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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.


June 19 Art Opening at the Bridgewater Lofts

Sandy Marquart and Bridgewater Neighbors and Friends of the Arts invite you to the next art opening at the Bridgewater:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bridgewater Lobby, 215 10th Avenue S
Art, Wine and Appetizers*
All residents and their guests are welcome.
Please RSVP to
This FREE event is generously sponsored by Sandy Marquart, RE/MAX Advantage Plus. Sandy’s 15 years of experience in the Downtown Market, combined with Remax Advantage Plus's vast resource base and networking capabilities, help her provide you with the service you deserve in your real estate transaction.

*Appetizers are provided by Smith & Porter, an independent neighborhood restaurant in the Mill District, with a variety of menu offerings and a full-service bar.


Cynthia Froid Group Invites You to Their 6th Annual Ice Cream Social, June 26

6th Annual Ice Cream Social featuring Izzy’s Ice Cream!

The Cynthia Froid Group is happy to host you and your neighbors for a good old-fashioned summer celebration of togetherness, complete with complimentary ice cream and yard games.


North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Update

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

7th Avenue N Construction

North Loop Reconstruction Updates


5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint installed a new regulator system at 2nd St N and 5th Ave N

7th Ave N

  • Completed soil corrections between 3rd St N and 4th St N
  • CenterPoint Energy began replacement of 4” plastic

8th Ave N

  • Temporary lighting set up
  • Completed utility work

9th Ave N

  • Temporary lighting set up
  • Began utility work
    • Continue with sanitary sewer MH reconstructs
    • Start storm sewer work

3rd St N

  • Began salvaging brick pavers at locations where water work will begin next week.
  • There will be parking restrictions on 3rd St N to accommodate the water work and to maintain two way traffic.


5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint will begin removals of old gas main starting at 5th St N and 5th Ave N and work towards 2nd St N
  • Utility work may begin at 5th Ave N and 4th St N

7th Ave N

  • Begin bringing in subbase and grading in preparation for placement of the first lift of asphalt
  • Remove street lights and foundations
  • CenterPoint Energy to finish the replacement of 4” plastic and begin removal of old conduit

8th Ave N

  • Begin bringing in subbase and grading in preparation for placement of the first lift of asphalt

9th Ave N

  • Begin bringing in subbase and grading in preparation for placement of the first lift of asphalt
  • Finish utility work
    • Storm sewer
    • Sanitary sewer

3rd St N

  • Isolated water work will begin the week of June 17, there will be a temporary water shut off on the night on June 17, 2019. If your property is effected, a blue notice will be placed on the door of your property in 48 hours’ in advance for impacted businesses, 24 hours’ in advance to impacted
  • There will be parking restrictions on 3rd St N to accommodate the water work and to maintain two way traffic.

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates


2nd St N NW Corner

  • 2nd Ave N – Sawing, pavement removals and utility work
  • 3rd Ave N – Saw
  • 4th Ave N– Saw
  • 5th Ave N– Saw
  • 7th Ave N– Saw
  • 8th Ave N – Sawing, pavement removals and utility work


2nd St N NW Corner

  • 2nd Ave N – Paving 6-14
  • 3rd Ave N – Remove, utility work
  • 4th Ave N – Remove, utility work
  • 5th Ave N – Remove, utility work
  • 7th Ave N – Remove, utility work
  • 8th Ave N – Paving 6-14

2nd St N NE Corner

  • 1st Ave N – Saw, remove and utility work

For more information on this project, visit the project website.


Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Date/Time:  June 26, 7:30 am to 8:30 am

Location:  Corner Coffee, 514 N 3rd, St #102, Minneapolis MN 55401

Contact Stephanie Malmberg (612-673-3365) or John Benjamin (651-443-1096) with any construction related questions or concerns.

Contact Information

Project Manager:

Stephanie Malmberg,, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector:

John Benjamin,, 651-443-1096


Road Closures for June 14-16 Events

Please be aware of the following road closures this weekend:

June 14 - June 16  Stone Arch Bridge Festival 
Main St. - From Hennepin Ave to 6th Ave SE
Ramp from West River Parkway to Franklin Ave
(Only North Side of Franklin)
June 16 - Ugly Tie 5K
West River Parkway from N 4th Ave to 22nd Ave S

Recycle Smart: Know What to Recycle and What Happens to Your Recycling

Excerpt from June 13 Hennepin Green Partners e-newsletter


To help address some common questions about recycling, Hennepin County is encouraging residents to Recycle Smart and know what goes in their recycling cart. See our recycling at work guide (PDF) or residential recycling guide (PDF)for a list of what’s accepted for recycling.

A great resource to share about recycling is a recent two-part series from Kare11. The first story featured a behind-the-scenes look at the Dem-Con materials recovery facility in Shakopee where recycling from residential carts gets sorted and baled.

They discussed some challenges that these facilities face from items that don’t belong in the recycling, like plastic bags and string lights that get tangled in the equipment and batteries that can cause fires. They also highlighted some recycling tips, including to leave plastic caps on plastic bottles, to not crush aluminum cans, and what the symbol with the number on plastic items really tells you (hint: it doesn’t mean that an item is recyclable).

So what actually happens to the materials that you put in your bin? Kare11’s second story features some of the 200 companies in Minnesota that take your recycled materials and turns them into new products. Boxes, ceiling tile, plastic furniture, plastic packaging, and rebar and just a few of the items your recyclables are turned into.



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

Priority Policy Updates: Wage Theft Prevention, Freelance Worker Protections, & Short-Term Rental Regulations

At our City Council meeting last Friday, June 7, I gave notice of my intent to introduce ordinances on Wage Theft Prevention & Freelance Worker Protections along with Council Members Palmisano and Cunningham.

These ordinances come directly from work by the City's Workplace Advisory Committee (WAC), which is made up of representatives of both workers and small and large employers in Minneapolis. The WAC has researched and developed this policy initiative over the last eighteen months, and gave a presentation to the Council's PECE Committee in March. 

Since then, we have followed progress at the state level on these worker protections, and were pleased to see that the final budget signed by Governor Walz included policy changes and additional funding to increase the state's ability to enforce state wage and hour laws.

The ordinance we intend to introduce will complement our existing Minimum Wage and Earned Sick & Safe Time ordinances, and increase our Civil Rights Department's ability to ensure workers get paid for the work they do in Minneapolis. 

Last Friday, I also gave notice of my intent to introduce ordinance changes on Short-Term Rental Regulations. In recent months, I have learned of at least one condo building explicitly marketing its units for use as short-term rental investments, and most recently I have heard a lot of concern about multi-unit rental buildings reserving large numbers of units for short-term rentals rather than long-term residential housing.

I have a real problem with both of these business models -- especially in apartment buildings -- since that is not why the City approved these development projects. When we have historically low vacancy rates and increasingly unaffordable rents, we need as many of our housing units as possible to be available as housing, not as an alternative to hotels. I see the value of this option as a traveler, and I'm open to the possibility of allowing it in some low quantity, but nowhere near the numbers in which it is being proposed.

For all of these policy priorities: wage theft prevention, freelance worker protections, and short-term rental regulations, I encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback with me. 

You will also see that there are many other newsworthy developments in these policy areas in the newsletter to follow. All of this work is critical to making sure that Minneapolis is a city for everyone.

En Avant,


Data Privacy Policy Update

Last summer, I introduced ordinance work for a citywide data privacy policy to clarify the ways in which the City collects and uses personally identifiable information, and that got referred to staff for study and development. Additionally, the Police Conduct Oversight Commission earlier this year issued a "Surveillance Whitepaper" on the use of surveillance technology within the city.

After looking at the ways in which other cities have addressed this issue, notably Seattle, this work will most likely return to Council for adoption first as a set of Privacy Principles, followed later in the year by additional policies and any necessary ordinance language.

There will be several points in that process where I’ll request public feedback on these principles and policies as they progress. If this is a policy area that especially interests you and you’d be willing to volunteer a little time to participate in an informal advisory group on data privacy issues, please contact my office and we'll make sure to invite you to take part.

Renters' Rights Policy Development

Minneapolis is now a majority-renter City, including Ward 3, and as our rental housing market has gotten tighter, with vacancy rates in the low single digits, it has become harder for low-income people to find places to live. One of the goals of the City Council is to identify and eliminate barriers to safe, stable housing.

With that in mind, Council President Bender and Council Member Ellison have been working on ordinances to increase the rights of prospective renters, and they recently released two drafts: one to limit landlords' ability to "look back" at a criminal record, and the other to put a cap on security deposits.

Both of these proposals make a lot of sense to me, based on both my time working with renters around the city, as well as from my own personal experience as a renter over many years, and I intend to support them when they come forward. They achieve the goal of eliminating barriers to housing, and ensuring that people are treated fairly.

I’ve been disappointed by the response of the Multi-Housing Association on this issue. Rather than engage constructively, as they’ve been invited to do, they’ve launched a public campaign to arouse people’s fears, implying that these straightforward and common-sense ordinance changes will somehow prevent landlords from meaningfully screening tenants, or that limiting predatory over-sized deposits will lead to higher rents. Neither argument stands up well to scrutiny, and I’m hoping the tone and tactics of their response on this issue are not an indication of how we’ll work together on future tenant protection policies, including ones I am proposing.

A few weeks ago, I introduced an ordinance at Council to establish an additional right for renters: a Right of First Refusal to buy their properties when they are put on sale by the owner. There are a lot of questions to research and choices to make about the details of this policy, but it has the potential to increase community-based ownership of housing at a time when our housing stock is increasingly owned by out-of-town landlords. 

I am working on this policy with Council Members Ellison and Schroeder, with support from Council Member Gordon, and expect it to be ready for Council debate and action later in the year.

Downtown Public Safety & Policing

With summer upon us, late night activity downtown is in full swing, and that brings a lot of additional people to our entertainment district. I want our downtown to be a 24-hour destination and a welcoming one, so I am working to expand our late night food truck options and increase activation to encourage positive activity as much as possible.

This year, we have the additional complication of the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project, which has moved bus routes and displaced a lot of street activity to other locations. Ride-hailing options like Uber and Lyft really have the ability to clog things up at bar-time, so we are also looking at establishing some designated pickup locations to mitigate their impact.

Unfortunately, there have also recently been a set of violent crimes in the entertainment district downtown, and that understandably raises anxiety about public safety on the whole. While violent crime in the First Precinct (which encompasses all of Downtown, the North Loop, Elliot Park, and Cedar-Riverside) is up compared to last year, it is also still substantially lower than two years ago. No amount of crime is good, and we have plans in place to even further reduce crime downtown so that everyone can feel safe and have a good time.

This year we established an Office of Violence Prevention in the Department of Health, and they recently selected organizations for contracts for violence prevention work downtown, including Mad Dads, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Green Minneapolis, and St. Stephens. Those contracts were just approved by the City Council at the end of last week, so they will now be able to get started on that work for the rest of the summer and year.

I have also heard specific concerns about current MPD staffing levels. Our authorized sworn force is 888 officers, which is an average that is allowed to fluctuate within the year -- sometimes higher, sometimes lower, depending on retirements and other attrition. Right now the city has 891 sworn officers, but the number of officers assigned to Patrol is down from last year, temporarily, because that total number includes recruits completing their academy training and others completing field training. By June 30, our Patrol force should be back up to full staffing.

As the summer progresses, I intend to work on more ways to attract positive activity downtown to make it a safe place for all of us to live, work, and play.

MN Court of Appeals Ruling Upholds City Ordinance Barring Section 8 Housing Discrimination

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled on Monday, June 10 that the City of Minneapolis can enforce our ordinance prohibiting landlords from discriminating against tenants who receive federal Section 8 rent assistance.

The ruling means the city can again prohibit landlords from refusing to rent housing units to people with Section 8 housing vouchers. The ordinance, which was passed by the City Council in 2017, was struck down by a Hennepin County judge last year. 

Read the Star Tribune's story on this decision here.

This ruling is particularly timely since...

Metro Area Housing Agencies Set to Open Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting Lists in June

The Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Metro HRA), the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and the St. Paul Public Housing Agency will all be accepting online applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Online applications will be available from 8:00am Wednesday, June 12, 2019 through Noon on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Applicants must apply to each waiting list separately.

MPHA will place 2,000 applicants on the waiting list through a random drawing from all applications received.

Minneapolis Minimum Wage Increases July 1

On July 1, the minimum wage in Minneapolis is going up to $11 for small employers and $12.25 for large employers.

The Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance defines small businesses as having 100 or fewer employees and large businesses as having more than 100. Tips and gratuities do not count toward payment of a minimum wage.

The City’s Department of Civil Rights oversees enforcement of the municipal minimum wage, and workers are encouraged to report violations online. The City has received 28 reports of minimum wage violations to date. Employees have received over $21,000 in back wages and penalties as a result of investigations into those violations.

Increases in Minneapolis’ minimum wage benefit tens of thousands of families. The ordinance supports the City’s goals of promoting economic inclusion and reducing economic and racial disparities.

For more information about the ordinance, visit For additional questions call 311 or email

MN Court of Appeals Ruling Allows Full Enforcement of Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that our sick and safe time ordinance does not violate state law and can be fully enforced! The City of Minneapolis is revising the rules and FAQs implementing the sick and safe time ordinance to implement the Court of Appeals decision. The ordinance took effect July 1, 2017, but had not previously been fully enforced due to litigation.

The City will now be able to enforce the ordinance to ensure workers employed by businesses based outside of Minneapolis but who work in the city earn sick time when they do so. Under the revised rules, when workers at employers based outside of Minneapolis work more than 80 hours in a year within the geographical boundaries of Minneapolis, their employers must now comply with the sick and safe time ordinance and will be subject to enforcement after the rule changes take effect.

Under the sick and safe time ordinance, employers with six or more employees must provide paid sick and safe time. Employers with five or fewer employees must also provide sick and safe time, but it can be unpaid. All types of employees are covered, including part-time workers. One hour of sick and safe time accrues for every 30 hours worked within the city. Sick and safe time may be used only when an employee is scheduled to work in Minneapolis. 

Employees can use sick and safe time for their own illnesses; to care for an ill family member; to address issues caused by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; and to care for a family member due to an unexpected closure of their school or daycare.

Nice Ride Offers Discounted Memberships for Residents with Low Incomes

Minneapolis residents enrolled in SNAP or TAP programs can enroll online for discounted Nice Ride memberships. Nice Ride is making a significant commitment to bike share equity, access, health and a greener city with a new discount program called “Nice Ride for All” for low-income Minneapolis riders with low incomes.

Nice Ride is offering a limited-time promotion for new enrollees of Nice Ride for All. To celebrate the launch of this program, individuals who sign up through August 2019 will pay only $5 for their entire first year of membership. The Nice Ride for All membership will typically cost $5 per month outside of that. Once enrolled, people will have access to unlimited 60-minute bikeshare rides throughout Minneapolis.

This season, Nice Ride is expanding its footprint in Minneapolis larger than ever before, installing more than 575 more bike parking hubs and nearly 50 more stations in Minneapolis. Riders can download the Nice Ride app to locate stations and unlock bikes, either dockless or station-based. Rentals at the station kiosks or via member key are also available.

About Nice Ride

Launched in 2010, Nice Ride is the hometown bike sharing system of Minneapolis. Overseen by the nonprofit Nice Ride Minnesota and now operated and powered by Lyft, Nice Ride’s mission is to enhance quality of life by providing convenient, easy to use bike sharing that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun, different way to get around town.

To sign up for Nice Ride for All, individuals enrolled in SNAP (food assistance) or TAP (transit assistance) programs can visit and sign up online by entering their EBT or Go-To Card number.

Call for Artists – Minneapolis Art Wraps

The City of Minneapolis is seeking 20 artists to create the next generation of Art Wraps! The Art Wrap program has become a popular form of Public Art on our local utility boxes, and has helped decrease tagging and graffiti on utility boxes.  The selected designs will be available to communities at the end of this summer through our public art permit application process.

Artists of all experience levels from Minnesota are encouraged to apply! Artists whose designs are selected will be awarded $1,100-$2,500. To learn more about this opportunity and how to apply, please visit our Call for Artists website here.

 * * * * * * * * * * UPCOMING EVENTS  * * * * * * * * * *

Join me NEXT WEDNESDAY for Ward 3 Happy Hour

Ward 3 Happy Hour: MN Legislative Wrap-Up

WHEN: Wednesday, June 19 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: HeadFlyer Brewing, 861 E Hennepin Ave.
WITH: Sen. Kari Dziedzic and Rep. Mohamud Noor
Sen. Bobby Joe Champion and Reps. Ray Dehn and Diane Loeffler have also been invited
This was a difficult legislative session at the state capitol, with a lot of great policy and budget priorities blocked by the Senate. In the end, the budget deal signed by Governor Walz was missing some key city priorities that we’d hoped for, but our Minneapolis delegation can also claim some important victories that they fought hard to pass into law for us.
Join us next week to discuss the legislative session and what it means for Minneapolis!

Coffee With Your Council Member

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

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

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


FINNEGANS Announces Hemp Beer, Kicked to the Herb

FINNEGANS Brew Co, the beer company known for donating 100% of profits to charities fighting hunger, is releasing a new beer in partnership with Midwest hemp farm, NJ Farms.

The new beer - Kicked to the Herb - is unlike other Minnesota beers that incorporate hemp products: it’s brewed with full spectrum hemp oil rather than hemp seeds. The Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) is brewed with Citra and Chinook hops to push the aromas of the hemp oil. You’ll get high tropical notes and a piney resinous nose. Each pint contains 13mg of CBD.

To introduce the hemp oil beer to the public, FINNEGANS is hosting a Summer Solstice party on the patio, Friday, June 21 from 3-8 PM. Try Minnesota's first ever beer brewed with hemp oil and stay for live music (The Mediocritones, 4-7 PM), food trucks and summer vibes.

Read more: Twin Cities Business article


Attention Yoga Enthusiasts - One Time Screening of 'Iyengar: The Man, Yoga, and the Student's Journey' at St. Anthony Main July 14

Hailed as "the Michelangelo of yoga" and considered to be one of the most important yoga masters in the world, B.K.S. Iyengar is credited with bringing the ancient art of yoga to the western world. Born in Southern India 100 years ago, the legendary guru is the founder of Iyengar Yoga.
A new film, Iyengar: The Man, Yoga, and the Student's Journeyprovides an intimate portrait of Iyengar, focusing on his life, legacy and teachings. It will be screened one night only Sunday, July 14, 7pm at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. This event is sponsored by the Iyengar Yoga Association of the Upper Midwest (IYAUM), and tickets can be purchased on their website or at the door.

You're Invited to the 7th Annual Foodie 4 Mile Fun Run!

The Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market announces The Foodie Four Mile: Fun Run/Walk/Stroll, being held Saturday, June 22, starting at 8:00am. The event's purpose is threefold: encompassing a fun run, a fundraiser, and celebration of the Market’s 20th season. Costumes, dogs, and strollers are welcome. This is a zero waste event.

The four mile course will be an excellent opportunity for runners and walkers of every skill level to enjoy a run or walk in Minneapolis' most historic and beautiful areas. The run starts in Northeast at B. F. Nelson Park, winds along the Mississippi River through the St. Anthony West, Nicollet Island, and St. Anthony Main districts. After crossing the Stone Arch Bridge, the second half of the run will go through the wooded west side riverfront parks and Boom Island Park.

A portion of the event proceeds will also go to TC Food JusticeTC Food Justice works with farmers markets and local grocery stores to "rescue" the food that would have been wasted and deliver it to local food shelves and shelters.

As a “Foodie Rally,” the run is a unique opportunity for fitness-conscious foodies to celebrate the Market, enjoy awesome post-race treats, discount on Market swag, and Market coupons. Runners are encouraged to make it a “Foodie Four and a Quarter” by jogging to the Market to spend their coupons after enjoying refreshments at the finish line.

The Northeast Farmers Market is located on the corner of 7th Avenue and University Avenue NE in the St. Boniface Church parking lot.


May by the Numbers

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group:


North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Update

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates


5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint Energy 6” gas line installation is complete, they are now working on tie-ins at Washington and 5th Ave

7th Ave N

  • Completing storm sewer work
  • The soils between 3rd St N and 4th St N will be amended starting today
  • Sidewalk and pavement removal on south side of Washington at 7th Ave N completed

8th Ave N

  • Full Depth removals completed
  • Started removals at the intersection of 8th Ave N and Washington
  • Begun utility work

9th Ave N

  • Full depth removals completed
  • Started removals at the intersection of 9th Ave N and Washington


 5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint will power up and test new gas main
  • CenterPoint will begin removals of old gas main starting at 5th St N and 5th Ave N and work towards 2nd St N

7th Ave N

  • Finish soil corrections between 3rd St N and 4th St N
  • CenterPoint Energy to begin replacement of 4” plastic

8th Ave N

  • Set up temporary lighting (6-7 and 6-8)
  • Begin utility work
    • Continue with sanitary sewer MH reconstructs
    • Start storm sewer work
    • Water work –short term water shut off the night of June 10, to do work at 8th Ave N and Washington. If your property is effected, a blue notice will be placed on the door of your property in 48 hours’ in advance for impacted businesses, 24 hours’ in advance to impacted

9th Ave N

  • Set up temporary lighting (6-7 and 6-8)
  • Begin utility work
    • Continue with sanitary sewer MH reconstructs
    • Start storm sewer work

3rd St N

  • Isolated removals for water work only, this work will begin the week of June 17
  • There will be parking restrictions on 3rd St N to accommodate this work and two way traffic

For more information on this project, visit the project website.


Looking to the future, we are hoping to begin installing asphalt on 7th , 8th and 9th Aves N on the week of June 24.  NOTE: There will be brick pavers installed on 8th and 9th following asphalt placement and concrete installation.

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates

This project began a little ahead of schedule (6-5-19) - work is underway and is anticipated to continue through August.  Right now crews are focusing on 1 corner of each intersection and are primarily working on 2nd St N.

2nd St N

Sawing and pavement removals have started on the NW quadrant of the following intersections along 2nd Ave N this week and next week. 

  • 2nd Ave N
  • 3rd Ave N
  • 4th Ave N
  • 5th Ave N
  • 7th Ave N

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Date/Time:  June 12, 7:30 am to 8:30 am

Location:  Corner Coffee 514 N 3rd St #102, Minneapolis

Contact Information

Project Manager:

Stephanie Malmberg,, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector:

John Benjamin,, 651-443-1096


Skating, Hockey and Stick & Puck - This Summer at Parade Ice Garden

Stay cool this summer at Parade Ice Garden

- - - - - - - - Open Skating - - - - - - - -

Open skating is available for all ages to sharpen your skills or get out on the ice for some exercise! 

June – August

  • Monday, Wednesday, Fridays 12:15-1:15pm

  • Saturdays 12-1:30pm

  •  $3 admission for ages 5+, $2.75 Seniors, $2 skate rental

- - - - - - - - Adult Open Hockey - - - - - - - -

Adult Open Hockey is for skaters interested in keeping their game sharp throughout the year. Skaters are required to provide their own equipment and must sign up in person 30 minutes before the session starts. Sessions limited to 20 skaters and 4 goalies. Ages 18+

June - August

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12:15 – 1:45pm
  • Saturdays 12 – 1:30pm
  • $5/skater and goalies play for free

- - - - - - - - Stick & Puck - - - - - - - -

Practice your hockey skills during unstructured ice time. Not only will you refine your skills, but you will have fun. Work on your shot, stick handling, passing and goal tending.   

Fridays, June – August

  • Ages 5 – 11; 11:30 – 12:30pm
  • Ages 12 – 17; 12:45 – 2:15pm
  • $5/skater

Parade Ice Center is located at 600 Kenwood Parkway, and lies on the edge of downtown Minneapolis near the popular Walker Sculpture Gardens/Art Center.  More information


MILL CITY SUMMER OPERA: Last chance to see opera at Mill City Ruins!

Via a June 6 Press Release:

Mill City Summer Opera (MCSO) has announced that the Minnesota Historical Society, which operates the Mill City Museum, has elected not to extend MCSO’s contract, making 2019 the final season for opera at the Museum.

“With the decision made by the Historical Society to cease summer opera programming, we want to capitalize on its unique architecture and the dramatic setting of the Courtyard Ruins for an unforgettable night of theater. No one will want to miss our inventive take on Cosi fan tutte,“ said MSCO Artistic Director Crystal Manich, who is directing Mozart’s sophisticated comedy.

“We are very proud of our contribution to opera and the Twin Cities performing arts scene,” said Karen Brooks, Founder and Board Chair of MCSO.  “We are committed to continuing our successful track record of presenting critically acclaimed productions. With a strong board of directors, we look forward to a new era – one that will allow the company to explore new opportunities, directions and approaches.” 

Minnesota natives Heather Johnson (Despina), Sarah Larsen (Dorabella), Andrew Wilkowske (Don Alfonso) and Karin Wolverton (Fiordiligi) will be joined by Javier Abreu (Ferrando) and Sidney Outlaw (Guglielmo). 

MCSO has also programmed a two-person “opera buffa” to be performed at the industrial-chic Icehouse bar and restaurant in Minneapolis this season. Opera’s past and future come together in La Serva Padronaa switched-on petite comic baroque opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, also directed by Manich. Featuring Madison Holtze as Serpina and Rodolfo Nieto as Uberto, this Icehouse show brings the 18th century into a modern sound landscape. 

Both productions will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Così fan tutte will be on stage July 12-24La Serva Padrona will be presented July 15 and July 17

Manich’s creative team includes Jason Allen (Wig & Makeup Design), Lara Bolton (Head of Music), Alice Fredrickson (costume design), Paul Hackenmueller (lighting design), Annie Henley (scenic design) and Abbee Warmboe (Props Master). 

Brian DeMaris returns for his eighth season as Music Director of MCSO. He is Artistic Director of Arizona State University’s Music Theatre and Opera program, which just received recognition as part of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for the composer of “prism,” an opera that had its first developmental workshop at ASU’s School of Music. The opera was one of the first projects workshopped at ASU as part of the Music Theatre and Opera’s new works initiative.

Tickets are currently on sale for both productions. Così fan tutte Opening Night tickets, which include a gala pre-show reception and an after-party with the cast, are $200-$250; other performances are $50-$125. La Serva Padrona tickets are $15-$25. All tickets are available through MCSO at 612-875-5544 or online at Rush tickets ($35) will be available for all performances the day of show at 6:00 pm at the Mill City Museum.


Cosi fan tutte 
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Directed by Crystal Manich
Music direction by Brian DeMaris

Mill City Museum Courtyard Ruins, 704 S Second Street

Tickets:  $50-$125 (Opening Night: $200-$250)

Box Office:  612-875-5544 or

  • Friday, July 12, Opening Night – pre-party at 6 pm, performance at 7:30 pm, with after-party
  • Sunday, July 14 at 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, July 17 at 10am – Young Audience (special 1-hour program)
  • Thursday, July 18 at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, July 20 at 7:30pm
  • Monday, July 22 at 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30pm

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project
Hennepin Ave. reconstruction project, led by City of Minneapolis Public Works, will be reconstructed between 12th Street and Washington Avenue beginning Spring 2019. The project will reconstruct the pavement from building face to building face, including improvements to public and private utility infrastructure, and improved infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and vehicles.
Latest Project News 
Underground Utility work continues along the corridor. The deep Sanitary Sewer replacement work continues in the Phase 1 area (12th to 7th). The Telecommunication and Fiber upgrade work is continuing to progress in the Phase 2 area (5th to Washington).
What's Coming Up
Over the next couple weeks the Sanitary Sewer work will be expanding the limits of the work area up to 7th Street. While digging and replacing the sewer across the 8th Street Intersection, access across 8th Street will be closed. Access to East bound 8th Street will be from the South via North bound Hennepin Ave.
Water replacement work will begin about the week of June 16th at 10th Street and progress south toward 12th Street over the next couple months.
Telecommunication work will continue on the north end of the project between 5th and Washington.
See Project Update link below
For more information on this project contact: 
Construction Manager, or 612-225-4049

The Armory

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

The Minneapolis Armory has a rather unique history. From being the home of the Minnesota National Guard to hosting world famous musical acts, the Armory has seen a lot in its day. There were moments when this magnificent work of architecture seemed to merely blend into the towering Minneapolis skyline that surrounded it and its importance was lost. Now that the building has made a comeback, let’s see where it all started.

The Armory under construction, 1934

The Great Depression was one of the most debated topics during the United States presidential election of 1932. The U.S. economy was in shambles, and the candidates knew if they preached their plan to boost the economy, they would surly win the presidency. Once Franklin D. Roosevelt received the Democratic nomination, he began promising a new deal for the American people. Once he officially started his presidency, one of his first orders of business was to sign the First New Deal in 1933. Within this plan was the creation of the Public Works Administration, or PWA. The goal of the PWA was to spend $6 billion over the course of the next decade to build and improve infrastructure by using contracted skilled laborers. As a result of the PWA many notable structures were constructed, including the Hoover Dam, the majority of the Upper Mississippi locks & dams, the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City, the Overseas Highway connecting Key West, Florida, to the mainland, and the Minneapolis Armory.

The Armory was designed by P. C. Bettenburg, a graduate of St. Thomas College and Military Academy, now the University of St. Thomas. He was a major in the Minnesota National Guard, U. S. Army infantry regimental commander in North Africa and in Europe during World War II, and later the major general in command of the Viking Unit of the Minnesota National Guard. Because of the success of the Minneapolis Armory, once WWII was over he returned to St. Paul to open his own firm, which is credited with creating the master plan for the Camp Ripley Military Reservation and the armories of St. Paul, West St. Paul, and St. Cloud.

Inaugural ceremonies at the Armory in 1935

Between 1935-36, the Minneapolis Armory was constructed using ashlar coursed granite, textured buff bricks, and Mankato limestone in the PWA Moderne Style, which traces its origins to the famous German design school, the Bauhaus. This style encompasses the Bauhaus’ train of thought that simplicity is best; form should be followed by function, and that is very apparent when viewing the Armory. Inside of the building are also two very impressive frescoes made possible by the Federal Art Project; one titled History of the National Guard by Lucia Wiley and the other titled Early Minnesota by Elsa Jemne. Once the building was complete, it ended up becoming the most expensive building in Minneapolis costing $932,453, or just over $17 million after inflation.

Throughout the years when it was used by the military the Armory held twenty-seven units of the Minnesota National Guard and Naval Militia, which include the 59th Field Artillery Brigade, the 68th Infantry Brigade, the 9th Battalion of the Minnesota Naval Militia, with the primary tenants being the entire 151st Field Artillery Regiment and numerous companies of the 135th Infantry Regiment. The later two are important to Minnesota and U.S. history as both were formed for the Civil War. The 151st is known for its continuous gun fire in France during the closing four months of World War I. They were led by Colonel George Leach, who later became a four-term mayor of Minneapolis. The 135th, which was originally designated as the 1st Infantry Regiment, is the state's oldest Guard unit and is known for its charge on Cemetery Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg, which is recognized as one of the most courageous acts in American military history.

Another very popular tenant was the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947-60, who won five championships before their relocation to Los Angeles. The Minnesota National Guard moved away from the Armory in 1980, and in 1985 the building was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1989, Hennepin County bought it for $4.7 million intending to build a new county jail on the site. This intention led to the Minnesota Historical Society suing to stop its destruction and in 1993, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Minnesota Historical Society citing the Armory’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. During this down time, the Armory was used as the setting for Prince’s “1999” music video in 1982, and Aerosmith’s “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” music video in 1998. That same year the Armory was sold to a private company for $2.6 million and used as a parking facility until 2015 when a local developer bought it for $6 million with plans to renovate it and turn it into an entertainment venue. Today the Armory holds 8,400 people for concerts, parties, and sporting events. It is once again a state-of-the-art venue that is a must see for anyone who lives in the Twin Cities.

Photo of the Armory from 2006

Interior view taken during the Imagine Dragons concert in 2018

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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


How to Experience Northern Spark 2019

How to Experience Northern Spark 2019

Plan two nights of free public art on June 14 and 15 in the American Indian Cultural Corridor of Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul

(Minneapolis, MN) June 4, 2019 — The annual free Northern Spark festival will illuminate public spaces in three neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul on the nights of June 14 and 15. Learn more about what art to experience, what to eat, transportation, and more at the festival. For full details about the festival and ongoing updates, visit

Explore Art Projects

Your experience starts with 31 dynamic art projects exploring the theme We Are Here! Visit our art and events page to learn more about each of the projects. This year’s festival features the Creative City Challenge Winner, Radical Playground in The Commons.

* * * * * * * * Locations * * * * * * * *

The venues for Northern Spark 2019:

American Indian Cultural Corridor —  Minneapolis

  • All My Relations Arts, 1414 E. Franklin Ave.

  • Franklin Library, 1314 E Franklin Ave.

The Commons — Minneapolis

  • The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis

Rondo Neighborhood — St. Paul

  • Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N Kent St.

  • Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 Dale St. N.


Find Northern Spark art, food, info tents, and bathrooms on our interactive map:

Dates and Times

For the second year in a row Northern Spark will take place over two nights, the third weekend in June until 2 am each night:

  • Friday, June 14, from 9 pm to 2 am

  • Saturday, June 15, from 9 pm to 2 am

Programming is the same on Friday and Saturday unless noted on each project description. Plan your night(s) using these tools or just wander and discover!

My Night

Customize your list of art projects to see, including times and locations, with the My Night feature. Click on My Night in the sidebar menu and simply log in with your email address to start building your schedule. Or click the hearts next to each project listing. This website is mobile ready and holds all the information you need on the go – project listingsmaps, and more.

Social Media

Connect with us for the latest #NorthernSpark news and updates:



Twitter: @nl_mn

Information Tents

Northern Spark Information Tents are a great way to get essential questions answered. Info Tents have maps, night-of festival updates, first aid supplies, and large print maps. Stop by and chat with a friendly volunteer. On each festival night, look for a red or white tent with lights in these places:

  • On Franklin Ave. near the Many Rivers East building in Minneapolis

  • In front of Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul

  • On the west side of The Commons in downtown Minneapolis

Look for the Red Flags

Once you’re at a festival venue, all projects are marked by tall signs with red Northern Spark flags. Inside Hallie Q. Brown Community Center look for additional wayfinding and project signs.

ADA Accessibility

The wheelchair symbols on the project listings mean that the core activity of a project is accessible to wheelchair users. All festival venues are ADA accessible. Some projects are in unconventional spaces and may not have easy ADA access. Other accessibility resources include:

  • ASL interpretation of the 2019 Creative City Challenge Launch on Friday, June 14 at 8:30 pm.

  • Large print festival maps; find at a Northern Spark Information Tent.

Transportation to and around Northern Spark

Northern Spark takes place in three areas—the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul. Travel to Northern Spark by train, bus, bike, or foot and then walk, shuttle or bike between venues. 

Metro Transit

Ride Metro Transit free to Northern Spark! Download a free pass for each night.

Metro Light Rail stations nearest to festival venues:

  • St. Paul: Dale St. outside of Rondo Community Library.

  • Minneapolis: U.S. Bank Stadium (Blue and Green Lines) and Franklin (Blue Line).

Plan your trip:

612-373-333, TTY 651-291-0904

Metro routes end at varying times. Check schedules. Regular fares apply, unless you download a free pass.

Rondo Shuttle Bus and Story Ride

Ride between Rondo Community Library and Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and learn Rondo stories on the way! Two routes run each festival night:

  • a 10 minute direct route

  • a 30 minute history and story tour led by community members

Visit the Rondo Story Ride page for more information. Sponsored by Minnesota Historical Society.


Bicycling is a great way to travel to and between festival sites. There are Bike racks in each festival area.

In Minneapolis, take Nice Ride between The Commons and American Indian Cultural Corridor. Nice Ride bike valets are available at Park Ave & 4th Street S and E Franklin Ave & Bloomington Ave S stations. Find other Nice Ride stations in Minneapolis at or download the Nice Ride app.

Street Closures

In Minneapolis, Portland Ave. between 4th and 5th Streets and Franklin Ave. between Bloomington and 13th Ave. will be closed to traffic from 6pm to 3am on June 14 and June 15.


Vehicle parking will be challenging particularly in Downtown East and the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis. Here are parking options in each festival area:

  • The Commons / Downtown East, Minneapolis
    – 424 S 4th St – Jeffrey Haaf Memorial Parking Ramp, enter on South 3rd Street at S 5th Ave
    – Parking meters on S 4t Street, 8-hr limit
    – Parking meters on Chicago Ave in front of US Bank Stadium, 2-hr limit
    – Parking meters on S 6th Street, 8-hr limit
    – Parking meters on Park Ave, 8-hr limit
    – 247 Chicago Ave – Impark Chicago Ave Lot #176

  • American Indian Cultural Corridor
    Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Please be respectful of neighbors. Minneapolis American Indian Center has a very small, free parking lot at 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

  • Rondo
    – Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Please be respectful of neighbors.
    – Hallie Q. Brown Community Center has a mid-sized, free surface parking lot at 270 N Kent St, St Paul, MN 55102
    – Rondo Community Outreach Library has a small, free, indoor parking ramp at 461 Dale St N, St Paul, MN 55103

PLEASE NOTE: the Rondo Library parking ramp will close to incoming traffic at 1:30 am each festival night. Vehicles already parked inside will have to exit by 2 am. The ramp will not be open on Saturday, June 15 until 9 pm.

Where to eat and drink

  • Food trucks and restaurants. Check out the many food truck vendors at Northern Spark!
  • Fulton Tent
    Serving Fulton Beer from 9pm - midnight in The Commons.

Weather Updates

Northern Spark happens rain or (star) shine. Bring a jacket for later in the night as the temperature cools off. Visit and follow us on social media for night-of changes due to weather.

Pro Tips for Having a Great Night(s)

  • Wear comfortable shoes.

  • Bring weather appropriate gear and layers of clothing.

  • Download your Metro Transit Free Ride Pass here and ride to the festival.

  • Stay hydrated!—bring a water bottle to fill up at a fountain at the Commons.

  • Fuel up—bring snacks to eat and enjoy festival food truck offerings.

More information is available at

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 began as a dusk-to-dawn event. In 2018 we introduced a new 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 Illuminate South Loop, a mini outdoor festival of nine interactive projects in Bloomington, MN’s South Loop in the days leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl. Through projects such as Aquanesia, 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.


Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program Newsletter

Welcome to the City of Minneapolis office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy newsletter. Here you will find information on program and partner related news and updates, opportunities, events and special announcements.

Sign up for the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy newsletter at

12 art installations debut at Northern Spark June 14

Creative City Challenge winner, 11 others to bring healing, joyful art to The Commons

Everyone is invited to the ninth annual Northern Spark to immerse themselves in the interactive public art installation “Radical Playground,” the 2019 Creative City Challenge winner, at The Commons along with 11 other “We Are the Commons” installations. The Creative City Challenge winner will remain in place through August.

Northern Spark 2019
9 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15
The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S.

Northern Spark returns to The Commons this summer for the third time with installations that compel festivalgoers to move their feet, make some noise and reclaim their space including:

  • Visitors can join dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar for a one-of-a-kind audio experience making music on vintage electronics instruments and having sonic conversations with the community: “Let’s Make Some Sounds!” People of all sonic skill levels are invited to experiment with sound without the pressure of a formal musical outcome.
  • Who will move their bodies in joyful protest? “What Will You Dance For? (The Exuberant Activist Body),” presented by the artist collective Don’t You Feel It Too? invites participants to dance their wild and embodied states of resilience and resistance. Visitors can try this form of mind-body training, exuberant art, flash mob and street protest.
  • The winner of the 2019 Creative City Challenge, “Radical Playground,” is a participatory art installation by Candida Gonzalez and Mary Anne Quiroz. Visitors can try their hands at painting an “alejibre” and dance to the beats of all-femme DJ collective Indigo Crew throughout the nights of Northern Spark. The artists invite indigenous communities and communities of color to a space where they feel free to gather, to play, to heal.
  • The begena, an Ethiopian harp, is an instrument that has been around for centuries. Festivalgoers who visit “Begena At Night: The ceremony of Ethiopian art through different mediums” by Yilma Hailu will experience different aspects of Ethiopian art including traditional instruments such as the begena, gesture paintings and coffee ceremonies.
  • Created by artist Kelly Leaf, “Poetry People/People Poetry: A Community Conversation” is about making personal statements of belonging. People can choose anthems, slogans or phrases from a selection of large word cards. The statements will be photographed, be posted to Instagram and become a line in a community poem.
  • And finally, artist Joshua McGarvey wants to highlight the ability of humans to “Synchronize” heartbeats. Participants are invited to wear harnesses that allow them to feel the heartbeat of the person sitting across from them, stare into their eyes, match breathing and feel the presence of another.

Find more information about Northern Spark.

The Creative City Challenge is a program of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis created in in collaboration with The Commons and Northern


NEA Our Town

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) FY2020 Our Town guidelines are now available.

NEA Our Town applications require two primary partners; a nonprofit organization and a local government entity. One of these two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000.

Each local government -- whether applying as the lead applicant or as the primary partner with a nonprofit organization -- is limited to two (2) applications. Based on the NEA guidelines, the City of Minneapolis will select up to two (2) projects to apply for/partner with.
The deadline for the City of Minneapolis process will be announced soon. 
Watch for updates in future newsletters and visit the City of Minneapolis Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy webpage for the most current information and details about the City's application process.

For further information about the City's process contact Gülgün Kayim at or 612-673-2488.

Call for Artists: Minneapolis Art Wraps

Art Wraps on utility boxes

The City of Minneapolis is seeking 20 artists to create the next generation of Minneapolis Art Wraps. The Art Wrap program is a collection of pre-approved utility box wrap designs that are available to organizations through our Public Art Permitting Program. The City of Minneapolis invites artists of all experience levels from Minnesota to submit unique designs for utility boxes that will be displayed across the city.

Optional Artist Informational Meetings:

  • Tuesday, June 4, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Washburn Library Meeting Room, 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Thursday June 6, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. North Regional Library North Meeting Room, 1315 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis

Minneapolis Art Wraps Call for Artists.

Amount: $1,100 for Single Design; $2,500 for Suite Designs
Deadline: Intent to apply due July 1. Application due by 4 p.m., July 2.

Events to connect and celebrate the Cedar-Riverside community!

Join Springboard for the Arts, The West Bank Business Association, and neighborhood partners for a series of projects this spring and summer to connect and celebrate the Cedar-Riverside community!

Events include a creative lighting artwork display to increase safety, a youth artist exhibit, a large, community-designed banner, an intergenerational film about the West Bank community, an area clean-up, and neighborhood-wide celebration. All events are free and family-friendly.

  • June 7, West Bank Get Together: A celebration of music and beautification of the West Bank neighborhood through sound art, music and community and cleaning.
  • June 7, Feynuus Lighting Artwork Display: A creative lighting display in Currie Park will showcase how to make the area safer while educating people about the Feynuus, an important source of lighting in Somalia.
  • June 8, Living the Dream Banner Inauguration: An unveiling of a large, community-designed banner that reflects the current and future growing industry present on the West Bank.
  • June 8, Hope Through Art Youth Artworks Display: A display of artwork created by Cedar-Riverside youth mentored by local artist Allen Christian from the House of Balls.
  • June 9, West Bank 6 Story Film Display: A viewing of a film that counters the negative perceptions maintained by many about the peaceful community of West-Bank.

Read all event details on the West Bank Business Association website.

Coming up

Join Gulgun Kayim, Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy for office hours in the community, on Fridays from 9-10:30 a.m. Community members are welcome to attend and set the agenda in an informal setting, no reservations necessary. Dates and locations listed below.


North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Update

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates

What has Happened Between May 23-29?

5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint Energy has completed their 6” gas main installation up to 4th Ave N
  • Completed sidewalk removals on the east side of 5th, the west side will remain available for pedestrian access
  • Relocated salvaged brick pavers to their new storage area

7th Ave N

  • All sanitary sewer work was completed
  • Storm sewer work has started
  • Overnight water work was successful and new hydrants are being installed between 3rd St N and 4th St N
  • The soil conditions are very poor in the area so access is from the alley between 6th Ave N and 7th Ave N, this will be remedied early next week after the utility work in this area has been completed

 8th Ave N

  • Brick paver removal has begun
  • Wood pavers, beneath the brick pavers has begun

Upcoming Work May 30-June 5

5th Ave N

  • CenterPoint Energy 6” gas line installation continuing from 4th St N to 5th St N, then begin tie-ins at 5th Ave N and 5th St N and at 5th Ave N and 2nd St N.

7th Ave N

  • Continue utility work
    • Water work continues-there are no planned shut offs between now and June 7
    •  Storm sewer construction will begin tomorrow
  • The soils between 3rd St N and 4th St N will be amended starting June 3
  • Sidewalk and pavement removal on south side of Washington at 7th Ave N has begun today, this may cause some traffic impacts on Washington Ave.
  • Utility work at 7th Ave N and Washington will begin May 31st

8th Ave N

  • Begin full depth removals May 31
  • Begin utility work
    • Water work –short term water shut off the night of June 10, to do work at 8th Ave N and Washington Ave. If your property is effected, a blue notice will be placed on the door of your property in 48 hours’ in advance for impacted businesses, 24 hours’ in advance to impacted

9th Ave N

  • Begin salvaging brick pavers on May 31
  • Begin full depth pavement removals June 3

3rd St N

  • Isolated removals for water work only. More information to come next week.
  • There will be parking restrictions on 3rd St N to accommodate this work and two way traffic


Crews have a permit to work from 7 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday.  Crews will be working this Saturday June 1.

Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Date/Time:         June 12, 7:30 am to 8:30 am

Location:           Corner Coffee 514 N 3rd St #102, Minneapolis MN 55401

As always, feel free to contact myself (612-673-3365) or John Benjamin (651-443-1096) with any construction related questions or concerns.

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates

The start date for this project has moved up.  The work will begin the week of June 3.

  • Work will be starting on 2nd St N, with saw cutting and preparations for pavement removals at the pedestrian crossings along 2nd St N. Intersections along 2nd St N to be done first include the following:
    • N 2nd Ave 
    • N 3rd Ave
    • N 4th Ave
    • N 5th Ave
    • N 8th Ave
  • Impacts to traffic will be minor with short detours around the intersections of work.

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Contact Information

Project Manager:

Stephanie Malmberg,, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector:

John Benjamin,, 651-443-1096


Free Outdoor Movies, Trivia, Pianos and More Return to Downtown Minneapolis this June

A summer filled with free programming in downtown mpls kicks off the first week of June, the mpls downtown council (mdc) announced today.

Go Outside with Hennepin County and Pianos on Parade, two initiative that provide free and inclusive outdoor programming for all ages and abilities during the summer months, will begin their full schedule starting next week.

“Activity is a key ingredient in having a thriving, vibrant downtown,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external relations for the mpls downtown council. “We invite everyone who lives and works here daily or visits for special occasions to join us for free activities this summer that provide opportunities for all ages to enjoy.”

Share your gift of music with Pianos on Parade

Beginning June 1, Pianos on Parade returns to downtown mpls. The mpls downtown council and the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, in partnership with Keys 4/4 Kids, will again place 25 pianos throughout downtown that are available for anyone to play. Scheduled performances on Thursdays at 12 pm will offer the gift of music throughout downtown in June. 

Pianos are painted by local artists to fit a downtown mpls theme. The Pianos on Parade program has become a celebrated part of the summer, serving as a reminder of the variety of talented musicians in the area. For more information, visit

Join us June 6 for a special Pianos on Parade performance by Keri Noble

To help us kick off Pianos on Parade, Keri Noble will be performing to help kick off this year’s Pianos on Parade in downtown Minneapolis! Join us on Thursday, June 6 outside IDS Center from 12-1 pm to hear Keri perform live just steps away from the Nicollet Farmers Market.

Keri is a piano-driven singer/songwriter. Her 2009 album, “Keri Noble”, included the song “Emily” used on the show “Grey’s Anatomy” and an appearance on CBS’s Early Show. Kelly Clarkson recorded her song “If No One Will Listen” and included it on her Grammy-nominated album “All I Ever Wanted.” Keri co-hosted “Oake and Keri in the Morning” and “Keri and Greg in the Morning” on Cities 97 from 2012-2018. She gives voice lessons, which rekindled her passion for creating and performing music, and on the same day she left Cities 97 she released her latest collection of music, “Hurricane”.

Free activities all summer at Target Field Station and Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza

Go Outside with Hennepin County’s full summer lineup returns from June through August. The Go Outside program, produced by mdc and Hennepin County, offers free programming at both Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza (300 S. 6th Street) and Target Field Station (335 N. 5th Street). Government Center South Plaza will again feature a farmers market on Tuesdays, lawn games and activities on Wednesdays and piano performances on Thursdays. Target Field Station will feature outdoor movie nights, trivia nights, fitness nights and The Most Epic Family Day. This year’s Go Outside schedule includes:

Target Field Station

Movie Nights

-   Monday, June 10  |  7 pm “Angels in the Outfield”

-   Monday, June 24  |  7 pm TBD

-   Monday, July 8  |  7 pm “Mary Poppins Returns”

-   Monday, July 15  |  7 pm “Spaceballs”

-   Monday, July 29  |  7 pm “Moana”

Trivia Nights

-   Thursday, June 6  |  7 pm-8 pm

-   Thursday, June 20  |  7 pm-8 pm

-   Thursday, July 11  |  7 pm-8 pm

-   Thursday, July 25  |  7 pm-8 pm

Fitness Nights

-   Monday, August 1  |  5 pm-6 pm

-   Monday, August 15  |  5 pm-6 pm

-   Monday, August 22 |  5 pm-6 pm

-   Monday, August 29 |  5 pm-6 pm

+ The Most Epic Family Day  |  Sunday, August 18  |  12 pm-4 pm

Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza

  • Tuesdays through October: Downtown Farmers Market | 10 am-1 pm
  • Wednesdays, June through August: Lawn games & activities | 11:30 am-1:30 pm
  • Thursdays, June through August: Piano performances | 12 pm-1 pm

 For more information on Go Outside, visit

Part of the Aquatennial line up

This year’s 2019 Aquatennial will include Go Outside with Hennepin County and Pianos on Parade programming in its schedule, which takes place July 24-27. Look for more information on approximately 30 free events during Aquatennial’s four-day schedule at

Find Pianos on Parade or Go Outside with Hennepin County info on social media by following @mplsdowntown on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and using the hashtags #mymplsdt.

About the mpls downtown council:

Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the mpls downtown council (mdc) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The mdc’s collaborative developments of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit

About Go Outside with Hennepin County

Go Outside with Hennepin County is a series of free outdoor activities and events for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy throughout the summer in downtown Minneapolis. A partnership between Hennepin County and the mpls downtown council, Go Outside began in 2015 and has since provided programming including music, trivia, movies, lawn games, and the Downtown Farmers Market. Go Outside with Hennepin County programming takes place at Target Field Station (335 N. 5th Street) and Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza (300 S. 6th Street). For more information,

About Pianos on Parade

Pianos On Parade is an initiative produced by the mpls downtown council and The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association in partnership with Keys 4/4 Kids. The program includes 25 pianos painted by local artists depicting “The Spirit of Minneapolis”. The initiative runs from June 1-June 30. The public is welcome to play these pianos seven days a week during designated hours and to share their experience through photos or videos on social media using the hashtags #pianosonparade and #mymplsdt. For more information, visit or follow @mplsdowntown onFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About the Minneapolis Aquatennial

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is the Official Civic Celebration of the City of Minneapolis and offers outstanding entertainment and activities in the City of Lakes for all ages. It is managed and produced by the mpls downtown council. For more information, please visit or call (612) 376-7669.


Mill City Singers 2018-19 Season Concludes With a Performance at the June 8 Loring Park Music Festival

Article by Claudia Kittock

The Mill City Singers will conclude their 2018-19 season on June 8th with a performance at the Loring Park Music Festival. We will be singing at 2:00 and invite everyone to come out. It’s a great event and we are honored to be singing there for the 3rd year.

It has been a magical season for the Singers and one we will all treasure. For 30 weeks, stretching from September to June 8, the Singers have rehearsed on the 8th floor of the Guthrie Theater on Saturday afternoons, from 2:00-3:30. The Guthrie has been an amazing partner, donating the space to the Singers. We are so grateful for their continued generosity and support, and hope that relationship continues for a long time.

The philosophy of the Singers is "if you love to sing, and call yourself a friend of the Mill District, come." Directed by J.D. Steele and accompanied by Fred Steele, we come together every Saturday to sing, but so much more than that happens. The age range of the Singers is 18-94, and voices ranging from professional singers to ordinary voices. J.D. takes that mix and, somehow, makes it sound wonderful. Every single week, we laugh, we sing, we hug, and then we leave feeling more optimistic to face another week. That happens every single week. We also understand that adults live adult lives, full of complications. So, people come when they can and deal with the complications of life when they need to do that. We know we are stronger together, and every week we are strengthened by the people who show up.

In the past season, we have sung at the Capri Theater twice, at Orchestra Hall, were featured in a video at the MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon, and performed at the Loring Park Music Festival. We lead the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch of a Twins game. Two of our favorite events were holding a rehearsal at Augustana Assisted Living and at Catholic Eldercare. We have been invited back and plan to do that next season too.

The Mill City Singers started as an experiment in forming community, and is now firmly established as an integral part of the community. We are so blessed to have this group here and excited to continue for as long as possible. 

If you are interested in more information, please contact Claudia Kittock at Sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District, we welcome any and all contributions. Our only expense is the salaries of J.D. and Fred. All other work is done on a volunteer basis. We would love to add you to our list of friends!

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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).