NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center at 2300 17th Ave. Exemplifies reward of unity after 40 years of vision and six years of struggle

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center at 2300 17th Ave. Exemplifies reward of unity after 40 years of vision and six years of struggle

: It has been forty years since hopes and visions of improvement to the two blocks of land between 17th and Cedar Avenues and 22nd and 24th Streets began.  Initial plans and proposals for dense housing were halted by limited citizen initiated political “arm twisting” that was nonetheless effective.  That effort led to park development limited to the barest of un-staffed, built facilities.  Six years ago that same awareness and tenacity of local residents-- knowing their numbers and needs were greater than were being met and propelled by the obvious inequity of program and facility availability for local youth compared to other parts of the city””initiated concentrated focus on further improvement. The January 22, 2011 Building Opening and Ribbon Cutting marks the culmination of six years of creative and determined effort by neighborhood organizations, residents, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board with city, county, and state support. The newly constructed 14,000 sq. ft. building features a high school-sized gym and adjacent kitchen, a teen center, computer lab, and rooms that will accommodate a variety of programming. At 30% more energy efficient than the average building in Minneapolis, the East Phillips building sets a new standard for energy efficiency in Park Board community centers. (more…)

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Ground-Breaking 4 ½ Years after Linda”'s Dream, Neighbors-described on ”˜Butcher Paper”'**

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Ground-Breaking 4 ½ Years after Linda”'s Dream, Neighbors-described on ”˜Butcher Paper”'**

By Brad Pass and Carol Pass On November 19th, 2009 a momentous event for the Phillips Neighborhood occurred. It was the ground breaking of the long awaited East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center. After years of relentless struggle primarily by the residents and organizations of East Phillips, with help from our adjoining neighborhood to the west, Midtown Phillips, and many others, the end is in sight. Within months we will be able to enjoy this beautiful new building. The East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center will include a big gym with bleachers, a community kitchen, a beautiful entry rotunda, an elder and family gathering space and rooms to provide programs and educational help for our multitude of residents. It will provide space to help them reach their potential, to improve their lives, celebrate their many cultures and just chill out and enjoy one another. Ball fields and landscaping will also be added. Such a Center was a long held dream going back years, but always stalled out for a thousand reasons. However, when the neighborhood organization, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, EPIC, began to plan programs for our neglected and desperately needy youth, the board members were stymied and brought to a halt by lack of space. They realized they could not write the grants to bring help to anyone, because there was no place to put the programs that were needed. All the churches were full. All the other possible spaces were occupied. The needs of this very diverse population were overwhelming, and we were helpless to respond. Then on July 14th, 2005, at the monthly EPIC neighborhood meeting, faced with a sense of sorrow at the inability to move ahead, East Phillips resident Linda Leonard spoke of a dream. She asked, “if we could have a Community Center in East Phillips Park, what problems would it solve and what could it do and be for the community?” She got out a large piece of butcher paper and started copying the [...]

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