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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.


Highlights from Northern Spark 2017

Via a June 15 e-newsletter from Northern

The Commons, Northern Spark 2017, photo: Bethany Birnie

Wow - what an amazing night!

From downtown to Lowertown and back, we engaged our way through the cities to experience creative conversation about the climate in neighborhoods both new and familiar.

Here are a few highlights from our staff:

After a rousing send off by J.D. Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir, The Commons was active with robot librarians, alien technologies, water protectors, idling monsters and more. Don’t forget to come back to see the birds inhabit the ORBACLES -- onsite through the end of July.

Minneapolis’ new green space truly felt like a space for everyone on Saturday night.”-- Steve Dietz, Co-Director.

Cedar-Riverside/West Bank, Northern Spark 2017, photo: Bobby Rogers

The West Bank broke through borders as people gathered in the streets for a night of unity, reflection and sharing. Hundreds of people broke fast together after a call to prayer, and marigolds and electronic sounds were given as gifts, 1,000 prayer pockets were offered. People played games about food and systems, sat in a glowing dome, sat in a glowing aqal, and watched the world’s borders literally grown over by green plants.

Watching the Unity Iftar get organized in 3 days to join forces with the Ancestry Story Circles was an amazing feat. Seeing everyone out in the street for the call to prayer was beautiful.” --Teeko Yang, Outreach and Partnership Coordinator

Tin foil capes, lawn-a-looming, human hamster wheel running and interactive sound/projection kept the Weisman Art Museum bustling with activity on the East Bank stop. And of course, owls.

After 7 years of working on this festival I finally got to see the owls! I love this tradition of the raptors appearing at Northern Spark.”  - Sarah Peters, Co-Director

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of University Ave, Little Africa was cozy yet active. The outdoor cinema of the Little Africa Film Fest screened documentaries and short films alike, while nearby people stood mesmerized by a wondrous miniature world. Participants created a new vision for the Earth and reflections on water, declared promises toward a petrol-free future and adopted nearly 200 trees to be planted in yards throughout the cities.

I arrived to Little Africa around 3:30am, and it was the best place to spend the last hours of my festival night. I found myself lying down inside the intimate Relative Water Liquid Spirit Healing Art Structure by Million Artist Movement, staring at the stars and contemplating my relationship to water, as well as the people around me.” -- Leslie Barlow, Social Media Goddess and Admin Assistant

tony the scribe and Ananya Dance Theater, just breathe, Northern Spark 2017, photo: Caleb Timmerman

Rondo rocked it with all-night participatory drumming, reflective shadow puppets, historic drawing and powerful performances from awesomely celebratory praise dance to a rotating schedule of contemporary movement and soundscape that brought the very real issue of air pollution in communities of color into emotional resonance. Students from High School for Recording Arts kept the parking lot dancing.

Through sound, dance, and spoken word, the projects in Rondo evoked both the urgency of environmental justice and the hope that carries us toward a more just future.” -- Ady Olson, Northern Projects Manager

After the delicious and spectacular Little Mekong Night Market came to a close at midnight, Northern Spark artists kept the Western Ave plaza a-glow with words, poems, stories, and symbols. Letters to Earth written on handmade paper were broadcast on the radio, dandelions and other living things memorialized the humans, we learned about traditional Hmong symbols for our temporary tattoos, we learned the word for water in many different languages, and ongoing performance linked Asian identity and culture to earth and climate.

"Little Mekong invited us to lean into stories. To listen to the powerful stories of how we got here, and to imagine the poetic beginnings of new stories. To re-wild our individual and collective mythologies." - Elle Thoni, Assistant Curator

Lowertown was for walking, from installations at the M and tpt to a secret green alley market to Union Depot, where the bees live, to a fair wage sewing factory, flamenco dancing climate displacement, land raft, au revoir to biomes (they’ll be back if we #act), and much more in and around the Farmers Market.

To me, Lowertown was about spaces for reflection, what we want around us, where we came from and where we want to go and what kind of world we want to create.” -- Sara Shives, Producer

Areca Roe, Goodbye Biome, Northern Spark 2017, photo courtesy of the artist

View more photo highlights of the night on our flickr.

Northern Spark by the Numbers

Attendees: More than 45,000
Artists: 415
Projects: 63 page views: 201,161
Free rides using Metro Transit’s downloadable pass: 33,000
Media hits: 90+
#northernspark images on Instagram: 6,779
Time trending on Twitter: 11 hours
New Facebook Page Likes during the festival: 129
Second-hand water bottles given away: 700
People who said goodbye to their biome: 921
Prayer pockets hung: 1,000
Line still going strong at 5:30am: The Night Library
Trees adopted: 190
Google Cardboards distributed: 800
How was your night?

We’d love to hear your story!  Tell us about you and your experience using the post-event survey. Your feedback gives us valuable insight that helps us make Northern Spark better each year.
How does Northern Spark happen? 

Northern Spark 2017 was the largest festival we’ve organized yet. This was possible thanks to the hard work and generous support of a number of different groups. Northern Spark has always been a feat of collaboration; this year more than ever. We extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our sponsors and foundation funders; our Advisory and Steering Committees; the first-ever Northern Spark Program Council; our Neighborhood Partners and Presenting Partners, all of whom worked for more than a year in advance to put all the pieces of the festival in place.

Our considerable gratitude and many high-fives go to the 130 amazing volunteers who worked day and night-of the event and to our 24 crew members who sweated their way through a humid set-up, kept cool throughout the night and then packed up before the Sunday’s thunderstorm hit. We could not do this without you!

And finally, immeasurable thanks to the Northern Spark staff. We had an incredible team who took on this challenge of organizing 7 festivals in 7 locations on one night with grace, humor and expert skill. We learned so much from all of you. Kudos to historic success!
--Sarah Peters and Steve Dietz, Northern Spark Co-Directors
...and you!
Many people who attend Northern Spark don’t know that it’s actually a program of Northern, a Twin-Cities-based non-profit organization with just 3 year-round staff! Competitive grants -- both private and public -- pay for 90% of the festival. But the last 10% of support for Northern Spark comes from people just like you, giving their time and money to keep it homegrown and free for all to attend.

Please take a moment now to pitch in whatever you can: As of now we’re still working on that last 10%, and will be doing so until June 30. Your support will go directly toward helping us bring the festival back in 2018.
Northern is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations made to Northern Lights are tax deductible and support our year round public programming. Click here to donate to Northern

Northern is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space. Northern Spark is one night, but Northern shines throughout the year with projects such as Creative City Challenge for the Minneapolis Convention Center, Art(ists) on the Verge, The Giant Sing-A-Long at the Minnesota State Fair, and permanent, interactive public art for Saint Paul’s Union Depot.


Washington Avenue Reconstruction Update

Brief closure of 5th Avenue South later this week

Beginning Friday, June 16, the southeastern corner of the intersection at 5th Avenue South and Washington Avenue South will be closed. This will allow crews to perform critical underground utility work in the intersection.

If you are travelling on 5th Avenue in this area during this closure:

· Westbound traffic will have one lane available to turn onto Washington Avenue
· All eastbound traffic will be detoured to South 4th Street and Park Avenue

Weather permitting, this closure is anticipated to last until the end of the day on Monday, June 19.

Project and traffic updates

Work is wrapping up on the 3rd Avenue intersection. All lanes of traffic are anticipated to reopen today.

Also, crews continue to make progress pouring curbs and gutters on Washington Avenue between 2nd and 3rd avenues. 

As a reminder:

· Eastbound Washington Avenue is open between Hennepin and 2nd avenues. All through traffic must use the detour of 2nd Avenue, 4th Street South and Park Avenue.
· The lane restrictions at 4th Avenue South continue.


"Walking the Boat" - It's Not Just Skiers Performing in the River Rats Show!

The 2017 Twin Cities River Rats season opened this past Thursday night, and it was fantastic fun. If you've never been to one of these free family-friendly events (or haven't lingered after all the skiers were done performing) you're missing this "walk the boat" stunt.

Follow the River Rats on Facebook and check out their event listing - don't let the summer go by without taking in at least one of their performances. The next show is Thursday, June 15. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and enjoy snacks, pop, water, brats and hot dogs from the concession stand. 

This is an all-volunteer organization, and many of the performers are family members. When you go, consider bringing an extra $5 to drop in the contribution bucket after the show - they are sure to pay it forward!  :)


What's that Smell? Don't worry - it's just the seasonal cycle of fish kill

Via a June 13 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Summer’s Rising Heat Brings Fish Kills to Light

Seasonal cycle of Minneapolis lakes fish kills is no cause for concern

Have you been noticing some not-so-pleasant smells around the lake shores? Don’t be alarmed! As strange as it sounds, the increase in temperature and the appearance of dead fish and decomposing plants around Minneapolis lakes have a direct correlation.
“Every spring, the rise in water temperatures and ensuing decrease in oxygen available for the fish, combined with the stress from spawning, can lead to fish kills," said Deb Pilger, Director of Environmental Management for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). "They will die off and it gets a little smelly. There is also plant life in the lake that will decompose when it gets warm, and people may notice those smells.”
According to the Minnesota DNR, oxygen depletion can be a factor contributing to fish kills in lakes all across Minnesota. Heavy rains during early summer can cause unusual high runoff from fertilized lawns, athletic fields, golf courses and farm fields. The runoff carries nutrients into the lakes, which combined with hot weather, can accelerate the growth of algae and other plants.
The MPRB reports all fish kills to the DNR and the fish are tested if DNR believes they were killed by factors other than mentioned above.
“Typically, only those who own a home or cabin and have lakeshore access are aware of the fish kill odor,” said Pilger. “But because the paths and trails around Minneapolis lakes offer users such great access, more people notice it.”
Species affected are usually sunfish, crappies and bullheads and occasionally, largemouth bass and northern pike.
"We really try to keep an eye out for the spring and summer fish kills to make sure we get the fish cleaned up in a timely manner," added Pilger.
A Few Things to Remember About Summer Fish Kills:

1) Fish kills and plant decomposition happen yearly.
2) Fish kills occur not just in Minneapolis lakes but in many lakes in Minnesota.
3) Seasonal fish kills have no effect on the quality of the lake’s water for swimming or boating, the quality of the other fish in the lake or the ability to eat or consume fish from the lake.


June 15 Mayoral Candidate Forum: Balancing Development and Preservation

Via a June 13 e-newsletter from Preserve Minneapolis:

Mayoral Candidate Forum: Balancing Development and Preservation

Date: June 15th
Time: 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: Minneapolis Event Center, 212 2nd Street SE

You are invited to attend the Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Forum: Balancing Development and Preservation. It will include a discussion with the mayoral candidates about their vision for how Minneapolis can plan for a future that meets demand for new development while also preserving historic architectural and cultural resources that are vitally important to our city’s identity.

The event is being sponsored by Neighbors for East Bank Livability, Preserve Minneapolis, the Great River Coalition, and Entourage Events Group. Dr. David Schultz, esteemed professor of Political Science at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota Law School and author of more than 30 books on the American political landscape will moderate the forum. Hope to see you all there.


Pryes Brewing Company Taproom Grand Opening set for June 17

Join Pryes Brewing Company for the official Taproom Grand Opening event at their new brewery located at 1401 West River Road N. They'll be serving new taproom-only beers as well as food from a guest chef.

You'll also get to experience feather bowling, is a game played with wooden balls shaped similar to cheese wheels (think of the Scottish sport of curling). The balls are rolled down an alley towards a feather sticking out opposite ends of the lane.

The brewery has a full kitchen for guest chefs to cook out of - watch their website and Facebook page for updates on which partners will be pair their food with Pryes' beer.

There's also a bouldering gym slated to open later this year.


Quick History: 1805 - Lieutenant Zebulan Pike Negotiates a Treaty with the Dakota / Mill City History

1805 - Lieutenant Zebulan Pike negotiates a treaty with the Dakota, who cede territory that includes St. Anthony Falls.

Lieutenant Zebulon Pike becomes the first representative of the young United States to appear in Minnesota. While surveying the Louisiana Purchase, Pike buys a sliver of land--"for a song," he says--from the Dakota. The small area will become the first U.S. outpost in the region, but it is another 14 years before the army follows and begins Fort Snelling.

Above: Courtesy of Mill City Museum



20 Seats Available for the June 19 PSP Chefs for Change Dinner

As of today, only 20 seats remain for the June 19 People Serving People Chefs for Change: A Chef's Table Culinary Experience

Join People Serving People for a dinner hosted by Cosmos restaurant and Executive Chef Timothy Fischer, who brings his award-winning culinary talent to a chef's table experience of a 4-5 course meal with wine pairings.

Dinner is 7:00pm-9:00pm at People Serving People, 614 South 3rd Street. Click here for Tickets

All proceeds help homeless and at-risk children and their families manage crisis situations and build a strong foundation for their long-term success.

RSVP or Questions: Contact Mallory at 612.277.0256 or, or visit


Tips for Keeping Yourself and Pets Safe in Extreme Heat

From the City of Minneapolis website:

With extreme hot temperatures in the forecast, Minneapolis City officials want to remind everyone how to handle the heat. Heat-related illness happens when the body isn’t able to cool itself. Seniors, small children and people with physical disabilities are the most vulnerable to heat-related illness, but everyone should take steps to stay safe in extreme heat.

The Minneapolis Health Department works closely with other local jurisdictions and the Minnesota Department of Health to help people prepare for extreme heat events. Minneapolis has an emergency plan that is used to respond when a heat advisory or warning is called by the National Weather Service. The plan is coordinated with a metro-wide notification plan that reaches out to agencies that serve vulnerable populations.

Tips for preventing heat-related illness during extreme heat:

• Drink more fluids. Drinking fluids helps your body cool itself. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid drinking liquids with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar. They can actually cause your body to lose more fluid. Remind anyone you are responsible for to drink more water.

• Never leave any person or animals in a closed, parked vehicle.

• Wear lightweight, loose-fitted clothing.

• Check on your neighbors who may be at risk. Visit seniors and other vulnerable neighbors at least twice a day and look closely for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Seek medical advice immediately if you notice nausea, weakness, disorientation, rapid pulse and dry skin.

• Take an air conditioning break. Air conditioning is your best defense against heat-related illness. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned and using air conditioning in vehicles. For a list of public, air-conditioned buildings for those who don’t have air conditioning in their homes, go to the City of Minneapolis Health Department’s extreme heat preparedness web page at

• Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. If you must be outside, try to limit your activity to morning and evening hours, pace your activity and take frequent breaks in the shade, drink plenty of fluids, and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.

• Don’t rely on an electric fan. Electric fans may seem to provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Using wet cloths, showers or baths, or a spray of mist on exposed skin will help cool your body temperature.

Protect your pets

The temperature inside a car can change drastically in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t have to be that hot outside for the temperature inside a vehicle to become dangerous to animals left inside – even with windows cracked. Animals left in vehicles can suffer from heatstroke and irreparable organ and brain damage. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control urges pet owners to take special precautions to protect their animals when the heat index is so high. Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe and alive:
• Keep your pet inside and out of the direct sun.
• Be sure your pet has enough clean, cool water.
• Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes – even with the windows partially open.

If you see an animal outside or in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress, call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) immediately – in Minneapolis, dial 311 (612-673-3000). If you believe the situation to be life-threatening, please call 911.

For more information on heat-related illness and how to prevent it, visit the Minneapolis Health Department website.


Public is Welcome at the June 14 Peavey Plaza Stakeholder Meeting

Photo Copyright The Cultural Landscape Foundation 

The City of Minneapolis is moving forward with schematic design development for the renovation of Peavey Plaza. A number of changes are proposed, including new access ramps, fountain rehabilitation, planting and tree modifications, and raising the level of the pool basin. Check out the designs on the City’s Peavey Plaza webpage.

A June 14 Stakeholder Progress meeting will be held at 4:00pm in the Green Room of Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall. All interested parties are welcome to hear project updates and provide input on the rehabilitation of Peavey Plaza.

The goal is to have construction work done by the end of 2018.


Six Opportunities to Participate in Mill Ruins Park Habitat Restoration Activities

Looking for something fun and rewarding to do on a Saturday morning? Consider joining the National Park Service (NPS) volunteer crew for habitat restoration activities in Mill Ruins Park.

Typical NPS Mill Ruins volunteer activities include invasive species removal, occasional planting, and caring for native species that have been planted by other volunteers. 

These drop-in volunteer events will take place at Mill Ruins Park from 9am-12pm on the following Saturdays throughout the summer and fall:

June 24 - July 15 - August 19 - September 9 and 23 - October 14

Gloves, tools, and instruction will be provided. Volunteers bring a water bottle, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and clothes that can get dirty. Chat with a ranger or NPS volunteer crew leader, play in the dirt, and feel good knowing that your efforts are helping to improve the national park in our backyard!

Questions? Contact Ranger Erin Steinhibel at Per Erin, "We are so proud of our volunteers - they even won an award from the Minneapolis Park Board last season because of all their hard work!" 


Agenda for June 8 NIEBNA Board Meeting inc's 2 Development Presentations

Neighborhood Association

The regular board meeting of the Nicollet Island - East Bank Neighborhood Association (NIEBNA) will be held 6:30pm Thursday, June 8 at DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Place on Nicollet Island. (Use leftmost door closest to Downtown.)

Presentations will be made by Mortenson on the US Bank Site development and FE EQUUS Developers on the residential/commercial mixed-use development at East Hennepin and Central Avenue.

Full Agenda 


Local artist Mark Mallman to perform today at Pianos on Parade downtown 

Mark Mallman FREE piano performance

Tuesday, June 6  12:00pm – 1:00pm

Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza (3rd Avenue S & 7th Street S)

Local artist Mark Mallman, known for his marathon music performances that once reached 78 consecutive hours of playing, will be performing at the Pianos on Parade piano located at Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza.

Since 1998, Mallman’s live performances has helped him become a must-see draw. He has his own star on First Avenue, and he has release eight full-length studio albums. Pianos on Parade performance is FREE and open to the public.

Mallman performed his song, “Minneapolis,” and filmed a music video playing all 25 Pianos on Parade over the weekend and posted the video online. You can view it at

Pianos on Parade offers pianos painted by local artists with a “summer in downtown Minneapolis” theme at 25 different locations in our city’s core. The pianos are free for public use daily from June 1 through June 30, and each piano will have a free outdoor performance on Tuesdays in June from 12 pm – 1 pm. More information on Pianos on Parade, produced by the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) in partnership with Keys 4/4 Kids, can be found at

For more information on the Minneapolis Downtown Council, follow @mplsdowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Interact with them using the hashtags #mymplsdt and #pianosonparade.


Check out the Hennepin Gallery "Hats Off to Hennepin County" Exhibit

Via a June 5 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Hats Off to Hennepin County

Mary Tyler Moore was famous for tossing her hat to the wind, but many local celebrities, civic employees, and residents were smart enough to actually hold on to them – we tend to be practical here. The Hennepin History Museum will share part of its hat collection in a new exhibit in downtown Minneapolis. See Barbara Flanagan’s hardhat from a construction project; a top hat belonging to Robert Fremont “Fish” Jones, creator of the Longfellow House and Longfellow Zoo; a 1950s Yellow Cab driver’s hat; an 1860s mourning bonnet; a fireman’s helmet; and more. Wear your own hat for better viewing.

Basic Facts:

  • Features 26 hats
  • Time period ranges from 1840s through 1950s
  • Highlights include hats sold at local department stores: Dayton’s, Young Quinlan, Donaldson’s
  • Uniform hats include a nursing cap worn at Glen Lake Sanatorium in Minnetonka, a nineteenth century Minneapolis fireman’s hat, and a felted police offer’s hat
  • All hats come from Hennepin History Museum’s permanent collections. We use these hats to tell the stories of the people who have lived and worked in Hennepin County over the years.

The public is invited to “Get hands-on with Hennepin County history” on Friday, June 23, at the Hennepin County Government Center, Skyway Level, from noon – 1 p.m. Wear your own favorite hat and stop by for a photo, and view additional hats from the Museum’s collection.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. The exhibit is sponsored by and a project of Hennepin County Communications.


Selling Mill City / 1951 Gold Medal Flour Commercial [Video]

Television commercial circa 1951:


Scenes from the June 3 Mill City Farmers Market

Loon Organics presented the first Sun Gold cherry tomatoes (a.k.a nature's candy) of the season at the June 3 Mill City Farmers Market. Marty from Sunrise Flour Mill, another shopper and I were lucky enough to snap up the very last 4 boxes. Timing is everything!

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

It was a perfect day for Sonny's Ice Cream to make their first appearance of the 2017 Market season.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Art vendor Steel Autumn Studios debuted at the June 3 Market. Josh Neurer (below left) is a talented metal artist who turns scrap metal into unique indoor/outdoor pieces, and his brother Jake (below, right) handles sales and operations. Look for a "Get to Know" post on our Farmers Market blog later this week.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The first strawberries of the season were found at the Bean Market stand.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Sign up for the weekly Mill City Beet e-newsletter - it's sent out each Wednesday and includes the full line up for the upcoming Saturday.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Find GVY Fresh Produce next to Sunshine Harvest Farm, with the Stone Arch Bridge as a their backdrop. They brought the first peas to the 2017 Market.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Smoked salmon and trout from Star Prairie Trout Farm are perfect for salads, spreads, sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres and more. Find them every Saturday in the train shed.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The intoxicating scent of peonies filled the air!

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Happiness is a full market basket. :D

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

The MCFM was the first Zero Waste market in Minnesota. That means everything that isn't recyclable is compostable, including the eating utensils, cups, plates and bowls.

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

I'm pretty sure your dog would love a smoked bone from Barkley's Bistro!

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

June 3, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


Volunteers Needed for June 11 Downtown Open Streets Minneapolis

Via a June 2 e-newsletter from the City of Minneapolis:

Join us June 11th for Downtown Open Streets! Open Streets Minneapolis gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space. With almost one hundred businesses, community groups, and performers on the street - there's something for everyone to enjoy!

Downtown Open Streets needs 100 Volunteers to fire up the event!

Volunteering is the best way to experience Open Streets Minneapolis.Get your free 2017 Open Streets Mpls T-shirt  by volunteering as a Street Ambassador (the most fun job!), Planeteer, Pop-up Protected Bikeway Crew Member or another important volunteer position! There are many fun volunteer options to chose from, so hurry and snag yours before we close the sign up on June 7th! It's a great way for families, neighbors, and friends to volunteer together. Sign up today!

Downtown Open Streets Minneapolis June 11th, 2017 11:00am - 5:00pm 1st Ave N and Washington Ave Downtown


Humans of Hennepin County Library - A Series by Stephanie Glaros

Via a June 2 e-newsletter from Friends of the Hennepin County Library:

For the past few months, Stephanie Glaros, creator of the popular Humans of Minneapolis blog and book of the same name, partnered with Friends of HCL to create a series of heartfelt stories that capture the spirit, energy, and transformational power of our Library:  Humans of Hennepin County Library. So far the response has been overwhelming, with more than 23,000 Facebook likes and thousands more shares and comments.

We want to thank ALL of our participants for sharing their enthusiasm for our Library and their personal library experiences with us. We also want to thank YOU our donors, for your commitment to supporting our Library and the countless people itserves.

Do YOU have a library story to share? We'd love to hear from you! Please write to and tell us what the library has meant to you in your life.

Here's Everything You Need to Plan Your June 10 Northern Spark Adventure!

With 7 sites to see, it's important to plan your transportation to and around Northern Spark this year. All festival sites are walkable from METRO Green Line stations. Some contain compact programmed areas, and others are more spread out. Get ready to ride and walk!

Here are some things to do in advance to make festival navigation easy:

1. Plan your route!
Take a look at the festival areas using our zoomable maps. Make a customized list of the projects you want to visit with our My Night feature. Or stop at any festival Info Tent and pick up a paper map. As long as you find your way to the METRO Green Line, you’ll find the festival.

2. Download a free pass for use on all Metro Transit light rail and bus lines.  
Riding the train is easy! Either print out the downloadable pass or be prepared to show the digital version on your smartphone to a Metro Transit operator if asked.

Free passes are viable from 8:00pm - 6:30am. Service on the METRO Green Line runs regularly until 1:00am, then every half hour until 4:00am.

Ticket machines are located on each train platform if you forget to download a pass or your phone runs out of juice. The Northern Spark Festival Map also functions as a free pass for the METRO Green Line ONLY.

PLEASE NOTE that only the METRO Green Line service runs 24 hours. METRO Blue Line and bus routes end at varying times. Need help planning your trip? Use Metro Transit’s Trip Planner or call 612-373-333, TTY 651-291-0904

3. Park and ride (or walk or cycle).
Drive close to the METRO Green Line, park and ride, walk or cycle your way through the festival.

Tune up your bike and get between festival sites on two wheels. Don’t forget a bike lock, light and helmet. Find Nice Ride stations near some festival locations at

If you plan to drive a vehicle to the festival, be aware of these street closures: in Lowertown: Broadway St. between 4th St E and 5th St E. In Little Africa: Sherburne Ave between Snelling Ave and N Asbury St. In Minneapolis at the Commons: Portland Ave between 4th St and 5th Street.

Street closures take place beginning at 9:00am on Saturday, June 10, through 9:00am on Sunday, June 11.

4. Charge up your phone!
Some Northern Spark projects require the use of a smartphone. Make sure yours is charged and ready to play!

5. Bring a water bottle, or if you forget...
Northern Spark food vendors will not be selling bottled water. Fill up your reusable container or get a one-of-a-kind recycled (washed and sanitized) water bottle at festival Info Tents. Find Tap Mpls stations in Minneapolis and Anthropocene Water Stations in St. Paul.

6. Weather reminder: Northern Spark happens rain or (star) shine.
Visit and follow on social media for night-of changes due to weather.


AchieveMpls Seeks Volunteers to Serve as Graduation Coaches 

Via a July 2 e-newsletter from AchieveMpls:

AchieveMpls Seeks Volunteers to Serve as Graduation Coaches for 9th and 12th Grade Students in Minneapolis Public Schools

AchieveMpls, the nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), is looking for adult volunteers to serve as Graduation Coaches for 9th and 12th grade students in MPS schools during the 2017-18 school year. Whether you're a college student or a retiree, an executive or an artist, we're looking for supportive and open-minded adults who enjoy working with young people.

Graduation Coaches provide one-on-one mentoring to 12th grade students or small groups of 9th graders twice each month during the school day in a classroom setting. They offer additional support via email between sessions. A commitment of 4-6 hours per month throughout the school year is required.

Coaches help students stay on track, build study skills and academic confidence and graduate on time. They also support students in developing healthy peer relationships, connecting with resources and exploring their best options for life after high school—whether that means two or four-year college, technical school, apprenticeships, work experience or other opportunities.

AchieveMpls provides volunteer orientation, program curriculum and ongoing guidance and support throughout the year.

For more information about the program, participant videos and application form, visit or contact Amy Shapiro at or 612-455-1550. All applications are due Friday, June 16.

About AchieveMpls
As the strategic nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), our shared goal is every student career and college ready. Each year we offer personalized planning resources and support for 9,000 students through our Career & College Centers in MPS high schools, provide 750 paid internships and work readiness training for Minneapolis youth through the STEP-UP Achieve youth employment program (part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program), connect 800 community volunteers with students as Graduation Coaches and career exploration volunteers, raise support for MPS strategic priorities, and manage MPS school and department funds.