“…Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…”
BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL
If you looked to the southwest as you were arriving for La Natividad this past December, you could see just the briefest hint of the sun’s last rays. It was the darkest part of the year for us in northern climes; for many of us, 2016 was one of the darkest as well. From Zika to Aleppo, from thousands dying in the Mediterranean trying to seek shelter from war and abject poverty to an election characterized by fear and hatred, from shooting of black men by police to the shooting of police, this past year had its share of darkness.
La Natividad tells the Christmas story from the perspective of an immigrant family in our neighborhood seeking posada, or shelter. Many of the actors and volunteers this past year will be directly affected by the new administration’s strategy on immigration. After a year in which immigrants were demonized, the question remains: Will we provide shelter to those who are already here, and those who will come?
La Natividad is a partnership of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on 15th Avenue. Usually we abbreviate the name of the church to St. Paul’s Lutheran, but in this climate, maybe we should dwell on the “evangelical” for a moment, as the sun makes its slow journey north. Evangelical comes from two Greek words, meaning “good” and “angel” (or “messenger”). Doesn’t Phillips need to hear from a good angel? Don’t we need a message, not of Making America Great Again, but of recognizing the great love that we already bear within us?
In La Natividad, María hears from two evangels that she is to bear the Holy Child into the world. First a dancer with bells on her feet—who is in charge of a sometimes unruly flock of little angels—physically serenades María with a beautiful Aztec dance. Then a mysterious angel, masked as the whole of heaven, brings soundless words to her. María is shocked, then wondering, then accepting this good news: she will bear this child. She will accept this gift.
Front Page Art and Banner Kimber Fiebiger’s creativity has complexity and surreality of Gaudi, Picasso, Seuss and Carroll
Kimber Fiebiger creates bronze sculptures that range from fun and whimsical, to classical and contemporary. The six Humpty Dumpty sculptures on the Front Page of this issue are at her Gallery/Studio. She lives in Minneapolis yet her sculptures have been sold all over the country where she has won numerous awards. Besides being a fabulous sculptor, Kimber has created a home/gallery/studio that will amaze and intrigue you upon viewing. Ask anyone who drives by her Gallery at E Franklin and S 31st Avenues. Her building has been described as having the artful complexity of Spanish designer Antonie Gaudi combined with the surreal nature of Pablo Picasso. Her recent outdoor landscape brings to mind playful images of Dr. Seuss and the imagination of Lewis Carroll.
Commentary Put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Mend those fences make repairs. There is still time for:
BY HARVEY WINJE
- Mpls. Public Schools to recognize a genuine opportunity for Community Education.
- Corcoran Neighborhood Organization to recognize grassroots organizing when it arises from the community.
- Architects to recognize classic architecture even if disguised by cosmetic additions and siding.
- Consultants to deflate their inflated costs to discourage creative re-purposing; perhaps instead comparing to the extraordinary costs of shoring up the Community Education building at Hiawatha and Lake Street so it didn’t fall into the hole made for the new development there.
- Hennepin County to remember what a win-win happened after a decade of controversy of a Garbage Transfer Station at Hi-Lake.
- The City of Minneapolis to encourage implementation of efforts for Zero Waste.
- For the Partners of the new development including the Midtown Farmer’s Market to move the Post and Beam Framework of the original church back to where it was built to become a shelter for a portion of the Market. It would become Market and Gardening News across the country.
GOAL: “A Requiem for Architectural Eclecticism, Immigrant Ingenuity, Building Repurposing, Prairie Urban Culture, and Marketing Savvy on East Lake Street.” A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS To Musicians, Poets, Composers, Lyricists, Spoken Word Artists, Songwriters, Playwrights, and Humorists
Plans are being made for a Celebration of the past occupants, companies, and organizations that built, moved, and used the 2019 East Lake Street building for 134 years.
Yes, it will be a funeral of sorts, a Requiem, to honor the structure and its meaning for thousands of people.
The word Requiem means memorial ceremonies and also texts and compositions associated with death, dying, and mourning, even when they lack religious or liturgical relevance.
Poems, songs, music, spoken word, rhymes, and stories may all be included in an event to be announced soon. Perhaps there is a local theater troupe or two that would take this on for a World Premeier.
Send submissions to: The Alley Newspaper at: email@example.com;
P.O.Box 7006, Mpls, MN 55407; or call 612-9990-4022.
“Don’t prejudge value by outward appearance alone”
BY SHARI ALBERS
For 15 months, a group of local history-minded folks have fought to save the odd-shaped building sometimes known as “the Burma Shave building” on the southwest corner of 21st Avenue South and Lake Street. It appears that all hope of saving even part of the building is lost.
Led by the indomitable Steve Sandberg, our group had a theatrical presence at Open Lake Street 2016, researched much beyond Burma Shave’s history, registered with Minnesota Preservation Alliance in hopes of getting a historical survey, paid over $500 in fees, and testified to the Heritage Preservation Commission and Minneapolis City Council.
Through our research, we discovered that the building at 2019 E. Lake St. was originally a Congregationalist Church—thus the timber frame-post and beam roof in the middle of the structure. It was built in 1882 near the current Midtown Farmers Market. In 1911, the last living church founder, Mrs. Mary Burnell, was interviewed for a Minneapolis Morning Tribune article. Burnell talks about the area in 1882:
“Although we were small in numbers we made up for it in enthusiasm. Within a few months we had built and paid for a $5000 church building. The older churches gave us much help and encouragement. We were an isolated and unorganized community—only a few homes grouped about some factories along the railroad tracks. Two or three miles of open prairies separated us from the city limits, then at Franklin avenue (sic). On all sides of us there were grain fields. For several months before organizing we had been having Sunday school in the district school. When we organized a church we determined to have a church building. For many years ours was the only evangelical church for two or three miles on any side.” Read the rest of this entry »