class formats: Pure Barre Classic, Pure Empower, and Pure Reform. Pure Barre Classic utilizes the small isometric contractions barre is known for along with balls, resistance tubes, and light weights to tone and lengthen muscles. Pure Empower builds on the foundation of the Classic class by increasing cardio and adding additional equipment such as ankle weights and platforms. Pure Reform is the most Pilates inspired class and uses both resistance tubes and sliders to move through Pilates-based moves.

The Pure Barre North Loop studio space

The great thing about all of the classes is that they are completely modifiable. “Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey, recovering from an injury, or are staying fit through a pregnancy, our classes can be adjusted to meet you where you are at,” explained Leah. I asked her if the reverse was true, would an athlete find the classes beneficial? She assured me that even those in peak physical condition will be able to challenge themselves at Pure Barre. I consider myself to be in pretty decent shape so I decided to try out a couple classes to see if this was true.

I started with a Pure Barre Classic class. We began on the floor with a warm up, worked our core with a series of planks, and utilized tubes and light weights to work our legs and arms. We then moved to the barre and began a series of ballet inspired moves that targeted our legs and glutes and challenged our balance. It was during this portion of class that I got my first taste of the barre shake and burn, and while it was uncomfortable it was manageable. After our work at the barre we returned to the floor for a bit more core work and a nice, stretchy cool down. Overall all I enjoyed the class and felt like it was a great total body toner.

Pure Reform resistance tubes and sliders

I also tried Pure Reform. I’m a big fan of the Pilates Reformer and was curious how we would use sliders, resistance tubes, and the barre to mimic the movements you’ll typically find in a Reformer class. After a session out on the floor with the sliders where we fired up our core (and by fire I mean it burned!), we moved to the barre and began to use the tubes. We transitioned between using the tubes while standing, kneeling, and lying down to tone both our upper and lower body, and many of the moves were similar to what would be practiced on a Reformer. I definitely got the shakes multiple times throughout class, which made me happy. Is that weird? In any case, I plan on making Pure Barre North Loop a regular part of my workout routine. The low impact nature of the classes and focus on building muscle endurance make it a great compliment to many different fitness routines.

 Are you ready for your first class? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Your first class is free! There’s no reason not to give it a try.

  • Make sure you wear exercise pants that are capri length or longer and a pair of socks. A regular pair of socks will do, but many people wear sticky socks which you can purchase at the studio.

  • Don’t forget your water bottle.

  • Something that’s a little tricky is the address. While the legal address is 300 S 2nd Street, the entrance is actually on 3rd Avenue South facing the Carlyle Condos.

  • There’s free retail parking behind the building that can be accessed through an alleyway on 3rd Avenue, and there is also metered parking on 2nd Street.

That’s it! Prepare to break a sweat, get those muscles shaking, and have fun with the community at Pure Barre North Loop. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on special pop-up classes and free events.


Buses to Replace Green Line Trains April 19-22

Due to scheduled maintenance, buses will replace trains beginning Friday, April 19 during a partial shutdown on the METRO Green Line. Work being conducted includes repairs to the rail line itself that incurred damage over the winter.

Customers can board replacement buses near the affected stations. Buses run on similar schedules as trains but can take more time. Customers are encouraged to plan accordingly. See maps for boarding locations.

From 6:45pm Friday, April 19 until 3:30am Monday, April 22, buses will replace Green Line trains for these stations:

Stadium Village - Prospect Park - Westgate - Raymond Avenue - Fairview Avenue -Snelling Avenue - Hamline Avenue - Lexington Pkwy -Victoria Street - Dale Street - Western Avenue - Capitol/Rice Street


Minneapolis Park Board Approves Agreements for Oversight of The Commons Park


Minneapolis Park Board approves agreements for oversight of The Commons park

Agreements with City and Green Minneapolis will provide seamless transition in 2019

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) approved a resolution at its April 17 Board meeting that ensures park goers will continue to enjoy The Commons, a 4.2-acre park in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, while the Park Board and City appeal of a judge’s ruling made in February that requires the Park Board to operate the park beginning on May 1.

“This interim agreement between the City, Green Minneapolis and the Park Board strengthens our relationship with partners, preserves our ability to serve our youth, and provides a seamless transition in services that visitors to the Commons have been provided since its opening in 2016,” said Brad Bourn, Park Board President.

In February a judge ruled the Park Board is the only entity to manage parks within Minneapolis. The Park Board agrees but believes it has the authority to manage its parks through agreements with other organizations, including the City.

The Park Board owns The Commons land and since December 2014 has leased it to the City of Minneapolis, which has had an agreement with Green Minneapolis for operations of the park.

The April 17 resolution passed by Park Board Commissioners includes a sub-lease of the parkland back to the MPRB beginning May 1 and an agreement with Green Minneapolis to continue operating the park, including programming, maintenance and security. The sub-lease and agreement expire when the appeal is settled.

Funding for this year’s operations are covered the City of Minneapolis and Green Minneapolis.

“We are very appreciative that the City’s contributions will result in no financial impacts to the MPRB in 2019,” said Al Bangoura, superintendent for the MPRB. “However, we will remain diligent that the operation of The Commons does not present financial impacts or effect delivery of our core services throughout the park system beyond 2019 should we remain the operators beyond this interim agreement."


FINNOVATION Lab Expands Fellowship Program, Accepting Applications for Second Cohort of Entrepreneurs

Nine individuals will be selected for $50,000 fellowship, dedicated workspace and business resources to help grow mission-driven enterprises

FINNOVATION Lab, a social business catalyst that helps local entrepreneurs launch and scale their ventures, announced a second cohort of their FINNOVATION Fellowship Program, with applications being accepted April 15-May 15. The nine-month incubator and professional development program that supports early-stage social entrepreneurs building mission-driven enterprises, will provide selected fellows with $50,000 to cover living expenses as well as a health insurance stipend, dedicated workspace, tailored curriculum and one-on-one mentorship. 

Applicants to the program should be individuals with a tie to Minnesota who have bold ideas for sustainable, systems-level change through entrepreneurship. The FINNOVATION Fellowship Program supports entrepreneurs with innovative business models that generate lasting social impact, whether they come from for-profit or non-profit enterprises. Social impact may be in education, health, environment, hunger, poverty-alleviation, or elsewhere, as long as it generates positive change across the region. Applicants should be committed to working on their venture full time.

The FINNOVATION Fellowship Program – which attracted more than 250 applicants for the 2018-19 program – continues to evolve in response to the market, refining curriculum and structure as well as expanding to nine fellows from five in the first year. With leadership development, business planning and modeling, as well as systems-level analysis for social change, the Fellowship aims to build successful social entrepreneurs. 

The program, which will run mid-September 2019 - mid-June 2020, is made possible through generous support from the Bush Foundation, known for its commitment to innovation and creative problem solving. The selected fellows are given access to workspace and resources through the collaboration between the FINNOVATION Lab and Impact Hub MSP, both working out of the FINNEGANS House development in Minneapolis’ East Town District.

“That so many entities have come together to support these types of business ideas – those designed to be a force of good, to positively impact our communities – is incredibly encouraging,” says Connie Rutledge, Managing Director of the FINNOVATION Lab. “It is a testament to the idea that this kind of work is needed and appreciated. We hope it inspires people locally and globally to expand their idea of what it means to be an impactful entrepreneur.”

The inaugural cohort wraps up programming this summer and is made up of five fellows building a wide range of social ventures:

Mimi Aboubaker: Founder and CEO of TUSA, a fintech venture focused on improving educational outcomes of socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Nick Alm: Co-founder and Executive Director of Mossier, a social enterprise that works with Minnesota-based corporations on LGBTQ workforce issues and uses revenue and donations to fund LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Precious Drew: Co-founder of PERK: The Natural Beauty Lab, which aims to be the leading provider of sustainable, upcycle-based skincare products.

Junita Flowers: Founder of Junita’s Jar, a cookie company that supports education and awareness initiatives dedicated to ending relationship violence. 

Michelle Tran Maryns: Founder and CEO of We Sparkle, a technology company that helps small businesses care for their customers and communities. 

“A program like this has been a dream of mine for quite some time,” says Jacquie Berglund, Founder of the FINNOVATION Lab. “To witness a group of young entrepreneurs work so hard to grow these mission-driven businesses is inspiring and humbling. We are all incredibly proud of the efforts put forth by the first group of fellows and can’t wait to see how the second group takes shape.”

More details about the FINNOVATION Fellowship, including application information, is available at


FINNOVATION Lab’s mission is to create a space for intentional and constant cross-pollination of social entrepreneurship concepts, ideas and networks. Through original programming and partnerships with organizations such as the Neighborhood Development Center, the organization empowers and provides system change leaders with venture service support and access to capital increasing and accelerating their impact. For more information, visit


April 2019 Flooding at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL)

Thanks to the flooding Mississippi River, with its 42,000 CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) flow, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Research Associate Jess Kozarek was able to paddle a kayak on 22 inches of water covering SAFL's basement floor. 

Per Barbara Heitkamp, Communications Specialist at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, "Thankfully, SAFL's designer and original founder, Lorenz Straub, recognized that when you build something next to the river, you need to make sure to give the river room to spread during high flows. Thus, in the spring when the river flow increases due to snowmelt and rain, the water is able to come up and into our building without issue. The highest recorded depth of water at SAFL resulted from the 1965 flood - there was 6.5 feet of water in the basement."

Here's a video of the roiling river, followed by Jess paddling around in the kayak:

Learn more about the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at www.safl.umn.eduTo sign up for a monthly public tour of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, search "SAFL" at I urge you to tour this facility - it's absolutely fascinating!


7th Annual Foodie 4 Mile 'Race to the Market' Scheduled for June 22

The Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market is hosting the 7th Annual Foodie 4 Mile 'Race to the Market' on Saturday, June 22. You may notice it's scheduled later than previous years, and that's because the organizers were asked to hold it on weekend other than that of Art-A-Whirl.

Among the most scenic run/walk routes in the city, the course starts at BF Nelson Park and crosses Nicollet Island, St. Anthony Main, the Stone Arch Bridge, West River Parkway, the Plymouth Bridge, and winds through Boom Island Park to the finish. All for a good cause!

Registration costs $30 (or $25 if you sign up at the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market) with all proceeds going towards the market, in conjunction with Twin Cities Food Justice. Race participants will enjoy a bevy of free food, beverages, market coupons, and chances to win great prizes from Mill City Running. Dogs, strollers, runners, walkers, teams of friends, in-laws, and costumes encouraged!

View the event page on OR use the registration link here.


Join the Green Minneapolis Gardening Crew at The Commons on April 26

Join the Green Minneapolis gardening crew at The Commons on Friday, April 26, from 8:30am - 12:00pm as they ready the gardens for the season. Participation limited to 15 people. Email to sign up.



Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction Project

Fresh off completion of the Nicollet Mall reconstruction project, Hennepin Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis starts it's rebirth today, Monday, April 15, 2019.

Hennepin Avenue is both a street and a destination. On average, people make over 48,000 trips per day along Hennepin Avenue including 8,100 transit trips, 7,600 pedestrian trips, and 1,300 bicycle trips. Hennepin Avenue is also recognized by the City as a cultural district with multiple theaters, arts institutions, and entertainment venues. The existing right-of-way along the corridor varies between 88-100 feet with a typical street width of 59 feet.

The street was last rebuilt in 1986. After more than 30 years, the pavement is worn out and needs to be replaced. The current corridor also does not reflect current demand for a more balanced roadway that makes the corridor safer and more inviting for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and cars.

The City is moving ahead with redesign and reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street. The reconstructed Hennepin Avenue will continue to accommodate all modes within the existing right-of-way:

- Sidewalk area able to support pedestrian activities with space for planting and furnishing zones

- One-way bikeways behind the curb

- Space for enhanced transit stops compatible with future Arterial Bus Rapid Transit service

- Generally four vehicle lanes, with Hennepin Avenue remaining a two-way street

The city is also preparing a public realm design concept that will cover the Hennepin Avenue corridor from the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Arts Center to the Mississippi River. The primary purpose of this exercise will be to gather public input that will influence the detailed urban planning and design for the 10- block reconstruction project. However, its findings will be applicable to future projects and improvements within the larger Hennepin Avenue Corridor area.

The reconstruction project, estimated to cost $20 million, is currently funded in the City’s five-year Capital Improvement Program. It will be funded with City, state and federal transportation dollars. Outreach began in 2016, and detailed engineering will be completed in 2019. Construction will begin in 2019 and continue through 2022.

Download: Detailed project layout map...

Download: Frequently asked questions...

Download: Get the initial update...


3rd Season of Paddle Share Kicks Off on Memorial Day Weekend

Mississippi River Paddle Share, Minnesota's one-of-a-kind kayak-sharing program, plans to open its third season of operation on Memorial Day weekend.

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) hosts one of several Paddle Share stations, where visitors can check out kayaks and paddle them down the river. Full list of stations.

Availability is dependent on weather, so check for updates or follow Paddle Share on Twitter or Facebook.


First Quarter 2019 by the Numbers from Cynthia Froid Group

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group: