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Thursday October 17th 2019

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Raise Your Voice: Changing horizons

By PETER MOLENAAR

Peter Molenaar

Those of us who have connected over the years with All My Relations Arts and Two Rivers Galleries were privileged to receive invitations to the recent opening receptions. These “Changing Horizons” events commemorated the 100th birthday of George Morrison, the Ojibwe artist who graduated from the local Minneapolis College of Art and Design, before viewing much of the world through the eyes of an abstract impressionist. To which I will add: Neighbors, these art openings offer a splendid opportunity to mingle with bright young faces who have significant lives awaiting. 

Some questions:

Did Morrison violate his heritage, as some have suggested, by immersing himself in the modernist art movement? (Conversely, did some “modernists” violate the past when they took inspiration from Navajo sand paintings?) Moreover, how does Marxism resolve the dialectical tension between ‘formalism’ and ‘realism’ in relation to aesthetics and the question of artistic freedom?

Regarding the first question, in principle, Native Americans have the absolute right to walk wherever the rosy cheek ones walk, because they are indigenous to the land. Conversely, do the rest of us have such absolute right? No, we do not. Special spaces are reserved for the first peoples.

As for the Marxist attitude, for example, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Marxism-Leninism persuaded the avant garde to embrace ‘realism’ for the purpose of elevating the masses, who, at the time, were largely illiterate. (Note: The patronage of capitalists had ceased.) Anyone doubting the beauty and purposefulness of this period should visit the Museum of Russian Art at the not so very far away 5500 Stevens Ave. location. However, historically, the “Reds” in our own country certainly upheld some relatively ‘formalistic’ expressions, which were part and parcel to the “Harlem Renaissance” of the 1930s. So, evidently, a liberal attitude towards formalistic expression eventually will prevail in this country, with some emphasis on meaningful content. Okay?

In the meantime, this community is asked to celebrate the artistic expressions of the historically oppressed peoples among us, who in their combination in the not so distant future, will assume majority status and leadership. We certainly will all do better when the day beyond the changing horizon arrives.

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September 2019 edition of The Alley

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GET IT FRESH THIS SUMMER

courtesy WAITE HOUSE

Teens garden at Waite House

by Tesha M. Christensen

At the Waite House, they’re nurturing a healthy foundation by growing fresh vegetables and then working with kids on an business venture.

In all, Pillsbury United Communities, which runs the Waite House (2323 11th Ave S,,),  has five spots in the Phillips neighborhood that they farm or sign the  lease to provide technical support for community members to have their own plots, according to Food Systems Manager Ethan Neal.

Who is involved in your gardening program?

Ethan: One of our gardens, which is located behind the Phillips Community Center where Waite House is located, is entirely kept by a group of 14 and 15 years old. They worked with our chef to develop a new salad called La Fresca. They grow the food in back and sell it to another nonprofit called Roots for the Home Team, who then in turn makes the salads for Minnesota Twins games. Our kids then go to the Twins Games on the weekends to sell these salads and learn business acumen. 

What type of items were planted in the garden this year?

Ethan: This year we have a variety of things planted. A lot of kale, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, pollinators, strawberries, etc. 

What is the value of having a garden at Waite House and what skills are the kids learning?

Ethan: The value is multifaceted for sure. It serves as a place of education for youth ranging from how to create their own business, to soil health, to eating healthy. It also allows as an income stream for our youth and our nonprofit. The food also goes into our free community meals held at the Waite House. It also beautifies the neighborhood with well kept and tended land.

 

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN PLANTING SEEDS, GROWING COMMUNITY – Drop by Urban Ventures’ farm and farm stand for vegetables, wood-fired pizza, burritos, and salads on Tuesdays and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., July-October. Urban Farm on the Midtown Greenway is at 2841 Fifth Ave. S. (29th St. and 5th Ave. S.) Urban Ventures produce is not touched by harmful chemicals. SNAP/EBT benefits accepted. Neighborhood residents can enjoy a 50% discount on all vegetables and fresh food with our Neighbor Card. To get a card, simply sign up at the farm stand during open hours.

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Simone Rendon (left) along with daughter Moneek (center) and Alexie Pennie of Nice Ride, has been selling her jams and jellies at Four Sisters Farmers Market each Thursday since they opened. She grew up in Phillips and lives in Hastings now, where she enjoys foraging and harvesting her ingredients and then fashioning edible art. “It feeds my mental health,” said Simone. She formerly worked in IT, and was depressed and unhappy. She and her daughter agreed that switching to this work has changed their whole family.

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Four Sisters Farmers Market is open each Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 26 at 1414 E. Franklin Ave. (parking lot of PowWow Grounds). While you’re there, browse through the veggies sold by Dreams of Wild Health, which works with kids on a farm in Hugo, Minn. through the Garden Warriors program. This year, 15 kids in two sessions were bussed out to Hugo for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. work days spent planting, harvesting and processing ingredients. Above is Korbin Lyn Paul. On Thursday, Aug. 22, folks could sample food the teens made under the direction of resident chef Brian Yazzie of Intertribal Foodways.

 

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Reducing harm

Southside Harm Reduction Services working to distribute and pick-up syringes, provide naloxone, and reduce stigma for those using drugs

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Luce Guillen (left) carefully places a used syringe into a container held by Michael Neil on Saturday, Aug. 24 during a clean up on the Midtown Greenway, Lake and Bloomington. Neil, a former user himself, says it is important to not just pick up the syringes, but to get to know the people who are homeless in order to know what they need. Plus, then he has some who save their syringes until the next time they see him, knowing he’ll dispose of them properly. “I let them know we love them,” said Neil. “It’s a reflection of where I come from, too.”

By Tesha M. Christensen

When Jack Loftus and Jack Martin saw a gap in services for safe injection equipment and more access to naloxone to prevent deaths from opioid overdose, they started Southside Harm Reduction Services.

Two years later, they’re leading a crew of volunteers quietly working to distribute and pick up syringes in the Southside as they seek to reduce the stigma and judgement people using drugs experience.

“We recognize that drug use and the overdose crisis is incredibly complex and difficult to deal with, but we also know that everyone has the ability to make positive changes, from reducing stigma to picking up syringes to distributing naloxone themselves,” said Jack Martin. “And we know to embrace every positive change.”

Share the story of how Southside Harm Reduction began.

Jack: Southside was started by two people, both named Jack: Jack Loftus and Jack Martin (me). Both of us were working at the Native American Community Clinic (NACC) in South Minneapolis. Through our work at NACC we helped start a short-lived syringe service program that grew incredibly fast in the few months that it was open. 

We learned that there was a huge need in the local Native community for safe injection equipment and more access to naloxone to prevent deaths from opioid overdose. We didn’t want the people who were accessing the program to lose that service when the exchange closed at NACC, so we bought a cheap flip phone and started to hand out our number. 

Back then people would text us or call us, and we would go deliver syringes, naloxone and other supplies to people after work or whenever we had free time. We were able to stay connected to many people who we got to know through the NACC exchange program this way.

We debated over what to call the organization for weeks and finally decided on Southside Harm Reduction Services. 

We grew slowly at first but quickly exploded in popularity when the warm months came, thanks to word of mouth. The only advertising we ever did was putting up a few fliers in the dead of winter 2017-2018 on Bloomington Ave. 

A Southside Harm Reduction crew looks for used syringes along the Midtown Greenway on Saturday, Aug. 24. Volunteers go out around the area several times a week. Go online to fill out a form requesting clean-up help.

We drew our inspiration from older local harm reduction programs such as Lee’s Rig Hub, AccessWorks!, and Women With a Point. We had help and received advice from many others who were already experienced in harm reduction work at the beginning. 

What is the mission and purpose of your group?

Jack: We strongly believe that a syringe exchange is more than just the syringes. 

We believe healthcare and healing are intensely political, and people who use drugs or do sex work experience oppression in this way everyday. 

Southside Harm Reduction is certainly about responding to the opioid overdose epidemic in a meaningful way, the racial disparities in OD deaths and HepC rates, and preventing HIV outbreaks – it is also about promoting safety, community, and autonomy and agency over one’s own health and body. 

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Co-founder Jack Lofter said, “People who use drugs experience so much stigma in their day-to-day lives … and that can have a real impact on people’s health.”

Our mission is to fulfill those ideals for people who use drugs and their communities. 

We do not aim to be just a service or a charity for people who use drugs. Our ultimate goal is for our organzation to be an avenue for people who use drugs to build community, to be empowered over their own safety, health and wellness, to be empowered politically and contribute to a cultural shift against stigma about drug use. 

Our dream is to make comprehensive and culturally-relevant healing accessible to people who drink and use drugs, Indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ people, people experiencing homelessness, people who do sex work, and anyone else who does not feel welcomed at existing institutions or feels they have to hide a part of themselves.

Why did you get involved?

Jack: Southside was started at the end of 2017 and early 2018 in the winter. We really took off in May 2018. We’ve all been doing harm reduction work for longer than that. We got involved in this work because it was a glaring unmet need in the community. 

When Southside started, there were four syringe exchanges in the Twin Cities Metro already, but they are not accessible to Indigenous people, and not accessible to many people in South Minneapolis in general. 

We were and still are filling a huge gap in services. 

Why is this work important?

Jack: At a base level the clean syringes reduce infections and the naloxone allow our participants to save people’s lives and prevent overdoses – which are both inherently important – but we are also able to reduce the stigma and judgement people experience when accessing services. 

People who use drugs experience so much stigma in their day-to-day lives, both from individuals and institutions and that can have a real impact on people’s health. 

Being able to offer nonjudgmental and supportive services ourselves and connect people to similar services helps remove barriers but also can reinforce the fact that everyone, including people who use drugs are important and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. 

How are you helping to solve the safety issue of needles on streets, etc. for local residents?  

Jack: We don’t think that anyone should have to worry about getting poked with loose syringes in their neighborhoods. It is certainly a valid issue, and as a syringe distributor we feel a responsibility to help make sure they are disposed of safely. 

We take in used syringes from individuals, distribute sharps containers to our participants and people in the community so they can dispose themselves, and we have weekly street cleanup efforts. 

We try and support community members who pick up used syringes as much as possible (this includes people who use drugs as well as people who do not or never have used drugs). 

We understand that seeing syringes on the ground can be really jarring for people, and it poses a danger especially to children and pets. 

It is important that people are aware of the reality that the risk is very low of catching any kind of diseases from a syringe. It is also important that people know the systemic reasons why people who use drugs might leave a syringe on the ground (such as it being illegal to have them on you, and it is tough to get rid of them quickly in any other way), and recognize that the amount of syringes that end up on the ground, compared to the amount of syringes being used in the area, demonstrates that nearly everytime people use a syringe they are disposing of it properly. 

Its important that people remember that the people using drugs and using syringes are their neighbors, they’re a part of your community, and above all else they are human beings and deserve the same love and compassion as everyone else. If we can un-do the stigma, when it is you or your loved one that is dealing with an addiction you’ll be able to show them support and know how to be helpful.  

How are you protecting Southside residents?

Jack: The people we work with are Southside residents. People who use drugs are our neighbors, friends, and family. People of any social class, race, and background are impacted. 

Distributing clean syringes and naloxone prevents death from overdose and infectious disease outbreaks. Syringe exchange programs help support drug users and connect them to other services such as treatment or medical care. 

A CDC study showed that people who access syringe services are five times more likely to access treatment services than people who do not access those same services. 

Above all else, syringe exchanges work to help people and communities reduce the harms experienced by the drug war, the criminal justice system, racist and discriminatory housing and child protection systems, and to ensure that they have the tools and information needed to make their drug use practice is as safe as possible. 

We meet people where they’re at, and help people make improvements in their health and wellness, while reminding them they are loved and valued and deserve respect. 

How can others get involved?

Sign up for our email list at southsideharmreduction.org! 

We have packing parties every Thursday night, and two regular street clean-ups that everyone is welcome to attend. We also have new volunteers meeting once a month. We will be tabling at the Seward Cafe on Sept. 11. We’ll be at Nicollet Ave. Open Streets on Sept. 22. Check out our website for more events as they come up!

One of the  best way to support our work and get involved is to donate money. We are entirely funded by small grants and donations, and run completely by volunteers. Our most important resource is money used to purchase supplies. 

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Join Nice Ride for $5

By Tesha M. Christensen

Nice Ride Minnesota Executive Director Bill Dossett (front right) rides with Council Member Kevin Reich, chair of the Minneapolis City Council Public Works Committee, at the launch of the Nice Ride dockless system last September. The non-profit is now partnering with Lyft to offer pedal-assist ebikes, as well.

Things are changing fast for shared mobility in Minneapolis, and Nice Ride is working to keep up with its evolving users.

This summer, bicyclists had access to the original green docked bikes, new blue dockless bikes, scooters and pedal-assist ebikes, introduced in late July (see related story on page 3).

“Nice Ride Minnesota over the years has really attempted to ensure that the organization is community-centered,” remarked Nice Ride Minnesota Program Ambassador Alexis Pennie. “It has taken the collaboration of Nice Ride with many community partners – especially those focusing on community health outcomes in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.”

What do you appreciate about Nice Ride and in what ways does the company add value to the community?

Alexis: I appreciate the contributions and support the efforts that Nice Ride is making to curb greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, and increase people’s opportunities to be more physically active. 

Currently, the leading cause for death in the United States is heart disease. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise, such as biking, increases the heart rate, which in turn, strengthens your heart muscle, helps to manage weight, and lowers blood pressure. 

For all these reasons and more Nice Ride is bringing real value to our communities. 

Alexis Pennie

How is Nice Ride accessible?

Alexis: Nice Ride is fully aware not everyone has a smartphone or has access to a debit or credit card. 

As a result, Nice Ride has teamed up with Prepare + Prosper—a St. Paul-based organization aimed at increasing financial well-being for all through free tax assistance and financial services – to provide referrals to financially underserved members of the community for Fair and Responsible Banking (FAIR) products. 

Also, Nice Ride has always provided its annual members with a Nice Ride key which unlocks any of their bikes at a dock station and will continue that practice which allows people without smartphones to be able to access their bikes. The blue dockless bikes can only be obtained via smartphone. 

What are the benefits of biking?

Alexis: Biking is great for your physical health. Additionally, biking can help to reduce levels of cortisol in the body which is a stress hormone that may block regenerative, deep sleep. It also can positively affect brain serotonin which can improve your sleep cycles.

What has been the community reception to the introduction of scooters?

Alexis: The introduction of scooters has been well received by community members. I have heard critical feedback from community members concerning the storage of scooters when people are not using them and they are placed along the sidewalk. 

What are the benefits of Nice Ride?

Alexis: The benefits of using a Nice Ride bike or scooter compared to owning your own consist of affordability, that fact that you don’t have to maintain the bike or scooter, and [it] provides the flexibility to leave the bike or scooter just about anywhere in the designated system rather then having to lug your bike or scooter back and forth. 

Our members come from both communities of people whom do not own their own bikes and people who do own their own bikes. Some people like Nice Ride Bikes because it allows them to offer a bike to a friend or family member that do not own their own bikes so, that they can do a group ride.

What are you promoting this summer?

Alexis: Nice Ride Minnesota is at the Four Sisters Farmers Market every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. promoting Nice Ride for All, the new program announced earlier this summer, that will make discounts available to those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Transit Assistance Program (TAP). Qualifying individuals may apply for Nice Ride for All online with their EBT or Metro Transit Go-To Card number. 

Anyone who registers for the program before the end of September will only pay $5 for their first year of membership. Enrollees will have access to unlimited 60-minute bikeshare rides throughout Minneapolis. 

 

Nice Ride launches new Ebike pilot in Minneapolis

For the first time, Minneapolis residents can supercharge their rides by trying out pedal-assist electric Nice Ride bicycles, Nice Ride leadership. Nice Ride launchd a pilot of 50 pedal-assist ebikes on July 29, 2019, helping bike share become more accessible to riders with diverse abilities and completing longer trips. The pilot comes at no additional cost to Nice Riders. 

“I am thrilled to see ebikes in the Nice Ride system for the first time,” said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota executive director. “In other cities, ebikes have tripled the utilization of bike share and attracted thousands of new riders. These fifty bikes are just the beginning of a new era in fast, convenient, and fun transportation in Minneapolis.”

“We are proud to build upon Nice Ride’s legacy as a national bike share leader with this ebike pilot,” said Caroline Samponaro, head of bike, scooter and pedestrian policy at Lyft, the operator of Nice Ride. “The extra boost from ebikes makes it easier for more people to complete trips on two wheels rather than four, helping to make our streets more livable across Minneapolis. Along with our new Nice Ride for All equity program this year, Nice Riders are having the best season yet.”

Ebikes require less physical exertion and offer a sweat-free ride, making cycling a more attractive option for a wider range of trip types and individuals. By making longer trips easier, ebikes will also help shift travel patterns from cars to bikes – combating congestion, pollution and making Minneapolis a more livable city for all.

The new Nice Ride pedal-assist ebikes provide a boost when riders are pedaling, allowing riders to reach up to 18 mph — generally how fast a classic Nice Ride bike can travel — with less effort. The new ebikes can be ridden anywhere it is legal to operate a bicycle in Minneapolis and must be parked in the physical Nice Ride stations. 

Riders can turn on pedal assist by pressing the “power” button (located between the handlebars) for three seconds while the bike is stationary. They can be unlocked from a station using a code from the Nice Ride app or using a Nice Ride member key.

In May, Nice Ride announced its significant commitment to bike share equity and introduced a new discount program for low-income Minneapolis riders, Nice Ride for All. To sign up, individuals enrolled in SNAP (food assistance) or TAP (transit assistance) programs can visit niceridemn.com/nicerideforall and complete a simple online sign-up by entering their EBT or Go-To Card number.  

Nice Ride is offering a limited-time promotion for new enrollees of Nice Ride for All. To celebrate the launch of this program, individuals who sign up through September 2019 will pay only $5 for their entire first year of membership. The Nice Ride for All membership will traditionally cost $5 per month. Once enrolled, individuals have access to unlimited 60-minute bike share rides throughout Minneapolis.  

About Nice Ride

Launched in 2010, Nice Ride is the hometown bike sharing system of Minneapolis. Overseen by the non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota and now operated and powered by Lyft, Nice Ride’s mission is to enhance quality of life by providing convenient, easy to use bike sharing that will provide residents and visitors a healthy, fun, different way to get around town. We are part of a growing community of people and organizations working for active lifestyles, vibrant cities and livable public spaces. We’re helping build that community by making it easy for everyone to ride a bike and to feel safe and welcome while riding. 

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PPL’s NEW MURAL

A 4,000-square-foot mural has been created on the side of Project for Pride in Living’s new Career Center at 1021 E. Franklin Ave. (the former Franklin Theater). The mural highlights the history, voices, and priorities of the Phillips neighborhood on a large scale. Attend the mural’s unveiling celebration on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 2–5 p.m.  Power of Vision (POV), a partnership between Hope Community and Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) and a cohort of 10 artists birthed the mural. >> More within the Ventura Village page. 

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Phillips woman devotes life to advocating for those with less

Tales from
Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

169th in a Series

Photo courtesy of Atchison Family
The photo was taken in 1920 when the women shown in the photo were the first women to serve on the Executive Committee of the nation-wide Republican Party. Carrie Fosseen, suffragist and social reformer (second row, far right) was a long-time resident of what is now the Phillips Community.

Carrie Jorgens Fosseen is not buried in Layman’s Cemetery but this month, on the 100th anniversary of Minnesota’s ratification of the 19th amendment, she is well worth taking the time to remember. 

She was a suffragist, a social reformer, and political activist, and for the many years she lived in what is now Phillips.

Carrie and her husband, Manley Fosseen, lived at 2916 Bloomington Ave. between 1900 and 1920, in a house that still stands. Although they would not have been considered wealthy, they had enough money that Carrie was able to devote a great deal of her time advocating for those who had much less. 

For her efforts on behalf of suffrage, Carrie was one of the first women appointed to the Executive Committee of the national Republican Party. In 1920, eight million new voters, all women, were about to vote for the first time, and both of the major parties had a stake in courting them.

But that appointment capped almost 20 years of her activism and advocacy on behalf of a number of causes. She, like many other middle-to-upper-middle-class progressive women spent countless hours lobbying politicians who they could not vote for. Women’s clubs and organizations banded together and did what they were exceptionally good at – organizing around issues that affected women and children, and fundraising in support of those causes.

She was president of the Thomas Hospital Tubercular Society, and of Tag Day, a fundraiser for the city’s visiting nurse program that provided in-home medical care to those who could otherwise not afford it. She chaired the “Sane Fourth” Committee, an organization that tried to prevent blindness, amputations and death caused by the reckless use of fireworks on the Fourth of July, something that might sound frivolous today but was a very serious problem at the time. 

She was an active member of the most well organized and most effective organization of its kind – the Minneapolis Women’s Welfare League, a political offshoot of the Minneapolis Women’s Club.  Founded in 1912, its mission was “the promotion of the welfare of women and girls.” At the time, there were an estimated 4,000 “homeless girls” in Minneapolis.  They did not use “homeless” in the same sense that we do today but used it to describe girls and young women who did not live with family or friends.  Then, as today, there was a serious shortage of affordable housing and only 22% of those women had adequate housing; the rest were thought to be vulnerable to sex traffickers.  The sad fact was that sex work paid better than factory work.

That reality led the League to take up the cause of poor women, many of them immigrants.  The League established a residence for 200 young women complete with a dining room, auditorium and moving picture theater.  They lobbied the School Board for vocational education for girls similar to the programs offered to boys.  They opened a vacation home in Prescott, Wis. where a $3 fee covered the cost of a week’s room and board and train fare to and from Minneapolis. And they ran a Rest and Convalescent Home at 2925 Park Ave. for women who had been discharged from hospitals but who had nowhere to go and no one to care for them.

Carrie was 45 years old when she cast her first vote in a presidential election. Although many of Carrie’s political views were progressive, they were by no means radical. She voted for Warren G. Harding, a man she believed to be a friend to labor, a constituency near and dear to the Fosseens’ hearts.Carrie’s husband, Manley L. Fosseen had served 12 years in the Minnesota state legislature serving the 42nd District (ours) that was home to thousands of skilled blue-collar workers and described as the “strongest labor district in Minnesota.”  

Republicans had high hopes for a Harding administration but those came to an end when he died unexpectedly after only two years in office. Scandals that came to light after he died left him with the reputation of having been one of the worst presidents in American history.

Undaunted, Carrie remained active in the Republican Party and served on its Executive Committee for 20 years, traveling throughout the Midwest leading planning and strategy sessions for Republican women.

In 1947, she was named Minnesota’s Mother of the Year which seems somewhat odd for a woman who was so well known for her accomplishments on the national political scene. But it would have been more or less expected that in order to be considered successful, a woman of her generation would have had to be able to balance her political ambitions with her domestic life. And she did that.  She accomplished all that she did while raising two sons, and, following the death of one of them, raising two of her grandchildren.  

Carrie Fosseen died on March 23, 1963, at the age of 88. She is buried next to her husband in Lakewood Cemetery.

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MIGIZI moves to Downtown Longfellow

Open house set for Sept. 12, 4-8 p.m.

by JOHN GWINN, MIGIZI

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
MIGIZI staff members, including new Executive Director Kelly Drummer (far left), are excited to be in their new office at 3017 27th Ave. S. Lake Street Council hosted a morning mixer on Aug. 22. 

As of late June 2019, Migizi Communications has finally established occupancy at its new location in “Downtown Longfellow,” at 3017 27th Ave S. 

After buying the vacant building last year, extensive renovations were done while Migizi conducted programming from its temporary home in the Plaza Verde building near Lake and Bloomington.

MIGIZI was established over 40 years ago by Laura Waterman Wittstock and others as an organization with an American Indian journalism and communications focus, bringing Native voices and stories to the public through radio, newspapers, magazines and other media. 

Over the years, the mission of this American Indian led organization has morphed into one with more of a youth development and education focus, working in collaboration with local school districts and other community and governmental organizations to improve outcomes for Native youth in the Twin Cities.

Drummer leads a tour and discussed the green intiatives students learn about, including solar and wind power.

Current programming includes in-school programming with a focus on improving American Indian graduation rates in Minneapolis and surrounding school districts, a workforce readiness and job training program focusing on the industries of “Green Jobs” and Social Media Marketing, as well as cultural-focused mentorship programming. 

With our new location, and under the leadership of new President Kelly Drummer, MIGIZI is undergoing a new strategic planning and re-branding process that will focus future programming and establish solid goals as MIGIZI enters a new phase in its successful history of advancing a message of success for the American Indian community.

MIGIZI will be holding an open house on Sept. 12, 4-8 p.m\. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP through our website, www.migizi.org.

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Briefs

Imagine MayDay on Sept. 11

Attend the Imagine MayDay: Community Update Meeting Sept. 11, 6-8:30 p.m. at Hearty of the Beast Theater (HOBT). At this meeting, hear insights and learnings from community engagement work this summer, which includes feedback from more than 500 people who shared their ideas and dreams for HOBT and MayDay:

• 80 artists and community members in one-on-one interviews

• 43 artists who participated in artist charrettes 

• 418 people who participated in our online survey

Be invited into ongoing opportunities to engage in the formation of a new MayDay model that is resilient, equitable, and decentralized.

Puppt Lab, The Phillips Project

Two former HOBT programs, Puppet Lab and The Phillips Project, will now continue independently of the organization. During this period of organizational transition, HOBT is not able to continue hosting these programs, but the important work will continue under the same program leadership. More at info@hobt.org.

King’s Fair Sept. 21

The Seward neighborhood will celebrate its biennial event, the King’s Fair, on Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 5 p.m., with a family-oriented day in Mathews Park, 2318–29th Ave. South. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Seward’s History.” The fair is a fun, low-key, neighbor-centered affair, co-sponsored by the Seward Neighborhood Group and the Minneapolis Park Board. There will be a variety of entertainments, music from local bands, offerings from local artist and crafters, activities for kids, and, of course, food. The Seward Neighborhood Group created the first King’s Fair in 1979, after the discovering that between 1865 and 1883 there had been a fairground in the center of the Seward neighborhood. They named it after the Minneapolis businessman, politician, and promoter, William S. King, who owned the fairground. For 18 years the fairground drew crowds in the thousands from throughout the state. It was home to a total of 15 fairs, three of which were Minnesota State Fairs, until the land was sold for development. The modern-day King’s Fair in Matthews Park, is adjacent to the location of the first fairs.

Visit the Seward Neighborhood Group tent to learn about the services they have provided to the community for nearly 60 years. Their recently released book, “A People’s History of the Seward Neighborhood,” will be for sale in the History tent.

Rain or shine, the fair will go on. See you there.

Email your event submission to copydesk@alleynews.org.

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Transit: The August pick

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

As of Aug. 17, 2019, Metro Transit is making several minor changes to its schedules that affect the Phillips neighborhood, and a couple of major changes outside the area which are notable due to the sheer amount of change involved.

First of all, the changes in Phillips:

• Route 2 will allegedly have an extra trip added in the mornings for customers going to the U of M; however, no new schedule has been published.

• Route 5 will have about five rush hour trips abolished, its southbound run is moved from 8th to 6th St., and times will be changed slightly to reflect the new stopping place at the Mall of America.

• Route 21 will have some 21E trips which end at Wendy’s by the new Aldi changed to 21D trips which cross the river and end at Saint Thomas College. Five rush hour trips are being eliminated as well.

• Route 22 will lose one early morning trip in each direction.

• Route 53 will lose one early morning trip to Saint Paul.

• Route 111, a U of M express, will have minor time adjustments.

Now, for the two major changes in the “outside world”:

• The Green Line, as has been discussed for the past several months, will be replaced by buses on its 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. runs on weekdays, in order to give maintenance crews time to work unimpeded. (As I’ve said before, I still think Metro Transit considers the discouragement of homeless people from riding all night for shelter to be an added bonus, even if that isn’t the primary intent of this change.)

• Route 614, a suburban crosstown from Ridgedale to the 7-Hi neighborhood in Minnetonka, will be abolished due to low ridership.

It is claimed by Metro Transit that at least some of the abolished rush hour trips are due to the chronic shortage of drivers. I’ve noticed on flyers they’ve raised the starting wage to $20.44 an hour. So if you or anyone you know wants a job driving a bus, this is a good time to apply. (Among other things, I have narcolepsy. Trust me, you don’t want me driving anything, not even a bicycle, at this point in my life. At least it doesn’t matter if I pass out while writing the column, LOL!) Public transit is a lifesaver for many people like me….

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