Category Archives: Things to do in Minnesota

Art-A-Whirl: Northeast Mpls artists open studios, create community

Art – along with a certain amount of dust – is in the air as the creative makers of the Northeast Minneapolis arts community ready themselves and their workspaces for Art-A-Whirl 2017!   A-A-W is the crowning jewel in the star-studded diadem of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Agency.  (https://nemaa.org/about/ne-minneapolis-arts-district)

Much of the dust is coming from the studios of the artists – a sure sign that this is no ordinary “art fair.”  A-A-W is, first and foremost, the nation’s largest open studio tour of the working spaces of artists and crafters who work, and often live, in Northeast.  Paintings, pottery, mobiles, furniture, photos, tapestries, sketches, rugs, art books, and a host of unique renderings of the artists’ imaginations and talents are poised for last minute touch-ups and final presentation to the public.

Music also fills the air, much flowing from the studios of A-A-W host artists and crafters. Neighborhood boutiques, coffee shops and the renowned eateries and pubs of Northeast are primed for visitors!

A totally family-friendly weekend  A-A-W offers the rare opportunity to tour not only galleries but artists’ working spaces.  Visitors of all ages will have a chance to observe the makers of art at work – sculpting, glass blowing, painting, weaving, printmaking, creating photo images, collages, and mixed media works that marry sound and visual images.   Future makers will be able to touch, feel, smell, even try their hand at creating art.

A-A-W’s virtual welcome mat will be out beginning Friday, May 19, 5:00-10:00 p.m., Saturday, May 20- Noon-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 21, Noon- 5:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome to wander randomly through the studio buildings, home studios, galleries and storefronts in the neighborhood.  Personal experience suggests that a bit of advance planning about walking the hood, identifying studio locations and exploring public transit options is worth the effort.

Fortunately, print and digital guides to A-A-W abound.  If you live, work or frequent the hot spots of Northeast, you can pick up a copy of the Artist Directory and Guide at any one of the arts buildings in the community.   Or click here (https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl.)  for links to the essentials – the artist directory, map, dining guide, parking information and updates on A-A-W and NEMAA. Take special note of the “How to Whirl” section!

To appreciate the roots of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area, take a few minutes to read about the unique history here: (https://nemaa.org/about/history)  It’s an evolving story of community development focused on an understanding of the role of the arts in the local economy and in the life of a neighborhood that thrives on creative expression!

Ideas that Bloom in the Spring, Tra La!

A good idea will keep you awake during the morning, but a great idea will keep you awake during the night.   Marilyn Vos Savant 

Much like – no doubt inspired by – the tulips and daffodils that grace the city boulevards and country roadsides, ideas bloom in Spring.  These are just a very few of the ideas that have been germinating during these spring-like days and evenings.

The idea in this brief is to suggest a smattering of less-publicized events that share the rich pollen of ideas and information that may “keep you awake during the night.”  Opportunities to explore good ideas are blooming everywhere these days – take time to smell the roses!

Events:

Programs at Eat My Words! Bookshop on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of May.  1228 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events?view=calendar&month=May-2017

  • May 6 – 3 pm – Anne Marie Mershon: You Must Only to Love Them: Lessons Learned in Turkey.
  • May 12, 7:00 PM – Nora Murphy, White Birch, Red Hawthorn.
  • May 13 – Howard A.W. Cargon, Howard A.W Caron. Lily Pond: Forged Alliance, 3:00 PM
  • May 19, Meet the author: Connie Claire Szarke, Moon. – 5:00 PM
  • May 26, Kathleen Novak: Do Not Find Me, 7:00 PM
  • May 27 – Poetry performance with Sharon Chmielarz and Larry Schug, 3:00 PM

Ongoing during May  –  A sampler of a busy month sponsored by East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul.

  • May 9, 7:00 pm – Nativism and Resistance-Then and Now. Dr. Peter  Rachleff
  • May 15, 7:00 pm Racism in our Hometown: The story of the Arthur and Edith Lee Family. Presented by the APWU Solidarity Kids Theater. East Side Freedom Library.
  • May 16, 7:00 PM, 100 Years at the Library. Greg Gaut, Bill Lindeke, and Billie Young.  St Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Avenue, St. Paul.
  • May 18, 6:00 PM, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids. William Jones, Yuichiro Onishi, James Robinson. Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 North Dale Street, St Paul.
  • May 21, 10:30 AM. Payne Avenue Walking Tour & Library Celebration with Peter Rachleff.  Registration required http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/event/historic-payne-avenue-walking-tour/

May 6 – Researching the History of Your Minneapolis Home.  10:30-11:30, Minneapolis Central Library Special Collections. https://mclib.bibliocommons.com/events

May 7 – In Her Own Voice, Selected Works of Grace Flandrau, edited by Georgia Ray. 4:00 PM, Commodore Bar and Restaurant, St Paul. http://www.twincities.com/2017/05/01/in-her-own-voice-book-looks-at-importance-of-st-pauls-grace-flandrau/

May 11, 7:00 PM – Writers Read, The Coffee Shop Northeast, 2852 John St, NE, Minneapolis.  All writers/readers, every genre www.thecoffeeshopne.com

May 20, Noon-4:00 PM – Minneapolis International Festival, Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley Street NE, Minneapolis.  Music, dance, cultural exhibits. (http://millcitytimes.com/news/minneapolis-international-festival-set-for-may-20-at-boom-is.html)

 

May 25, 7:00 PM. Black Memory and Imagination An Intergenerational Conversation on Archiving Black Arts Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Sponsored by Friends of the U of M Libraries https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/black-memory-imagination/

Exhibits:

Protest Publishing and Art: From the Copy Machine to the Internet.  U of M Wilson Library.  Through May 19.

The Anatomy of a Hospital: The Buildings of The Swedish Hospital, St. Barnabus Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center.  Minneapolis Central Library, through May 30. http://hclib.tumblr.com/post/159346669813/the-anatomy-of-a-hospital-the-buildings-of-st

We Watch the Stream, sponsored by the Mississippi Watershed Management Office, Stormwater Park and Learning Center, 2522 Marshall St, NE, Minneapolis.   Through June 23.

Understand that these ideas offer just a sniff of a garden of good ideas that are waiting to “keep you awake on a hot summer night when you cannot sleep!”

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt 

 

 

 

 

 

Indie Bookstore Day- A day to shop, read and think for yourself

As I write I’m thinking what a perfect day this would be to curl up in a remote corner of an indie bookstore, nose in book, devices decidedly off, lost in a world yet to be explored.  Since it’s an indie there’s a friendly proprietor/staffer who will share an opinion about my chosen book, even suggest a similar tome I will undoubtedly enjoy.

As I further envision my reading nook, I catch the imagined scent of the venerable books –an olfactory extra of hanging out at a used bookshop. ! I realize that I would rather read a crumby – even crumbly –   book in a used bookstore than today’s bestseller in a chain store.

All of which is a fabricated buildup to Independent Bookstore Day, set for this coming Saturday, April 29.  The basics are covered in an earlier post (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/looking-ahead-to-indie-bookstore-day-april-29-2017/)  This is just a reminder to treat yourself to an indie bookstore tour on Saturday.

There’s a helpful map online (http://indiemap.bookweb.org) – know that the map is far from comprehensive.  You might want to start not with the map but by trolling your own community, including the newbies, antiquarian shops, children’s bookstores, campus stores, ethnic and other bibliophile haunts you may have yet to explore. Cater to your bookish inclinations, expand your personal collection, appreciate the creative energy that supports the book community and nurtures the range of reader tastes.

Check out Indie Bookstore Day on Facebook:  (https://www.facebook.com/events/402999000036140/)  Note that this is a highly selective post of just a few of the myriad happenings at local shops.

You’ll find the creative ways in which Indie bookstores reflect the proclivities of their proprietors.  Shops host readings, book clubs and discussion groups on every conceivable topic, art exhibits and artist presentations, children’s programs, storytellers, sports heroes and their biographers, politicians, stories and mores of new Americans, environmentalists, veterans, gardeners, musical ensembles of every tone….

As blog readers have probably observed, Eat My Words in Northeast Minneapolis ranks as my favorite indie (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/hungry-for-a-good-read-try-eat-my-words/)   Come for the books, stay for the programming:  https://www.facebook.com/eatmywordsbookstore/

On Independent Bookstore EMW will feature special displays, and Bookstore Bingo (played 10 AM-8 PM) where you can put your English major to the test.  Plan to be on hand mid-afternoon to join the 3:00 reading and conversation.  Author Mary Martin will discuss her book La Familia: An International Love Story. (https://manoamano.org/la-familia-book/).   La Familia chronicles the emergence of Mano a Mano, the St. Paul-based international development organization.(http://manoamano.org)  It’s the story of ways in which this grassroots international partnership bridges cultural and racial challenges.

The EMW conversation serves as a model of the ways in which independent bookstores are taking the lead by hosting and informing safe spaces that foster civil discourse so critical to finding our way in these divisive, uncertain, unprecedented times.

UPDATE: Indie Bookstore Day celebrations around the nation: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15bc3f419b6b8ba8

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.

 

Exploring and appreciating the parks among us!

Civilization in our time is driven by materialism and troubled by pollution, over-population, corruption, and violence. National parks can hardly be uncoupled from the society around them, but that only makes it more important to protect them and keep them whole and pure. Michael Frome

Spring inspires hope, fosters a sense of freedom, and prompts us to get serious about exploring the wonders of the outdoors – the rivers, forests, lakes, mountains and rivers around us and the oceans that largely define our nation. The season also gives us pause to respect and care deeply about our natural heritage.

We’re midway through National Park Week 2017, a partnership between the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. We are set free to ponder the possibilities – and to thank our forefathers and mothers who had the vision and the perseverance to assure that our natural legacy remains intact and accessible to all.

Truth to tell, my favorite park is Windom Park, the jewel of Northeast Minneapolis.  No mountains or seashore, but great walkways, elegant trees, a wading pool, tennis courts, a soccer/softball field, hockey rink – and a zip line – all of which-call out to my favorite eight-year-old boy who lives across the street.

Great as it is, Windom Park didn’t make this top ten list in the National Park Foundation’s survey of Favorite National Parks – the voters’ choices are:

#1: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.  Discover Yell, owstone National Park!

#2: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK.  Discover Yosemite National Park!

#3: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Discover Grand Canyon National Park!

#4: GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. Discover Glacier National Park!

#5: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK.  Discover Acadia National Park!

#6: ZION NATIONAL PARKDiscover Zion National Park!

#7: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK.  Discover Rocky Mountain National Park!

#8: GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK. Discover Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

#9: GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK.  Discover Grand Teton National Park!

#10: BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Discover Bryce Canyon National Park!

Minnesota’s sole national park, Voyageurs National Park (https://www.nps.gov/voya/index.htm) also escaped the Top Ten list – an altogether good thing because the scourge of the wilderness experience is trendiness. Though we are inordinately proud and appreciative of this wilderness wonder, we are comforted to know we won’t be edged out by throngs of road trippers.

We need to know, too, that Minnesota treasures not included on the selection list of national parks include several Minnesota monument and recreation areas that are designated as part of the National Park System.  The list includes some lesser known sites (https://www.nps.gov/state/mn/index.htm)

Explore these closer-to-home, accessible sites here:

  • NATIONAL MONUMENT
Grand Portage
Grand Portage, MN
  • NATIONAL RIVER & RECREATION AREA 
Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
  • NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL
Seven states-New York to North Dakota ,
  • NATIONAL MONUMENT,Pipestone
  • NATIONAL SCENIC RIVERWAY Saint Croix Falls, Minnesota and Wisconsin

Learn much more about the states designated sites here https://www.nps.gov/state/mn/index.htm 

The supreme reality of our time is …the vulnerability of our planet. –John F. Kennedy

 

April – A season and reason to explore, learn, think, and share ideas!

So many options, so little time!  But do take time, because you will want to participate in these and the scores of other creative and thought-provoking learning/thinking opportunities that invariably bloom when the ice melts and the sun shines (if only for short spurts)  in these parts.  Just a smattering of the possibilities:

  • Thursday, April 13, 6:00-7:30 pm. Join the Friends of Minneapolis Central Library Global Conversations program.  Discussion this month will focus on the subject of Conflict in the South China Sea, the locus of competing territorial claims.  Professor Duncan McCampbell, attorney and professor of international business and law at Metro State University will lead the discussion.  His background includes extensive travel in Asia and publications on commercial, legal, political and security issues.  He recently returned from a month-long visit to China and the Philippines to research the evolving situation in the South China Sea.  Free and open. Register at the Global Minnesota website (https://www.globalminnesota.org)  or at the library prior to the program.  The program will be available as a podcast on the Global Minnesota website.
  • Always a huge crowd pleaser, the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival is set for April 13-29. This year’s Festival features 350 new films representing over seventy countries. The epicenter of the festival is Anthony Main Theater, with numerous additional screenings throughout the Twin Cities and in Rochester. Learn much more about the Festival in this and other mainstream articles.  http://www.startribune.com/6-hidden-treasures-at-this-year-s-mpls-st-paul-film-festival/418558733/ – For complete information including the calendar, special events and programs, bios, tickets and more, click here: http://mspfilm.org

UPDATE:   4/18https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b83104a4132e1c

  On Saturday, April 15, 2:00 pm at Minneapolis Central Library author Iric Nathanson will share the story of the development of downtown Minneapolis from early days as a milling metropolis to its evolution as a residential community. The Minneapolis Riverfront and World War I Minnesota are both part of the Images of America series. “Images of America: Downtown Minneapolis.  His book, “Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century: The Growth of an American City,” published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. His most recent book is “World War I Minnesota.”  To get a feel for the breadth of Nathanson’s studies of Minneapolis history, follow his regular contributions to Minnpost here https://www.minnpost.com/author/iric-nathanson. Free and open.  (612 543 8203)

  • You’ve heard of Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, the nonprofit dedicated to providing studio and performance opportunities arts for people with disabilities. (https://interactcenter.org,)  But have you ever visited Interact?   As part of the Saint Paul Spring Art Crawl (April 28-29)  you are invited to visit and learn more about the Interact Center Visual Arts Department.  The family-friendly event includes the chance to meet an artist and to actually create a unique object d’art . You will also have the opportunity to purchase original art work by Interact artists at 20% off the original price.   Interact is at 1860 Minnehaha Avenue West in St Paul.

UPDATE – NOT TO BE MISSED OPPORTUNITY:  http://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/the-sixth-extinction/

UPDATE — MORE FROM INTERACT https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15bb43c5277fe6ca

“RestaurantsRising” to face immigration challenges

The Ides of March is one of the standout dates on the calendar.  So it should be easy to member that March 15, 2017, is a significant date to mark on your calendar.

In Minnesota diners will celebrate this year’s Ideas of March with a great meal at a local restaurant!  A host of Minnesota restaurants and retail establishments are collaborating to make the Ides of Marsh a day to support – publicly and financially –  the work of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. (https://www.ilcm.org/)

The ILCM is one of the most visible of the Minnesota organizations – and individuals – stretched beyond their resources to meet the challenge to help people who are caught up in unprecedented immigration battles.

A host of eateries are joining forces to speak out.  The initiative bears the powerful name “RestaurantsRising.”  A large number participated in the successful Day Without Immigrants resistance.   That led to the Ides of March campaign to pledge a portion each restaurant’s daily profits to support the legal representation provided by IMLC and other legal services.

There’s a great website where you can find the names and logos of each restaurant as well as a clever indication of the percentage of sales the establishment will share with legal aid providers.    It’s a very impressive and growing collaboration.

Check the RestaurantsRising website (http://restaurantsrising.com) and follow RestaurantsRising on FB.