The Phillips Aquatic Center is becoming a reality as money is doubled and enthusiasm tripled for equity use
The Phillips Aquatics Center Update
By Denny Bennett
It has been another whirlwind month of looking for money everywhere we can to deliver on our promise to bring EQUITY, ACCESS & the OPPORTUNITIES that swimming can bring to all in Minneapolis! Of course, our answer to this seemingly befuddling political riddle is not new committees, or task forces, but rather, to update and enhance the first PUBLIC, indoor pool right here, in the heart of the Phillips Community! The Phillips Aquatics Center is a reality! Swimming lessons in Minneapolis will no longer only be for the more affluent, we are leveling the playing field! Our focus will be on saving our children first, but we will have adult classes as well. Equity.
As you learned last month, our good friends at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) kicked off the new phase of this Capital Campaign by giving us a $250,000 matching grant. We’ve had some generous individual donors, right from this Community, start to donate to match against that, and then Wells Fargo for $25,000 & EPIC for $50,000.
Since then, more good news!
- The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation donated $50,000.
- The Rogue Foundation pledged $50,000 (through Minneapolis Foundation).
- Midtown Phillips Association will contribute $50,000, pending final January vote.
- Ventura Village Housing & Land Use Committee voted to give $50,000 (NPP/NCR), which goes to membership for a vote in January.
By Sue Hunter Weir
119th in a Series
2014 almost 4x more per capita and guns used over twice as often
Minneapolis closed out 2014 with 32 murders of record*. The number is low in contrast to many other recent years but it is still much higher than the murder rate of 100 or so years ago. In 1912, there were ten murders in Minneapolis—four of the victims are buried in Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. Four of those ten murders, including two of the people buried in Pioneers and Soldiers, were never solved.
There was nothing particularly clever about how any of the murders were committed. Only one of the ten deaths was planned in advance, and even then the murderer made a terrible mistake. On February 10th, someone left poisoned candy on the doorstep of Simon O’Malley, the intended target. Unfortunately, O’Malley gave a piece to his three-year-old-neighbor, Bonnie Ready, and she died as well, a child in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their murders were never solved.
The four people buried in the cemetery are Alice Mathews, Fred Wescott, William Burke and Henry Carlson. Alice’s case, like Simon O’Malley’s, demonstrates how little police knew about forensics at the time. Police did some fingerprinting and chemists could analyze and identify certain toxic substances but that was about the limit of the science available to help police solve crimes. Even when they were convinced they knew who the murderer was, they were often unable to prove it. They were forced to rely on eyewitnesses and on confessions, neither of which proved to be particularly reliable.
Alice Mathews was strangled during a failed rape attempt on March 23, 1912. There were no obvious suspects although the police, who were under intense public and political pressure to solve the case, arrested at least half-a-dozen people and held them for varying lengths of time before concluding that they had no case against any of them. Over the next several years, one man, with a lengthy history of mental illness, repeatedly confessed to Alice’s murder. Police listened to him each time even though they knew that he couldn’t possibly have committed the murder. This self-confessed “killer” was determined to convince them otherwise but never succeeded.
Police believed that Fred Wescott was stabbed by Isabel Getzman, better known by her stage name, “Scotch Maggie.” A witness had seen the two arguing in the back of the Rising Sun Café, which Getzman owned and where Wescott was employed as a cook. The police arrested Getzman but their case against her fell apart when their only witness disappeared.
The other two burials were for William Burke and Henry Carlson, both of whom died from skull fractures. Burke fought with a patron of the Cedar Avenue Saloon where both had been drinking. He was arrested and sentenced to five days in the workhouse, but he was sick and unable to work during his stay there. Two days after he was released his wife took him to the hospital where he died from an injury that he had received the night that he was arrested almost two weeks earlier.
Carlson died from a blow that he received from David Ploof. The two men had been at a party when they started to argue. Carlson used “vile language” about Ploof’s wife. The two men encountered each other in the street the next day and the fight continued. Ploof struck Carlson who fell and hit his head. Carlson made it home under his own power but died a few hours later.
Three of the ten murders committed in 1912 involved guns. Two of those cases were domestic homicides—husbands killing their wives. In both cases, the women had left their husbands. The third case was a shooting at a party where a man was killed because he refused to hand over the ten cents that he owed to the man who killed him.
Guns were involved in 30% of the murders in 1912. At the time there were 300,000 people living in Minneapolis, and it was the country’s 18th largest city. Today the city’s population is 400,000 (a 25% increase). If the murder rate had increased at the same rate as the population there would have been between 12 and 13 murders in 2010. Instead there were 40, 30 of which (75%) involved guns.
Alice Mathews, Fred Wescott, William Burke and Henry Carlson are buried in unmarked graves in various locations throughout the cemetery.
*Subject to changes; e.g. a delayed death.
Alley Communications 2014 Annual Review & Report of The Alley Newspaper
What does it mean that The Alley Newspaper is Community Owned and Governed? Here’s one answer: the following 84 people have contributed writing and/or advice for what gets printed.
H. Lynn Adelsman
Patrick Cabello Hansel
Celebrating Four Years of Discovering and Creating guided by Mentor-Artists of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre called Phillips Project
Words By Bart Buch. All photos by Bruce Silcox
HOBT Out-of-School Program History
When I first came to In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) in 1998, as an Americorp volunteer, I was inspired by and starting working with the out-of-school programming at HOBT. Under the direction of Beth Peterson and Paul Robinson, HOBT had two out-of-school programs, Lake Street Theatre Club and the Artbus. Lake Street Theatre Club worked with elementary school youth afterschool twice a week and Artbus was a seven-week summer youth employment program for youth 14-18. Both of these programs helped youth tell their stories using puppets, masks, poetry and music. They had major impacts on the youth and the communities. The youth in Lake Street Theatre Club, mostly from the neighborhood, were drawn to flexing the muscle of their imagination and fantasy. The Artbus youth drew from stories of their lives exploring topics like teen pregnancy, peer pressure and recent immigration experiences. The Artbus performances shared these youth’s stories by touring the shows around the Twin Cities. Both programs gave youth tools of expression, self-confidence and venues to share their voices. Artbus youth also mentored the Lake street Theatre Club’s Summer camp following their summer tour. Coming from a past as an elementary teacher, I had not seen this kind of authentic, poetic, funky and fun opening-up and valuing of youth voices. Daily, I see youth wearing appropriate “masks” for their parents, peers and teachers. I also see youth being manipulated and being taught appropriate voices to speak in the world. I was profoundly affected to see youth turning the tables, choosing their masks and manipulating puppets and messages they found important for the world to see and hear.
After Beth Peterson’s departure from HOBT in the early 2000’s and many sources of funding for afterschool programs were terminated, HOBT had a hiatus from this work. In 2008, I came on board as Education Co-Director at HOBT and one of my missions was to re-start the out-of-school programming, with a redesign. Part of this work was starting the Puppet Youth Troupe, an out-of-school program during the school year for youth 9-18. Puppet Youth Troupe was extremely active from 2009-2013 as an immersive puppetry arts program where youth could explore puppetry with a long-term commitment. I also wanted to create a program doing this work with youth in our own back yard, in the Heart of the Beast, in the neighborhood, in Phillips. I started the Phillips Project in the Fall of 2010.
The Phillips Project Read the rest of this entry »
“The Phoenix of Phillips”, a new literary magazine sponsored by the Semilla Community Arts program of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will make its debut at the Midtown Global Market on Thursday, January 29, with a program at 6 pm. The annual youth photography show of St. Paul’s “We Are Midtown Phillips” will also have its opening that evening.
For the past eight years, St. Paul’s Semilla program has taught mosaics, mural arts, photography, puppetry and creative writing to over 1900 people and installed 21 murals and over 50 other artistic place holders throughout the neighborhood of Phillips. Semilla means “seed” in Spanish, and it is our passion to plant seeds of hope, justice and beauty in our community.
“The Phoenix of Phillips” includes the winners of the youth poetry contest, and writing by children, teens and adults, some of whom are established writers, some of whom are publishing their first work. Writers will read from their work at the January 29 event. Read the rest of this entry »
By Peter Molenaar
It was August 30, 2010 when John T. Williams, a 50-year-old Native American woodcarver, was shot four times by a Seattle police officer. He was simply crossing the street while holding a block of wood and a pocket knife.
What year was it when Julani, a Somali neighbor, was gunned down here? True, he brandished a machete, but he was warding off demons, not attacking people. They surrounded him and then…
Yes, the long list of victims dates back to slave cargo ships, the genocide, and the inception of “free-enterprise.” No, we will not “get over it.”
But now fresh springs burst free from a saturated soil. Small streams combine to form rivers. “The revolution begins now!” And yes, there are countless meetings and public forums.
HIGHLIGHTS: Backyard Initiative Evaluation Report
NOTE: “Evaluation” is often considered to be something that is done AFTER a project or program has been completed. The BYI is evaluating as the work unfolds. This allows the teams doing the work of the BYI to tweak and improve in order to increase the impact of the health improvement efforts on residents of the BYI area. .
Program Evaluation and the Backyard Initiative
From the field of program evaluation, the Backyard Initiative (BYI) is seen as a community-building enterprise in which residents who live in proximity to each other have come together as a collective to act in their shared self-interest. The Initiative sees strengthening community as the means that will lead to better resident health. The Definition of Health created by residents defines health broadly, to include social, emotional, economic, spiritual, and physical conditions.
The lead agency for the Backyard Initiative is the Cultural Wellness Center (CWC), located in the heart of the seven Minneapolis neighborhoods defining the geographical region of the Backyard. From the beginning of the BYI, the Cultural Wellness Center created and supported an infrastructure, which consists of the Community Commission on Health (Commission), Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs), and the Community Resource Body (CRB).