NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday September 19th 2017

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September 2017 Alley Newspaper

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In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre: Update to Our Community August 2017

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) recently received a $275,000 gift from the Sarah Bowman Trust.

BY CORRIE ZOLL

HOBT’s Vision: 3 Years 3 Goals

Over the past three years, HOBT has been working toward a transformational plan to build a more resilient organization, to address the issues of owning an aging and distressed building, and to better serve its neighbors.

The Avalon Theatre: HOBT Says! & Welcomes Renters

The plan centers on a rebranding of HOBT’s Avalon Theater at the corner of 15th Avenue South and East Lake Street as a neighborhood art center. HOBT will continue to own and operate the building, and will continue to use it to present programming.

Nearly all of HOBT’s programming can be condensed so that it relies on the Avalon Theater stage 20 weeks of the year. This leaves 30 weeks each year to fill the space with arts programming and events that represent the cultures present in the neighborhoods served by HOBT. Imagine live music, dance, theater, film, birthday parties, weddings and more. The additional income will strengthen HOBT’s ability to work toward its mission to bring people together for the common good. Making an updated facility more accessible to more users serves a deep need for rehearsal and performance space in the Twin Cities. For HOBT’s neighbors in the Midtown Phillips, East Phillips and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods, that means more weekends that the Avalon Theater marquee is lit, more nights with activity on the corner of 15th & Lake, and more opportunities to connect with neighbors across cultures.

HOBT’s Next Steps

HOBT believes that a capital campaign will be needed to raise three million dollars to make this vision possible. Funds will be needed for upgrading the building’s basic infrastructure, for making the building more accessible to a wider range of audiences, and for changes that will transform the building into a powerful asset for realizing this vision.

A Special Gift from Sarah Bowman Read the rest of this entry »

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Theatre’s Community Soul

BY SANDY SPIELER*

Perhaps it seems like a contradiction to be a professional theatre with a community soul.  Our internal dilemmas—about speaking our artistic voices while also giving community participants a voice; about providing our company with livable wages while keeping the theatre work inexpensive and affordable—are not separate from the external dilemmas of the larger world.  Indeed, such a path contains all the recurring dilemmas of seeking to live a soulful life in the midst of our nation, where everything is valued primarily as a commodity of the marketplace.  Walking this dilemma is part of being “in the heart of the beast.”

In 1979, company member and poet Stephen Linsner suggested the name “In the Heart of the Beast” as a metaphor for our theatre.  He wrote,

“To be puppeteers in the Heart of the Beast

…is to find ourselves in the great world Beast made of families, races, ages, classes, corporations, and nations, people, (and creatures!) all different, working out a way to live together.

…is to work puppets. To hold life in our hands, to sense how we are all like puppets—worked by instincts, voices, and forces above and below us.

…is to carry and protect something very old like a heart within us, a secret, a promise.  Like carrying a flickering candle through a dark place.  Like carrying a family in a horse drawn wagon.

…is to travel the roads of history and loss, in search of something like a new heart: new communities, new families, new work, new holidays.

…is to tell the story of people who live in the heart of the beast—as courageous and resourceful as they really are.”

This name was inspired by a phrase written by the Cuban poet Jose’ Marti, though often attributed to Che Guevara.  Che had urged North Americans who wanted to be part of the Cuban revolution to “stay home and work in the place where you live, where you find your community, in the heart of the beast.”

Sandy Spieler is Artistic Director of HOBT

*This is an excerpt from the 7th Chapter “From the Mud—Puppets From the Pulse—Song Twenty-five Years of Puppet Theatre on East Lake Street” written by Sandy Spieler within the book, THEATRE OF WONDER: 25 YEARS IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST, published by University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Excerpts from page 45-46 and page 50.

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Clyde Turner Basketball Camp At East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center-17th Ave. & Phillips Community Center-13th Ave.

Coach Karim Jackson says, “Stretch you arms way out!” “Keep them up.” “Now you have it! “That’s Good!”

Is MORE than Basketball!

BY CAROL PASS

The highlight of summer for hundreds of Phillips kids is the Clyde Turner Youth Basketball Camp. Approximately eighty boys and girls from nine to seventeen years of age filled the East Phillips Park Gym the week of August 14th and the Phillips Community Center the week earlier. They came for basketball and got a whole lot more. Clyde Turner’s Camp is an Educational Basketball Academy where basketball is utilized as a conduit to learning skills and skill application for success on and off the court. It provides sport opportunities for group social learning, leadership, development of good decision-making skills and a sense of accountability. The Camp is made possible by a partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC), Minneapolis Parks & Rec. and Past Athletes Concerned About Education (PACE).

I saw this unique concept unfold on Thursday as the gym started to fill at 11:00 AM. Clyde called the group to order at a little after 11:30 and introduced Dequon Oliver.  Dequon was one of the youth in Clyde’s Basketball Camp twenty plus years ago. He is now a business man and owns a very successful barber/beauty shop in the area. Before basketball coaching and practice began, Dequon gave an inspiring talk about how his dream came true and challenged the youth in his audience to DREAM big as well. He counseled the kids to equate the “R” in DREAM to the word “Resource” – ie, find resources such as parents, school, church, etc. to help realize their dream. The “E” is to “Educate” yourself in-order-to prepare for the dream. “A” is to “Apply” yourself in all you do, and “M” is keep yourself “Motivated” in all decisions on your way to your goal. He then asked the youth to share their dreams which included the law, farming, politics, human and veterinarian medicine, and many more wonderful DREAMS all of which he assured, would be attained. A few of the youth wore Clyde Turner t-shirts which read; “Work Hard, Play Hard, Study Hard – Excel in Life – Beat the Odds”.

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Phillips West Neighborhood Upcoming Events

September 7th (Thursday) 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.Phillips West Monthly Community Meeting!

Join your neighbors and other Community Partners for updates from Local City Government & Minneapolis Police.  We will also have Hennepin County Community Action present to share their programs that can benefit residents! The meeting will take place at the Center for Changing Lives Building in the Centrum Room (2400 Park Avenue).  Free parking is available in the rear of building off of Oakland Avenue.  Free Jakeeno’s Pizza Dinner will be provided!  If you would like more information or would like to get involved in the neighborhood please contact Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email her at pwno2005@yahoo.com

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Transit: Loos, Fare Hikes, and Detours

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Finally! A month with Phillips-specific transit news, after two months of waiting.

The Lake Street light rail station is being renovated, including fixing the elevators and escalators, cleaning and re-coating/re-painting surfaces, replacing broken glass, and putting in new signs and lights.

Now if only the Met Council would do something about the elevators smelling like urine. I recommend installing a “Portland Loo” (http://www.theloo.biz) at light rail stations, park and ride lots, and other transit facilities. The Portland Loo is a metal outdoor toilet designed for areas where people often misuse provided facilities. It is vandalism-resistant and affords just enough privacy and comfort to be usable while not encouraging loitering or improper use. Passersby can’t see your genitals, but they can hear everything and see if more than one person is inside.

Non-rush hour local fares are going up from $1.75 to $2.00 and rush hour local fares are going up from $2.25 to $2.50 as of October 1, 2017. Express and Northstar fares are also increasing by 25 cents across the board. The Transit Assistance Program, an experiment which provided lower fares to people with low incomes, becomes permanent with a fare of $1.00 at all times, the same as the revised limited mobility fare. A proposed extension of reduced fares for children 6-12 and senior citizens to all times, instead of just non-rush hours, was not adopted.

Route and schedule changes affecting Phillips for the August 19, 2017 pick are as follows:

Minor schedule adjustments for the Blue Line and Routes 5 and 9; weekday afternoon times will be adjusted “to better accommodate ridership” on Route 21; Route 11 will have minor changes to reflect the new schedule at Washburn High School.

Route 2 must detour because the Franklin Ave. bridge over I-35W will be closed. It will take five minutes longer than usual between points east and west of the freeway. In addition, Route 27 will run once every 30 minutes at all times, rather than increasing to once every 10 minutes at rush hour. This route uses 26th and 28th Streets to zoom between the Lake St. light rail and McDonald’s by I-35W and Lake. Last but not least, Route 67 is being reduced from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes at non-rush hours weekdays and Saturdays. The 67 provides a pleasant alternative to busier routes between the Franklin Ave. light rail and downtown Saint Paul.

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History: what and who chooses? After 150 Years Gone, But Not Forgotten

Mike Barth, Pioneer and Soldier Cemetery Caretaker “through rain or shine” on the lawnmower or here on a bobcat helping Brian Orth setting a Veterans grave marker. Tim McCall

By Sue Hunter Weir

In his book “In the Memory House,” author Howard Mansfield raises questions about who we, as a society, choose to remember and why.  The “why” has less to do with the accomplishments of those being remembered and more to do with our sense of who we are as a society.  Some people’s stories get told; others’ stories do not.  Who decides?

In 1993, when he wrote the book, he made an observaation that describes what we are witnessing today:  “History is like that; you’re gone but a hundred, a hundred and fifty years, and someone takes you off your pedestal, or they leave your name off of your portrait.” After last week’s events in Charlottesville, statues, monuments, and markers honoring the military leaders of the Confederacy are coming down but with tens of thousands of books written about the Civil War, those men are not likely to be forgotten.

The monuments and markers in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery are mostly in memory of individuals and none of them would be viewed as offensive or hurtful.  There is a flagpole that was a gift of the Women’s Auxiliary in the 1930s, two Depression-era stone birdbaths, and a large boulder with a sentimental quote by Abraham Lincoln that celebrates the contributions of pioneer women.  There is a large block of granite with a plaque dedicating it “To Our Nation’s Defenders.”  Where it came from, and when, is one of our enduring mysteries.

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association News-September 2017

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EPIC Report-September 2017

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September 2017 Ventura Village

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