Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven

Joan Bennett

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits 

Doug Verdier

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


Nonprofit Spotlight: Supportive Services for Veteran Families at St. Stephen’s

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

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

When my husband and I moved to downtown Minneapolis, I knew very little about homelessness.  I had been part of helping a few college students who lost their housing, but that was in rural Minnesota where homelessness is completely hidden. My first exposure as a Minneapolis resident was at a meeting hosted by St. Stephen’s. I was incredulous. How could veterans be homeless? How can we live in a city with so much and yet have people who served our country living under bridge decks?  It made no sense.

As my information grew, so did a realization that if I didn’t know, there were plenty of other people who didn’t know. Luckily for me, Mill City Times provides me with the chance to tell the stories I hear and to share the work of people who are devoted to ending homelessness in Minneapolis. I know it can be done as I have seen the plans. It needs to be done, and veteran homelessness is showing signs of real decline because of the great work being done by groups like St. Stephen’s.

I met Jeni Kuhfuss during a visit to St. Stephen’s to discuss the program they have for assisting veterans in finding housing and jobs. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families team was formed about three years ago with two outreach workers, and has expanded to offer a full range of services through the addition of Rapid Rehousing and Prevention Workers who can focus more on housing. Prevention workers assist veterans who are still housed, but are in danger of losing their housing. It is clear that prevention is far more effective than dealing with people who have already lost their housing.

Jeni Kuhfuss, John Tribbett and Brit CulpThe Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been assisting veterans for over 25 years. Each year MACV receives more than 25,000 contacts, inquiries and requests from veterans across the state. In 2014, MACV comprehensively served 1,810 veterans and their families throughout Minnesota who were homeless or experiencing a crisis that could lead to homelessness – and the need for services continues to rise. MACV did a unique thing by reaching out to service providers, like St. Stephens, who already were implementing best practices for homelessness outreach and housing services. They partnered with providers to ensure that veterans were targeted with these services already being implemented in the community, instead of reinventing the process.

St. Stephen’s is just one of the groups that partner with MACV, and part of MACV’s success has been their willingness to share their expertise for providing services to veterans with the expertise of community agencies who have established best practices for working with the homeless population so that veterans are served well by both entities.

Justin, a veteran from the Vietnam era, explained how difficult life can be after serving in the military, particularly in a war. Life doesn’t make as much sense as it did, and the memories of things seen and experienced don’t go away. Relationships can be problematic, and maintaining employment tends to be an ongoing problem. However, as Justin asked, "Why are we still debating housing? Shouldn’t people who served their country have a place to sleep at night? It just doesn’t make sense!”

Michael, who served in Desert Storm, told me about the difficulties of reintegration. As he said, “I don’t know anyone who served their country and expects a handout. What we do need is help!  Help with jobs, with training, with education, and finding a place to live that we can afford while we resettle our lives.”

The SSVF program is providing assistance for almost 150 veterans, and the most difficult problem is finding housing. It can take the professionals at St. Stephen’s as much as 2 months to find an apartment. As Jeni explained, “Housing is the start of the conversation.” Once someone has a place to sleep and to call home, the conversation can and does expand to other areas of life where help is needed. These conversations include issues of health, employment, and issues of chemical use and/or addiction. According to 2016 figures by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the nation has cut homelessness among veterans by 47 percent since 2010. Minnesota identified 644 homeless veterans on a single night in 2010, and 279 in January 2016 - a 57% reduction.

Often the veterans are elderly. Since the beginning of 2017, according to SSVF data entry, about 52% of the veterans assisted are age 55 and older. The outreach workers are running into these veterans sleeping outside and in shelter, often finding that they need more than just housing services, but we can make a start with housing and then help them connect with other supports they may need.

What would ending homelessness look like? Experts agree that it would be when the support system in place could find housing and other types of support within a short period of time for every new person identified.

How can you help?  There are many ways to support this work:
Learn more about St. Stephen’s and the work they do.
• Donations are important. Household items, kitchen supplies, toiletries and clothing are all welcome. They can be dropped off at St. Stephen’s at 2309 Nicollet Avenue.
• Advocate for legislation providing services for mental and chemical health.

Claudia can be reached at


Franklin Avenue Bridge Update

Via an March 17, 2017, Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Restoration work to resume on Monday, March 20

Starting Monday, March 20, construction activity beneath the Franklin Avenue Bridge will resume. Crews will start with moving barges, lifts and other construction equipment into place. During 2017, they will complete concrete restoration on the main span arches, complete watermain related work and paint the entire bridge structure. The impacts to bridge users during this work is expected to be minimal. There are no long-term closures scheduled.
About this project
When complete this fall, the Franklin Avenue Bridge will replicate the original 1923 designs. The restored deck and supporting structure will ensure additional years of use for the historic bridge and vital community connector. Last year, the new bridge deck was completed and opened. It incorporates features such as separated on-road bike lanes, walkways, overlook nooks and historic-style lighting.

Friends of the Hennepin County Library Announces the 2017 Talk of the Stacks Lineup

Presented by The Minneapolis Foundation
and sponsored by Star Tribune

Talk of the Stacks takes place in Pohlad Hall at Minneapolis Central Library, featuring guest authors who speak on a variety of topics ranging from a coming-of-age story penned by a former Hollywood teen heartthrob, to an award-winning debut novel about the immigrant experience, to a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist's take on social and political expression.

Events are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:15pm and programs begin at 7pm.

Andrew McCarthy
Wednesday, April 12, 7pm
Hollywood actor, director and travel writer will discuss his debut YA novel, Just Fly Away

Andrew McCarthy is an award-winning travel writer, author, director and actor. He has appeared in dozens of films including the 80s cult classics Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire. He is an acclaimed TV director, having helmed
Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, and
Grace and Frankie among others. An award-winning travel writer and an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler, his travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, was a New York Times. His debut novel, Just Fly Away, tells the story of one girl's discovery of family secrets, first love, and finding one's way in the world.

Lisa Ko
Tuesday, June 13, 7pm
Author of the award-winning debut novel The Leavers, will examine themes of immigration, borders, and belonging

Lisa Ko is the author of The Leavers, the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. A vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging, The Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away-and how one woman learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

Steve Sack
Thursday, August 17, 7pm
Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune Editorial cartoonist launches new book

Steve Sack has been the Star Tribune's editorial cartoonist since 1981 and was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning. Sack is known for his diverse collection of cartoons, original style, and clever ideas that drive home his unmistakable point of view.

Larry Olmsted
Thursday, October 5, 7pm
A conversation on food, health, and answering the question "What are you really eating?"

Larry Olmsted is an award-winning journalist and author. His book Real Food, Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating & What You Can Do About It brings readers into the world of the unregulated food industry, revealing the shocking deception that extends from high-end foods to everyday staples.

Chris Riemenschneider
Thursday, November 2, 7pm
The Story of Minneapolis Music with Daniel Corrigan & Danny Sigelman

Chris Riemenschneider, music reporter for the Star Tribune, will celebrate the launch of his new book First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom. It's the story of one of the longest running clubs in American rock 'n' roll, and perhaps the most recognizable venue in Minnesota. He'll be joined in conversation with Daniel Corrigan and Danny Sigelman, co-creators of Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis to examine the ever evolving Minneapolis music scene.


Road Closures for March 18 Hot Dash 5K and 10 Mile

Please note the following street closures for Saturday, March 18, for the Hot Dash 5K & 10 Mile, from approximately 7:30am-1:00pm:

Stone Arch Bridge, NE Main Street - 6th Ave SE to Hennepin Ave, West River Parkway - Plymouth Ave to E 27th Ave.

Click here to view a course map.


Reminder: I-94 Project Work Begins Monday, March 20

 MnDOT logo

I-94 project work begins Monday, March 20

On Monday, work will start under bridges. Also, lane restrictions are planned on eastbound I-94 from just west of Shingle Creek Pkwy toward Hwy 252. Traffic will be reduced to two lanes.

The $46.3 million maintenance and preservation project includes work on 50 bridges, including the Lowry Tunnel, and resurfaces nine miles of the interstate.

Motorists will see lane restrictions for much of the spring, summer and fall. Traffic restrictions and ramp and road closures will regularly change throughout the project. Motorists should plan ahead, prepare for delays and pay attention to work zones.

More about this project

Visit the project website for updates on traffic impacts:


Take Miller Lite Free Rides on St. Patrick's Day!


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day,
Miller Lite Free Rides® will be available
on all Metro Transit routes

The Original Lite Beer is teaming up with Metro Transit to offer Miller Lite Free Rides to everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. In partnership with J.J. Taylor Distributing, Miller Lite Free Rides will be available on all Metro Transit routes Friday, March 17, between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. the following morning.

“This year marks the 20thyear that we’ve partnered with Metro Transit to offer Miller Lite Free Rides to everyone in the Twin Cities,” said Diane Wagner, MillerCoors alcohol responsibility manager. “Our goal is to keep roadways safe with our Free Rides program while raising awareness that drunk driving is completely preventable.” 

Since 1997, the program has provided more than 1 million Free Rides to consumers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding communities. Free Rides are offered for St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The program has gained the support of local and state law enforcement and elected officials. Miller Lite Free Rides will also be offered in Milwaukee, Wis. on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Minnesota is lucky to have a partnership with MillerCoors for 20 years in the Twin Cities, and are grateful for the commitment they have made to keep our residents and visitors safe,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt

“With dozens of bus routes and two light rail lines providing frequent service in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding communities, our transit system provides safety, convenience and value,” said Brian Lamb, Metro Transit General Manager. “We want to remind our community to let us be your designated driver and celebrate St. Patrick’s responsibly.”

“As a long standing member of the community, J.J. Taylor Distributing is proud to play a role in bringing this important drunk driving prevention program back to Minneapolis and St. Paul for the 20th year,” said Billie Jo Smith of J.J. Taylor Distributing. 

MillerCoors partner J.J. Taylor Distributing is also sponsoring the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Association (MSPDA) Parade. The parade route this year is running North to South along Marquette Avenue, starting at South 6th Street and concluding at South 11th Street. There is a $25 entry fee and proceeds will go to The American Diabetes Association.

In holding true to Miller Lite’s commitment to doing good in our communities, the Miller Lite Free Rides program has provided more than 5.8 million people nationwide with a safe ride home and is part of MillerCoors overall commitment to preventing drunk driving. For more information, visit


Hennepin County Library’s Teen Tech Squad is Hiring Teens to Research, Design and Lead Interactive Workshops

Hennepin County Library’s Teen Tech Squad is hiring teens to research, design and lead interactive workshops for and with youth, and teach STEAM skills through tinkering and making. STEAM includes science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. 

Teen leaders work with adult mentors to create innovative programming for school-aged participants in programs held afternoons and on weekends. Teen Tech Squad employees work approximately 25 hours per month on nights and weekends, and earn $15/hour. Teens ages 16 to 18 can apply online at The library system will accept applications March 17 to April 7.

The program gets financial support from Friends of the Hennepin County Library.

Teens lead workshops at seven library locations

In its fourth year, Hennepin County Library’s Teen Tech Squad program has employed 71 teens; currently, 30 teens work at Brookdale, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Franklin, Hosmer, North Regional and Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Minneapolis Central Library downtown. More than 1,200 students have participated in Teen Tech programming.

Library staff members and teen employees at several libraries are available for media interviews. Please contact Maria Elena Baca at or call 612-348-7865 for assistance setting up an interview.


Washington Avenue Reconstruction Update

Generic Save the Date AB bannerVia a March 15 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Reconstruction work to resume on Monday, March 27

Starting Monday, March 27, eastbound traffic on Washington Avenue (County Road 152) will be detoured to 4th Street between Hennepin and Park avenues. This detour will remain in place until fall.

Westbound Washington Avenue will remain open through 2017, although some short-term lane reductions are possible.

The closure will allow crews to resume work on the north side of Washington Avenue between 4th and 3rd avenues and to begin work on the south side of Washington Avenue between 2nd and Hennepin Avenues.  Crews are removing and replacing utilities, as well as reconstructing the road and sidewalks. New traffic signals will be installed. And, there will be a new cycle track (off-street bike path) on both sides of the road.

When complete this fall, the Washington Avenue reconstruction project will:
• Improve the driving surface, curbs, gutters and medians
• Add dedicated turn lanes at key intersections
• Provide more space for pedestrians and shorten crossing distances at intersections
• Provide one-way cycle tracks, or protected bike lanes

Contact us

Project website:
Project email:
Project phone: 612-543-3722
See active projects on our interactive road construction map.

Learn more about how transportation is connecting people to places.


2017 Minneapolis Bike Tour Will Be September 17 - Registration Now Open

2017 BT Logo

Early Bird registration now open for the 2017 Minneapolis Bike Tour 

All riders will get a $10 discount through the end of March on their registration fee. This year, rather than receiving a T-Shirt, riders will have the option to purchase a moisture-wicking, Technical Shirt. Click on the Merchandise tab during the registration process if you are interested in purchasing a shirt.



Public Hearing Set For New Transportation and Transit Sales Tax

Via a March 15 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Votes Tuesday approved a public hearing to gather feedback on transportation and transit tax, approved an agreement that will help secure resources for the homeless, renewed funding that helps teen parents, approved agreements relating to road reconstruction in Medina and appointed candidates to citizen advisory boards.

The board approved a public hearing to gather public comment on the imposition of a new sales tax of up to one-half cent and the potential uses of that revenue for transportation and transit projects.

This tax would replace the current sales tax of one-quarter cent imposed by Hennepin County for the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB).

The public hearing will be held before the Public Works Committee on Tuesday, March 21, at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room (A-2400) of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis.

All are welcome.

Prior to the hearing, Hennepin County Public Works staff will hold two open houses to share information about the new tax and its potential uses. Staff will answer questions and take written comments.

Both open houses will be held at county libraries on Monday, March 20, 5 – 7 p.m., with a short presentation at 6 p.m.

Read more about the action.

Learn more about how Hennepin County is connecting people to places.


Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Announces 2017 Open Streets Dates

Via a March 15 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition:

Open Streets 2017 is here!

It's getting warmer outside which can mean only one thing - it's almost time for Open Streets again! We're happy to announce the seven summer Open Streets events for this year; we hope you'll join us at one or many of them!

If you're a business, artist, performer, or community org - sign up for your spot on the street today!


MPRB is Looking for Youth Sports Coaches for Spring Activities

Farview Baseball

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is seeking enthusiastic volunteer coaches for youth Track & Field, T-Ball, Baseball and Softball.

  • Practices start in April games/meets begin May.
  • Athletes range from 5-18 years old
  • Teams practice 1-2 times per week
  • Games/meets are scheduled for a weeknight and/or Saturdays
  • MPRB will provide orientation for all new coaches
  • Can't coach this Spring? We'll need coaches for fallFootball, Soccer, and Volleyball

Click here to receive more information or to express interest in MPRB volunteer opportunities

Contact: 612-230-6493,


Free NCHC Fan Skate at Target Center March 16


National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff offers the public free opportunity to skate the ice at Target Center

If you’ve ever wanted to hit the ice in a big-time arena and see what it’s like to be a college or professional hockey player, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Frozen Faceoff offers you a free chance to do just that. As part of the championship events, Sports Minneapolis is sponsoring the 2017 NCHC Fan Skate from 7 to 8:30 p.m.March 16 at Target Center.

The fan skate is your chance to take to the same ice where the college teams play, in the center of a 20,000-seat arena. Fans can enter Target Center’s main lobby doors on 1st Avenue beginning at 6:30 p.m., and skate rentals will be available for purchase. Fans are welcome to bring their own skates, but no sticks, pucks, balls, or skate-assist equipment will be allowed.

#askMPLS your questions!

Whether you’re following one of the NCHC teams to town, or if you live in the area, tweet to #askMPLS to ask questions about Minneapolis while you’re attending the events. Meet Minneapolis team members can provide recommendations on what to do, where to eat, how to get around, and just about anything you’d like to know about the city. And if you’re visiting Minneapolis for the Frozen Faceoff, the fan skate or the St. Patrick’s Day parade, be sure to stop by Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet, located in the center of the action at Nicollet and Fifth Street. It’s the perfect place to plan your time in Minneapolis, learn about transportation options, or find the perfect gift made by a Minnesota artist.


The NCHC is an eight-school NCAA Division I men’s hockey conference in the midst of its fourth season. Its members are: Colorado College, the University of Denver, Miami University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, the University of Nebraska Omaha, the University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University. Since the NCHC began play in 2013-14, 13 NCHC programs have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including five Frozen Four berths in the NCHC’s three-year history, and its first national champion in North Dakota in 2016. NCHC programs have won a combined 18 NCAA national championships in their history. For more information, visit the NCHC website at


Sports Minneapolis, powered by Meet Minneapolis, works to recruit, enhance and produce sporting events in the Minneapolis area for the benefit of our community. We do this by partnering with event rights holders to assist them with venue selection, event services, volunteer identification, marketing and promotional support and on-site recognition opportunities in order to ensure a successful event. For more information, visit


Minneapolis River Current

*****Events and Activities*****

Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Road

Dear Darwin

On exhibit February 25 – July 23

Featuring the work of local artists Vesna Kittelson and Carolyn Halliday and New York based artist Julia Randall, Dear Darwin presents their individual explorations on the themes of natural science, evolution and the figure of Darwin himself. Kittelson’s books present imaginary “evolved” flowers from Mrs. Darwin’s Garden while Halliday presents passages on evolution written on forms knitted from sausage casings. Randall’s large drawings present creatures and plants that have advanced beyond imagination. For information:

Veterans Clay Vessel | Making Veterans only workshop

Monday, March 20, 9 am – 4 pm

Hosted by visual artists and American war veterans Suzanne Asher and Matthew Krousey, this workshop will address a series of questions raised by WAM’s exhibition The Talking Cure through the creation of clay objects. No experience is required. Lunch will be included. Can’t make it to the entire workshop? No problem. Contact organizers with your availability, and they’ll coordinate drop in times. If you have questions, please contact Laura at Reserve your ticket at For information: presents:


March 9 – 12

The Lab Theater, 700 First St. N.

Featuring a company of fourteen dancers, {IN}SOMNO marvels at the breadth of the subconscious and uncovers exactly where we go, in sleep. Our waking experiences and deepest thoughts are brought to vivid intersection each night when we close our eyes and leave our conscious selves. At its best, a restorative eutopia; at its worst, an exhausting infinitude, the sleeping mind creates an alternate universe embedded within the brain’s electrical impulses. $30 premium seating (includes early admission); $15 general admission; $10 student rush (ID required). For information and tickets:


Keegan’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, March 10, 7 pm

Keegan’s Pub, 16 University Ave. NE

Keegan’s invites you to help celebrate their 15th anniversary. All day long you can get $7 fish and chips, $3 Summit taps and $4 Guinness. At 7 pm, they’ll be tapping a special Summit firkin, the Guinness Team will be there and Test Site 67 is coming back to play from 8 pm to 12 midnight.


Milwaukee Road Bar Grand Re-Opening

Friday, March 10, 8 pm

The Depot Renaissance, 225 Third Ave. S.

Come down to the Milwaukee Road Bar for their grand reopening. They’ll be hosting the Stone Arch Trio playing all of your favorite modern jazz and blues favorites. Join your friends or make some new ones while you enjoy the candle light and share in the great vibe of the room, staff and libations. For information on this and other events at the Depot Renaissance:


St. Patrick’s Day Tent Party

Friday, March 17, 3 pm on

Keegan’s Pub, 16 University Avenue NE

Keegan’s annual St. Patrick’s Day tent party starts at 3 pm with Reverse Cowboy, followed by the Minnesota Police Pipe Band at 4:30 pm and Four Pints Shy at 7 pm. There will be a special food menu and beer and drink specials. For information:


Reconnecting North Minneapolis to the Mighty Mississippi

Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 -- 8:30 pm

UROC, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis

The Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) are excited about the new parkland coming to the riverfront in North Minneapolis and also want it to be more easily accessible for existing North neighborhoods. Residents must currently cross bridges that are unwelcoming to pedestrians and bicyclists to reach the riverfront. Throughout 2016, Eric King of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs worked with FMR to research connections between Northside residential neighborhoods and the riverfront. At this event, Eric will summarize the study findings that spanned broadly from overcoming physical barriers such as I-94 to socioeconomic concerns such as gentrification due to riverfront redevelopment. Afterward, stick around for a panel discussion about how to take this research and use it to advocate for improved river connections in North Minneapolis. Learn more about this special presentation on the event page or sign up now. (Free. Food provided.) For information:


Irony, Paradox and Humor Authors

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 – 9 pm

Vic’s Dining, 201 Main St. SE

Vic’s and The Loft Literary Center bring you a series of events featuring four loft authors (Michael Kleber-Diggs, Janaya Martin, LaDonna Redmond and Kathryn Savage). There will be a mingling reception at 6:30 and readings after a 7 pm introduction by The Loft. From 8 to 9 pm, there will be additional mingling, book signing and opportunity to meet the author(s). The event is free and open to the public. For directions:


Taste of West Broadway

Thursday, March 23, 5 – 8 pm

Mpls Photo Center, 2400 Second St. N.

Please join the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition for their annual fundraiser. The event is a celebration showcasing North Minneapolis assets. Food, fun and connection! $35. For information and tickets:


Samples of Classes and Activities at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

1011 Washington Ave. S., 612-215-2520,

Hours: Monday 10 am -- 5 pm, Tuesday 10 am -- 9 pm, Wednesday-Saturday 10 am -- 5 pm, Sunday 12 noon – 4 pm

Class details, instructor biographies, registration details and online registration are all available at above web site. You may also register by calling 612-215-2520. Note: This is only a sampling of classes, focusing on those that are less expensive and that don’t require experience.

A Simple Sewn Sketchbook

with Anna Shepard

Thursday, March 23, 6 – 9 pm

In this evening workshop, make a simple, pocket-sized sketchbook with a flexible spine. Learn how to sew high-quality drawing paper onto thin, but strong, vellum tapes. Then, cover the sketchbooks in handmade decorative paper to make an attractive, soft-cover structure — ideal for the artist on the go! $55 ($50 members) + $25 supply fee. For information and to register:

Print Your Own Poster – “The Places We Love”

Saturday, March 25, 10 am – 12 noon

The theme and inspiration for this class is “The places we love.” Come to class with ideas for images of your favorite place and create a pressure-printed poster. Participants will use a Vandercook printing press to make multiple copies. Leave with unique artwork to hang in your home. For families with children 6 and up. Adult/child pair: $40 ($36 members) + $8 supply fee; additional participants (adult or child): $20 ($18 members) + $4 supply fee. For information and to register:

Asemic Writing Special Event

Saturday, March 25, 7 – 9 pm

In association with the Asemic Writing exhibit, there will be a special reading by various asemic artists and scholars, and music by Ghostband. This event is sponsored by Rain Taxi and is free and open to the public.


Sample of Activities and Classes at The Loft

1011 Washington Ave. S.

For information about The Loft’s wide variety of classes and other activities:

Motherhood and Words: Curated by Kate Hooper

Thursday, March 23, 7 – 9 pm

The Loft presents the 11th Annual Motherhood and Words Reading, which local author Kate Hopper launched in 2007 as a way to highlight literature by women writers who are also mothers. This year's readers are Shannon Gibney, Susan Ito and Judy Batalion. Kate Hopper is the founder of Motherhood & Words, author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, and co-author of Silent Running, a memoir of one family’s journey with autism and running. Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a young adult novel that won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Young Peoples' Literature. Susan Ito is co-editor of the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). Her essays, articles and stories have won awards and nominations including the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in numerous publications. Judy Batalion was born in Montreal and worked as an art historian and comedian in London before settling in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. No suggested admission for this event. For information:

Loft Mentor Series: Reading with Laura Flynn

Friday, March 24, 7 – 8:30 pm

The Loft proudly presents a 2016-2017 Loft Mentor Series Reading with mentor Laura Flynn and participants Anthony Ceballos (poetry) and Trisha Collopy (fiction). Laura Flynn is the author of Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir (Counterpoint, 2008), which chronicles life growing up with her mother's catastrophic mental illness. It was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, and a BookSense Notable Pick for March 2008. Anthony Ceballos has been a guest on KFAI’s Write on Radio and Fresh Fruit radio programs and has read for the Intermedia Arts Queer Voices Reading Series, Minneapolis Community and Technical College's Night of Native American Music and Poetry and The Many Faces of Two-Spirit People gallery show at Two Rivers Art Gallery in Minneapolis. Trisha Collopy is a writer, book reviewer and copy editor whose journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, the Star Tribune and many other publications. Her fiction and poetry have been published in Blithe House Quarterly, rock, paper, scissors and the anthology Queer and Celtic. $10; members $5. For information:

Equilibrium: Sham-E-Ali Nayeem with Giles Li

Saturday, March 25, 8 – 9:30 pm

Equilibrium (EQ) is the Loft's Spoken Word series. This EQ features the Loft's Spoken Word Immersion Fellow, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, with Giles Li, and is co-sponsored with Metropolitan State University's Global Poetry Festival. Also featuring DJ Nak. Sham-e-Ali Nayeem is a poet and visual artist who was born in Hyderabad, India, and raised in both the UK and the US. Recipient of the 2016 Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship, her poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. Sham-e-Ali has performed her poetry both locally and internationally. She is currently working on her forthcoming book of poetry, The City of Pearls (UpSet Press 2017). Giles Li is a nationally recognized performance poet and community educator. His writing has been taught in curricula across the country. His poetry has been published in several places, including and the Asian American Literary Review. He was one of three featured artists in the documentary film Art Beyond Borders, produced by the Transnational Studies Initiative at Harvard University, and also starred in the award-winning short comedy film The Humberville Poetry Slam. They will be joined by two students from this event's cosponsor, Metropolitan State University's Global Poetry Festival. Due to this partnership, this event is free. Due to a partnership with Metropolitan State University's Global Poetry Festival, this event is free. For information:

More Than a Single Story: Reclaiming Our Food

Sunday, March 26, 2 – 4 pm

Food has always been a tool for organizing, celebrating and creating community. By those determined to assert and maintain power, it has been a means of gaining control of the people. Human bodies and land—a natural resource like air and water, have been commodified. Food became a privilege instead of a human right. In this discussion with Pakou Hang, LaDonna Sanders Redmond, Princess Titus and Diane Wilson we will hear how colonization and commodification have affected our communities’ relationships with food and how we can reclaim the food that is meaningful to us. For information:


Sample of Performances at MacPhail Center for Music

501 Second St. S.

For more information about events (including student performances) and classes: or 612-321-0100.

Spring I Honors Recital

Friday, March 24, 7:30 pm

Antonello Hall

No tickets required. Free and open to the public. For information:

MacPhail Faculty Performance: MacPhail SongFest

Saturday, March 25, 4 pm

Antonello Hall

Join the MacPhail Voice Faculty for a night of song! No tickets required. Free and open to the public. For information:


Mill City Farmers Indoor Winter Market

Saturday, March 25, 10 am – 1 pm

Mill City Museum, 704 Second Street South

Shop for all the local produce, meat, cheeses, and artisan foods you need this winter. Plus, treat your sweetheart to some handmade jewelry, pottery and more from the market’s featured local artists! Enjoy breakfast and lunch from Salty Tart, Heritage Breads, Gorkha Palace and Chef Shack. Wander North Distillery will be at the market, offering samples of their Minneapolis-made craft cocktails. Kids can participate in the Power of Produce kids’ veggie tasting club. Each Winter Market brings a unique celebration of seasonal offerings. From 10:30 am to 1 pm Michael Keyes & Nick Jordan will be playing Americana and bluegrass music. Make sure to check out the Recipe Archive for seasonal meal ideas. For information:


Mill City Museum Programs and Events

704 Second St. S.

For more information about Mill City Museum events call 612-341-7555, or visit

Women of Mill City Family Day

Saturday, March 25, 12 noon – 3 pm

Celebrate Women's History Month with a day devoted to the women of Mill City. Enjoy performances by four Mill City Museum history players portraying 19th and 20th century women from Minneapolis and the surrounding area. Explore the museum exhibits for stories of women who contribute to Minnesota history and Minneapolis' flour milling, such as the female flour packers who began working at the Washburn A Mill in 1902. Test your skills in a "piecework challenge" against the speed of women mill workers who produced 2,200 bags of floor a day. Visitors can also dress up and have their picture taken as a 1950s "mill girl" and make their own paper hat like women flour packers wore in 1919. Included with site admission of $12 adults, $10 seniors and college students, $6 ages 5-17, free age 4 and under and MNHS members. For information:


Kroening Interpretive Center Programs

North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Court

For information: 763-694-7693; for map and driving instructions:

Outdoors: Bird Signs of Spring

Saturday March 25, 1 -- 2:30 pm

With a change in weather comes a change in activity. Discover the early spring activities of our local birds by seeking out their signs of the season! Join us along the Mississippi River flyway as we watch for fishing eagles, early nesting birds and the return of waterfowl. Free for all ages. For information and to register:



*****Planning Ahead*****

Alternative Motion Project presents:


March 31 – April 2

The Lab Theater, 700 First St. N.

Alternative Motion Project (AMP) continues its commitment to create and present new contemporary dance work with its sixth annual performance, AMP#SIX. Enter a different world with each of the five pieces performed by this dynamic company that offers relentless physicality and dedicated artistry. Includes choreography by Guest Artist Jennifer Glaws (Minneapolis), live original music by composer Dameun Strange (St. Paul) and photography by Ellen Gustafson (Minneapolis). $20 general admission; $17 senior/student; $17 children under 12; $3 off with 2016 MN Fringe Festival Button. Group discounts available. For information and tickets:


Pangea World Theater presents:

5 Weeks

April 7 – 23

The Lab Theater, 700 First St. N.

Inspired by personal narratives and short stories about partition, 5 Weeks brings to stage the stories of Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Anglo-Indians and the fate of women and children abducted during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Set at this pivotal moment in South Asian history, this play journeys through a complex web of narratives, bringing to life those forced to flee what they once called home, the pressures to choose allegiance and the desperate search for compassion in a time when humanity hung in the balance. $18 general admission; $15 groups of 10+; $12 students and seniors. For information and tickets:


Ann Bancroft Foundation 20th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, April 20, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Minneapolis Event Center, 212 Second St. NE

The Ann Bancroft Foundation invites you to join them for an exciting evening as they celebrate their 20th anniversary. They’ll reflect on the past twenty years and look forward to the next as they hear stories of past leaders, supporters and grantees. There will be an entrée food station, cash bar, live and silent auction, alumnae stories and the opportunity to spark a girl’s potential. The Ann Bancroft Foundation empowers girls to imagine something bigger and helps them reach their full potential. $25 (youth) to $125 (adult). For information and tickets:



*****Reminder of Ongoing Activities*****

Depot Rink – Closing Permanently on March 11

The Depot, 225 Third Ave. S.

It's fun, it's romantic, and it's warm in the winter. Named one of the top ten best places in the United States to ice skate by the USA Today and MSNBC, The Depot Rink is a historic downtown Minneapolis train shed that now houses a modern-day, indoor rink with floor-to-ceiling glass walls showcasing views of the downtown city skyline. Take a moment out of your busy winter schedule for the perfect place for birthday parties, family outings and reunions, school field trips, holiday parties, romantic dates, team building and employee appreciation parties. The rink offers public skating or private rink rental, a full catering menu and group party packages. For information about skating and rental rates and rink hours, visit or call 612-339-2253.


Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul

St. Anthony Main Theatres, 115 Main St. SE

In addition to first-run movies, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul exhibits the best of classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, including several topical festivals. To see what’s on the schedule, visit:


Live Music at Stone Arch Bar

The Depot Minneapolis, 225 Third Ave. S.

The Stone Arch Bar occasionally offers live music at the Stone Arch Bar for an enjoyable evening when you can join your friends or make new ones. For schedule information:


Live Music and Movies at Crooked Pint Ale House

Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washington Ave. S.

Crooked Pint Ale House is a nouveau urban pub with a local neighborhood feel that offers movies and live music. Live music every weekend features local, regional, and national performers and a range of music styles. Visit for schedule information. For more information: or 612-877-6900.


Real Ghost Tours

Fridays and Saturdays, 8 pm

St. Anthony Main, 125 Main St. SE

Visit the Other Side — beneath your feet is a world few ever see. What secrets do these 19th century limestone walls hold? What lies beneath today's bustling Mill City?

Step into the past with Real Ghost Tours of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Join a real ghost hunter on an expedition into the city's shadowlands, to meet the colorful characters of bygone days, where technology, theater and a bit of the supernatural bring lingering souls to life. Join us at 125 Main Street SE Minneapolis to touch, and be touched by, the past ... if you dare. For more information:


Mill City Museum

Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am -- 5 pm; Sunday, 12 noon -- 5 pm

704 Second St. S.

Built within the limestone ruins of the Washburn A Mill - the National Historic Landmark that was once the centerpiece of the world's flour milling industry - the museum tells the story of a mighty river, a young city and how the production of flour fueled the growth of Minnesota. The museum's 12,000 square foot exhibit space is packed with fun and intrigue for visitors of all ages. Follow your nose to the Baking Lab, splash around in the water lab and enjoy the rooftop view of the riverfront. The eight-story Flour Tower show tells the story of the mill through the voices of former workers and runs throughout each day. The newly restored West Engine House features Kevin Kling's take on Minneapolis history in the movie "Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat" and shows every half hour. Fee: $12 adults, $10 seniors and college students with ID, $6 youth ages 5 – 17, free for children under 4 and MHS members. Call 612-341-7555 or visit for more information.


Music at Aster Café

125 Main St. SE

The Aster Café now has live music on many evenings (and weekend brunches) to complement its food and beverage offerings. For more information and a schedule: .


Guthrie Theater Backstage Tours

Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 am

Guthrie Theater, 818 Second St. S.

This 45-minute backstage tour offers a look at what goes on behind the scenes at the Guthrie. Discover the stunning and expanded features of this state-of-the-art facility and learn how the Guthrie takes its plays from script to stage, including the many intriguing steps in between. On the tour, visit the Guthrie’s various production departments, including the shops where costumes, sets and props are expertly crafted by talented artisans. The cost is $12 per person; $7 for subscribers, students or seniors. To book a tour, call the Guthrie Box Office at 612-377-2224 or order online at Additional tours may be scheduled for groups of 20 or more based on availability. Groups may call the group sales office at 612-225-6240 for information and scheduling options. Advance reservations are required for groups of 20 or more.



*****Grants, Awards, Contests and Funding Resources*****

MWMO Capital Project Grants

The deadline for applications for a Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) Capital Project Grant is Friday, April 7. Capital project grants are designed to support large-scale, innovative stormwater management projects that protect or improve water quality and habitat within the MWMO watershed. The MWMO provides both technical and financial assistance to eligible projects. Capital project grants are intended for large-scale projects that advance stormwater management technologies and/or attain the MWMO’s high standards for water quality treatment. (Smaller-scale projects may be eligible for a Stewardship Fund Grant.) Eligible projects include those that are either implemented on public land within an MWMO member community or implemented on private property and able show a demonstrable public benefit. MWMO funds are reserved for project components that are above-and-beyond typical stormwater management. Funds cannot be used to fund project components that are required by a regulating authority. In addition to water management, the MWMO underscores habitat improvement and restoration projects, as well as those projects specific to riverbank stabilization and erosion control. For more information (including how to apply):


Nonprofit Spotlight: Catholic Charities Opportunity Center

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

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

On a cold Thursday morning, I traveled to the Catholic Charties Opportunity Center. It’s a short walk from our neighborhood, but is a place that seems as invisible as the people who use the services. I didn’t know it was there until recently, and was mortified that I had overlooked this vital part of our city. It is a nondescript building on the busy corner of Chicago and 17th, but the work that happens inside saves lives and supports people experiencing homelessness.

I spent some time talking with Melvin, who uses the services there.  Melvin served in the Army right after Vietnam and spent most of his life working. When the economic downturn of 2008 happened, Melvin found himself laid off and without any prospects for employment. He came to Minneapolis because he had heard there were jobs here.

Melvin worked at a temp job when he got here and was laid off from that, but then found a job that lasted for 5 years. When he was laid off this last time, he needed a ‘safe place to think’ and found that at the Opportunity Center. Melvin talked about the need for more centers to help people who need a hand up and the support he has found here.  As he said, “People here tell you the truth.”


Sponsored by Catholic Charities, the mission statement is “Every person who comes through our doors is on a journey.” I saw that clearly during my visit. People often come to the Center when the shelters are closed during the day. Most shelters open around 4 or 5:00 p.m. and then close again between 7-8:00 a.m.  In between those times, there is nowhere to go. The Center is a place to get a breakfast and/or lunch and to find rest from a day of wandering the city, waiting for a place to sleep for the night.

Catholic Charities serves those most in need. For almost 150 years, they have served the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. Today, they are the largest comprehensive social service nonprofit in the metro area. The focus of the services they offer is found in 17 locations and through 39 different programs. Catholic Charities provided more than 467,000 nights of housing and emergency shelter in 2016.

People experiencing or at risk of homelessness can find meals, shelter, help finding jobs, securing a stable home, and medical care at places likes Dorothy Day Center, Higher Ground, the Family Service Center, and the Opportunity Center. The St. Joseph’s Home for Children offers help and support to children and their families who need a nurturing environment, comfort in crisis, and mental health counseling. Catholic Charities also helps refugees work towards independence by reuniting families and providing assistance as they settle into their new lives. Older adults and people with disabilities will also find help in living independently in their homes, as well as connecting homeless elders to housing.

There are many, many success stories. Billy Joe has gone from addiction and homelessness to living in his own place with a commitment to living a healthful life. Habon and Mohamed were able to rent a home with help from Catholic Charities. It is the first for their 3 children who had spent their entire lives in refugee camps. Wade is one of the hundreds of homeless vets who was able to move into an apartment of his own, thankful he won’t be out in the cold and snow another winter.

“I know I’m going to be a good cop. 
I try to be objective. I don’t like to take
sides on anything. Before I judge someone,
I try to get to know them first.”

Every day, many different community organizations come to the Opportunity Center to provide a wide array of services. The Center is responsible for serving 100,000 meals a year, as well as offering dental care, foot care, legal consultations and veteran services. The Culinary Skills Program serves about 60 people every year. Many of these students are people currently experiencing homelessness, and in this class learn cooking skills as well as employment training to help them find a way out of poverty.

I met Brice several years ago at Higher Ground. He has lived there for several years. An incredibly intelligent, kind, sweet man, this 36 year old Navy vet has already graduated from Minneapolis Community and Technical College and is attending Metropolitan State University, completing the next stage of his journey to become a police officer. Brice and I spent our morning runs talking about schoolwork, papers he was writing, and tests that were coming up. As Brice said, “I know I’m going to be a good cop. I try to be objective. I don’t like to take sides on anything. Before I judge someone, I try to get to know them first.”

Catholic Charities is a group that offers help to people who are looking for a way up! They provide people with the support needed to make the changes that will allow them to become self-sufficient. Catholic Charities and the Opportunity Center work! How can you help?

· Learn more about the work being done:
· Become a volunteer:
· Donate

Melvin, Brice, Billy Joe, Habon and Mohammed are all working toward self-sufficiency because of the support of Catholic Charities. Please be part of their journeys and the journey of so many others.  Help make Minneapolis the first major city to eradicate street homelessness!

Claudia can be reached at


Kids on Spring Break? Take Advantage of These Special Programs from the Mpls Park & Rec Board

Spring Break Programs for Kids / Full Day Spring Break Programs / Keep your kids active and learning!

Like North Mississippi on Facebook to discover weekend themes and stay in the loop about what’s happening in the park; and check out their website to learn more about North Mississippi Regional Park. Here are some upcoming activities:

Predator vs. Prey
Wednesday, March 15th  8am-4pm Ages 6-12
Find out how animals battle for survival.  Learn about food chains and animal adaptations by looking at skulls, furs and more! Then take your knowledge on the trails by looking for animal signs and playing survival games! Registration Fee $20. Activity #74414

Nature Detectives
Thursday, March 16th  8am-4pm Ages 6-12
Follow tracks, scat and other wild signs. Use tools such as binoculars and magnifying glasses to learn how to become the ultimate nature sleuth! Test your skills off trail and solve creature sign investigations. Registration Fee $20. Activity #74415

Leprechaun Secrets
Friday, March 17th  8am-4pm Ages 6-12
Learn the best kept tricks of the forest. Do you know the tricks plants and animals use to thrive in the wild? Then, come learn the ways of the woods! Test your own survival skills with fort building, animal tracking, identifying edible plants, and more! Registration Fee $20. Activity #74416

Expert of the Dirt
Friday, March 31st  8am-4pm Ages 6-12
Do you love to get messy head to toe playing in the dirt? Then, join us in discovery! Find out what dirt is made from, why it’s important and how fun it is to build with. We’ll explore to seek out soils, decomposers, and animals living under the ground. Registration Fee $20. Activity #74417

Nature Art and Adventure Camp
Monday - Friday, April 3rd-7th  8am-4pm Ages 6-12
Discover your creative side in the wild. Observe the wonders of nature while exploring the woods, prairie and river bank. Let your outdoor adventures inspire nature based works of art. Use a variety of methods to create your masterpieces. Registration Fee $150. Activity #74419


FREE All Ages Programs for the Whole Family

Hike: Spring Ephemerals
Sunday, March 19th 1:30-3pm
Welcome the beginning of spring by going in search of the earliest blooms of the season. Find out more about these fast blooming, short lasting (ephemeral) perennials with a naturalist guide. Hike through our woods and try to hunt down these low to the ground hidden wonders! FREE for All ages. Activity #74412

Outdoors: Bird Signs of Spring
Saturday March 25th  1-2:30pm
With a change in weather comes a change in activity. Discover the early spring activities of our local birds by seeking out their signs of the season! Join us along the Mississippi River flyway as we watch for fishing eagles, early nesting birds and the return of waterfowl. FREE for all ages.  Activity #74413


Visit North Mississippi on the Weekends - Explore a different seasonal theme in the park each weekend for free!

Naturalist’s Nature Table
Saturdays between 11am-3pm stop by the Nature Table to learn more about a seasonal topic with a naturalist

Family Funday
Sundays are about learning and enjoying nature while spending quality time as a family every week from 12:30-3:30pm


City of Minneapolis TechHire Program Celebrates Two Year Anniversary with 439 Program Graduates and 369 Engaged Employers

Via a News Release from the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED):

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the City of Minneapolis Employment and Training Program, Minneapolis Saint Paul TechHire (MSP TechHire) launch and being named one of the first national TechHire cities by President Obama.  With the goal to close the workforce skills gap in the high tech economy by building a path for diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs across the Greater Minneapolis Region, MSP TechHire has graduated 439 students and engaged 369 employers since its launch in 2015.

“When I partnered with the White House two years ago to become a TechHire city, we knew that the best way to keep our economy moving forward is by giving everyone the ability to maximize their genius and by keeping our workforce competitive,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “TechHire is Minneapolis’ gift to our regional economy and I am proud of the investments we have made and the partnerships we have built to give individuals – particularly women and people of color – the training needed to fill the many vacancies that require tech training across multiple industries.”

With over 6,977 open technology positions currently in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul-Bloomington labor market landscape, the need for MSP TechHire is greater than ever.  MSP TechHire prepares its students through accelerated training boot camps or online training to become service/help desk, desktop support and/or software developers depending on which training students access.  In addition to in-demand technical skills, training includes soft skills like workplace communications, and connections to employers with job openings and an interest at looking at a non-traditional candidates.  Hired graduates receive ongoing support as they acclimate to their work environment to ensure long-term success and continued growth.

Cedar Riverside resident Ahmed Mohamed found out about a special City of Minneapolis sponsored class, IT-Ready, provided by MSP TechHire partner Creating IT Futures last year and enrolled with encouragement from his mother.  Within eight weeks, Ahmed was provided with nearly 300 hours of training to master the technical skills needed to obtain the professional CompTIA A+ certification.  He also learned the soft skills necessary for interviews and to thrive in the workplace.  Prior to training, Ahmed had been working at a travel agency as an on-call reservation specialist.  Today he is a successful member of Fairview Health Services’ Endpoint Project Execution Team. 

Ahmed Mohamed Source: Creating IT Futures“I feel like I have another family outside of my family when I am here,” Ahmed Mohamed said of his work at Fairview. “I know Fairview is in my best interest.” Thanks to mentors like Lori Offerman, a Fairview IT Consultant who participated in hiring Mohamed, he is excited to advance his career. Supported by the resources IT Ready helped to align, Mohamed personifies his mantra “you get out of it what you put in.” Mohamed’s next goal is to become a project manager.

Fairview Health Services is committed to hiring more graduates like Ahmed and already have. Since 2015, Fairview has hired seven MSP TechHire graduates.

“MSP TechHire is an important and strategic initiative that has helped train local residents and fill critical job openings in the Cedar Riverside Community,” said Laura Beeth, Fairview Health Services System Director Talent Acquisition, Human Resources. “This is important to us as an anchor organization in the neighborhood, we are committed to invest and hire locally.”

Of the 439 MSP TechHire program graduates, 186 graduated from software development boot camps and are Minneapolis residents.  Their net taxable income increased by $2.6M which represents more than 150% improvement in wages for the average placed software program graduate from Minneapolis.  

“The students from Prime Digital Academy are immersed in real-world software development experience. These are the type of students you should be looking at having within your organization,” said Justin Grammens, Founder, Recursive Awesome. “Employees who are agile, think differently and bring a diverse background of experiences to their job.”

The economy does not show any slowdown in the demand for workers in tech jobs. The State predicts there will be more than 200,000 tech jobs available in Minnesota in the next decade (not including health care tech jobs).  MSP TechHire partners are continuing to produce innovative programs and solutions to help meet this demand.  PRIME Digital Academy recently launched a new program aimed at producing in-demand user experience design talent from the local community.  Creating It Futures piloted a soft skills course called PrepareU, targeted for IT workers and is looking at additional courses to meet employer needs such as project management and cyber security. The Software Guild now is offering a 10-14 month part-time online program to increase student access to education and employers.  The online course teaches the same soft skills and tech skills as the on-the-ground trainings.

To learn more about MSP TechHire’s ten partner organizations and program offerings visit the program’s website or join in the conversation at #MSPTechHire.


Community Celebration of Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center Grand Opening Scheduled for March 12

Via a March 10 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Community to Celebrate Grand Opening of Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center

The grand opening community celebration is set for Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. The outdoor program will occur at 515 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Following the ribbon cutting, enjoy a tour of the building and learn more about the center.

A community celebration to highlight the opening of the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center – a one-stop shop for educational and workforce resources and a pipeline for job opportunities. Anchor partners include EMERGE Community Development, Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

The event will feature remarks by Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame, EMERGE associate director Mohamed Ali, Muhubo Mohamed and Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow. Tours of the new building and entertainment will follow the program and ribbon-cutting celebration.

The Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center will feature programming by EMERGE Community Development, including workforce development, youth employment and education, and personal finance tips. Hennepin County Library will provide the Teen Tech Squad, an overview of library resources and employment-focused learning circles, among other things.


March 11 Artist Talk with Russ White at Truckstop Gallery

There is an Artist Talk scheduled for Saturday, March 11 at 4pm for Situation Normal, is a solo art exhibit by Russ White. The exhibit runs thru March 19 at Truckstop Gallery, 20 Grove Street, #72, Nicollet Island.

This new body of work uses orange and white traffic barricades as a kind of mixed metaphor for our current national mood. In day-to-day life, these traffic cones and “Road Closed” signs stand in our way; they slow us down, they reroute our commute, they inconvenience us. But from another perspective, they are beneficial. They are signs of roads being fixed, of bridges being built, of infrastructure being strengthened. Of progress. Staunch and impassive, emblazoned with an American flag reworked in dirty white and safety orange, these barricades are a call to arms to resist the unAmerican initiatives of this administration and this Congress.
Liberty – Russ WhiteFeatured in the exhibition will be large scale colored pencil drawings, sculptures, homemade flags, and a series of brightly colored portraits inspired by coins. Where the barricades are passive and impersonal reminders of the turmoil in our country, the faces of White’s subjects are striking reminders of our shared humanity. Playing off the idea of loose change, this series of colored pencil busts questions our traditional notions of worth and value, emphasizing the beauty in us all. These are not just pretty portraits; they reframe empathy against the backdrop of capital, asking the viewer to consider what truly makes us rich.

The show takes its name from the military acronym SNAFU, meaning “Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.” The work in this exhibition strives to remind viewers that this new political reality is, in fact, not normal at all.

Closing Reception: Sunday, March 19, 12pm – 5pm

A percentage of all sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The gallery will be collecting donations for these organizations at the opening reception as well.


Profiles in Courage Opening Reception, plus Fundraiser to Benefit Firefighters for Healing, Scheduled for March 23 at Birchwood Cafe

In 2015, Susan Schaefer was granted access to photograph the courageous firefighters of the Seward Neighborhood’s Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Station #7 for a University of Minnesota fine arts photography project. These stewards of public service graciously posed, sharing stories and intimate reflections. For Schaefer, whose godfather was fire captain of Philadelphia’s 50th Ward, they are genuine champions – selfless defenders of our public realm.

An opening reception for Susan's Profiles in Courage exhibit is scheduled for March 23 from 5 - 8pm at Birchwood Cafe, 3311 E 25th Street. This event will include a fundraiser to benefit Firefighters for Healing. Special guest speakers and auction, with some items provided by Welna II Hardware & Paint on Franklin Avenue.

Captain “Buck” Buchanan

Captain Kathrynne Baumtrog

Carrying up to 60 lbs. of gear while scaling precipitous heights, fearlessly facing scorching conflagrations, and administering life saving first aid are but a few of modern, highly skilled and trained firefighters duties. Firefighters for Healing is an acclaimed 501-(C)(3) that supports burn victims and their families in ways insurance companies and caretakers are unable to. Captain Kathrynne Baumtrog will speak about the work of firefighters and Firefighters for Healing. In 2012, she, along with four other firefighters, were seriously burned fighting a fire the destroyed Walker United Methodist Church.

This exhibit uses fine art portraiture and still lifes to create an accessible and universal portrayal of the humans of the MFD. The exhibit runs March 20 - May 21, 2017.

Susan Schaefer is a communications consultant, professor and photojournalist – a verbal and visual storyteller. Her work currently appears in The Southwest Journal’s monthly “Creative Class” column and Mill City Times. She studies in the University of Minnesota’s Fine Arts Department and is a recent graduate of St. Catherine’s Women’s Art Institute.

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