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Tuesday May 21st 2019

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May 2019 edition of The Alley

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Backyard Community Health Hub May 2019 calendar

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WE ARE 2065

South Minneapolis painter Joanna Hallstrom explores how the United States will be 54% People of Color by 2065 in portraits of 16 local students

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOANNA HALLSTROM
Ashre, 9, (at left) and Diane, 7, talk about their experiences of school, family and growing up. These hundreds of hours of audio were then cut down to about 20 minutes that play in the exhibit as viewers look at the 16 portraits and hear stories of those featured within it.

By Tesha M. Christensen

2065

Painter Joanna Hallstrom

The year the USA will become 54% People of Color (according to Pew Research Center projections).

South Minneapolis artist Joanna Hallstrom has painted 16 oil portraits of Minnesota students who will be living this change. 

“We are a changing nation and our faces are changing. My motivation for this portrait study is to offer a small, hopeful glimpse into our future and to show who we will be in 46 years—honoring those who have traveled far, worked hard and endured much to allow the next generation to stand on their shoulders and lead, teach and guide us,” said Hallstrom.

CAREER CHANGE

Hallstrom grew up in the same house as an accomplished illustrator and painter, but didn’t pursue art initially even though she loved it. Instead, she began a career with nonprofits, working as the Refugee Resettlement Manager for the Minnesota World Relief office and then as project management for community organizations such as the Kingfield Neighborhood Association, Kingfield Farmer’s Market and the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association.  In 2009, Hallstrom decided to develop her artistic side. She returned to her hometown of Alexandria, Minn. with her husband and young family so she could pursue a communication and art and design degree full-time from Alexandria Technical and Community College, where her father and well-known artist, Myron Sahlberg, was teaching. 

She graduated with honors and received 16 AAF (American Ad Federation) awards for her design and illustration work, including a judge’s choice award from the AAF Central District 8 for an oil painting. 

Back in Minneapolis, Hallstrom took an illustration class at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), and began meeting monthly with a group of illustrators. Now working as a graphic designer, Hallstrom wanted to hone in on her fine arts skills with the goal of doing more painting and illustration work. 

In the winter of  2017, she painted a series of small portraits of Syrian refugees and found an immediate connection with painting the human face.

Hallstrom applied for a  Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2015, and didn’t get it. She used the first process as a learning opportunity, and took the feedback she received to refine her ideas and her work. Hallstrom knew that she wanted to focus the project on refining her portrait skills, and it made sense to build upon her background with diverse populations and refugees. She wanted to do a project that would be valuable to the community, and found her inspiration after reading an article based on information from the Pew Research Center about how the demographics of the United States are changing.

“I came across this statistic, and I thought it would be an interesting statistic to reflect on,” observed Hallstrom, as well as a way to engage a public audience around the topic. 

She applied for a grant again and this time she got it. Hallstrom is the 2018 recipient of an Artists Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

PUTTING A FACE ON 

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS

According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, the numbers of Latino, Black, and Asian Minnesotans are projected to more than double over the next 30 years.

Hallstrom’s goal with her project is “to celebrate our changing demographics and put faces to our future U.S. leaders, entrepreneurs, specialists, teachers, artists, and elders.”

She recruited 16 students ages kindergarten to college to participate, partnering with Banyan Community, Minneapolis College, and The Lift. She also reached out to families and staff she knew at Emerson Spanish Immersion, Windom Dual Immersion and Anwatin Middle School. 

She found them all amazing to work with. “They were insightful, funny and very honest,” stated Hallstrom. “It was a privilege to work with them, and I hope that I highlight their unique voice in this project about our changing national community.”

“Parents were very excited for their children to be chosen to be part of this project,” pointed out Banyan Community Education Program Manager Gale Cannon. “One parent said, ‘This was a privilege for my child to be represented in project 2065.’  All parents were eager to see their children represented in the portraits and felt the experience was very positive.”

Hallstrom pointed out that the portraits represent a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and one can’t assume what that background is when looking through them. For instance, a red-headed girl is Mexican and Norwegian. Another stduent claims Ethiopian and Native American heritage.

Because she was painting kids who might not be able to sit still for long, Hallstrom decided to paint from photographic references. Her sister, Maja Sahlberg, a professional photographer with a great eye for lighting and capturing an individual’s personality, partnered with her for two days in the summer of 2018. College students Abby Reeth (Houghton college) and Abha Karnick (Hamline University) assisted.

Hallstrom worked on perfecting each painting right up until the project was officially complete and ready to install at MCTC. Minnesota based portrait painters, Bonita Roberts and Myron Sahlberg, critiqued her portraits along the way, giving input on her lines, her edges, and the likeness.

As the project moved forward, Hallstrom decided to incorporate a “soundscape” as she wanted to let the students share their experiences of school, family and growing up. She was talking about the idea with the father of one of the students involved one day, and Michael Sutz, producer and partner at Twelve Plus Media (2375 University Ave W. in St. Paul), offered to help with the audio. The interviews were conducted at Park Ave. United Methodist Church. Gregg Ward of  Studio Arcade then helped Hallstrom craft the hours of recordings into a series of soundscapes that are activated upon entering the portrait gallery. Stories weave in and out of each other.

The final step was constructing the moveable gallery which she designed with the help of Hans Schmidt of HJS Architecture. Her husband and father helped her construct it.

“I’m inviting people to hear and listen and see,” stated Hallstrom.

She added, “A portrait represents the image of an individual,” and a collection of portraits represent the image of a community. 

“This project is a community portrait of Minnesota students who represent our nation in 2065 and our future leaders, teachers, and elders.”

Hallstrom wants those who view this project to come away with a feeling of hopefulness. “There is so much fearful rhetoric out there right now,” she observed. “But I am hopeful about what this generation can do.”

VIEW EXHIBIT AT BANYAN

A reception will be held at Banyan Community (2529 13th Ave. S.) from 6:30-9 p.m. on April 30, and the gallery available to view there May 1-2.

“It made sense to host the exhibit here, when we think of where Banyan Community is located, in the Phillips Neighborhood – a diverse neighborhood with a long history of being welcoming place for indigenous and immigrant people,” observed Banyan Executive Director Joani Essenburg.

“The WE ARE 2065 project is one of the many opportunities to learn about our rich diversity. The near Southside (Phillips) is one of the most diverse neighborhoods that currently reflects the America of the future.  It is a great reminder that in the midst of a low-income neighborhood – we are the future.  

“As people visit and learn more about our faces, they will also learn about our stories, our achievements, and our dreams. Portraits and photographs give us permission to stare. Through staring we are able to take time to reflect and perhaps ponder how we are more alike than different. Taking time to consider the power of the messages in this exhibit is a great value to our neighborhood, our neighbors, our children, our friends and most of all our elected officials. We look forward to seeing you at the exhibit, and please bring your friends.”

This exhibit is available to show at community spaces throughout Minnesota. Contact Joanna Hallstrom at jlhalstrom@gmail.com to reserve. It will be shown in Glenwood, Minn. the month of July.

“As people interact with each student’s portrait (54% of the whom are students of color) and their voices, my hope is that they will leave with more openness, wonder and confidence in our future together,” said Hallstrom.

More at instagram.com/joannahallstromartist #project2065

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Meet Diane Amgamarca-Ortiz

By Tesha M. Christensen

Diane

Seven-year-old Diane Amgamarca-Ortiz can make friends with anyone. 

She’s in second grade at Risen in Christ Catholic Church (1120 E. 37th St.), and takes the bus over to Banyan Community after school. At Banyan, she works on homework, plays in the gym, and “chills out.”

Diane is one of 16 South Minneapolis students whose portraits are part of the WE ARE 2065 project by local painter Joanna Hallstrom. Diane is one of three participants from Banyan. “I love Banyan,” she stated.

Diane will be 53 in 2065. What will she be like then? “Nice, kind and I think my likes will be the same,” said Diane.

As part of the project, students were interviewed and asked to share their experiences of school, family and growing up for a soundscape the accompanies the gallery. 

How does her day start? “I wake up, brush my teeth, change and have breakfast,” she said. “Then I come downstairs, put on my shoes, get my backpack, and wait a few minutes. My dad and mom take me to school.”

The talkative seven-year-old loves to draw and can’t imagine a day without drawing. “I like to play with my stuffed animals. I like to read,” she said. She enjoys snapping photos with her camera, roller skating, swimming and going to the park. 

When she grows up, she wants to be a chef like her dad, Patricio Amgamarca,  who works at the Loon Cafe in downtown Minneapolis.

When the 2065 show is up at Banyan, Diane plans to invite her large extended family to view it.

Diane is the child of two immigrants from Ecuador. Her father has been in the United States for 19 years, and became a citizen four months ago. He came here hoping for a better life at age 18 when his school closed because the government wasn’t funding them. Patricio started washing dishes and cleaning at a restaurant, working 16-hour days at two jobs. He moved up to prep work, and is now a chef. 

Learning another language has been challenging for Patricio, and he’s glad to see how easily his youngest daughter, Diane, speaks in English with others.

He’s proud of both of his daughters and grateful for his beautiful wife, Olivia Ortiz.

“I have a good life,” said Patricio. “I’m happy here.”

 

WHAT YOU SEE

Diane Amgamarca-Ortiz, age7

When she grows up, Diane wants to be a chef like her dad, Patricio Amgamarca, the subject of this photo that she took. She also really likes to take photos, and enjoys time at Banyan Community.

 

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East Lake Savers closes

 

By Tesha M. Christensen

After 27 years, the Savers on East Lake St. shut its doors for the last time on April 3, 2019.

The closure came as a surprise to staff members, shoppers and building owner, Wellington Management, Inc.

“We are disappointed with their departure,” said Wellington Management Executive Vice President David Wellington. He pointed out that they were mid-lease and the rent had not changed recently.

“We are actively attempting to backfill their vacancy with other soft-good retailers including other well-known thrift stores,” remarked Wellington. “We have a deep understanding of how the Hi-Lake Shopping Center operates as an important community resource and we hope we will continue this tradition as we look for a new tenant.”

Wellington acquired the shopping center in 2004 and has since doubled the density onsite with three new buildings that brought 30,000 square feet of additional retail and 100 new owner-occupied and affordable rental housing units.  Wellington confirmed that there are no plans to redevelop the Hi-Lake Shopping Center beyond this at any point in the foreseeable future.

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Heart of May Day

People – gathering in workshops, conversation, rehearsals, and celebration

HOBT/MayDay artist and staff member, Ramon Cordis and those quoted helped collect these testimonies.

May Day Workshop 2019, by Bruce Silcox

36 Parades later (for me), I keep participating because it is so much fun work! My favorite aspect of the entire MayDay season, is the workshops. We  create miracles of imagination.  I love assisting an enthusiastic kid in designing a mask and costume – together transforming the refuse of society into a beautiful creation. The kids who come year to year become masters of their ideas, visionaries and engineers of the impossible.” ~ Greg Leierwood

Your MayDay Community Band” used to be called, “There Goes the Neighborhood – Band.”  We would gather by meeting on the street or in the park. Now we are on the internet. We always defy authority and almost never march in step! In the early years, there were usually fewer than 10 players.  When we rehearse, we have 10 to 12.  At the Parade, we often have 20 to 25; sometimes more than that. I missed the first two years. My first year in the band was the third year of the Parade. Some people from the Street Band join the Ceremony Band at Powderhorn Park, but the core members of the Ceremony band generally do not march in the Parade.  Tom Wells has been the leader of the Ceremony Band for the last several years. He used to march in the Parade, but the task of leading the Ceremony Band has kept him away recently. Steve Sandberg does most of the Street Band organizing and is the main decision maker during the Parade. Other people often decide what step or movement we might make at any given time. There is a large portion of Anarchy. We usually have five or six songs which we repeat during the Parade in no particular order.” ~ Jim McCreary 

(Watch for Jim playing an E Flat Soprano Clarinet that he plays now in the Street Band after playing the French Horn up  until 1982)

May Day Workshop 2019, by Bruce Silcox

MayDay is a chance for my family to come together every year to celebrate our community and give thanks to the Earth. As an aspiring artist, I am not only inspired by what I’ve seen in the Parades past, but being part of the workshops has taught me new methods for eco-friendly art practices.” ~ Ivy Stewart

I’ve been in 27 MayDay Parades. I’m involved for the creativity, the tradition of celebrating Spring, and because many of the people I admired growing up now are involved. Memorable experiences are: being a skunk when I was about 8 years old and spraying people with Rose Water (and some fart spray!) all along the Parade; it is a moment of celebration and release when the Parade and Ceremony are over and the next few hours are for eating, meeting friends, and relaxing; watching a thunder storm roll across Powderhorn Lake from a ladder as we desperately un-tied banners from trees – we didn’t beat the storm and ended up soaked through, so we decided to dance in the rain; learning to stilt-walk in the yard of the Church behind In the Heart of the Beast Theatre – I held onto the wall way longer than my brother who decided to start running up and down the hill with his best friend, Ramon.  I have stilt-walked in the Parade every year since then. I was 8 years old when I started!” ~Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli

To be honest, I’ve never seen the MayDay Parade in entirety, but I’ve led a MayDay Parade Section for 22 years. I jumped in and immersed fully in the “Magic.” The “Magic” is actually in the “making” of the Parade and Pageant – of course, in the “making” of puppets, masks, floats, and costumes; but, more so, in the making and deepening of relationships between neighbors, strangers, friends, families, and communities. That kind of “Magic” seems rarer each year and we can only make it together. That is our joy and responsibility and I have faith that this “making” will continue in our communities. How MayDay will evolve is an invigorating mystery that we will explore together.” ~ Bart Buch

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MayDay 1974-2019: Everyone’s an artist, and creator of the future using ceremony and ritual for peace, justice and equality

 

Dan Newman and Laurie Witzkowski-Denise Mayotte

By DAN NEUMAN

Dear MayDay People,

Forty-four years ago a bunch of community activists and artists created a parade and a ceremony to welcome spring and the ending of a war. A few hundred people joyously marched from Phillip’s to Powderhorn and rallied on the shore of the lake.

What was different about MayDay then and now are two deep understandings that motivated the first organizers. 

Our studies and actions had taught us that ceremony and ritual are essential elements in the imagining, creation and the experiencing of a different future of peace, justice and equality. And that everyone is an artist, and a creator of the future.

The future of MayDay has always been uncertain, with no assured funding. As it has grown the cost has also kept growing and every year has been an act of faith that, in the end, the community will provide. Today the cost has overwhelmed the organization and the community of MayDay is challenged to imagine, create and experience a new way of making MayDay happen.  

I am worried. There are so many aspects of the new future to figure out. But I am so hopeful!  All around me I see the community of MayDay imagining and creating the 45th MayDay, something I never thought possible 44 years ago. All around me I see activists and artists who want to continue this incredible feeding of our hearts and souls that is MayDay.  

And I remind myself that we don’t have to figure it all out at once or get it all right once and for all. I remember that we are continuing on a journey that started long before us and will continue after we are gone.

There is a quote from Dag Hammarskjold written around the face of the Sun that greets everyone from the Avalon ticket booth during the MayDay build.

For all that has been thanks! For all that will be, yes!

Workshop 2019, by Bruce Silcox

The Changes and Conversation Ahead

MayDay is a different experience than other large community events.  It engages our hearts, souls and minds, presents a vision of a better future and calls us to act in community. This is not an accident or a byproduct, it is the intent.

Since the beginning Sandy Spieler has been the Artistic Director of MayDay. Her vision and values have been instrumental to shaping the why, what and how of the MayDay experience. As Artistic Director she has been the decision maker, navigating and negotiating the ideas and opinions of many people to shape each year’s parade. After an incredible 45 years, she is stepping down from that role.  

Sandy stepping down leaves some huge holes that we, as a community, must somehow fill if Mayday is to continue and have the meaning and purpose it has had. As I see it there are three key questions that must be addressed. They are essential if the ethic, values and the communal experience of MayDay are to continue.

1)What is the essence of the Mayday experience? How is that essence lived in the rituals and practices? These are the core elements that we need to find words for and share with each other.

2)What is the culture of Mayday, of its conception and creation, that should be carried on? The community of MayDay comes from many cultures and creates a common experience. What is the culture that we create together?

3)How will decisions about artistic content be made in the future?  

MayDay Workshop 2019-Denise Mayotte

These are big questions. There will be many different views and values. How we answer them will change over time. But we need to hold them up, examine them, listen to each other, acknowledge our differences and find a way forward together.

Dan Newman was a member of the Almond Tree Household in Phillips and an organizer of the first MayDay. He has served in leadership positions on the HOBT Board of Directors for most of the last 25 years and organizes the Tree of Life crew each year.

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Beloved principal leaves on high note

By Kinsley Wilcox-McBride

This article is reprinted courtesy of the South High student newspaper, the Southerner. 

Beloved Principal Ray Aponte made a huge announcement on March 19: with the end of the 2018-19 school year, he will officially end his time as principal of South High. 

Aponte has served as South’s Principal for the past five years.

“I was really struggling with it all the way up until December or January… But I am going to leave on my terms and not when somebody tells me to leave, so I am leaving on top. I feel like I have accomplished a lot here and in Minneapolis,” explained Aponte. “Now it’s time for me to move on and maybe take my talents and go somewhere else where somebody else might need some help. I don’t plan on retiring. I plan on taking some time off and reevaluating my position and my own personal track, but I suspect I will probably end up at a school some place.”

Aponte has worked in academic administration for 34 years, and for the Minneapolis Public School District for 25 of those years. This long history in the district has made him the longest-serving principal in Minneapolis Public School District history. He has been both an assistant principal and principal at a plethora of schools, including Northeast Middle School, Anderson, Waite Park, and Jefferson.

His announcement was made to the South High staff at a meeting after school on the 19th, and a letter written by him was emailed out to students later in the afternoon. For the meeting, Aponte had to ask somebody else to read the letter because of the emotion it brought out in him. “I thought ‘I better not read this letter in front of staff, because I don’t want to break down’… it was very emotional,” Aponte said.

The heartfelt announcement letter began with a recount of his struggle to acclimate to the schools in America, after his move from Puerto Rico as a young child.

“In my career as an administrator—34 years in all— never forgetting that the kids who might not be making it in the classroom, might only need an experience bigger than the classroom,” the letter read. “A garden to nurture, a trip to the Black Hills, advanced learning, music, theater, and art,” he continued, all examples of opportunities for students created during his term as principal, thanks to his passion for supporting “learning outside of the classroom.” 

Students and staff all respect Mr. Aponte’s efforts to connect to the members of his school community. “I really like the fact that Aponte interacts with students, no matter what their personality is,” said sophomore Abrea Woller. Aponte affirmed this in saying that “to be a principal, you have to love all children.”

“He really made an effort to connect,” agreed sophomore Beatrice Kennedy-Logan.

“Every morning I have to set the tone in the commons, in the halls,” Aponte said. He feels his involvement in the school and communication with students is vital to the health of our community.

After his announcement, there has been a lot of talk within South, the District, and online. “Just reading some of the things people are saying online about their experiences with me, it touches my heart,” Aponte said. He shared that he feels very happy to hear all of the ways people remember and appreciate their time with him.

“I’m hoping that we can continue working on a lot of the things that he was responsible for in his time at South,…that some of the visibility for particular groups of students and some of the work that we’ve been doing to try to improve things for them will continue,” said history teacher Joshua Fisher. Examples include South’s various murals and field trips taken this year to Hamilton or the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.

Aponte feels that his five years at South High have been the pinnacle of his career. “It’s not an easy job,” he said. He went on to explain how the diversity of the student body has taken a lot of commitment and education to properly lead. “We have five huge populations here, and you have to be able to kind of meander in and out of those cultures,” he said.

Aponte has also been a cheerleader for the All Nations Program, an often overlooked group. He has passionately supported cultural opportunities for Native students, such as a buffalo hunt, a trip to the Black Hills, and the building of lacrosse sticks.

“I spent about 45 minutes yesterday in All Nations…That is the population that continues not to meet the achievement levels that other cultures here do…They were worried because I have been their advocate…They wanted me to talk about what was going to happen,” Aponte explained. “The new Principal has to love Native children and understand the historical trauma that they have been under, and how desperate that community is in regards to outcomes academically and even with jobs.”

Aponte hopes that there will continue to be support for South’s Native community, as that is one area of the school where he does not feel his job has been “finished.”

“I am hoping that students here can continue to help support that program by…understanding that it is very difficult to be a Native child… People with more privilege need to be advocates for them,” Aponte said.

“To be a Principal, you have to be very centered around what you believe in regards to how students should be treated and how schools should be run, and that just doesn’t happen overnight. But I’m pretty centered around what I believe,” Aponte said. He feels that type of relationship which students are so fond of is his responsibility.

After 34 years as a dedicated administrator, Aponte’s hiatus may not be a shock to some people, but it is certainly emotional to many. “It was sad to hear that it is official… I hope that we have the chance to find another person who is an advocate for South in the same way,” said Fisher.

Aponte didn’t always foresee the path he would follow: “I never would have imagined that I’d be [an administrator]. Never.” Yet with all the growth he nurtured for South in his time here, his legacy will be hard to follow. “He’s had a long career. It will be big shoes to fill,” said Woldum.

There is a standard district process for hiring principals, and the MPS Superintendent will make the final decision. However, Aponte will be a part of that hiring process, as well as other staff and members of the Minneapolis Public School community.

As for next year, Aponte has plans of self-improvement. “It’s really hard for me to think past today, because this is an encompassing job, but I think I’m really going to try to simplify my life, make good meals and become healthier mentally and physically,” he said. “This job is taxing mentally… I’m going to do yoga and keep biking and try to eat good food. And my family, my brothers and sisters and my mama, I hardly ever see them because I am almost always here.”

“It’s been an honor to work alongside hard-working teachers and to know brilliant student minds…Thank you, beyond words, for the privilege of being your principal,” the letter concluded. “I am a better person now, than I was before South High School.”

Aponte is leaving big shoes to fill, but the search for a new principal is beginning. On April 10, there was a Site Council meeting to discuss the process of selecting a new principal. After a few brief statements from Assistant Principal Isabel Rodriguez and Student Council Representative Marie Stebbings, Daniel Glass, who leads school leadership hiring for Minneapolis Public Schools, began to describe the process of finding a new principal for South High School.

First, the Site Council and others need to create a finalized survey for students, staff, and parents. The survey results will create a profile that Glass will use to find potential matches from a pool of candidates. Those candidates will be interviewed by a committee of South High community members who will give a recommendation to the superintendent. The superintendent then makes the final decision.

Glass said his role is “to make sure we have a deep pool of people to draw from.” Applicants must complete a set of rigorous assessments to be considered. These include an interview with an associate superintendent and two sitting MPS principals, presenting a plan to their hypothetical associate superintendent on how to deal with a hypothetical challenge at a school, a role-playing activity with an upset parent, and an observational activity where they give feedback to a teacher. Glass also emphasized that “this is not a district-driven process. This will be a South High-driven process.”

Glass also discussed the need to move quickly in order to secure a highly-qualified applicant. “There’s competition for people, but that being said I don’t want you to go any faster than you feel comfortable with,” he expanded.

After Glass took a few questions from teachers and parents, Assistant Principal Mercedes Walker discussed the survey. Many people had comments regarding the format and content of the survey questions. In the end, people at the meeting made suggestions on physical copies of the survey that were handed out. Lisa Ramirez and other members of Site Council will make changes to the current survey, then on Monday April 15th a smaller group will meet to finalize the survey.

LaCresha Dotson, parent of South junior Jordan Dotson, attended the meeting. “I think it went fairly well. I think what I heard, though, is that we’re a little bit behind the eight ball. We’ve got this monumental decision to make and not a whole lot of time to make it if we want to get the best candidates. I think there’s some good ideas that came out of here. There are some really concerned parents, but I also recognize that there are lots of parents and stakeholders that are not here as well. So I’m looking forward to seeing how this process plays out,” Dotson said.

Associate Superintendent Carla Steinbach, who also attended the meeting and will oversee the hiring process, said she hopes the hiring process will be complete in time for the new principal to begin work on July 1.

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What’s Up at the Franklin Community Library – May 2016

By ERIN THOMASSON

Book Donations for Navigation Center
Hennepin County Library is partnering with three local bookstores – Birchbark, Boneshaker, and Moon Palace — to provide reading materials for residents of the Navigation Center, many of whom relocated from the encampment on Hiawatha. Your donation will provide positive recreational and educational materials for people experiencing housing insecurity. Choose any title you wish! All books purchased for donation can be left in the stores; they will be picked up periodically and distributed to the Navigation Center. The location for each bookstore can be found on their websites: Moon Palace Books https://www.moonpalacebooks.com/; Birchbark Books https://birchbarkbooks.com/; Boneshaker Books http://www.boneshakerbooks.com/.Information about the Navigation Center can be found here: https://www.franklinhiawathacamp.org/

All Ages
Children’s Day in Japan
Sunday, May 5, 3-4pm
Celebrate and learn about Japan’s Children’s Day by experiencing Japanese music and creating Japanese crafts, including origami folding to make Kabuto (Samurai helmet) and Koinobori. Materials provided.

Learn Together: Connect and Play
Tuesdays, 6-6:30pm
Connect with your child during this drop-in program exploring early literacy activities. Join your neighbors each week for a different theme including music, art, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), reading and creative play.

Family Storytime
Fridays, 10:30-11am
For children of all ages and their caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write and play together in a format appropriate for young children. Share books, stories, rhymes, music and movement.

Teen Programs
Urban 4-H Club
Tuesdays, 5–7pm
We do everything from urban gardening to digital photo/video to theater. Partner: University of Minnesota.

Teen Anime Club
Saturday,  May 4, 3-4:30 pm
Discuss manga and share artwork. Something different every time!

Teen Tech Workshop
Wednesdays, 5-6:30pm
Get creative and make music, videos, animation and other projects using both high- and low-tech tools, everything from iPads and 3D printers to synthesizers and sewing machines. Led by the library’s Teen Tech Squad.

Dhalinta Horumar sare rabta / Young Achievers
Wednesdays, 4:30-6pm 
U dabaaldag Dhaqanka Soomalida, sameyso saaxiibo cusub iyo in aad isticmaasho hab nololeed cafimaad leh. Lamaane: WellShare International. Celebrate Somali culture, make new friends and practice healthy lifestyles. Partner: WellShare International.

Adult Programs
Blood Quantum Physics: A Podcast Workshop with New Native Theatre
Thursday, May 9, 6:30-8 pm
at Anishinabe Academy (3100 E 38th St) Registration required.
Join actors from New Native Theatre and learn behind-the-scenes podcast production. Activities may include voice acting and creating sound effects. Participants may be chosen to perform in Blood Quantum Physics, the live show that follows on Saturday, May 11. Best for adults and teens. Gakina awiya bizaanigo bi-izhaayeg. Owás’iŋ taŋyáŋ yahípi ye. All are welcome. Best for adults and teens. Space is limited. Collaborator: New Native Theatre. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Open Crafting
Monday, May 6, 1-3pm
Looking for a space to sew, knit or work on other crafts? Bring your current project and materials and join us! Sewing machines, knitting needles and other equipment will be available for your use.

Franklin Technology Hour
Thursdays, 12-1pm
Do you want to explore new technology, practice using a computer program, or learn more about the library’s electronic resources? Then come to Franklin Technology Hour! Bring your questions or come and explore a spotlighted resource.

OLLI Nonfiction Book Club
Friday, May 10, 1-3pm
Enjoy reading a variety of nonfiction topics including biography, science, technology, politics and more. Partner: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). May 10 & June 14: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Cards and Board Games
Saturday, May 11, 2:30-4:30pm
Come play a variety of games with new or old friends. Games are provided, or bring a favorite from home.

Blood Quantum Physics: A New Native Theatre Live Comedy Podcast
Saturday, May 11, 7-8:30pm
at at South High School (3131 South 19th Ave)
JFollow the funny adventures of three urban Indian girls as they relearn “the old ways” through characters like crabby aunties, baby daddies, hardcore culture keepers, tricksters, and so many more! Written by Deanna StandingCloud (Red Lake Anishinaabe). Join us as we kick off New Native Theatre’s brand new podcast series, Blood Quantum Physics! Live performance will be recorded. Gakina awiya bizaanigo bi-izhaayeg. Owás’iŋ taŋyáŋ yahípi ye. All are welcome. Best for adults and teens. Collaborator: New Native Theatre. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Franklin Learning Center:
612-543-6934 flc@hclib.org
The Franklin Learning Center offers free, one-to-one tutoring for adults who are learning English and math, preparing for the GED and citizenship exams, and gaining life skills. We are always looking for community volunteers! No experience necessary; we provide training and materials. Contact us at 952-847-2934 or flc@hclib.org.

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Transit: Wish the 53 ran all day?

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Route 53 is one of the nicest bus routes in the Phillips neighborhood. While the 27 and 39 also deserve honorable mention, they are barely known by most people.However, almost everyone loves the 53.What’s not to love? It runs down Lake Street like the 21, but only stops at intersections with other bus routes, rather than at every stop. In Phillips, the stops are: Hiawatha, Cedar, Bloomington, Chicago, 4th Avenue South, and I-35W. Unfortunately, the 53 runs only at rush hour, eastbound in the morning and westbound in the afternoon. There was a time about 10 years ago, when it ran more often and in both directions in both the morning and afternoon.

Do you ever wish Route 53 ran all day? Are you tired of being stuck on a slow 21 for most of your forays onto Lake Street? Well, there’s good news. In a few years, Route 53 will be replaced by the B Line, a Bus Rapid Transit line similar to the A Line on Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul. The B Line will have a similar stop pattern to the 53, with off-board payment and traffic signal priority like the light rail. This will make it even faster.

Unfortunately, the lead time necessary in writing for a monthly publication leaves me able to give you limited notices of the upcoming B Line meetings. However, if you happen to read this column in time, here are the meeting times and places:

• Wednesday, May 1, 4-6 PM, South High School (English and Spanish literature available), 3131 S. 19th Ave., Minneapolis

• Thursday, May 2, 4:30-6:30 PM, Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., Saint Paul

• Saturday, 4 May, 11 AM-1 PM, Oxford Community Center, 270 Lexington Pkwy. N., Saint Paul

• Wednesday, 22 May, 4-6:30 PM, Walker Library (Dual meeting for both the B and E Lines, the E Line being a similar project planned for Hennepin Avenue), 2880 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

If public transit matters to you, it would be wise to go to one of these meetings. Mostly, they consist of displays for you to look at to get the gist of what the project will look like when done. There is often a short presentation near the beginning, which is worth seeing but isn’t absolutely essential to getting the basic message.

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