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Meg Forney

Doug Verdier

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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 Idea eXchange (MiX) 2017 Highlights Innovative Collaborations for the Greater Good and Inspires New Non-Profit and Business Connections

Via an October 17 News Release from the mpls downtown council:

The Minneapolis Idea eXchange (MiX), an initiative of the mpls downtown council’s Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan, will host its fourth annual gathering on Tuesday, October 24 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Brave New Workshop in downtown Minneapolis. Networking begins at 4:30 p.m., with the program beginning at 5:00 p.m. and concluding at 7:00. There will be an optional social activity from 7:00-7:30 p.m.

MiX is a place for people of all backgrounds and expertise to come together, meet one another and share ways we can better our community. MiX addresses major topics affecting our city in an interactive, engaging and entertaining way in an event that is free and open to the public.

REGISTER for MiX Minneapolis here:

This year’s event will highlight innovative collaborations for the greater good through case study discussions and an interactive session. Mix will feature leaders in Minneapolis who are doing remarkable things that connect people to causes, outreach to communities and goods to those in need with maximum impact. The panel discussion will include:

• Jim Delaney – Engine for Good (Moderator)
• Joy King – Be The Match
• Ravi Norman – Thor Construction
• Liz Tupper – Software for Good
• Tyler Van Eps – Matter NGA

“We’ve seen great growth in our downtown community, and part of that growth stems directly from innovative thinking that brings different business models together through unique partnerships,” mpls downtown council president and ceo Steve Cramer said. “MiX does a great job of celebrating innovation in our community, and this year’s program will again shed light on ways we can think outside the box about working together.”

MiX’s networking session will include food and drink to kick off the evening followed by the program, which will include a brief improv exercise led by Brave New Workshop’s Elena Imaretska. The evening’s panel conversation will dive into the evolution of greater good collaborations and provide attendees with an opportunity to model scenarios that can contribute to innovative ways to address Minneapolis’ challenges.

“MiX’s format offers a topic and invites the broader Minneapolis community to work together to create new approaches to problem-solving,” MiX co-chairs Eric Caugh and Jennifer Gilhoi said. “This year, we want to demonstrate how innovative leaders here in Minneapolis have created some very exciting models outside of traditional for-profit business and non-profit organization silos. We want to challenge attendees to consider how they might think differently about collaborations that can impact the city.”

MiX initiates cross-collaboration and showcases how those who live, work and play here can connect and innovate. The October event will be the fourth MiX event since officially launching in 2014. It has continued to evolve to provide a forum for the community to come together.


Downtown Minneapolis Crime Discussion: Media Archive

The latest media coverage of the ongoing discussion on crime policy affecting Downtown Minneapolis (updated 10/09/2017):

(New) Minneapolis mayoral candidate Jacob Frey: Reject the false choice of safety vs. justice

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Tom Hoch wants a 'top-to-bottom review' of the city's police department
On many of the issues facing the city of Minneapolis and its police department, mayoral candidate Tom Hoch says he is taking a systematic approach.

Editorial counterpoint: Confront problems, yes, but don't overlook downtown Minneapolis' many strengths
Downtown safety is an issue to work on, but from population growth to thriving development, Minneapolis has plenty to work with.

Three ideas for improving safety in Minneapolis' exciting and vibrant downtown
Relatively inexpensive steps can help keep downtown vibrant while tackling legitimate issues.

Council Member Jacob Frey proposes boosting police presence in downtown Minneapolis
Mpls. mayoral candidate's plan to curb downtown crime was released as part of his platform.

Downtown Minneapolis once was a great place to live. No more.
I moved there 17 years ago. It felt secure, energetic, promising. No more.

Zone of concern: Ways to make downtown Minneapolis safer
The Warehouse District is a center of public-safety considerations. How to respond is an election-year issue.

Downtown's dilemma: 'A mind-set of violence' in Minneapolis
Minneapolis wants a safe and vibrant downtown for residents, office workers and visitors. But rising rates of violent crime in parts of the city's core threaten to undo years of progress.


Mayoral Candidate Profiles in the Strib

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Jacob Frey aims to 'regain our citywide swagger'
Frey says the path of ideological purity isn't the way to get things done for the city.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges pushes for social change across the city
After turmoil in Hodges' tenure, she refocuses on goals of smart growth, closing gaps.

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Tom Hoch urges city to step into the spotlight
Hoch's platform is built on love for his hometown and the issues that keep it ticking.

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Raymond Dehn focuses on racial equity, criminal justice
Dehn's focus on racial equity, criminal justice is fueled by his own experiences.

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds' run born in Fourth Precinct protest
Levy-Pounds has hammered on the theme of police reform and demanded greater racial equity.


Scenes from the October 14 Mill City Farmers Market

Come the dead of winter, we will be dreaming of this fresh, gorgeous produce! :)

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

New from Horner's Corner - Pure Maple Sugar!

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

I think of the Market a giant classroom because you can learn so much there. Below, Mallory Franklin and Jillian Tholen, both former Meet Your Vegetables interns, are now Nutrition Liaisons. Following Beth Jones' Mill City Cooks demo, they discussed how to find accurate nutrition information. And of course the vendors are always happy to answer your questions.

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

New creations from Heritage Breads - Apple Turnovers and Sausage Rolls! :)

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The little ones were introduced to kohlrabi at the Info Booth.

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

October 14, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


Meet Your Next District 4 Park Board Commissioner

Craig Wilson, of the Hill and Lake Press, and David Tinjum, of the Mill City Times, interview Minneapolis Park District 4 Commissioner candidates Jono Cowgill, 29, of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood (a.k.a., the “Wedge” Neighborhood) and Tom Nordyke, 54, of the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood about their vision for the future of the Minneapolis Park System. (Please note that each candidate was given the same questions, same amount of time to respond and a total copy limit of 2000 words, which they both met.)

What experience will you bring to the Park Board?

Jono Cowgill – “I am an urban planner who leads comprehensive plans for cities throughout Minnesota. For the past two years I have been a board member for the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, chairing the Open Spaces Committee. Previous to my planning work, I have led policy-related initiatives for a variety of public and non-profit organizations including the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and the MN Legislature’s nonpartisan House Research Department. Before that I founded a glass blowing education program for underserved youth in San Francisco, CA. I grew up in Minneapolis, attending Kenwood Elementary, Anwatin Middle, and South High schools. I will bring my professional planning perspective, my lifelong experience in the parks, and my evidence-based progressive values to the Park Board.”

Tom Nordyke – “I served on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board from 2006-2009, and I was elected as President of the Park Board from 2008-2009.  During my years on the Board and under my leadership as President we were able to bring the Board together after years of acrimony and difficult relationships with senior MPRB staff.  We were able to heal the differences with the staff and to bring unity to the Board around common visions and goals for the Park System. One of my greatest strengths as the MPRB President was my ability to bring Commissioners together around shared goals in spite of what were often very different visions and agendas of the various Commissioners. Some of the successes of my time on the Park Board were:

  • MPRB Comprehensive Plan 2007 – 2020
  • Launched the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
  • Extensive renovations of Lake of the Isles Park and Parkway
  • Repaved Kenwood Parkway
  • Initiated plans to renovate the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center
  • Renovated Parade Field/Stadium and Parkway

Over the years I have also served on many other civic boards including the Minneapolis Planning Commission, the Minneapolis Institute of Art board, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation & chairing the Minneapolis Arts Commission, as well as a number of arts and affordable housing non-profit boards. Professional, my almost 30 years of experience in the unique field of “Affordable Housing and Real Estate Development for the Arts” has given me a good objective outlook of what it takes to turn an initiative from an idea to a finished project.  My understanding of government relations along with historic preservation, and affordable housing financing over the past twenty years has made me a leader in this field. I successfully help the revitalization of a number of cities through historic preservation, economic development and the arts and affordable housing development. As a vanguard in this field, I have spearheaded over 30 arts focused real estate projects with over $1.5 billion in financing across 26 states and Canada. My work demonstrates a history of creating win-win strategies that benefit preservationists, developers and the arts community. I am committed to building creative communities that support and sustain the arts. I began my career in this creative work as Vice President for Artspace, the national leader in the field of developing affordable space that meets the needs of artists, but since 2003 as W+Noordijk, inc. As a small business owner I have provided independent consulting on issues of real estate acquisition, finance, design and marketing.  My clients have included many of the major cities and foundations across the United States. I have worked internationally as well on projects as far flung as the University of Belgrade in Serbia and Gallery Magazine in Guangzhou, China. It’s an exciting job!”

What diversity do you bring to the Park Board?

Tom Nordyke – “I was the first openly gay President of the Minneapolis Park Board. That is something I am proud of and one of the reasons I jumped into this campaign. We are seeing less diversity in this year’s local election cycle than we have in years. Regarding the LGBTQ community, we are looking at less representation in local government than we have seen in a very long time. I believe as a gay man and member of our LGBTQ community I have a unique and diverse voice to bring the Park Board.”

Jono Cowgill – “The diversity I bring comes from wide variety of people and experiences that have shaped me. I am the son of teachers, I grew up in a racially and economically diverse Minneapolis neighborhood where I learned to recognize my privilege early on, and where I have built friendships with people from a variety of identity backgrounds. I have lived in London, Tacoma, Washington D.C. (as a page under Martin Olav Sabo), and San Francisco. I am also a trained urban planner who uses empirical data to inform decisions. I am an old soul who loves Rogers and Hart, but I am also a millennial. I would bring all these influences with me to the Park Board.”

What examples do you have collaborating, working and problem solving with others?

Jono Cowgill – “Currently I work with communities to solve long-term issues ranging from infrastructure planning and bonding initiatives to persistent crime and community disinvestment. I work with city leadership, community members, and business stakeholders to come up with concrete, long-term solutions that have collaborative buy-in. I have done this work in places as far-flung as International Falls. A premier local example of my collaboration has been working with the City of St. Paul, neighborhood development organizations, the University of Minnesota, and citizen leaders to reevaluate the City’s capital investment program with a racial equity lens. That work has been effective in completely transforming the City’s process for allocating capital dollars equitably throughout St Paul.”

Tom Nordyke – “My time on the Park Board and particularly being President was a constant exercise in collaborating, working and problem solving with others. Our work on the Park Dedication Fee and the repaving of Kenwood Parkway both required difficult negotiations with the City, which were eventually successful. Our work on the Lake of the Isles renovation, Parade Field and the Sculpture Garden required work with the City as well as the State Legislature, and again these were all successful. Being able to work with other institutions in a way the not only gets things done, but does so in a way that is a win for the Park Board is at the heart of being an effective Commissioner. It is why I believe that experience really does matter when we look to who will represent us on the Park Board.”

The 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20) is a historic agreement that establishes additional funding to maintain and revitalize neighborhood parks through 2036. Extensive work has been done by the Park Board to ensure that funding is allocated based on racial and economic equity. Do you intend to honor NPP20 and the dollar allocations that have been made based?

Tom Nordyke – “I absolutely intend to honor the NPP20 initiative! It is a well-developed plan with a great deal of community input. It is important to understand that the NPP20 document was developed in partnership with the City of Minneapolis and goes hand-in-hand with the $11 Million dollars a year of funding over the next 20 years. There are a number of candidates for the Park Board that have stated that they will reopen or disregard the NPP20. That is an incredibly irresponsible position to take and would be a disaster for the initiative and it’s funding as well as the MPRB’s relationship with the City.”

Jono Cowgill – “I completely support the historic 20-year neighborhood park plan including the funding allocation framework and look forward to responsibly administering those dollars. I applaud the many community leaders who advocated for this historic agreement.”

What would you specifically change and how it would positively impact racial and economic equity in our community?

Jono Cowgill – “I will not change anything to the NPP20 plan, I will only add that it is important the Park Board is diligent and responsible in how it communicates these important investments to community members. As a commissioner I plan to be a public face that will ensure that all of our neighborhoods are well-informed about the progress of the spending of our NPP20 dollars.”

Tom Nordyke – “The Park Board adopted the NPP20 plan, which includes a racial equity matrix in decision making for resource allocation and also adopted the Racial Equity Action Plan for 2017 – 2018. The Racial Equity Action Plan is in essence a plan for creating a plan. Both of these plans are being implemented right now. They should be monitored to ensure they are having the desired outcomes and if those outcomes are not being achieved the plans should be modified. On the outside chance that it is determined that one or both of these plans is simply not working, then we should look at ending them and starting anew.  There are a number of candidates who have tried to label the MPRB as a racist organization with no concern about racial equity or justice. That is simply not true. The MPRB, like other public institutions has work to do on many fronts. The plans mentioned above are an excellent start to addressing these issues.”

The RiverFirst project is a multi-decade effort to transform 11 miles of once-industrial north Mississippi Riverfront to public parkland, which will effectively complete the Grand Rounds through north and northeast Minneapolis. Do you support the RiverFirst project on the Central Riverfront?

Tom Nordyke – “I do yes. I am honored to be endorsed by the current 4th District Commissioner and current MPRB President Anita Tabb, who has been a huge leader in the Park Board’s work with the RiverFirst initiative. I am planning to be a leader in this initiative as well.”

Jono Cowgill – “Yes, I do. The RiverFirst vision is critical to the sustained vitality of Minneapolis as a regional urban center. It has been a transformative vision that began in 1987 when the first section of what is now James I. Rice parkway first broke ground. We cannot stop now!”

Specifically, do you support the northeast at Hall’s Island and expanding the riverfront access along the river as well as the Upper Harbor Terminal with the Joint City/Park Board venture?

Jono Cowgill – “Ever since I was very young I have wondered why for so long Minneapolis turned its back on the River. Both the Upper Harbor Terminal and Hall’s Island are key aspects of that vision, enhancing access, recreational, and entertainment opportunities for north and northeast residents.”

Tom Nordyke – “I very much support the continued development of the River Front for all residents, particularly Northeast and North Minneapolis. I support the current concept design for Hall’s Island and Scherer Park and will work to refine the plans and move ahead with the project. I also support the Park Board working with the City to redevelop the Upper Harbor Terminal and support join City/Park Board work to make it a reality.”

Crown Hydro is a controversial hydro electricity facility proposed for the Mississippi River front near St. Anthony Falls. Many area residents are concerned about impacts on water flow over the falls and nuisances such as vibrations from a plant while its developers see it as an opportunity to bring more renewable energy to Minneapolis. What is your position on Crown Hydro?

Tom Nordyke – “I do not support the Crown Hydro project. I voted against this project TWICE while on the Park Board and I would vote against it again. The main concern I have is the flow of water over the St. Anthony Falls. In the four years I was on the Board the developers of this project were never able to definitively prove to me that the project would not adversely impact water flow over the Falls or that there would be a remedy if it did. Diminished or non-existent flow over the Falls is simply too much of a risk.”

Jono Cowgill – “I echo Congressman Ellison’s concerns about Crown Hydro given last year’s Environmental Impact Statement. I do not currently believe that Crown Hydro has a compelling reason for their proposed site at St Anthony Falls. The environmental risks and direct conflict with the RiverFirst initiative (Water Works in particular) are enough to greatly outweigh any vague potential energy benefits.”

What is your position on pesticide use in the park system? Is there an appropriate time to use pesticides in the park system or should all pesticides be banned?

Jono Cowgill – “There are a few viable models for severely reducing the amount of pesticides we use in the parks, including Kings County WA, Portland OR, and Toronto. We can realize a more environmentally-friendly and safe park system by responsibly moving towards a severe reduction in pesticide use through the reevaluation of our Integrated Pest Management Plan. It is broadly recognized that our current use of pesticides is unsafe for our already fragile waters, our pets, and our children.”

Tom Nordyke – “If we wish to have the kind of Park System that our community demands in this heavily built urban environment, then we will need to continue the very limited use pesticides for the foreseeable future. There is simply no other way right now to deal with the invasive species that clog our waters and trails and obstruct or views and access to the Lakes and River. It should be noted that the Park Board is extremely judicious about the use of pesticides. I absolutely support the goal of moving toward a pesticide free system. But to do so now would cause damage to our system that our community would not accept.”

What should the role of urban agriculture and community gardens be in the parks?  What is the balance between keeping parkland public and allowing private gardening?

Tom Nordyke – “The Park Board adopted an Urban Agriculture Activity Plan back in 2014. This plan was created with a great deal of community input and was intended to compliment the City of Minneapolis’ efforts including “Homegrown Minneapolis” and the City’s Urban Agriculture Policy Plan. Frankly, the MPRB has been slow to implement this plan and I will make it priority to do so. I think the decision to set aside park property for community based gardening and agriculture is a case-by-case process. I do not see an inclusive and accessible community based garden as ‘private gardening.’”

Jono Cowgill – “There is a wonderful opportunity to support the rollout of the Park Board’s Urban Agriculture Plan. This plan provides the framework for allowing public gardens in parks. These public gardens would be open for all to use and would be more environmentally friendly than mowable land. The key to success for the Urban Agriculture Plan is developing sustainable partnerships with neighborhood organizations, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and recreation leaders to steward gardens effectively.”

The Park Police have been credited with creating a safer Hidden Beach at Cedar Lake. There has been discussion in the past of merging the Park Police with the Minneapolis Police Department to conserve resources. However, the fear is that parks will not be a priority for the City’s police department and that parks will suffer and become less safe. What is your position on the Park Police? What would you like to see change, if anything?

Jono Cowgill – “I support maintaining a strong, separate park police force. The issues that park police face are unique, and having a dedicated force allows for tailored approaches to ensuring our parks are safe. I support broadening the tools that our park enforcement has to successfully keep our parks safe for everyone. I am supportive of mental health training for the force, successfully rolling out the new comprehensive use of body worn cameras, and expanding the role of mental health professionals in helping our mentally-ill neighbors in the parks.”

Tom Nordyke – “The idea of merging the Park Police with the City Police force is pretty much a City idea. I can’t recall a Park Board Commissioner that ever supported that idea, and for good reason. The Park Police can and do have a more proactive approach to policing and it shows. Less than 2% of our City’s violent crime happens in our parks. That is a pretty stunning statistic particularly if you compare that with other metropolitan areas where the parks are the problem, not the exception.”

There is a distinct possibility that green space will be lost to Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) along the Cedar Lake and Kenilworth Trails unless representatives can work with the Met Council to develop a solution. What is your experience working with agencies like the Met Council? What is your strategy for SWLRT?

Tom Nordyke – “I worked with the Met Council a lot when I was on the Park Board. The Met Council is a funding partner with the MPRB in areas like the Regional Park System, land acquisition funding and other funding streams. I worked with the Met Council and others when I was on the MPRB developing the Metro Green Line and the intense debate about routing the Green Line through the U of M and across the Washington Avenue Bridge. I have also work with the Met Council in my professional life as a developer of affordable housing. The Met Council is a funding partner in affordable housing and in Brownfields cleanup and other environment funding. I have generally had a very good and productive experience in my work with the Met Council. SWLRT is another story however. I do not support the current route selected for the SWLRT, and I never have. Nor do I support the “process” that lead to the selection of the current route. Having said that, the only possibility at this point for halting SWLRT as designed and to change the route is the lawsuit currently in process by The Lakes and Parks Alliance. If that suit is successful then it is a whole new ballgame. If not, then the only thing the Park Board can do is work to mitigate any negative impacts of the SWLRT on the Grand Rounds and our other park assets. So, things pretty much hang on the lawsuit right now.”

Jono Cowgill – “It is very unfortunate that the Met Council’s SWLRT alignment goes through the Kenilworth Corridor. I personally believe it is a bad alignment. Currently the Park Board has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Met Council wherein the Park Board agrees to “facilitate the approval and construction of any LRT project.” It also calls for close coordination between MPRB and the Met Council on final design considerations around the bridges of the Kenilworth Channel. The Final Environmental Impact Statement estimates that the MPRB will lose a total of 0.7 acres of green space for a trail realignment in Bryn Mawr Meadows Park and for modifications to the rail alignments along the Kenilworth Corridor. We cannot afford to lose any more green space due to poor project management or revised designs. In this vein, I will closely monitor this proposed loss of green space and work with the SPO and Met Council to mitigate these losses. I have worked with Met Council staff on housing and transportation related work and as Commissioner will develop strong relationships with the current Council while advocating for my constituents and the Park Board. Within this project new issues arise consistently, including the lawsuit brought by the Lakes and Parks Alliance, the rebidding of the construction contract, and unstable federal matching funds. Should the MOU be revisited by the Park Board, I would listen to my constituents - especially those most affected by line construction - to make an informed decision on any and all agreement parameters.”

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About Craig Wilson, MLA, MURP, LEED AP

Craig is the Principal and Owner of Sustology, a third-party independent sustainability advisory firm that brings solutions to businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits.

Craig focuses on initiatives that enhance the environment while providing tangible bottom-line results.


Music is Good For You! Join the Mill City Singers with Neighbors and Friends

Article by Claudia Kittock

The Mill City Singers have been in existence just short of two years. They began as part of an idea to bring more music to the community, and with the central tenet of music for all. The Mill District is home to many people in the higher levels of socio-economic status, and yet, 25% of residents live below the poverty line.  We came together to make music...all of us. There are no fees, auditions, nor attendance requirements.  Everyone is welcome.

When the idea for the Singers was brought to MacPhail Center for Music, the immediate response was “YES! How about having JD Steele as the director?” As you can imagine, that was a question with only one answer, and to those of us who sing in the Singers, our lives have been forever changed.

We gather every Saturday afternoon on the 8th floor of the Guthrie Theater to rehearse for 90 minutes. Everyone is welcome and quickly become part of this microcosm of the Mill District. The Singers are sponsored by Friends of the Mill District, so while many of the singers live in the Mill District, many don't and it isn’t a requirement. You just need to be a ‘friend’ who loves to sing.

Mill City Singers

Friends of the Mill District is a neighborhood charity. All of the work is done by a small group of hearty volunteers. We rely on donations to pay the salaries for the people we contract with to lead our group. The Friends have also been fortunate to have received an MRAC grant the past 2 years which goes for the salary of the director.

If you have heard about the Singers and think it sounds like fun, it is! Feel free to come and give us a tryout. If we pass, come back. If we don’t, no harm has been done. We are stronger together and truly treasure every person who decides to become part of our group.

If you don’t enjoy singing, but love to listen, we are performing at the Capri Theater on Tuesday, October 17 at 7:00p. The Capri is located at 2027 West Broadway, and a good time is promised! Grab a friend and come for an hour of joyful singing and genuine community. I promise you will leave with a smile. We all do!

Want to learn more or get involved?
• Contact Claudia Kittock at
• Go to GiveMN
Mill City Singers

Water Works Construction Update

Water Works Construction Update: selective deconstruction of Fuji Ya building has begun

Water Works_Fuji Ya building interiorWorkers perform archaeological study and archival documentation inside the building; the structural brick arch ceiling will be protected this winter and reused in the Water Works project

Selective deconstruction and archival documentation has begun at the former Fuji Ya restaurant site

Work has begun on repurposing the site of the former Fuji Ya restaurant building at 420 1st Street S into a new indoor park pavilion featuring a riverfront restaurant and food service venue run by The Sioux Chef.


Careful deconstruction of the building helps secure and protect historic mill ruins that will be incorporated into the new park pavilion and sets the stage for full-scale construction of Water Works in 2018.

This process looks different than most demolition projects. It is slower, more methodical and prioritizes protection of historic resources. First, hazardous building and electrical materials (florescent lighting, mercury thermostats, old furnace parts, etc) that require special disposal methods will be removed. Then a photographer will document the Fuji Ya structure and how it ties into underlying mill foundations for archival to the Minnesota Historic Property Record.

After the site has been properly photographed and archived, the Fuji Ya structure will be fully deconstructed. A few of the structure’s large wood beams will be stored onsite and reused as part of the Water Works project.


When the selective deconstruction project is complete, a temporary, weatherproof roof, steel doors, solar-powered exhaust fans and rooftop safety railing will be installed to protect the mill foundations over the winter before full-scale construction begins in 2018.


Fuji Ya exterior archival photographyArchival photography of the Fuji Ya Restaurant structure with window coverings removed


Water Works


Water Works is a two-phase, transformative riverfront park project along the downtown Minneapolis Riverfront.

The first phase, called the Mezzanine Phase, encompasses about 2.5 acres, from West River Parkway to 1st Street S, and 3rd Avenue S to Fifth Avenue S. It includes a new indoor riverfront pavilion featuring a restaurant and food service venue run by The Sioux Chef, rooftop terrace and plantings, city steps overlooking the Mississippi River, outdoor play areas and gathering spaces, a connection to the Mill City Quarter woonerf and improved biking and walking connections.

Phase 1 is largely being funded by philanthropic investment, through the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s RiverFirst Capital Campaign. Phase 2, the Riverside Phase, will follow the Mezzanine Phase and is expected to begin in 2021.


Local Music Fans - Check out Andrea Swensson's Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound

Beginning in the year of Prince’s birth, 1958, with the recording of Minnesota’s first R&B record by a North Minneapolis band called the Big Ms, Andrea Swensson's Got to Be Something Here traces the rise of that distinctive sound through two generations of political upheaval, rebellion, and artistic passion.

For those not familiar with her, Swensson is an author, radio host, and music journalist. She hosts a weekly program about the Minnesota music scene, The Local Show, at Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current and contributes to the Local Current Blog. Prior to joining MPR, she was the music editor at City Pages, where she founded the AAN AltWeekly Award-winning Gimme Noise music blog.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 31 - 35)

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 31-35 - click here to see more!


House of Talents Showcases African Artisans

Article by Merle Minda

House of Talents showcases African artisans

Tucked away on the Sixth Floor of the Traffic Zone Arts Building in the North Loop is House of Talents, founded in 2009 by the charismatic Kate Herzog to help artisans in her home country of Ghana and nearby developing countries. Kate is herself from Ghana and came to the U.S. years ago with her husband whom she met when he was in the Peace Corps. Long-established in Minneapolis and with three grown sons, Kate has dedicated herself to making a difference for people in her home country.

Kate Herzog, founder and owner of House of Talents

 “In the villages lots of people want to work with me; I hope to help them see possibilities for themselves,” says Kate. “We started with baskets thinking that they would sell well here, and we’ve grown from there!”

And so she has – the House of Talents’ showroom is glorious with color, gorgeous woven baskets, textiles from Mali, exquisite pillows and hand-made drums – and that’s just for starters! Even the drums come with their own hand-sewn original and colorful fabric covers. One of the more unusual fabrics is something called Bogolan, a so-called mud-cloth resulting in truly unusual designs suitable for bedspreads, a sofa or wall-hanging.

Partial view of House of Talents showroomPartial view of House of Talents showroom

Vibrant colors everywhere - House of TalentsVibrant colors everywhere

It is amazing to think how Kate put this together. She visits these villages often and also helps increase access to healthcare, food and financial independence…now providing income to over 1,000 Ghanaian women in the basket weaver communities alone. Kate nurtures her artisans into adjusting their creations for the American buyer in terms of colors and shapes, types of clothing and basket usefulness. For example, bike baskets were a totally new idea in Ghana, especially making the holes for the leather strap holders. “No one knew how to weave holes in Ghana,” laughs Kate.

Kate meeting with artisan villagers in Ghana

Kate herself is an incredibly warm woman, greeting me with a hug and a broad smile, and walking me to my car later with the one pillow I just could not leave without purchasing.

Kate taught herself to read at age 10 and earned an education largely through her own determination. She has several university degrees including an MBA in economics from St. Thomas University.

“I was determined to find a way to help; no one wants to be poor and this work helps our communities increase education, health and financial independence.” Kate is even now expanding to provide books and libraries in villages as well. The grasses from which the baskets are woven grow in plentiful supply near the villages, so it is by using easily available materials and their own ingenuity that this wide range of African products are created.

If you are looking for a gift or something special for your home, go to House of Talents. Kate says she wants “to elevate your mood and bring a happy smile to your face.” An easy task at this creative, wonderful and beautiful space.

House of Talents is located in the Traffic Zone Arts Building at 250 3rd Avenue N, Suite 615 (there is an elevator!) with street parking and a nearby House of Talents lot. They are open Wednesday - Saturday, 11AM – 6PM.

- - - - - - - -

About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


Mill City Youth Players Return!

Article by Claudia Kittock

The Friends of the Mill District, in partnership with the Guthrie Theater, are excited to announce that the Mill City Youth Players will return. If you missed the first show, Be Seen, Be You, Belong, you will have another chance to watch these incredibly talented young people perform on the Dowling stage.

"Be You, Be Seen, Belong" Mill City Youth PlayersA scene from Be Seen, Be You, Belong

The plans include 21 sessions. Seven will cover voice and movement, seven will cover text analysis, and the last seven will be choosing and preparing the production. Our hope is to have 3 shows at the Dowling over a weekend, which would include a Friday, Saturday and Sunday show.

An essential part of this program will be teaching these young actors problem solving and creativity. To do that, they will learn the language of the theater, and to do that, they will need to attend plays. This session will include tickets to 4 different productions at 3 different theaters. The actors will attend these productions together so that they can talk and learn about what they have seen as a community of actors.

We are so very excited to begin again. The pilot project was a huge success. Two of the actors got jobs as a result of their experiences, and others have had auditions because of the work they did at the Guthrie.

This is a community project and we will need community involvement.  We will provide more information as we decide on the dates for this project. If you are as excited as we are, please think about getting involved. 

How will you be able to help? We will need:

• Community volunteers to provide snacks for the beginning of each class/rehearsal.
• Community volunteers to provide dinner at the end of each class/rehearsal.
• Donations to help defray the cost of paying the salaries of the teaching professionals.

For questions and comments, please contact Claudia Kittock at


Portion of I-35W in Minneapolis to Close this Weekend, October 6 - 9

Portland Avenue Bridge over I-94 is now closed through early December

Minnesota Department of Transportation is closing I-35W for a second consecutive weekend between I-94 and Highway 62 for the demolition of the Franklin Avenue Bridge. This portion of the highway will close in both directions beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 and reopening by 5 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 9.

Crews will begin closing the on- and off-ramps for this portion of I-35W approximately one hour prior to closing the interstate highway. Southbound I-35W on- and off-ramps between 46th Street and 60th Street will remain open during the closure.

Detours include using I-94, I-394, Highway 100 and Highway 62 to get around the closure.

Weekend closure detour map

Portland Avenue Bridge closure

Portland Avenue Bridge spanning I-94 in Minneapolis is now closed. Construction crews closed the bridge this morning to work on piers below the bridge deck. This bridge will be closed to most motorized traffic for approximately two months; however, pedestrians, bicyclists, police cars and ambulances will still be able to use the bridge.

Motorists will be detoured to 14th Street, Chicago Avenue and Franklin Avenue.

Allow extra travel time

If your travel plans include any of the closed sections of the freeway or the designated detours, please plan ahead and allow additional time to arrive at your destination. Rush hour traffic levels are anticipated along these sections of the metro roadways.


Upcoming Temporary Closures on I-94 Between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center

MnDOT logo

Via an e-newsletter from MNDot:

Temporary closure details

Lowry Tunnel closures
Crews will be cleaning the Lowry Hill Tunnel next week, weather permitting. 
Beginning 10 p.m. Mon, Oct. 9, eastbound I-94 will close at the tunnel for cleaning. The detour is the prohibited vehicle route that exits at Hennepin/Lyndale. The eastbound lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Tue, Oct 10.
The following ramps will also close during the cleaning:
Hwy 55 to eastbound I-94
Eastbound I-394 to eastbound I-94
Then beginning 10 p.m. Tue, Oct. 10, westbound I-94 at the tunnel will close for cleaning. The detour is the prohibited vehicle route that exits at Hennepin/Lyndale. The westbound lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. Wed, Oct. 11. 
Lane closures
MnDOT will have to close some lanes on I-94 next week for work on the Camden Bridges. Periodically through the week, both directions of I-94 from Dowling Ave. to 49th Ave. will be reduced to one lane during non-peak hours and two lanes during peak hours.
Ramp closures
The ramp from 49th Ave. to I-94 east will close during the work on the Camden Bridges for safety reasons.
We appreciate your patience during these closures. All time frames are approximate and weather dependent.

More about this project

Voting Now Open for Your Favorite 60 Second Film! Winners Announced at the Oct 23 Mississippi Minute Film Festival

A variety of films which showcase the Minneapolis riverfront have been submitted, and now it’s time for you to give your approval. People’s Choice voting is officially open for the 2017 Mississippi Minute Film Festival.

View all 16 films and then vote online!

Voting requires a Facebook account. If you really like a film, share the post on your own Facebook account and encourage your friends to vote as well. Click Like on the video or on the post itself (you can use the Love, Wow or Haha reactions instead – they are all counted as the same).

People’s Choice voting closes at Noon on October 20.

Make plans to join the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership for the  Mississippi Minute Film Festival on October 23. Doors open at 5:30pm. Admission is free, but please register in advance to help them plan for the appropriate amount of people. You’ll want to see these films on the big screen!

Joshua Will of The Theater of Public Policy will emcee this event, giving you a taste of comedy and improv based around the Minneapolis riverfront as well.


Buses to Replace Blue and Green Line Trains October 6-9

Due to scheduled maintenance, buses will replace trains beginning Friday, October 6 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.

From 6:25pm Friday, October 6, until 3:30am Monday, October 9, buses will replace Blue and Green Line trains for these stations:

Green Line
Stadium Village
East Bank
West Bank

Blue Line
38th Street (Northbound only)
Lake St./Midtown
Franklin Ave.

Downtown Mpls. - Shared stations
U.S. Bank Stadium 
Government Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Warehouse-Hennepin Avenue
Target Field

Click here for more inf


MacPhail Center for Music Announces 2017-2018 Spotlight Series

Via an October 2 News Release from MacPhail Center for Music:

MacPhail Center for Music announces the fifth season of their premier concert series, the MacPhail Spotlight Series. The lineup includes four on-site concerts and four touring concerts, as the series expands its reach to the metro area and southeastern Minnesota for the first time.

This inspiring season showcases the phenomenal talents of MacPhail teaching artists and special guests. Four of the shows will take place in MacPhail’s award-winning Antonello Hall, while four will tour to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia), the Lakeville Area Arts Center, the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis and the Paramount Theater in Austin.

The 2017-2018 MacPhail Spotlight Series includes:

· Traveling MusiciansNovember 11, 2017For centuries, touring musicians have used rhythm and melody to record their impressions.  Liszt captured stunning Swiss landscapes and glorious Italian architecture with his dazzling Années de pèlerinage for solo piano. Bartók’s compositions were profoundly impacted by the years he spent researching indigenous folk music in far reaches of the Balkans. Dvořák’s famous stay in the USA inspired some of his most beloved works, including the charming Sonatina – part of which was sketched while visiting Minnehaha Falls! Ellington’s jazzy Far East Suite is a personal take on the exotic sights and sounds of the Middle East.

· Eyewitness Views at Mia, Details to be announced, see website for more information.

· Flirting with SondheimFebruary 10, 2018 (Antonello Hall) and February 11, 2018 (The Paramount Theatre in Austin): Stephen Sondheim is, without a doubt, one of America’s most accomplished musicians. This program is a tribute to his versatile genius, both as lyricist and composer. MacPhail performers will regale audiences with scenes and arias from his most beloved works, including West Side StoryCompany, Into the Woods, and Little Night Music. The repertoire was chosen with an eye to Valentine’s Day. So the concert’s secondary theme is love, but always with Sondheim’s signature realism and witty touch.

· Spotlight Series at Basilica of St. Mary in MinneapolisFebruary 22, 2018Performance of Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. Details to be announced, see website for more information.

· Virtuoso VivaldiMarch 10, 2018Antonio Vivaldi was one of history’s most prolific composers, with his best works hitting the classical top-ten charts for centuries. Enjoy the colorful ingenuity of his Four Seasons, performed by two virtuoso MacPhail violinists and the MacPhail Chamber Orchestra. Highlighting the music’s shifting textures and moods will be projected images by Minnesota photographers Alice Gebura and Layne Kennedy, who capture the four seasons in all their glory. The Vivaldi is paired with its 20th century counterpart, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. This 20th century work borrows themes from Vivaldi and mixes them with the irresistibly sultry harmonies of Tango tunes.

· Troubled SoulsApril 14, 2018: Our final Spotlight concert features the foreboding sensibilities of three very different composers. Nebojsa Zivkovic wrote Uneven Souls, a Marimba concerto complete with percussion and chorus effects. Based on Balkan culture, it’s a tribute to what the composer sees as the Slavic people’s uneven, “non-dogmatic” way of life, free of “ultimatums” or “strict rules.” Liszt’s Totentanz (Dance of Death) evokes the terrifying sounds of Judgment Day, with its extended quote from the famous medieval chant “Dies Irae.” Stravinsky’s masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, is a classic cautionary tale, complete with a Faustian bargain.

· Hungarian Fantasy, April 29, 2018 (Lakeville Area Arts Center)This eclectic show features the belovedHungarian Dances by Brahms performed by pianists Irina and Julia Elkina. They will be joined by imaginative and kinetic theatre group Impossible Salt who will set their show Wishing Skin to Brahms’ music.

“I am incredibly excited about the creative and unique performances that make up this season of Spotlight,” says Mischa Santora, artistic director, MacPhail Spotlight Series. “In particular, I am thrilled to be bringing this programming on the road throughout the metro area and Austin. This lineup highlights the virtuosity and creativity of our faculty, and I can’t wait for new communities and audiences to experience it.”

Tickets for concerts held at Antonello Hall are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors (ages 55 and older) and youth (ages 6 through 18), and may be ordered by calling 612-767-5250 or by stopping by Student Services at MacPhail locations in Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Apple Valley or White Bear Lake.  Ticketing information for metro area and Austin concerts is available on our website.

The MacPhail Spotlight Series is MacPhail Center for Music’s premier performance event. This concert series explores diverse musical themes performed by MacPhail Center for Music faculty and special guests – showcasing some of the finest musicians in the Twin Cities.

MacPhail Center for Music is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives and enriching the community through exceptional music learning experiences. Each year, MacPhail opens its doors to more than 16,000 students offering programming for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, at locations in Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Chanhassen, Golden Valley, Apple Valley and Austin, as well as 127 community partnerships across the Twin Cities and online at MacPhail Online. MacPhail has a 110-year history of excellence, promoting life-long learning and building long-term relationships between students and teachers. For more information, visit


Scenes from the September 30 Mill City Farmers Market

The annual Bread Fest highlighted the September 30 Mill City Farmers Market (look for a separate post under our Farmers Market blog later this week for all the delicious pictures!). 

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Pumpkins and apple pie - can't think of a better way to transition into Fall.

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Baby strollers make excellent shopping carts at the Market. :)

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Weekly joke from the Urban Roots kids:

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Freeze dried minnows from Barkley's Bistro are a nice treat for your kitty or pup.

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

New products from Sunrise Flour Mill: Sunrise Red Cornmeal and Wild Rice.

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the Goat!

September 30, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


WASTED! The Story of Food Waste - Oct 13-19 Screenings from the The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul

Coming October 13 - 19 from the The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul:

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste

Can you imagine if every time you opened your wallet, a third of your cash fell out - and you did nothing about it? Consider the fact that one-third of the food grown annually for human consumption is never eaten - for one reason or another, it ends up in the garbage. That’s $218 billion - or 1.3 billion tons - of food annually. In America, families chuck about 25% of the food and beverages they buy at a cost of $1,365 to $2,275 annually. Yet at the same time, 800 million people around the globe are starving. It’s a problem - but one with no shortage of solutions.

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Through the the eyes of chef-heroes like Anthony Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura, and Danny Bowien, audiences will see how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system. WASTED! exposes the criminality of food waste and how it’s directly contributing to climate change and shows us how each of us can make small changes – all of them delicious – to solve one of the greatest problems of the 21st Century.


Mpls Downtown Improvement District Announces 2017 Greening & Public Realm Award Winners

Via a September 28 News Release:

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District announced today its 8th annual Greening & Public Realm Award winners, a group that included six new winners among the 12 categories decided by an interactive public vote.

The Greening Awards aim to showcase greening efforts by organizations and companies that help beautify the downtown area through enhancing our urban landscape. This year’s first-time award winners [full list below] in this year’s categories are the 1010 Currie Mural by Bianca Pettis & Erin Sayer (which won two awards: Best Public Art and Best Public Realm Improvement), Best Small Activated Space (co-winners 100 Washington Square and North Loop Parklet), Best Large Green Space (Mill Ruins Park), Best Streetscape Green Infrastructure (Millwright) and Best Entryway Greening (Haskell’s).

Loring Greenway won a Greening Award for a record eighth straight year—tying with Mill Ruins Park for Best Large Green Space. The Local won its sixth Greening Award (Best Façade Greening), Brit’s Pub won its fifth (Best Outdoor Café), Loring Park won its third straight Best Neighborhood award, and The Commons won a Greening Award (Best Large Activated Space) for the second straight year since opening in 2016.

“We’re delighted to see five new winners joining our past award recipients, a sign that enhanced greening continues to be a prominent focus of downtown businesses, neighborhoods and organizations,” Mpls Downtown Improvement District President & CEO Steve Cramer said. “We thank everyone who helps create a more vibrant experience through adding to downtown’s beauty. Congratulations to this year’s winners on exceptional contributions to our city’s core.”

Winners will receive a commemorative Greening Award created by Wood from the Hood, a Minneapolis-based company that reclaims discarded trees from urban neighborhoods and creates high-quality wood products. Each award will display the year the award was issued.

The Mpls DID accepted public nominations for green spaces throughout August, and finalists were announced on August 24. Voting for finalists remained open through September 21.

The finalists, nominated by the public, were selected by members of the Mpls DID staff based on criteria including overall year-over-year enhancements as well as continued excellence in adding vibrancy to the public realm.

This year’s results include the following winners:

Small Activated Space
• 100 Washington Square* - 36.70%
• North Loop Parklet* - 36.70%
• Gethsemane Episcopal Church – 26.60%

Small Green Space
• 20 Washington Square – 45.29%
• Target Corp – South Entry – 39.97%
• American Academy of Neurology– 14.24%

Large Activated Space
• The Commons – 63.17%
• Hennepin County Government Center North & South Plazas – 21.57%
• Target Field Station – 15.25%

Large Green Space
• Loring Greenway – 33.65%
• Mill Ruins Park* - 33.65%
• Triangle Park – 17.06%
• Cancer Survivors Park – 15.65%

Façade Greening
• The Local – 55.48%
• JB Hudson Jewelers – 24.09%
• Capella Tower* - 20.49%

Public Art
• 1010 Currie Mural by Bianca Pettis and Erin Sayer* - 35.77%
• Orbicles by MINN_LAB* - 27.97%
• Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch* - 22.93%
• Inside Out Project* - 13.33%

Outdoor Café
• Brit’s Pub – 38.01%
• Monte Carlo* - 27.41%
• McKinney Roe* - 20.55%
• HopCat* - 14.03%

Streetscape Greening
• Minneapolis Convention Center – 36.89%
• Maverick Apartments* - 27.55%
• Target Commons – 25.21%
• Rock Island Lofts – 10.35%

Streetscape Green Infrastructure
• Millwright* - 40.07%
• Walker Art Center* - 31.79%
• Hennepin & Lyndale Renovation* - 14.57%
• Machine Shop* - 13.58%

Entryway Greening
• Haskell’s* - 48.73%
• City Hall – 24.53%
• Textile Building* - 13.71%
• Zenith Condos* - 13.03%

Public Realm Improvement
• 1010 Currie Mural by Bianca Pettis & Erin Sayer* - 20.44%
• Walker Art Center Grounds Renovation* - 19.43%
• Millwright Building Streetscape* - 14.36%
• Government Center North Plaza Fountain Restoration* - 9.80%
• 100 Washington Square Renovation* - 8.61%
• Hennepin/Lyndale Renovation* - 7.09%
• HopCat Outdoor Café* - 5.41%
• Orbicles by MINN_LAB* - 4.22%
• Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch* 3.38%
• Maverick Apartments Streetscape* - 2.70%
• McKinney Roe Outdoor Café* - 2.70%
• Inside Out Park* - 1.86%

Best Neighborhood
• Loring Park – 45.45%
• Downtown East – 26.78%
• Elliot Park – 12.07%
• Downtown West – 8.76%
• North Loop – 6.94%

* New Nominee in this category

For more information, visit or log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram searching @MinneapolisDID.

About the Mpls Downtown Improvement District:

Founded in early 2009, after more than five years of formative planning and advocacy by the downtown business community, the Mpls DID delivers higher levels of service to make downtown cleaner, greener, safer and more vibrant throughout a 120-block area, as is the case with most Business Improvement Districts. For more information, visit


Romeo and Juliet at the Guthrie - Just Right for Date Night! 

Here are some reviews of the Guthrie's production of Romeo and Juliet to pique your interest...

Lusty, modern and free-spirited … gorgeous and stirring” - Star Tribune

Worth seeing for the balcony scene alone” - City Pages

Fresh, sexy and brilliantly directed … sizzles with energy” - Aisle Say

Thrilling and action-packed” - Cherry and Spoon

A timeless tale of star-crossed lovers...

It’s a story so well-known it scarcely needs an introduction, yet surprisingly the Guthrie has produced it just twice before. Set in Verona where the rival houses of Capulet and Montague have had a long-standing feud, Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s famous tragedy of star-crossed lovers, filled with all the passion of young love. Underscored by ingenious wit and astonishing beauty, the play pits the bitterness of resentment against the intensity of romance.

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