Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits

Kathleen Boe
River Matters Columnist

Meg Forney

Doug Verdier

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

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


Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is now Our Streets Minneapolis

Via a May 31 News Release:

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is now Our Streets Minneapolis. The name change comes after the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition announced last fall its expansion to work on walking issues as well as biking.

“After eight years of successfully advocating for safer bicycle infrastructure, our new name and mission really underlines the importance of walking advocacy to this organization as we move forward,” said LaTrisha Vetaw, Our Streets Minneapolis Board President. “The expansion of our work and rebrand aligns with the Coalition’s goal to reach out to and better serve communities of color. I see this change as a big win for the community members I work with daily. We are excited to continue working to bring people together to support a great city for everyone.

The rebranding comes after months of conversations following the announcement of the expansion to serve those walking and rolling, and includes an expanded mission, vision, and priorities.


Our Streets Minneapolis works for a city where biking, walking, and rolling are easy and comfortable for everyone.


We envision a city where:

  • Biking, walking, and rolling are easy and joyful for people of all backgrounds and identities in all parts of Minneapolis;

  • Streets and trails are vibrant community spaces with people walking and biking year-round;

  • Kids and families feel safe and comfortable walking and biking to neighborhood schools, parks, and businesses;

  • Older adults and people with mobility challenges are healthy, independent, and connected with their communities through streets and sidewalks designed for them; and

  • Abundant biking and walking contributes to happy people, a healthy environment, and a strong economy.

Our Streets Minneapolis’s initial priorities for walking and rolling include working to:

  • Make street crossings safer for people walking and rolling;

  • Improve winter sidewalk maintenance; and

  • Improve stop lights for people walking.

Our Streets Minneapolis, formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, formed in 2009. It unites a network of more than 12,000 people and 1,300 volunteers. Our Streets Minneapolis organizes Open Streets Minneapolis events, which in 2016 attracted more than 80,000 people to walk, bike, and play in car-free streets for a weekend day. The first Open Streets Minneapolis event of 2017 is Sunday, June 4 on Lyndale Avenue. Our Streets Minneapolis also engages community members for protected bikeways, safer street crossings for people walking and rolling, and other improvements that make our streets safer and more inviting for everyone.

- - - - - - - -

Get Your Our Streets Minneapolis Spoke Card

Get yours at Open Streets Lyndale June 4 (by 31st Street) or Open Streets downtown June 11!


Homeless Youth to Compete in National Street Soccer USA Cup June 9-11

Via a May 31 News Release:

It’s more than a game for Minneapolis homeless youth competing in National Street Soccer USA

Overcoming all odds, local YouthLink’s team sets out to win 6th national championship

Sports have always been a means for young people to play and compete, while teaching them how to win and how to lose. Sports build character through team-building, comradery, trust and friendship through practice, competition and lots of hard work. But for youth experiencing homelessness, opportunities to participate in high-level organized sports are minimal.

Enter Street Soccer USA, a national organization that uses soccer as part of social change to help transition homeless teens and young adults into safer, healthier communities. Each year, Street Soccer USA holds a national series featuring teams consisting of homeless youth and at-risk young adults.  And a Minneapolis team is on its way to this year’s tournament in Philadelphia. 

The 2017 Street Soccer USA Cup Series kicks off with the “National Cup” in Philadelphia June 9-11, followed by the “Times Square Cup” in New York City on July 15 with the final tournament in San Francisco on August 5-6.

The Minneapolis team is named Up Top and is sponsored by YouthLink, a local nonprofit that helps young people between the ages of 16 and 24 on their journeys from homeless to hopeful. The team has participated in the tournament for nine years. Last May, Up Top won its fifth national championship with a come-from-behind victory to clinch the title.

Up Top’s team was created in 2008, led by Coach Jose Acuna, YouthLink’s outreach manager and longest-serving employee.

“Street Soccer USA is a program that uses soccer to help youth achieve their goals,” says Coach Jose. “The same rules we use on the soccer field, we use in real life. We also find that team sports are a special way to help build a critical support system needed by these kids.”

Up Top was named by a former player as a nod to Minnesota’s placement on the map. It also represents where the team wanted to be in the league. Up Top is unique among the United States teams because of its diverse mixture of religions, nationalities and experiences. The team includes members of the Twin Cities’ large Somali population and others who are refugees and asylum seekers. The one common thread among all team members is that they have experienced homelessness prior to joining the team.

The team’s diversity uses its differences to learn and grow together. 

“We practice indoors at Gethsemane Episcopal Church’s basketball court. Many of our players are Muslim and some are Catholics,” said Coach Jose. “We have great discussions about theology and religion as a unique way to learn and to create an inclusive environment. Soccer really is an international language.”

No matter what’s happening on or off the court, Coach Jose marvels about how they work together and support each other.

“We’ve worked very hard to create harmony.  In last year’s national tournament, we were losing 4–1,” recalled Coach Jose. “It would have been so easy for a team to get discouraged, but these guys knew their opportunities would come. We teach them to be patient and stick with the plan – and that you cannot give up.”

Coach Jose is hopeful that he and YouthLink can restart the Street Soccer USA women’s team, which was suspended due to lack of funding. The women’s team claimed the national championship title all three years it competed.

After this month’s tournament in Philadelphia, players will be chosen to represent the United States in the Homeless World Cup to be held August 29 – September 5, 2017 in Oslo, Norway. In past years, Up Top players were selected to play in World Cups in Brazil, Italy, Poland, France, Mexico, Netherlands and Scotland.

About YouthLink

For over 40 years, YouthLink ( has provided a safe and supportive refuge, along with the resources needed by young people experiencing homelessness. Last year, more than 2,200 young people from the Twin Cities accessed YouthLink—which is also home of the Youth Opportunity Center (YOC)—in downtown Minneapolis. At the YOC, YouthLink and over 30 community partner agencies come together to provide a holistic array of services to help young people become educated, employable, and stably housed. 


Twin Cities River Rats Return to the Mississippi June 1!


The 2017 Twin Cities River Rats shows are scheduled for 7pm Thursday nights through August, and take place at 1758 West River Road (between the Plymouth and Broadway bridges).

The River Rats perform an hour long show combining various water skiing acts with skits and music. Acts include Barefooting, Pyramids, Doubles, and more. All shows are free and concessions are available.

6:30pm – Development show: River Rat members under the age of 18 and our new members get the opportunity to perform for the crowd before jumping into the “big” show.

7:00pm – The Big Show: The ski show is a 1 hour long themed-show. In between daring and beautiful acts on water, a storyline unfolds. Audience participation is encouraged!

8:00pm – Photos: Photo opportunities with the cast of the show, visit with the skiers, and even take a ride in our “triple-rig” boat.

Their home site is located just north of downtown Minneapolis on the Mississippi River. The hillside along the river provides excellent viewing for the best show in the Twin Cites. Grab a blanket or a chair and come on down! Directions 



June 5 Career Fair Will Connect Job-seekers with Recruiting Employers

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

Event details

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

This location is served by several bus routes. Visit or or call 612-373-3333 for more details.

Participating employers

All participating businesses are aiming to fill multiple openings. Recruiters from the following organizations will attend the career fair:

  • ACR Homes
  • Atlas Staffing
  • Caribou Coffee
  • CobornsDelivers
  • Comcast
  • Delta Global Services
  • Doherty Staffing Solutions
  • Domino’s
  • Endeavor Air
  • Family Dollar
  • First Student
  • Frito Lay
  • Goodwill-Easter Seals
  • Hennepin County
  • HMSHost
  • Indrotec
  • Jerry’s Enterprises
  • Living Well Disability Services
  • Mains’l Services
  • Mall of America
  • Mary T. Inc.
  • Minneapolis Marriott Southwest
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts Distribution Center
  • Pinnacle Services
  • SUPERVALU Distribution Center
  • United States Postal Service
  • WIS International
  • Wells Fargo

Find out more about Hennepin County employment services.


Our Last Frontier

Minneapolis Park and Recreation (MPRB) continues to grow the system

By Meg Forney, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner-At-Large

The riverfront above the falls I call our "Last Frontier."  MPRB is committed to providing access to the mighty Mississippi for underserved residents of North and NorthEast Minneapolis just as our fore bearers committed to developing the Grand Rounds and the Chain of Lakes.  It is for this commitment (when translated into access, acreage, facilities and investment) that the Trust  For Public Land has once again honored Minneapolis for having the best park system in the nation. That's five years in a row.

With the addition of Scherer and Sheridan parks and soon the Water Works at Fuji Ya, the frontier is inching closer to being settled. In just my first term these past three years, MPRB has been meeting its commitments.  We have secured another three miles of river front.  We are envisioning a playground, picnic shelter and pathways at Sheridan Memorial Park.  We are seeking funding from the legislature for a last connection of trail at the Great Northern Greenway at 26th Avenue North to Ole Olson Park, a missing linkage to Theodore Wirth Park through north Minneapolis.  The community is providing input for this settling of the frontier through the Upper Harbor master development team: United Properties, First Avenue and Thor Development.

Keep your eye on the prize: access. What might be the next frontier?

Meg Forney can be reached at or on Facebook.


St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam Tours Start June 11

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam will be open from 9:30am to 5:00pm daily from Sunday, June 11, through Labor Day weekend. Tours of the lock and dam are offered daily at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm, but visitors are welcome at any time during open hours. Subjects of the staff-led tours include the lively history of the river, milling, and other topics. For more information call 651-293-0200.

Visitors can have their National Park Service (NPS) passports stamped at the visitor center and can purchase National Park and Federal Lands passes (annual, senior, military, and access) here, credit cards only.

You can also follow them on Facebook.


Friends of the Mill District: Building Community by Connecting With and Supporting our Neighbors

Article by Claudia Kittock

I have spent the past several months writing about many of the wonderful nonprofit organizations in Minneapolis. It has been a genuine pleasure, and a source of great pride to discover the hearts of the people in our city. I will continue to do that work, but today’s article is about something much more personal, a neighborhood charity that I helped found, Friends of the Mill District.

In late 2015, a group of friends, Chad DiDonato, Ken Searl, David Tinjum, and me, Claudia Kittock, began a conversation about the Mill District that continues. We shared a vision for our neighborhood that includes every single resident and decided to start a 501©3 to do the work that needs to be done. In January of 2016, we filed papers with the IRS and began our work. Our mission is to “ community in the Mill District by connecting, convening, and supporting our neighbors.” The history of our neighborhood is very short. Fewer than 300 people lived in the Mill District in the early 1990s, but in a short time we have grown to be close to 5000 residents. It seemed obvious to the founders of the Friends of the Mill District that this was a neighborhood without a sense of community, but one looking for an identity.

The socio-economic divide in our neighborhood is striking. While the mean income is $78,000, we know that 25% of our neighbors live below the poverty line. An integral part of the very existence of the Friends is to include all of our neighbors, which involves an almost constant outreach to our neighbors in poverty. No event sponsored by us has a charge. The choir, yoga, an evening of throwing bean bags in the park, Winterfest, and any future events are done free of charge. We are resolved to be an example of inclusiveness.

Subsequent to the Board being founded, Chad relocated to Nashville and Cynthia Froid joined Ken Searl, David Tinjum and Claudia Kittock to comprise the four members of the Friends of the Mill District Board. We are all volunteers and contributors. Three of us are residents in the Mill District, and the fourth owns a business here. No one is paid for the work they do for the charity. Our work is done because there is a need.

In the summer of 2016, the Friends started a yoga class in Gold Medal Park. The yoga class is held every Saturday morning from Memorial Day through Labor Day and averages 29 attendees. The first session of 2017 was held on May 27, and will continue through September 2. We were also lucky enough to find a group of yoga instructors who volunteer their time and talents to help us make this a free event.

“I was hesitant to participate since I only
knew one person. Nevertheless, I had the courage
to show up at the first rehearsal. The first gift
was the energy the choir leader exuded as we
started practicing. Suddenly, I was transported
to the beauty of singing unknown but beautiful
songs. By the time I was walking back home, my
mood was so positive and my brain thinking
process was in a creative mood..."

The Friends of the Mill District Singers began on a run. A group of neighbors formed a running group and invited residents from Emanuel Housing to be part of that group at its inception. During one of these runs, a friend brought up music and asked the question, “Why isn’t there more music in the know, like a choir?” The simple answer to that question was, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” When I asked a MacPhail Center for Music employee the same question, she promised to do some research. Within a week, she suggested MacPhail might be willing to help us set up a pilot project to find out if we could make a choir a reality and offered us JD Steele as the director.

We started singing in the fall of 2015, and now have a roster of 161 singers. We are averaging close to 50 singers/rehearsal. Rehearsals are held in neighborhood venues. We have been lucky enough to sing at the Guthrie, MacPhail, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Mill City Museum. All space is donated and we continue to be grateful to our neighbors.

We have sung at the Capri Theater, Holidazzle, the MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon, at a Twins game (singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch), before a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol' at the Guthrie, at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, at Songs from the Street, and we caroled for the first ever Winterfest in the Mill District. These are but a few of the things we have done in the past 18 months, and on June 10th are scheduled to sing at the Loring Park Music Fest.

Scenes and singing from the first annual Winterfest in the Mill District

As Rosa Miller commented, “I was hesitant to participate since I only knew one person. Nevertheless, I had the courage to show up at the first rehearsal. The first gift was the energy the choir leader exuded as we started practicing. Suddenly, I was transported to the beauty of singing unknown but beautiful songs. By the time I was walking back home, my mood was so positive and my brain thinking process was in a creative mood. Besides a renewed confidence in my singing, my capacity that I would improve my vocal chords, etc., I very much enjoy the sense of connecting and community building among the members. New friendships, new interests, being able to pursue my love of music, performing across the city and with other choirs are gifts that have came so unexpectedly as a result of accepting a neighbor’s invitation.”

We have another project that will begin later this summer. In a joint effort with the Guthrie, YouthLink and MacPhail, we will sponsor an acting class for young people. It follows the same model as the choir. We are inviting young people from YouthLink who are experiencing homelessness, and then extending the invitation to young people in our community. The class will be free and taught by acting teachers from the Guthrie. It will happen over 3 weeks in July or August (stay tuned for the starting date) and will culminate in a performance at the Guthrie. We are incredibly excited about this project and hope to have enough success to be able to turn this into an ongoing effort.

A strong, healthy community can only be built together. We are stronger together, and bringing all of us together requires effort. The Friends of the Mill District are willing and anxious to continue to do this work. Your help and support is critical to the work we do. How can you help and support the work being done?

1. Sing with the Friends of the Mill District Singers. No talent is needed, just an interest in singing with a group of neighbors.

2. Grab a mat or a towel and meet under the huge orange sculpture in Gold Medal Park on any or every Saturday at 9:00am this summer.

3. Friend us on Facebook. All activities are posted there.

4. We are funded by contributions. Our only expenses are to pay the salary of JD Steele who directs our choir, and to pay the salaries of the Guthrie acting teachers. All other work is done by the Board. We rely on the generosity of our neighbors to be able to pay the salaries. Any contribution is tax deductible and can be made out to Friends of the Mill District and sent to Claudia Kittock at 215 10th Avenue S, Unit 613, Minneapolis, MN, 55415.

For any and all questions, please contact Claudia Kittock at We are stronger together!

- - -

Editor's Note:

Listen to Claudia's recent interview on KFAI:


Scenes from the May 27 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

We met some new businesses at the May 27 Market: Darling Pickle Dips, Inesse Ceramics and Homegrown Foods. Look for these vendors in future "Get to Know" articles on our Farmers Market blog.

What's a Pickle Dip? Why, it's a tasty, versatile spread that starts with a white bean and cream cheese base, flavored with pickled veggies and spices. Sara Doherty and Britt Jungerberg, creators of Darling Pickle Dips, will be back for the June 24 Market.

Farmers Market Vendor Event

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Ben Fiess of Inesse Ceramics (below, right) creates what I would describe as functional art. You can put these beautiful pastel pieces to work as dishes or display them as art. Ben also has a line of arc necklaces. Inesse will return for the July 8 Market, plus several Saturdays in September.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Aleks Till of Homegrown Foods does the meal planning and grocery delivery for you - featuring wholesome, local, organic dinner kits. Condiments and seasonings are included, so all you need to do is follow the instructions and dinner is served!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Power of Produce! Every week this popular free program introduces kids to produce available at the Market, and provides them with a $2 chip to shop with. :)

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

If you pay attention, you'll discover something new at Market with each visit. This week it was lovage from Cherry and Tim of Holistic Health Farms. The cool thing about lovage is it has a celery flavor, with hollow stems sturdy enough to be used as straws in a Bloody Mary.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Pie maker extraordinaire Susan Dietrich of Very Prairie also makes aprons from vintage feed sacks. How special are they? Regular MCFM shopper and local author, Kathleen Novak, wrote an ode to them!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Shoppers enjoying breakfast on the steps while a group of yogis practiced with YogaFit Northeast.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Love this girl! Kelli McManus and her business partner Jeff Casper of Dumpling and Strand where recently featured in a Pioneer Press article. At the May 27 Market they celebrated the company's 1 Year Anniversary with a Spin the Wheel game in which customers tried for a chance to win free pasta and many other prizes. We wish them continued success!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Talin Spring of Spring Finn & Co prepared to wrap one of her exquisite bracelets around a shopper's wrist.

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Young parents checking out some sassy baby pants from Sassy Knitwear. Cute!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

May 27, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market 


Video: Pillsbury "A" Mill Interactive Visualization

The historic Pillsbury “A” Mill was completed in 1881 on the west bank of the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To power the mill, water works were constructed beneath the building, carrying water from the river and through turbines to generate electricity. VJAArchitects hired Artificial Natures to create an interactive application that allows people to explore this underground world, including the 500 foot long head race tunnel and realistic water effects. This video shows a tour through the tunnel system.


Buses Will Replace Downtown Minneapolis Trains June 1-5

Due to scheduled maintenance, buses will replace trains beginning Thursday, June 1 during a partial shutdown on the METRO Blue & Green Line. Customers can board replacement buses near the affected stations. Buses run on similar schedules as trains but can take more time.

Customers are urged to plan accordingly. Consider walking or biking from U.S. Bank Stadium Station to your downtown destinations.

From 6:45 p.m. Thursday, June 1 until 5 a.m. Monday, June 5, buses will replace Blue and Green Line trains for these stations:

- U.S. Bank Stadium (northbound/westbound only)
- Government Plaza
- Nicollet Mall
- Warehouse-Hennepin Avenue
- Target Field

See maps for boarding locations


Reminder - 2017 Music & Movies in the Parks Series Kicks off May 29!

Music in the Parks May 29 - September 4

Featuring over 200 free outdoor concerts, the 2017 schedule has something for every musical taste including Jazz, Latin, Swing, Folk, Rock, Bluegrass, Classical and much more.  See and enjoy great local talent at one of these six venues:
Lake Harriet Band Shell (Monday-Saturday 7:30pm, except Wednesdays; Sundays 2:00pm & 5:30pm)
Nicollet Island Park (Mondays 7:00pm)
Father Hennepin Bluff Park (Tuesdays 7:00pm)
Minnehaha Park (Wednesday-Friday 7:00pm)
Bryant Square Park (Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30pm)
Loring Park (Wednesdays 11:30am-1:30pm)
Movies in the Parks June 5 - August 26

The mobile program takes place Monday through Saturday evenings and will travel to more than 50 parks throughout the summer, which includes a partnership with the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.  Music-movie combo sites include Tuesdays at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, select Fridays at Lake Harriet Bandshell, and the Live on the Drive series in north Minneapolis.  Movies start 15 minutes after sunset.
Concerts and movies are free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray and pack a picnic. For the most up-to-date schedules and weather related information, follow Twitter and Facebook. For a complete schedule, visit

Thank You to the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board for bringing us Music & Movies in the Parks!


The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Announces NT Live Summer Schedule

Starting Monday, May 29, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul kicks-off the Summer 2017 season of National Theatre Live screenings at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. The Film Society’s Summer Season of NTL will feature new afternoon encores at 1:00pm on the Wednesday following each production's first screening. These matinees will be available at a 30% discounted admission.

Full NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE Summer Season Schedule:
ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD - May 29, May 31, June 3 - Directed by David Leveaux and Tim Van Someren. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire, David Haig, Luke Mullins, Helena Wilson.
PETER PAN - June 10, June 12, June 14 - All ages production. Directed by Sally Cookson. Adapted from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale.
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? - June 19, June 21, June 24 - Directed by James MacDonald. Starring Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Imogen Poots, Luke Treadaway.
OBSESSION - July 3, July 5, July 8 - Directed by Ivo van Hove. Starring Jude Law.
TWELFTH NIGHT - July 17, July, July 22 - Directed by Simon Godwin. Starring Tamsin Greig, Tamara Lawrence, Daniel Ezra, Daniel Rigby.

SALOMÉ - July 31, August 2, August 5 - Directed by Yael Farber. Starring Isabella Nefar, Raad Rawi, Olwen Fouere, Theo TJ Lowe

ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 1, MILLENNIUM APPROACHES - August 14, August 19 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey
ANGELS IN AMERICA PART 2, PERESTROIKA - August 21, August 26 - Directed by Marianne Elliott. Written by Tony Kushner. Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, Denise Gough, Amanda Lawrence, James McArdle, Nathan Steward-Jarrett, Russell Tovey

Here's the Schedule of Free Outdoor Movies at Target Field Station

Schedule of free outdoor movies at Target Field Station announced

Hennepin County is hosting free movie nights this summer at Target Field Station in partnership with the mpls downtown council and the Minnesota Twins. 

Residents can bring a lawn chair or blanket, find a spot on the grass outside the ballpark and watch movies on the video board. The digital screen at Target Field Station allows for movies to be shown in crisp quality and before dusk, making the events ideal for all ages.

All movies begin Thursdays at 7:00pm

  • June 1: “The Sandlot”  
  • June 8: “Footloose” (1984)  
  • June 29: “The Parent Trap” (1961)  
  • July 13: “Inside Out”  
  • August 10: “Finding Dory”  
  • August 24: “Free Willy”  

Getting to Target Field Station

Go Outside with Hennepin County

The movie nights are part of Go Outside with Hennepin County, a series of free, family-friendly events. Events will take place this summer at Target Field Station and the Hennepin County Government Center. 

Share your experiences at Go Outside events. Interact on social media using the hashtag #GoOutside. 

See this year's full schedule of Go Outside with Hennepin County events.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 11-15)

Count down to Super Bowl 52 with this weekly video series of 52 love letters to Minnesota from notable Minnesotans. My North is an editorial video series created by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. Hear from tastemakers and stylemakers. Artists and athletes. Authors and entertainers. These are their odes to the state they love. Below are episodes 11-15 - click here to see more



June 21: Book It to the Parks!

Book It to the Parks!

On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries - a gift from The Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day.

Book donations are welcome – help stock your neighborhood’s newest Little Free Library.

Bring your kids and Book It to the Parks!


Get to Know The Commons!

The Commons is more than just a huge expanse of luxurious grass to run your toes through.  Check out all the programming scheduled for this summer and fall. FUN! :D

Daily Amenities – Free and open to the public:   
Umbrellas – Colorful umbrellas provide shade at amenity areas and within program rooms. 
Games Cart – A variety of favorite lawn and board games, including Corn Hole, ladder ball, bocce, chess, checkers, Connect Four, etc. Available free of charge, to borrow from our games cart. Opens June 1.
Reading Cart – Explore best sellers and titles from local publishers as well as daily newspapers, available for use in the park. Make The Commons your stop over lunch to read up on news. Opens June 1. With support from Bond & Devick Wealth Partners.
Ping Pong – Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to a game. Free paddles and balls available for use in the park. Opens June 1.
Public Art Installation - Orbacles by MINN_LAB is presented as part of the City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge. The winning submission by MINN_LAB addresses how climate change affects birdlife in Minnesota, and launches in conjunction with the Northern Spark Festival June 10.
- - - - -
Series – Free and open to the public
• Kubb Lessons • Hip Hop Dance • Fly Feet HIIT & Run • Silent Disco • Summer Extravaplaza • Spoken Word Workshops • Sing Play Learn – Early Childhood • Film Festival • Mill City Farmers Market • Bike with a Ranger
- - - - -   
Single Events – Free and open to the public
Storytime with Nancy Carlson • Northern Spark • German Student Orchestra Performance • Lit Community Picnic • Storytime with John Coy & Wing Young Huie • Make Music Day Twin Cities • Aquatennial Yoga with CorePower Yoga • Storytime & Sing-A-Long with Trisha Speed Shaskan and Stephen Shaskan
- - - - -
External Events
Badass Dash - X Games Concerts - Vikings Activations

Minneapolis Edges Out Saint Paul to Retain Title of Nation's Best Park System

Minneapolis has the best park system in the United States, according to The Trust for Public Land's 6th annual ParkScore® index, which was released today by the non-profit organization.

Minneapolis narrowly edged out cross-town rival Saint Paul to earn top honors for the second consecutive year. San Francisco climbed into third, pulling ahead of Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA, mostly because of improved access to basketball courts at schoolyards now open after hours and on weekends. PortlandIrvineNew YorkMadison, and Cincinnati rounded out the top 10.

Fresno shook up the bottom of the ParkScore rankings, vaulting from last year's 97th to a tie for 90th place (with Hialeah and Jacksonville, FL). Fresno's climb stemmed mostly from the creation of "joint use" agreements that open school playgrounds and athletic fields for public use after school hours and on weekends. Fresno had been the lowest ranking ParkScore city from 2012-2015.

"Joint use of school facilities is a major national trend, and a very positive development. Keeping playgrounds and athletic fields open to the public when schools are closed helps cities significantly increase park access at relatively low cost. The Trust for Public Land enthusiastically supports joint use, but it does not replace the need for new park acquisition and open space preservation," said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

"Everyone in America deserves to live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Parks are proven to improve physical and mental health, increase property values, and bring neighbors together to nurture the personal bonds that make our communities special," said Charlie McCabe, Director of The Trust for Public Land's Center for City Parks Excellence.

ParkScore rankings are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city's median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation and senior centers.

In addition to ranking park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five park bench rating summary that provides a snapshot of local park quality. In 2017, three cities received the highest possible 5-bench rating: MinneapolisSaint Paul, and San Francisco.

ParkScore champion Minneapolis scored strongly on all ParkScore rating factors. In Minneapolis, 97 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and 15 percent of city area is reserved for parks. Second-place finisher Saint Paul nearly matched Minneapolis for park access, amenities, and investment but ceded the top spot due to its smaller median park size (3.7 acres vs. 6.6 acres).  Third place San Francisco outperformed both Minnesota cities for investment and access, but was third overall, mostly because of its comparatively small median park size, 1.6 acres. Boise, ID, led the nation with 7.2 dog parks per 100,000 residents and tied for 35thposition overall (with Raleigh).

"You can't have a great city without a great park system," said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land. "Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve. ParkScore is a tool that city leaders can use to guide park improvement, helping planners identify where they should focus their efforts, so more residents can live within a 10-minute walk of a well-planned and well-maintained park."

According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are:




Park Bench Summary

Raw Score (Max 100)   



5.0 park benches



Saint Paul

5.0 park benches



San Francisco

5.0 park benches



Washington, DC

4.5 park benches



Portland, OR

4.5 park benches



Arlington, VA

4.5 park benches



Irvine (tie)

4.5 park benches



New York (tie)

4.5 park benches



Madison, WI

4.5 park benches




4.0 park benches



The lowest-ranking park systems are:



Fresno (tie)

1.5 park benches



Hialeah, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches



Jacksonville, FL (tie)

1.5 park benches



Laredo, TX (tie)

1.5 park benches



Winston-Salem (tie)

1.5 park benches



Mesa, AZ

1.5 park benches




1.5 park benches




1.0 park benches



Fort Wayne (tie)

1.0 park benches



Indianapolis (tie)

1.0 park benches



Gilbert, AZ was not ranked because the city did not provide parks data to The Trust for Public Land.

ParkScore uses advanced GIS (geographic information system) computer mapping technology to create digital maps evaluating park accessibility, making it the most realistic assessment system available. Instead of simply measuring distance to a local park, ParkScore's GIS technology takes into account the location of park entrances and physical obstacles to access. For example, if residents are separated from a nearby park by a major highway, ParkScore does not count the park as accessible to those residents (unless there is a bridge, underpass, or easy access point across the highway). Esri and The Trust for Public Land collaborated on GIS design and implementation, helping to make ParkScore the most comprehensive park evaluation tool ever created.

ParkScore is free and open to the public to use as a roadmap to guide park improvement efforts. Users can browse interactive maps and zoom in and study park access on a block-by-block basis, pinpointing the neighborhoods where parks are most needed.

For more information about ParkScore, visit and join the discussion on Twitter @TPL_org, #ParkScore.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit

SOURCE The Trust For Public Land


2017 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award Recipients Announced

On Thursday, May 18, Preservation Award partners Preserve Minneapolis, AIA Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission announced the recipients of 2017 annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards during a luncheon at International Market Square. 

The following honors were presented at the 27th Annual Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Awards:

 Historic Restoration, Rehabilitation, or Adaptive Reuse Project

700 Central

Hewing Hotel


New Addition to an Historic Building

Residence on Emerson

Charles Frederick Keyes House


Grassroots: Advocacy & Education

4Word Homes and Design, LLC/Robin O’Brien’s Home Restoration   


The Steve Murray Award

Robert M. Frame, III


The Minneapolis Preservation Awards annually recognize projects, individuals, and organizations that celebrate the heritage and historic character of Minneapolis. Nominations are selected based on their careful attention to the quality of design, architecture, workmanship, and materials as well as the positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community.

A jury comprised of two Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioners, two members of the American Institute of Architects Minneapolis Chapter, and two board members from Preserve Minneapolis reviewed the nominations.

For more information about the award program and details of the 2017 recipients, visit the AIA Minneapolis website.


Northern Spark Launch Party, June 10 at Thresher Square

Northern Spark’s 7th year kicks off with the Launch Party from 7 – 9 pm on Saturday, June 10 at Thresher Square.

Start your adventure with artful food created by 8 amazing local restaurants, beer from Fulton Brewing, a Northern Spark specialty cocktail crafted by Crooked Water Spirits, and musical guests ZULUZULUU! The historic Thresher Square building is just steps from The Commons, Northern Spark’s downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, so as the sun sets at 8:59 pm, you’ll already be in the prime spot for the festival’s opening celebrations.

Featured restaurants: Mercy, Cafe Alma, Eastside, Red Stag Supperclub, French Meadow, Handsome Hog, Silhouette Bakery & Bistro, Cafe Latté
Beverages: Fulton Brewing, Crooked Water Spirits, Barefoot Bubbly, Sociable Cider Werks, Peace Coffee

Tickets are available on Eventbrite
$50 Adapt Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU
$100 Sustain Ticket - Entrance to the Launch Party from 7-9pm along with two hours of hosted libations, the specialty Northern Spark Launch Party cocktail, and a concert by stellar artists ZULUZULUU, plus artistic hors d'oeuvres from 8 local restaurants
The Launch Party is presented by the Northern Spark Host Committee and is the annual fundraiser for Northern, the producers of the Northern Spark festival. The launch party funds a large portion of Northern Spark activities. 

Exploring the Upper River – Edgewater Park

Article by Kathleen Boe, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Exploring the Upper River

A look at hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

Through the course of this series on placemaking, we’re visiting parks, areas of green space and locations of interest along the upper river and the Minneapolis Riverfront.

But as you’re driving along Marshall St. NE, you might miss this spot. It’s at a busy intersection of Marshall and Lowry, where we’ve already written about Stormwater Park and there’s even more to discover than can be covered in this piece. So you might be forgiven if Edgewater Park has receded into the background for you so far.

I’m here to change that.

Edgewater Park sits on the southwest corner of Marshall and Lowry. The park is, of course, at the edge of the water, but the name also comes from the Edgewater Inn, which was a popular music spot on the site. The city acquired the land in 1993 and Edgewater Park was built as part of the Above the Falls Master Plan in 2006 thanks in part to funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The park was dedicated in the spring of 2007.

This space was envisioned as parkland as far back as 1883, among Horace Cleveland’s initial suggestions to the city of Minneapolis, but it was not originally developed as such.

The park itself features a small picnic area and a walking path, but you might easily miss its key feature if you’re not aware of it coming in. The layout of Edgewater Park mimics the flow of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers through the area, with the Mississippi (pictured) heading out of the park toward Lowry and the Minnesota headed out toward Marshall. An aerial viewwill give you the best perspective.

While you’re there, also take note of how the park is divided into two distinct pieces, with planting and grasses distinguishing the metro area from the prairie.

At the midpoint of the park, near the confluence, as it were, of the two paths, is a lookout, mimicking the view Fort Snelling has on the actual rivers themselves.

This lookout is a great spot, too, to observe what is going on across the river. In two years we’ll have Northern Metals shutting down and starting to head out, removing some of the heavy industrial work. So when you visit, take a few minutes to envision what a mixture of parkland, trails and housing or light industrial use might look like on the river’s west bank.

So, the next time you’re taking a Nice Ride bike along the East Bank trail, continue up Marshall for a few more blocks and check out Edgewater Park. Drop off your bike and head into Tony Jaros Rivergarden for a greenie, or check in at Betty Danger’s. It’s a good time of year to hit the Ferris Wheel.

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at via email, or on the web.