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Be a Friend of the Mill District

Article by Claudia Kittock

As many of you may know, the Friends of the Mill District is a small, neighborhood charity. Our mission is to connect all people in the Mill District neighborhood and surrounding areas. How do we do that? We hire some of the very finest artists in the metropolitan area to lead groups that we have founded and manage.  The Mill City Singers, Mill City Yoga, and Mill City Players are three such groups. Each of them is free and open to all, which is another part of the mission of the Friends. If we are going to be open to all people, we must make sure that a ‘membership fee’ is not an impediment. We work very hard to make sure that every segment of the population in our community knows they are welcome and feels welcome when they join us. Our mantra is that we are ‘stronger together’ and we have learned the truth of that statement through the growth of each of our groups.

Obviously, the work that we do, can only be done because of a loyal group of contributors who believe in the work we are doing. We are so very grateful to each and every one of them and love the work. It does require money to pay the salaries of our amazing artists who include J.D. Steele, Fred Steele, Laurie Omodt-Tebrake, James A. Williams, Patricia Brown, Ahanti Young, and soon to include Ember Reichgott-Junge and Andrea Mirenda. 100% of the donations are used to pay our artists. All other work is done on a volunteer basis.

The Steeles

On October 17th, the Friends will be holding their first fundraiser, starring the Steele Family in their only appearance in the Mill District this year. We are honored to be hosting this amazing group and hope you will be able to attend. The evening will begin at 6:00 at the Mill City Museum with Taste of the Mill District, which will feature donated appetizers from many of the restaurants in our community, along with a cash bar. At 7:00 the Steeles will take the stage. If you have had the honor of seeing them in concert, you know what to expect. If you have missed them, buckle up, it will be an evening of rollicking music, amazing joy, great laughs, and an evening of community. Tickets are available at If you cannot attend and feel the need to support this dynamic group, please go to and donate to the Friends of the Mill District.

Look for an announcement on Monday about the newest program the Friends are adding. We can’t confirm the details yet, but get ready for Mill City Dance!!! Be sure to ‘like’ Friends of the Mill District on Facebook for our announcement.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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