Tag Archives: Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers

Awesome Autumn Options – A brief sampling

Ah, yes, autumn, when the trees blush at the thought of stripping naked in public. ~Robert Brault,

You might want to squelch that image as you ponder this sampler of more uplifting opportunities to learn and engage with some of these fall programs.  Bear in mind, this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, just enough to prompt you to get out and enjoy the world before we hunker down for the season that is to come.

Ongoing:  Though the American Craft Council Library Salon Series began earlier this week there are three more to follow in the months to come.  The fall series follows up with these offerings.  Details of each presentation are posted online (http://craftcouncil.org/education/library-salon-series

  • October 18 – Inside Scoop, feature Sali Sandler
  • November 8 – Take a Walk in Amara Hark-Weber’s Shores
  • December 2 – Holiday Craft Up.

If  you can’t get to the live sessions, know that the video interviews with past Salon presenters may be found on the Library Salon Series Playlist. http://craftcouncil.org/education/library-salon-series

Saturday, September 16 is a busy day!!!

  • The Minnesota Independent Scholars’ Forum invites lifelong learners of every intellectual persuasion to join them for their monthly meeting. Virgil Johnson, professor emeritus of Northwestern University, designed the costumes for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Henry IV.  Details here: https://www.meetup.com/es/Minnesota-Independent-Scholars-Forum/events/242895268/
  • The Harriet Alexander Nature Center in Roseville will host its annual Wild Rice Festival, 10 AM-4PM. It’s a family-friendly celebration of wild rice, the harvest season and Native American culture.  Find an excellent description of the purpose and activities of the Wild Rice Festival here: http://wildricefestival.org.
  • The professional musicians of Border CrosSing will offer their Premier Concert, 8 PM at Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul.   “Latin America: A Miracle of Faith” explores the “complexity of religious faith in Latin America” as they sing the history of Latin America sacred music from the 17th Century to the present, “from colonial oppression to El Grito de Dolores! Tickets available online at bordercrossingmn.org or at the door – “no one will be turned away for lack of funds.”
  • Silverwood Park in Northeast Minneapolis will host this fall’s Minneapolis Craft Market. It’s a day of “hands-on fun, nature, and performances for all ages.”  Enjoy new sculpture and poetry installation along the trails or rent a canoe or kayak to the lake.  At the Field trip Market you’ll meet Minnesota makers who design and make candles and soaps, jewelry and art.  Enjoy area authors and musicians or treats from food trucks and Insight Brewing.
  • The Lit Crawl is a moveable feast, 3PM-10PM. Things will be happening t Bryant-Lake Bowl, and at Barbette there will be competitive storytelling as well as readings from local poets.  Details at litcrawlmn.com
  • It’s Senior Surf Day, 10 AM-Noon at Minneapolis Central Library. Registration required:https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/search/fq=branch_location_id:(BD)/event/5702d1d3414af7d2590649fe

October 1:  “Snap, Crackle, and Stop”,  a benefit for the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (http://www.mapm.org)  will gather this year at the Black Dog Café, 308 East Price Street in St. Paul (www.blackdogstpaul.com) Gerald Ganann, Steve Gates and Larry Johnson use storytelling, music and art to explore  the power of nonviolent fore to stop injustice. The evening includes Armistice Bell Ringing by Veterans for Pace and a cameo appearance by Steve McKeown who will explain “why Kellogg Boulevard has absolutely to connection to cereal that talks.”  Happy hour specials 3-7 PM; the Benefit is 6-8 PM – show up early for happy hour specials.

October 5:  “Talk of the Stacks”, the free author series featuring today’s literary voices, is also at Minneapolis Central Library.  On October 5 health care expert will discuss his new book, Real Food, Fake Food: Why you don’t know what you’re eating & and what you can do about it.  On Thursday, November 2, the speaker is music critic Chris Riemenschneider. Both at 7:00 PM.  Free and open.

October 7:  As you settle down for winter living you might want to know more about the house in which you’ll be spending the duration.  Registration is now open for the next series of “Researching the History of Your Minneapolis Home” classes, sponsored by the Hennepin County Library.  Fall classes to come will be 10:30-11:30 AM on Saturday, October7 at Sumner Library and November 4 at Northeast Library.  Check the HCL calendar for updates and to register; library card not required.

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NOTE: This random mix of possibilities is posted just to whet your appetite and jumpstart the fall season – more to follow about the myriad possibilities!   The idea is that, if you get a good running start now — when winter winds slow your pace, you’ll be at the ready to stay in the learning mode.



World Storytelling Day 2017 – Local plans

World Storytelling Day has been around so long now that it has earned the right to be characterized as a “tradition.”  It began in Sweden in the  early 1990’s and has since spread to nations around the world, a world now connected by Ratatosk, the Scandinavian storytelling web.

A WSD post in 2016 describes more about the history of World Storytelling Day and the local expansion of the living tradition. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/world-storytelling-day-2016/)  The international theme for the World Storytelling Day 2017, celebrated round the world on May 20, is “Transformation.”

Again this year local storyteller and educator Larry Johnson is heading up plans for World Storytelling Day in this community.  The gathering will explore the ways in which stories transform education.  Four storytellers will share their reflections on the theme at a grand public event on Tuesday, March 21, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street in downtown St. Paul 

Beverly Cottman, former high school science teacher, will share African and African American Stories that celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the African Diaspora.

Maren Hinderlie has traveled the world as a storyteller for theatrical, educational, religious events and festivals.  She has just returned from telling stories in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Larry Johnson will share his storytelling skills, particularly as they shape his recent publication, Sixty-One, his personal story told as a powerful challenge to embrace peace, end war and face the health concerns of the nation’s veterans.

Kubisa S Muzenence is a respected human rights advocate, founder of Let Africa Live, a nonprofit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The evening will also showcase the winners of the 2017 Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers Peace Essay Contest for high school juniors and seniors.

There is no charge for the evening; donations will be appreciated by the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.

Reception and information tables open at 6:00 pm.  The program of storytelling will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Updates and any changes are posted of Facebook.

Peacemakers launch student essay challenge!

The timing is perfect – Autumn’s arrived, school’s in full-swing, young learners and their teachers are settled in, eager to press on with the learning process. What’s needed at this hour is a challenge!

The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers is at the ready, poised to challenge junior and senior high school students. The Alliance has just announced the second annual Leslie Reindl Peace Essay Contest. Guidelines and resources are ready to ignite the creative energies of peace-loving Minnesota youth!

Interested students will have an opportunity to think and write about one of these three questions:

  • Unpacking cultural biases and creating a more inclusive society
  • Developing one’s own peacemaking activity, or
  • The Peace Literacy work of Captain Paul K. Chappell of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

The top three winners will be introduced and awarded scholarship prizes ($1,000, $750 and $500) at World Storytelling Day, March 21, 2017, at Landmark Center in Saint Paul.

More information on topics, guidelines and suggested resources, as well as contact information for classroom speakers, is now available. Entry deadline is February 28, 2017..

Leslie Reindl, for whom the contest is named, was a prominent Minnesota peace activist who died in 2014. The Peace Essay Contest reflects the efforts of her husband and fellow activist, Wilhelm Reindle whose goal it is to fulfill Leslie’s legacy by keeping alive the vision of a “true, universal, Peaceable Kingdom.”

Larry Johnson, coordinator of the Peace Essay Contest, reports – with pride – that the 2015 first award recipient, Northfield’s Lauren Wieber, “is using her award to fund a five month service project in the Dominican Republic.” In her essay, “Harmony” Lauren wrote this:

People everywhere have differing values and ideas, yet we can still co-exist. It is how we respond to differing opinions that sparks conflict….Harmony is cooperation, sympathy, and fellowship. It’s a way to approach and respond to conflict…something which can also accentuate and remind us of the beauty of all the different people of the world.

Questions? Contact Larry Johnson, laryjvfp@gmail.com or Box 27314, Golden Valley, MN 55427.

Fall features new learning options for teens

The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (www.mapm.org) welcomes Minnesota high school juniors and seniors to start the new school year by entering the first annual Leslie Reindl Peace Essay Contest.   The intent is to encourage and assist young people to focus on the many dimensions of the theme of peace and justice. Sponsors suggest that essayists think and write about what peace and justice mean to them personally, how to implement peace and justice in their school or community, how compassion can improve the writer’s community or build a better world, or to think about the roots of conflict locally or internationally.

Three scholarships will be awarded: first prize is $1000, second $750 and third $500. Scholarship recipients will be invited to speak at the Alliance annual celebration on November 10.

Essays must be original work, 800-1000 words, word-processed, and accompanied by a statement from a teacher, youth leader or parent confirming that it is the original work of the submitter.   Submissions are due by October 15. Mail to Larry Johnson, Box 27314, Golden Valley, MN 55417. Essays may also be submitted by email. Address questions, comments or request for application forms to Larry Johnson, larryvfp@gmail.com, 612 747 3904.

Meanwhile, the annual National History Day student rush to research is launched with announcement of this year’s theme: “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” (http://www.nhd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016_ThemeSheet.pdf) The expansive theme sets the tone for social studies teachers and students even as it signals librarians, archivists, parents and grandparents that the floodgates are open for eager young researchers.

Planners underscore that “this theme is broad enough in scope to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local to world history and across any geographic area or time period.” This first phase obviously calls for a major brainstorming – no limits on topics to explore – “whether it is science, sports, art, travel, culture, or even specific people.” As any liberal arts major knows, the challenge is to focus! And therein lies the fun of it all!