Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
Email Claudia...

Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
Email Merle...

Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
Email Michael...

Meg Forney

Doug Verdier

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

Cultural Cornerstones
Search Mill City
Recent News
Front Page Archives

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.


Limited Tickets Available for the January 25 and 26 Mill City Youth Players performances at the Guthrie

The Mill City Youth Players will present The M.A.S.K. Project: Meet Us, Ask Us, See Us, Know Us, January 25th and 26th in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio, 7:30pm both nights.

The M.A.S.K. Project: Meet Us, Ask Us, See Us, Know Us, is a performance created by young adults from YouthLink and youth residents of Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood. The group grew their writing and acting skills with Guthrie artists over the past two months, and are ready to come together and share a performance inspired by their personal stories. Building upon last summer’s Be You, Be Seen, Belong event, this one hour performance will feature scenes, music, movement, spoken word and more.

Admission is free, but a tickets are required. 

Sponsored by The Friends of the Mill District in partnership with the Guthrie Theater.


My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 46 - 50)

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 46-50 - click here to see more!


Friends of the Mississippi River Seeks Input on Your Favorite River Views

Via Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) website:

Now through spring 2018, the 25 metro-area cities and towns in our local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, are working to identify scenic river views worth protecting.

Once each city has determined its list, they must work to protect these views according to new state rules that protect the metro river corridor. Let's help our cities compile the best list possible!

Check out the views submitted so far, and then tell us about yours via this form. Views can be toward the river — from a public park, overlook or historic property — or toward the bluffs.


Up to $6.1 Million Available for Housing and Development Projects

Via a January 19 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Up to $6.1 million in funding for housing and development available

Applications due Thursday, February 8

Up to $6.1 million is available to support housing and development projects through Hennepin County's annual coordinated request for proposals (RFP) for development funding.

To maximize county resources and make the application process more efficient, the county coordinates an annual RFP process for several development programs through its Community and Economic Development and Housing Development and Finance divisions and the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA)

Programs included in this year's coordinated development RFP:

Affordable Housing Incentive Fund (AHIF) - $2.7 million
Capital financing to create or preserve long-term affordable housing units throughout Hennepin County for low-income households

HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) - $1.2 million
Flexible federal grant program administered by the county to fund a variety of affordable housing activities for very low- and low-income families or individuals, homeless families, and people with special needs

Transit Oriented Development program (TOD) - $2.2 million
Grants and loans for development projects that enhance transit use along Hennepin County transit corridors and routes

Learn more and apply

Reminder: Starting in 2018, all RFP applications must be submitted using the Hennepin County Supplier Portal. To learn more and register, visit the Supplier Portal information page.

Other development funding opportunities

Hennepin County offers a range of development programs to help build lasting value in local communities. Funding and grant programs for development are designed to encourage private investment that delivers public benefits, like:

  • Creating or preserving affordable housing
  • Growing employment opportunities
  • Redeveloping underutilized property
  • Improving environmental sustainability
  • Growing the tax base
  • Maximizing land use potential
  • Supporting healthy lifestyles

Development programs support a variety of project types, including residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects, and can be used for a range of activities from land acquisition and environmental cleanup to construction and redevelopment.

Learn more about other Hennepin County development programs:

Economic development infrastructure fund
Supports new or expanding businesses constructing or renovating facilities

Community Development Block Grant program
Supports community development activities that benefit low- and moderate-income people

Environmental response fund
Supports assessment and cleanup of contaminated lands

Business recycling program
Supports businesses and organizations start or improve recycling programs and reduce waste

Contact us

Community and economic development 

To learn more about community and economic development funding opportunities or to discuss your development plans, contact:

Patricia Fitzgerald
Hennepin County
Manager, Community and Economic Development | 612-532-4588

Affordable housing development

To learn more about the county's affordable housing development programs or to discuss your housing project, contact:

Margo Geffen
Hennepin County
Manager, Housing and Redevelopment Authority | 612-348-9260



“Minnesota Black History 101: A celebration of Black life, history and culture in Minnesota” on display in Hennepin Gallery through March 28


Via a January 19 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

“Minnesota Black History 101” features artifacts, memorabilia and narratives offering a unique glimpse into the lives of Minnesota’s pioneering African Americans. From the birth of George Bonga in 1802 to civil rights movements and beyond, the exhibit presents Minnesota’s Black history of faith, politics, music, sports and more.  The exhibit will open on Monday, January 22, in the Hennepin Gallery at the Hennepin County Government Center.

In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, the exhibit also features photographs from Vikings team photographer Andy Kenutis and Vikings artifacts from the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibit is curated by Hawona Sullivan Janzen from the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center gallery. Sullivan Janzen has curated many collections and exhibitions throughout the Twin Cities

Christopheraaron Deanes, assistant curator, is a renowned Twin Cities artist and assistant principal at the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

The exhibition and corresponding events are sponsored by the Hennepin County Library in collaboration with the Minnesota African American Museum as part of their “History Comes Alive” series.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis.

The gallery is a project of Hennepin County Communications.


Super Bowl to Alter Some County Service Hours and Locations

Via an e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Hennepin County remains open for business during Super Bowl events, although some services may be limited or moved to other locations.

The county continues to work closely with partner agencies to ensure a smooth experience for visitors, residents and employees who come downtown.

Hour and location details

Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis

  • All offices will remain open during normal business hours, including the service center.
  • District court at this location will hold emergency hearings only during the week of January 29-February 2. Suburban courts will remain in session.

Health Services Building, 525 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis 

Note: Emergency Mental Health services will be available around the clock, as usual. 

Other buildings


  • The parking ramp beneath the Government Center will operate 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 29-February 2. Several dozen public parking spots are based on availability. Parking will be open during the Open Appointment interview process on January 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The ramp will remain closed on weekends.  
  • Parking ramps at Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central and Target Field Station will operate regularly, with $15 event parking beginning at 5 p.m. 

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and the Cedar Cultural Center Win $50,000 Joyce Award

Via a January 17 Press Release from The Joyce Foundation:

Grants Awarded by the Joyce Foundation Will Support New Works Focusing on Diverse Cultures by Musician Aar Maanta and Performer Rosy Simas

The Joyce Foundation announced today that two art collaborations – the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Rosy Simas Danse, as well as the Cedar Cultural Center and Aar Maanta – have each been awarded a 2018 Joyce Award to activate their respective community engagement artworks in the Twin Cities.

The Cedar Cultural Center will partner with Somali musician, Aar Maanta, to produce what is believed to be the first bilingual album of children’s songs tentatively entitled, Children’s Songs from the Somali Diaspora.

Aar Maanta

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts will commission Rosy Simas (Seneca, Heron Clan) to create “Weave,” an intersectional Native dance project that examines the interwoven and interdependent nature of our world.

Rosy Simas

The 2018 Joyce Awards marks the Joyce Foundation’s 15th year offering the prize. Started in 2003, the Joyce Awards is the only regional program dedicated to supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities with the goal of elevating their visibility and recognition in their craft. A distinctive feature of the Joyce Awards is the call for commissioned artists and their host institutions to include a robust community engagement plan as a main component of their projects. Maanta and Simas will engage in community forums, workshops, panel discussions, and one-on-one conversations to create their productions.

“These new works will provide storytelling in fascinating mediums for those young and old,” said Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation. “It is so important to support these Twin Cities artists and organizations so they can bring to life the diverse stories of the communities their work highlights.”

The competition has awarded nearly $3.25 million to commission 59 new works and collaborations between artists and cultural organizations in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The $50,000 award is used towards supporting an artist in the creation and production of a new work and providing the commissioning organization with the resources needed to engage potential audiences, new partners, and their surrounding communities at large.

Minnesota has seen the most Joyce Awards winners with 20 of the 59 total awards to date, delivering $1 million in artistic funding.

“The Twin Cities consistently bring forward impressive projects that position artists as community illuminators and problem solvers,” said Tracie D. Hall, Culture Program Director at the Joyce Foundation. “We are not only excited for the work that Aar Maanta and Rosy Simas will produce but also for the impact these projects have the potential to leave behind.”

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts & Rosy Simas Danse

Rosy Simas is a designer and director of dance, a solo and collaborative performer, and a multidisciplinary teacher, curator and mentor of diverse artists.  A Native feminist, Simas critically centers Native cultural/political persistence while engaging a range of political, social, cultural and personal subjects.

In “Weave,” individual histories will be woven into a performance that envelops the audience in an immersive experience of story, dance, moving image, and sound.  It will be presented in January 2019 as part of the Ordway’s Music & Movement Series.

“Receiving the Joyce Award not only makes possible the Ordway’s commission of ‘Weave,’ but will also support engagements that draw people deeply into both Rosy’s creative process, and the artwork that she and her collaborators create,” said Jamie Grant, President & CEO of the Ordway. “We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the project, and we are very grateful to the Joyce Foundation.” 

“My work furthers an ancestral model of dialogic, peaceful and cross-community-centered direction in my creative process,” said performer Rosy Simas. “Weave will begin in, and return to, community as a way of giving back and remaining engaged with Native people.”   

 “Weave” collaborating organizations include the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine’s University.

The Cedar Cultural Center & Aar Maanta

Aar Maanta is a Somali musician whose activism, work and creativity led him to become a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Council (UNHCR), while leading one of the only active live bands in the world that plays Somali music. His work includes the recent UNHCR campaign about irregular youth migration in the Horn of Africa, Dangerous Crossings, for which his song “Tahriib” was reproduced and performed in collaboration with leading artists from Africa. 

Working with his band and other musicians from Minnesota, Aar Maanta will collaborate with Somali youth in Minneapolis’s Cedar Riverside neighborhood to write and record the first-ever bilingual Somali children's album, which will be released and performed live at the Cedar in 2019.

"This project was inspired by the creativity and passion of the young people I worked with during my previous Cedar residencies, and more recently in refugee camps of Horn of Africa,” said musician Aar Maanta. “I am very excited to get to work more closely with Minneapolis youth and children on this project. It will be a groundbreaking collaboration because it will channel their own experiences into a beautiful album that can speak to young Somalis and children in the United States and throughout the diaspora.”

With millions of young Somalis growing up in diaspora communities around the world, the album aims to provide affirmation and connection to the Somali American youth experience. 

“The Cedar has been building a cherished relationship with Aar Maanta for many years,” said Jessica Rau, Program & Artistic Director at the Cedar. “Our past residencies with him have been significant and meaningful for all of the people he has reached through his time in Minneapolis. The Joyce Award will deepen this impact by allowing Aar Maanta to collaborate with youth in our neighborhood to produce a tangible album of new work that will reach people around the world and last for generations to come.” 

Additional 2018 Award Winners

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit will commission a new theatrical work entitled Salt City by poet and playwright jessica Care moore, reflecting on themes of gentrification and cultural erasure, a much-debated effect of the Motor City’s economic revitalization.

Dancer and choreographer, Onye Ozuzu, will be commissioned by Chicago’s Links Hall for a production that looks at black migration and the city’s unique connections to Haiti and Louisiana.

To view the Joyce Awards’ 15th Anniversary video, please click here.

About The Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation invests in policies, informed by evidence, to improve quality of life, promote safe and healthy communities, and build a just society for the people of the Great Lakes region. The Chicago-based foundation pursues those goals through grants to help prepare the region’s young people to thrive in education, career, and community, and to advance racial equity and economic mobility. The private, nonpartisan foundation centers its grant making in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and seeks opportunities to collaborate on promising policies in other states or at the federal level. It pursues policy and systems reform in five program areas: Education & Economic Mobility, the Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, Democracy, and Culture.  Joyce was established in 1948 by Beatrice Joyce Kean, sole heir to the Joyce family of Clinton, Iowa, which accumulated its wealth in the lumber and related industries. Joyce has budgeted charitable disbursements of $50 million in 2018, on assets of approximately $1 billion. For more information, please visit, or follow us on Twitter (@JoyceFdn) or Facebook (/JoyceFdn).


"The Resistance of My Skin" by Shannon TL Kearns playing at the Crane Theater Feb 16-24

The Crane Theater presents The Resistance of My Skin by Shannon TL Kearns February 16 - 24.

The show is about Ayden, a transgender man, and Jess, a plus-sized woman, who have been dating and now Jess has invited Ayden to come to her place. Tension (of all sorts) is high for both of them as they navigate their fears and try to connect with one another. This heartfelt, hilarious and impactful play asks questions about connections, safety and vulnerability. Come explore what resistance with our bodies looks like.

There are just 40 seats per performance, and each performance is followed by a facilitated talkback. Ticket info:

FridayFebruary 167:30pm

Saturday, February 171:30pmSaturday, February 177:30pm

Monday, February 197:30 (some free tickets available for those in the theatre industry)

Thursday, February 227:30pm

Friday, February 237:30pm

Saturday, February 241:30pmSaturday, February 247:30pm

The Crane Theater is located at 2303 Kennedy St. NE #120a block off Stinson between Hennepin and Broadway Avenues. Follow them on Facebook


Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's 17th Annual Kite Festival

Via a January 10 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board present’s the 17th Annual Kite Festival. Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet! Fun family festival activities include horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, fat bike demos, guided nature hikes, ice fishing on the lake, and a marshmallow roast. Minnesota Kite Society experts will demonstrate maneuvering spectacular kites throughout the day, offer their expertise to kite flying enthusiasts and to those who are new to the pastime. Bring your own kite, or buy an inexpensive one at the lake. 

The Kite Festival is a FREE family oriented, outdoor event which takes place on Sat., January 27 from noon to 4 pm.  The Kite Festival is great for all ages and abilities.  Held at the north end of Lake Harriet near the Bandshell (4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway). Free lot parking is available on site, please keep in mind lots fill quickly, however free, on-street parking is available throughout the neighborhood and a shuttle will be available leaving from Linden Hills Park (3100 W 43rd St. Minneapolis) from 11:45 am to 4 pm. West Lake Harriet Parkway delays are expected. Allow ample time to find a spot and walk to the venue.

A huge thanks to our partners Linden Hills Neighborhood Council and the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood and sponsors that help make the Kite Festival a success, especially TEA2 Architects and Renewal by Andersen.


Embrace Winter at the North Mississippi Regional Park

Kroening Winter

What's Happening at North Mississippi Regional Park in January and February?

What a fantastic area to get fresh air and exercise while connecting with nature. Public programs are FREE for all ages (unless noted otherwise). Here's what you can look forward to in January and beyond at the Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park:

Family Funday: Winter Arts & Animals - Sunday, Jan 14 1-3pm

Come learn about our neighborhood native species.Meet some MN animals up-close, then let nature inspire your creation of winter themed artwork to take home. Activity #81494

Outdoors: Bushcraft - Saturday, Jan 20 1:30-3pm
Practice your winter skills in the park. Learn how to build shelters, track animals and discover some strategies Minnesota animals use to protect against the cold. Activity #81505

Hike: Watching Wildlife - Saturday, Jan 27 2-3pm
Find out how to identify animal tracks, scat and other signs as we hike the park looking for animals and the stories their presence leaves behind. Activity #81539

OPEN SNOWSHOEING Saturdays in January: 13, 20, 27 11am-3pm
Get some wonderful exercise while recreating in nature by checking out a pair of snowshoes to explore the park!  Activity #81486   Activity #81487   Activity #81488
Public programs are FREE for all ages. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Valentine's Day Stargazer Snowshoeing - Wed, Feb 14 7-8:30pm
Spend Valentine’s Day on a snowshoe hike through the park to look at the stars. Discover the wonders of astronomy and hear various cultural tales of the constellations while sipping hot cocoa. We will have a telescope set up and binoculars available. Ages18+ Registration Fee $5  Activity #81587
School Release Days - Winter Fun & Games:  Jan 25 & 26  8am-4pm
Get ready for snow filled fun! Build shelters, snowmen and other creations outside. Hike through the park and play games on snowshoes. Make art, toss snowballs, and warm up inside with hot cocoa.  Activity #81514  Registration Fee $50
Outdoor Engineering: February 16th  8am-4pm
Ready, set, build! Develop your skills as we build shelters, towers, snowmen and more. Complete building challenges and become a master outdoor engineer!  Activity #81581  Registration Fee $30

New! Nature Nuts Play Group Fridays

Come with your little one to play and have fun in nature with other children and parents/guardians. Each day is different, but will have nature themes about animals, plants, and seasons. Enjoy the outdoors together all winter! Ages: For kids 6 and under with an adult.

This is an Adult/Child interactive program. Registration Fee $15

Winter weather is always changing! Wear clothes and shoes for playing outside.

January 12th - February 2nd 2:30-3:30pm Activity #81729

February 23rd - March 16th  2:30-3:30pm   Activity #81730

More Ways to Enjoy the Park

Stop by the front desk to check out binoculars, nature activity packs and nature guides. Or, talk with a naturalist to meet and learn about the education animals.

Like North Mississippi on Facebook to stay in the loop about what’s happening in our park! Learn more about North Mississippi Regional Park at our website

Winter building hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 12-4pm; Monday CLOSED

Contact Info: Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Court, Minneapolis, MN 55430  Phone: 612-370-4844, Email:


Congratulations to Jacob Frey, our new Mayor!

Photo credit: Rick Kittock

I hope you're ready for a visible, accessible, energetic, caring, engaged and humble Mayor - because as of yesterday, he's officially here! Congratulations, Jacob Frey!

Watch Jacob's swearing in speech and see for yourself:


Mill City Youth Players Present . . . 

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

Many of you were lucky enough to attend the August 24th production, ‘Be You, Be Seen, Belong’ by the Mill City Youth Players at the Guthrie's Dowling Studio. It was a night to remember, filled with pure magic. They are at it again, and a few weeks away from the next production.  

Actors from YouthLink and the Cedar Riverside neighborhood have been rehearsing since November 15.  Twenty young people meet on the 8th floor of the Guthrie several late afternoons every week to study movement and voice with Guthrie Teaching Professional, H. Adam. Some of the afternoons are spent working on writing under the tutelage of Dr. Carra Martinez, Director of Community Engagement. On other afternoons, Jessica Finney, another Guthrie Teaching Professional (pictured below with members of the Mill City Youth Players), directs the actors as they rehearse the production that will be written by them!

The August production was sold out with standing room only. We decided that two performances would be important after that experience. These performances will be at 7:30pm on January 25th and 26th in the Dowling Studio on the 9th floor of the Guthrie. While the actors are hard at work, no decision has been made about the title as of yet.

Please reserve one of these evenings and know that the ticket availability will be shared with everyone as soon as we know! You will not want to miss this amazing opportunity. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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).



Scarf Day at St. Joan of Arc - Mill City Singers Create Hand Painted Silk Scarves for Future Performances

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock 

The best thing about being on the board of the Friends of the Mill District is that all of the work we do is about community. We create and support new ways to be part of this vibrant neighborhood. When the Mill City Singers began, over 2 years ago, it was immediately apparent that this would be an incredible community of singers and friends. We work hard to be open and accessible to everyone in our community, and to present no barriers that would keep anyone out. It has been a success with over 200 singers on the roster, and too many performances to list.

We have struggled to find a way to identify as a group when we are in public. The ideas of hats and woven scarves were discussed and quickly discarded. Vicki Underland-Rosow, a singer and artist, asked me if she could organize a group of volunteers from the Singers to paint silk scarves to be worn when the Singers perform.  She explained that the cost would be minimal, the results original and beautiful. The board joyfully said, “YES!”

On January 6, a group of volunteers gathered at St. Joan of Arc to learn how to paint silk scarves. After several hours of work, laughter, lunch, and artistry, 100 scarves had been designed and created. They are amazing artistic creations.

Member of the Mill City Singers sporting their newly created silk scarves.

Community means everyone contributes. Community means we are all included and all of our ideas considered. What happened on January 6 was the essence of community. A member of the Singers created an idea, the charity ordered the supplies and brought coffee and lunch, a group of volunteers spent a day making these incredible creations, and the Mill City Singers now have an identifying piece of art that will be worn by every singer during our performances. What could be better? If you think you may want to join this group, please contact Claudia Kittock at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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).



Alan Page Collection Events Aim to Reframe Conversations About Racial Justice

Via an e-newsletter from Hennepin County Library:

Film screenings, talk by Hall of Famer Alan Page during Super Bowl expand on exhibit's messages 

A series of free events will appeal to football fans during Super Bowl LII, while also broadening and deepening the conversation around racial justice. The events are concurrent with the TESTIFY exhibit at Hennepin County Library's Cargill Hall, a display of selected art and artifacts from the Diane and Alan Page Collection, which chronicle our nation's racial history. 

Alan Page addresses difficult questions 

NFL Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page will present a talk titled "TESTIFY: It’s Not About the Flag or the Anthem, It’s About Justice." The address will respond to the controversy surrounding NFL protests and will attempt to shift the focus from whether player protests are appropriate back onto the underlying issue of racial justice.  

The event will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2 to 4 p.m., at Hennepin County Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall. The exhibit is on view January 8-February 6.

Film screenings explore Page's life story

NFL Films chronicles Alan Page's life in "Black Star Risen," a film produced by David Plaut. As a player, Page redefined the defensive tackle position in pro football and made the Hall of Fame – only to leave the game behind for a new career in law and education. Another film, ‘A Football Life: Alan Page’ is a documentary about Page’s journey in sports and beyond.

Both movies will be screened at Thursday, February 1, Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3, at 3 to 5 p.m., at Hennepin County Library.

The collection traces the history of race in America

The Diane and Alan Page Collection is a selection of art and artifacts that paint a portrait of race relations and representation in the 19th through 21st centuries. Gathered by Diane and Alan Page over decades of civic engagement and very personal work in their community, the collection reflects their belief that even as we face the most painful aspects of our past so that they will not be repeated, we must also find bright moments of transcendence that point another way forward. 

Learn more about the exhibit 

The TESTIFY exhibit is presented at Cargill Hall with the support of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, the National Football League, the Minnesota Vikings, The McKnight Foundation, the Pohlad Companies, The Minneapolis Foundation, Robins Kaplan LLP and Tunheim.

For additional information about the collection and the TESTIFY exhibit, please visit The Diane and Alan Page Collection Facebook pageTwitter feed or Instagram.


Super Bowl-related Activity at The Commons

Via an e-newsletter from Green Minneapolis:

NOTE: The NFL and its vendors will begin working in the area this weekend. Here is an overview of what's in store: 

Super Bowl at The Commons - Overview:

- The East Block of The Commons will be an entry point to the stadium on game day. There will be no public activities at The Commons in the week prior to the game.

- The East Block of The Commons will be closed to the public from January 6 - February 9, 2018.

- The West Block of The Commons will remain open and accessible for public use from January 6 - February 9, 2018.

- Commons hosts will continue to assist visitors, remove trash, etc. on the West Block of the park.

Public Meeting about Super Bowl activity:

Join Kyle Chank, Vice President of Operations & Logistics for Super Bowl Host Committee, and Council Member Lisa Goodman for an informational meeting on how the Super Bowl will effect your neighborhood. Hear how the event will benefit residents and how you can participate in all of the events around town. Learn more about travel, security and the great events happening in your neighborhood.

Both meetings will occur January 11 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave S:

6:00 - 7:15pm: Geared towards residents living close to NICOLLET MALL AND THE CONVENTION CENTER

7:30 - 8:15pm: Geared towards residents living close to THE STADIUM

Key Dates for Commons activity:

- January 4/5: Commons restrooms relocated to West Block near Portland Avenue/5th Street

- January 5: East Block/NFL: Equipment delivery

- January 6: East Block/NFL: Protective flooring and perimeter fence installation begins

- January 7: East Block/NFL: Tent installation begins

- January 15: East Block/NFL: Interior tent buildout

- January 23: East Block/NFL: Audio and visual, wayfinding screens, graphics installation. 

There will be some sound testing during setup, but systems will only operate on game day, or if temperatures are particularly low and equipment needs to stay warm.

- February 2: Removal of restrooms on West Block.

There will be no public restrooms available at The Commons until Feb 12.

- February 4: Super Bowl

All attendees exit the game on the west side of the stadium, headed toward downtown ~10pm. Expect significant pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood.

- February 5-9: East Block/NFL: Clean up and load-out

- February 12: Reinstallation of Commons restrooms on East Block

More information:

Please see the Host Committee's Know Before You Go guide and website for more information about activities and happenings in town, as well as key transit and traffic information.

Green Minneapolis is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 multi-project conservancy established to advance the vitality of downtown Minneapolis through parks, greening and program activation. Green Minneapolis engages in strategic public, private and philanthropic partnerships to advance the common goal of creating a vibrant public realm.


Progress at Peavey Plaza

Excerpt from a January 3 e-newsletter from Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM):

Photo Copyright The Cultural Landscape Foundation 

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has been a strong advocate for the preservation of Peavey Plaza since 2008, when it was first identified as an endangered property. After several twists and turns, including a demolition proposal by the City of Minneapolis, a subsequent legal challenge by PAM and The Cultural Landscape Foundation, listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and a preservation-focused legal settlement, rehabilitation work is due to begin on Peavey Plaza in 2018.

The landscape design by Coen + Partners and Preservation Design Works is nearing completion, and the city anticipates going out for bid next week. The design will result in some noticeable changes, but PAM and our partners, including TCLF, Docomomo US MN, and Preserve Minneapolis, continue to advocate for the retention and rehabilitation of features that reflect Peavey Plaza’s historic character. Check out the 90% plans and the evolution of the rehabilitation design on the city’s website.


Minneapolis Streets Closing Around US Bank Stadium in Preparation for Super Bowl LII  

Via a January 2 e-newletter from the City of Minneapolis:

The City began the first phase of street closures around U.S. Bank Stadium this morning in preparation for Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4.
The closures include:
• Chicago Avenue between Fourth and Sixth streets;
• Norm McGrew Place between Third and Fourth Street; and
• Fifth Street South between 11th Avenue South and the loading dock of the 511 Building.

The closures will remain in effect until mid-February.

Super Bowl road closure map
Over the past several months, the City of Minneapolis has worked closely with stakeholders, including the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, NFL, their vendors and several other local partners to craft a traffic management plan that will enhance the Super Bowl LII experience while providing as minimum disruption to traffic and parking as possible.

Stay up-to-date on the latest information related to Super Bowl LII street closures by signing up for City traffic alerts at For more City-related Super Bowl LII information, go to For additional travel tips for the 10-day Super Bowl festival, visit


Super Bowl LIVE: 10-day Fan Event on Nicollet Mall, Jan 26 - Feb 4

Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon is a 10-day fan festival taking place January 26 - February 4 on Nicollet Mall. Free and open to the public, Super Bowl LIVE will feature something for everyone, including free live concerts, national broadcast activations, food and fun, with nods to winter that showcase Minnesota's authentic, Bold North brand.

Music acts include the likes of Morris Day and the Time, The Revolution, Dessa, Vocal Essence, The Suburbs, The Steeles and more.

Bold North photo opportunities for fans will include snow globes, ice jerseys, and ice sculptures.

A drum and dance exhibition will be celebrated every evening at 5:00PM by Native American school children.

Check the website for updates as the event draws near. 


Minneapolis Super Bowl Media Coverage

In-depth coverage of the Minneapolis Super Bowl

WEEK OF 12/11/2017

Minneapolis officials ask for National Guard help during Super Bowl
Host Committee will pick up cost; move would free up police for other duties.

Prince tribute, J.Lo among performances set ahead of Super Bowl
Jennifer Lopez will headline a VIP concert series at downtown’s Minneapolis Armory the night before next February’s Super Bowl game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Keeping Super Bowl Fans Connected at U.S. Bank Stadium
What's a Super Bowl without a selfie to prove you were there?

612Brew, Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph to release beer for Super Bowl
A Northeast Minneapolis brewery is celebrating the Super Bowl a way only a brewery could: by brewing a limited-edition beer.

Oft-burned Vikings fans temper joy to avoid Super Bowl jinx
Vikings fans whisper "Skol!" trying not to tempt their Super Bowl karma.

Click to read more ...


Key North Boutique: Both Fashion and Fairness

Article and photos by Merle Minda

Key North Boutique is on First Avenue NE with its own parking lot!Key North Boutique is a mixture of influences – beautiful influences, actually. Begun 12 years ago in the Hennepin Avenue North East retail district, the store presents a mixture related to the symbiotic relationship of its two owners, who have also been partners for thirty-five years and married for the last four. Katie Greene and Gwen Engelbert could be called Northeast Minneapolis fixtures, but in truth, they have worked hard for their achievements.

Their approach to buying and stocking their store goes far beyond its stunning offerings and affordable pricing. Sustainability is their watchword. What does this mean? It means they only stock products that are “eco-sustainable”, made more of organic, natural fibers – with less dye and often fabrics made by hand. They insist their manufacturers pay fair wages, a “Living Wage”, no matter what country they are made in. They research the factories of their designers and suppliers, to ensure there are no ‘sweat shops’ and no child labor involved and that their other criteria are met. It perhaps takes more time than it should, but “it is well worth it,” says Gwen.

Katie Greene and Gwen Engelbert; owners/proprietors of Key North Boutique

Even with these restrictions that they put on their own buying choices, they feel they have ended up buying better quality clothing overall. Their fashion goals are to be “ageless, talking style and fashion for every age woman," notes Katie.

A gorgeous necklace and matching bracelet by NYC award-winning designer Natalie FrigoAnd it works – their raft of dedicated customers head for Key North first to find what they are looking for. “Our stock turns over every couple of months,” says Katie. “And our 360 cashmeres can be gone in far less time,” she continues.

Stop in and see – from good-looking separates, slacks and sweaters, they also have a wide variety of jeans, jackets, marvelous hats, all sorts of accessories and jewelry to die for! Patterns and designs tend to be unique and not easily found elsewhere due to their savvy buying. They are at market at least six times a year, and many of their manufacturers are from Europe and the Far East as well as the United States.

"Something for everyone," says Katie Greene

Cashmere hats with a mink topping? "Why not," says Gwen Engelbert“Our stock can take you from morning ‘til night, from casual to dressy,” note Katie and Gwen almost in unison. They were early adopters of e-commerce and send out a regular online newsletter with tips, ideas and new designers coming into the fold. “Our customers often have a particular point of view, they want to look classy and maybe a bit different, even a little artsy,” the partners continue. And their customer base has become very loyal, returning season after season to get the Key North “look.” During the year they hold a series of special events, often featuring one or more of their jewelry designers – these are worth watching for. And there are interesting designer salons coming up yet this winter, so stay in touch.

Katie likes this one!In short, it is a partnership that works on so many levels. Katie and Gwen’s son John is a Twin Cities architect who was recently married to Anna, so their family is growing. We, who are both friends and customers, treasure Katie and Gwen’s warmth and friendship, not to mention their sustainable beauty and very, very good taste.

Key North Boutique is located at 515 First Avenue NE in Minneapolis (almost adjacent to the Red Stag Supperclub). And, wonder of wonders in this busy neighborhood, they have their own parking lot! Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm, 612-455-6666, Facebook.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 

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.