Category Archives: Minneapolis/St Paul

Bee there for the Love Honey!

Are you pro-pollinator, concerned about healthy bees and the environmental and political challenges that threaten the bee population?  Do you plan your spring planting options with an eye to seeds that promise to attract bees? Do you visit the Ag Building at the State Fair just to see the latest from the state’s award-winning beekeepers?

Have you ever sampled – or even cooked up a batch of — “Love Honey?”

If you’ve read this far you are probably a pollinator advocate and have already sent in your reservation for the fourth annual Dandelion Honey Pastry Chef Challenge.  Sponsored by Beez Kneez, (https://thebeezkneezdelivery.com/) and catered by Chow Girls, the challenge is set for Wednesday, April 26, 6:00-9:00 PM at the Solar Arts, 711 NE 15th Avenue, in Northeast Minneapolis.

Speaker for the evening is well-known entomologist Dr. Marla Spivak of the U of M Bee Lab.  (https://www.beelab.umn.edu)  Dessa will emcee the evening, which will also include live entertainment from Dreamland Faces, Appetite for Change’s Urban Youth “Grow Food” and appearance by the Minnesota Rollergirls.   And, yes, you will have an opportunity taste test sweets from competing professional pastry chefs and “savories” from local restaurants.

The Dandelion Honey Pastry Chief Challenge is sponsored by Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives, a Bees Kneez campaign that has been successful in passing pollinator legislation and in raising public awareness of the environmental challenges to pollinators.

Love Honey is the honey made from dandelions, the first flowers of spring where bees can find food.  As planners note, “the public, for the most part, does not show dandelions love.”  Instead we spray lawns and kill the pollinators so essential to our food and flowers.  A loss to gourmets and honey lovers because,  Beez Kneez event planners insist, “the honey is delicious.”

Much more about Beez Kneez, including photos of their bicycle delivery system and the Beez  Kneez Honey House, plus their community-based popular learning opportunities here:  https://thebeezkneezdelivery.com

Cost of the Dandelion Honey Pastry Chef Challenge is $35.

 

Earth Day 2017 – A global/national/local movement!

Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2017 is a celebration of our magnificent planet and a call to those who share this earth to both appreciate and protect this earthly heritage.  In wise and wonderful ways earthlings are embracing the challenge.  A mere sampling of Earth Day happenings!

These articles from Common Dreams describe the global context in which concerned scientists and citizens are taking initiative at the national, state and local levels.

Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2017 is a celebration of this magnificent planet and a call to those who share this earth to both appreciate and protect our earthly heritage.  In wise and wonderful ways earthlings are embracing the challenge.  A mere sampling of Earth Day happenings:

These articles from Common Dreams describe the global context in which concerned scientists and citizens are taking initiative at the national, state and local levels.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/20/peoples-climate-changing-directions-its-too-late

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/20/fight-our-future-march-science-rallies-planned-worldwide

In this country, the Earth Day March for Science set for Washington, DC has been well covered by the media.  More important, the March for Science has morphed into a network of state and local marches.  An earlier post about the Minnesota March for Science suggests some relevant links:   (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/march-for-science/)

Earth Day has also inspired countless local initiatives.  The buzz in my Northeast Minneapolis community is the Earth Day 5K Bee Run/Walk and Earth Day River Cleanup. Yes, there is a run/walk – on-site registration at 7:30 with the 5K beginning at 9:00 AM.  Sponsored by the Great River Coalition, the run/walk is just one of several events that will be happening along the Mississippi on Earth Day.

Another goal of the day is to create a pollinator pathway along the Mississippi River.  The local effort is part of a national movement to save the bee population by creating a healthy habitat for the bees.  In the words of U of M entomologist, Dr. Marla Spivak, “our bees (all of them, honey and wild bees), need good clean food (flowers)! Lots of flowers that grow over the growing season will help bees have good nutrition, immunity, and health.”

Minnesota Native Landscapes will also be on hand with pollinator-friendly plants, seeds, local origin perennial plants, native wildflowers and grasses.  There will be prizes galore and, best of all, native plant experts to answer questions!

Details:

  • Registration opens at 7:30 AM  ($40 on race day, kids 6 and under free)
  • Fun Run/Walk starts at 9:00 AM
  • River cleanup starts at 9:30 AM – bags and gloves will be provided
  • The Run/Walk/River Cleanup will wrap up @12:30

Follow the day on Facebook @ greatrivercoalition.com/events

 

Looking ahead to Indie Bookstore Day – April 29, 2017

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

 Henry Ward Beecher 

Chilly temperatures notwithstanding, it must be Spring!  And that means that it’s time to mark the last Saturday in April to join in Independent Bookstore Day – specifically to tour as many as possible of the unique and spectacular indie bookstores that call this community home   There will be author visits and readings, music, children’s events, and a chance to meet and greet the friendly bibliophiles who staff the region’s scores of independent bookstores.

As the promo material for the day points out, “Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers.  They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity.  They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.”  The point, as I see it, is that not just the bookstores but their supporters are unique and independent!

There will be much more publicity, including on this blog, as the date approaches.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share a small story that reflects the relationship that readers share with their favorite indie:

Bethany Clarke was a long-time regular at Eat My Words! Bookstore, a very special used bookstore in Northeast Minneapolis.  I never met Bethany but I share with her a devotion to this book lover’s dream destination.  It’s also the site of our weekly Voices of Northeast interviews with reps of the Northeast Minneapolis book/reading community.   (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/voices-of-northeast-minneapolis-captured-and-shared-on-video/)

One of the charming features of EMW is the busy all-purpose check-out desk where phones rings, customers request specific titles, Jimmy the USPS delivery man delivers and picks up tons of mail orders, neighbors drop in – and some of us show up for a weekly “shoot.”

If you hang out at that busy desk you soon spot a little box of miscellany.  As it turns out, EMW staffers collect the stuff found in used books, returned books, etc.  Everything from book marks to family photos to newspaper clippings, cartoons, personal notes and more.  Like many customers, including me, Bethany perused the contents of that little box.  Then Bethany took the next step – she assembled the collection in a booklet, appropriately entitled “Eat My Scraps: Things found in the pages of books at Eat My Words Bookstore” –self-published in Minneapolis, MN, November 2016.  It’s a limited edition, and a grateful patron’s way of thanking EMW for the many hours of reading pleasure the shop has provided.

I love the story – it made me think that other faithful customers might want to do something personal to express their Thank You to a special indie on April 29.

My personal thank you to EMW is to encourage every independent reader to visit the shop and to subscribe to the bookstore’s “way above average” newsletter! More about EMW, their public programs and a chance to subscribe to the newsletter here: http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE;  http://www.midwestbooksellers.org/twin-cities-ibd-passport.html — The basics re. this year’s bookstore passports!  

UPDATE:  Reflections on the new Amazon bookstore in Chicago – need we know more… Chicago’s Amazon Books: ‘No Quirks, No Warmth, No Store Cat’

“Amazon Books on Southport Avenue, the fifth physical store from the Seattle online giant and its first in the Midwest, is a deeply, unsettlingly normal place, a soulless, antiseptic 6,000 square feet, a stone’s throw from a J. Crew and a SoulCycle. It has the personality of an airport bookstore and conveys all the charm of its stone floor. Shopping there is as frictionless as a one-click purchase. There are no quirks, no attempts at warmth. There is no store cat. There are no handwritten notes about what the staff loves. The only difference between the children’s section and the rest of the store is that the children’s section has a rug. It is, in businessspeak, a bricks-and-mortar presence, so unimaginative its facade is brick.

“Body snatchers come to mind.”

–Christopher Borrelli in a column in the Chicago Tribune about the new Amazon Books store in Chicago.

UPDATE: Tribute published in ShelfAwareness 4/25/17

UPDATE:  My Bookstore: ‘A Love Letter to Indies’- PUBLISHED IN SELF AWARENESS 4/25/17

In 2012, Black Dog & Leventhal (one of our favorite names for a book publisher) published My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, a tribute to independent bookstores by 84 well-known writers. Edited by industry veteran Ronald Rice, illustrated by Leif Parsons and with a foreword by author Richard Russo, the book included essays by, among others, Fannie Flagg, John Grisham, Isabel Allende, Dave Eggers, Wendell Berry, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Lisa See and Erin Hildebrand. Sometimes funny, often entertaining and always heartfelt, their contributions emphasized something readers may not be aware of: the many ways that indie bookstores are crucial to writers, particularly as they begin their careers and need help introducing their work and themselves to readers. In addition, indies keep established writers connected with their readers and with the wider book world. Bookstores also help writers in the same way they do other customers: introduce them to books and authors they wouldn’t know about otherwise, and offer them all the activities, services and charm that indies provide.

Earlier this month, My Bookstore was released in paperback; this updated edition features contributions from nine more writers and an afterword by Emily St. John Mandel. This version is timed to appear in connection with the third annual Independent Bookstore Day, which takes place this coming Saturday, April 29. My Bookstore offers book lovers a great opportunity to read more by their favorite writers, and about their favorite bookstores.

Editor Ronald Rice commented: “The new edition comes at a time when I see a bumper crop of new independent bookstores opening. I’m very encouraged. I hope the book is a legacy of the spirit and vital importance of independent bookselling.” He also called My Bookstore “a love letter to the indies,” a description and sentiment we embrace–in a variety of ways.

 

Library Salon Series explores role of art, crafts

The lessons I first learned from knitting keep showing me this truth: that a kind of radical acceptance of errors and an appreciation for our human capacity for resiliency – that’s what’s truly precious. – Bernadette Murphy

These thoughts of a needle worker, quoted in the most recent BookWomen, reflect the theme of the first in the forthcoming series of Library Salons sponsored the American Craft Council Library.

The Library Salon series begins on Wednesday, March 8, when the speaker will be Dr. Amy Elkins, assistant professor of English at Macalester College. (https://www.macalester.edu/academics/english/facultystaff/emyelkins/) Elkins presentation, “The Craft of Survival,” will “trace the history of needlepoint from King Tut’s tomb and Florentine tapestries to Victorian drawing rooms and contemporary creativism.”

Future Library Salons will feature these guests.

  • April 12 – “Situated Somewhere In-Between: Paper Works by Mary Hark.” (http://www.maryhark.com) Papermaker and educator Mary Hark makes high quality paper from urban bio-waste.   Her materials include local plants found on a restored prairie in rural Madison, WI. She also works with Ghanaian colleagues to establish a small paper mill for art, design and small industry. In both settings her goal is to build a creative life grounded in making and community-building.
  • May 10 – Objects and Installations: The Work and Residencies of Artist Emily Nachison. (http://www.bullseyeglass.com/art/emily-nachison.html) Through sculptural objects and installations the artist investigates the use of story, symbols and materiality to mythologize natural phenomena, escapism, and the desire for secret knowledge.

Library Salons meet at 7:00 PM at the American Craft Council Library, located in the historic Grain Belt Building, 1224 Marshall Street, in Northeast Minneapolis. The Salons are free and open to the public; all are wheelchair accessible. Sponsors of the Library Salon Series include Northeast Bank, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and T-Rex Cookie Company.

 

 

 

 

 

Wintertide offers warm welcome to art lovers in NE Minneapolis

The world – well, Minnesotans and neighbors for sure – know Northeast Minneapolis as home of Art-a-Whirl, the springtime extravaganza showcasing the work of hundreds of artists who create works of art – and often live – in Northeast Minneapolis. Less well known is Wintertide, the biennial juried art exhibition that celebrates the work of the ever-growing community of the arts represented through the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. (NEMAA)(https://nemaa.org)

The 2017 Exhibition is currently happening in Northeast Minneapolis– ongoing through February 11. Exhibition site is the Public Functionary ((http://publicfunctionary..org/wintertide-biennial-jured-art-exhibit/), Public functionary is located at 1400 12th Avenue NE – this is on Buchanan Street NE, just North of Broadway)   Visitors to the exhibit will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite “Audience Choice” award to be announced at the closing reception.

Exhibit hours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Noon–6:00 p.m. with special open hours Friday, February 10, 7:00–11:00 p.m.  The exhibition is sponsored by Cedarwoods Foundation.

We Love Our Presidents 2017!

 

We Love Our Presidents

Saturday, February 18, 2017

WALK & Celebration 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Celebrating our NE Presidential Streets: Washington to Kennedy Streets in Northeast Minneapolis

Walk begins at 10:00 followed by noon celebration

In his positive FB post community leader Paul Ostrow reminds young neighbors and their elders that “You don’t have to love all the Presidents to Love Our Presidents Walk. It is a great way to celebrate American history and our northeast community at the same time.”

Recognizing the value of being inclusive, and knowing that the legendary event honors the legacy of their community, Northeast Minneapolis youth will join in the traditional President’s Day walk. Neighbors of every age who live and learn on streets that bear the names that honor the memories of national leaders will walk to celebrate and learn about their neighborhood and past presidents of the U.S.

Northeast neighbors – including Northeasters past, present and future, their friends and families – will gather at 10:00 AM at Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue Northeast – All will walk up Central Avenue with a pause for a cocoa break at Eastside Food Coop – then on to Audubon Park and further on to Northeast Middle School for a chance to warm up and enjoy a chili lunch break that features drawings, presidential trivia, awards for the locally famous coloring contest, and a chance to mingle with friends and neighbors.

http://WeLoveOurPresidents.com/

Facebook.com/WeLoveOurPresidents

 

Building a collection and a community: The John Glanton F Collection

I believe that any people’s story is every people’s story, and that from stories, we can all learn something to enrich our lives.

Harriette Gillem Robinet

Building the library from the outside in comes full circle as the Hennepin County Library Digital Collections staff reaches out to further develop the John F. Glanton Collection of photographs. The 800 photographs in the collection reflect, and capture for posterity, the lives of African Americans who lived in the Twin Cities during the post WWII years.

In brief, John F. Glanton (1923-2004), a civil engineer by profession, was also an accomplished photographer.   With the fervor, without the solipsism, of today’s selfie enthusiasts, he carried his Graflex black and white camera everywhere – to weddings, parties, sports events, musical performances, church functions and family gatherings – wherever members of African American community of St. Paul and Minneapolis gathered during the late 1940’s.

Though Glanton didn’t talk much about his photographic collection, when he died at age 80, his family discovered and recognized the value the permanent record he had created. Fortunately, they realized that the collection deserved to be shared with posterity. The family donated the entire collection of 800 photographic negatives to the Hennepin County Library Special Collections.

Recognizing the value of the visual record, librarians encountered just one challenge:   Glanton was more interested in capturing, than captioning…

The photographer who had recorded all those hundreds of images had not identified his subjects – no doubt because the viewers would easily recognize their friends and family!

The solution: To build the collection from the outside in by engaging the public in the process – and fun – of identifying the subjects of Glanton’s photos.

Thus, on a warm day last July, generous members of the public gathered at Hosmer Library to enhance the resources of the Hennepin County Library by supplying names – and stories — for the subjects that Glanton had photographed.   The story of that project was widely shared in the local press; check these links for an overview of what’s preserved in the Glanton collection:

Members of the public also participated in follow-up sessions again at Hosmer Library and at St Peter Claver Church in St Paul.

Today, the photographs, now digitized, captioned and partially searchable, are an important feature of the Library’s Digital Collections. (See earlier posts on this blog.) And yet, the Glanton Collection remains a work-in-progress. Because many of Glanton’s subjects are not yet identified librarians continue to turn to the public to lend their eyes and memories to the group effort.

One way to contribute is as easy as a click on the collection to view the photos; if you are able to identify an event or subject, simply make a note in the “comments” section at the bottom of the screen for each photo. http://digitalcollections.hclib.org/cdm/search/collection/p17208coll1 Another possibility is to contact the library directly (specialcoll@hclib.org or 612 543 8200) to share the information or to obtain further information.

Or make it a social event by taking part in a gathering similar to the Hosmer and St. Peter Claver events. Staff of Special Collections are now working with staff at Sumner Library to schedule a Glanton Collection event in North Minneapolis, tentatively set for sometime in March. Staff are also working with the family that donated the photographs to plan an event during Black History Month in February.