NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday December 1st 2021

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Letter to Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association:

Response to 2744 and 2740 12th Avenue Proposed Development: Ensuring Gentrification and Income Inequality by Policy and Design By SUE HUNTER WEIR Reprinted in the alley by permission of the author The City of Minneapolis is well known for expressing concern about gentrification and income inequality—one of the dubious categories in which we lead the nation. These plans appear not to have taken into account the demographic makeup, and therefore the needs, of the people who live here. There is undoubtedly a need to have more housing for renters, but these designs are not the answer. I have listed some of the problems that jump out at me.1) Inadequate parking. Regardless of what the city's current policy is, the reality of life in Midtown Phillips is different. This is not, for the most part, a community of bicycle commuters. Our block (the 2700 block of 12th Avenue) is a block where most of the renters and owners are immigrant families. That usually means two working parents and several young children per household. Five of the houses on the east side of the street are duplexes with little off-street parking, and for those properties there are not two cars/vans per property, but more commonly four to six. Residents already have to pay for parking permits because of our proximity to a school, mosque, mall, and two major hospitals. Parking is at a premium. The notion that people will ride bikes if no parking is available is simply not true. (I say this as someone who walked from my house to the U every day for 30+ years and heartily supports the idea of bike commuting for those who are able).2) Safety. 28th Avenue is one of the city's busier streets and speeding is the norm. Twelfth Avenue is likewise heavily trafficked by residents, school buses, students' parents, and people using the park. All of these amenities are great but they do mean that there is a lot of traffic. (About one out of every three or four bike bollards are flattened on any [...]

Artists Invited to Submit Design Ideas for Light-Emitting Sculpture

Artists Invited to Submit Design Ideas for Light-Emitting Sculpture

By TIM SPRINGER The Midtown Greenway Coalition is issuing a call for artists to submit their ideas for a beautiful and stunning light-emitting sculpture. As mentioned in a previous Alley article, the purposes of the sculpture are to create exciting art that brings joy and makes you say “WOW!”, light up a dark area, and serve as a wayfinding beacon to help people find their way onto and off of the Greenway. This is a project of the Midtown Greenway Coalition with an Advisory Team composed of seven residents from the 2800 and 2900 blocks of 18th Avenue South, adjacent to the proposed sculpture location. I am honored to serve as Project Manager (a volunteer position) and work with the Advisory Team on this exciting project.  The sculpture will be located at the top of the entrance ramp to the Midtown Greenway at 18th Avenue. It will be about 12 feet wide and will be suspended up in the air about 12 feet above the trail surface. The body of the sculpture will emit light; perhaps through sheathing made of translucent acrylic material or perforated metal, or a surface that glows or has lights. Out of the bottom of the sculpture there will be lights aimed downward to the pavement to light up the pathway and adjacent sidewalk, and perhaps also out onto the roadway at the trail/roadway intersection.  Location of the desired public art piece. After receiving sketches from artists showing design ideas, the Advisory Team will select three finalists based on feasibility, artist capacity to complete the project, and how exciting each design is. Community members, Midtown Greenway trail users, and the public will then be invited to vote for their favorite design from among the three finalists.  After a design is selected, the winning artist will be invited to enter into a contract for up to $8,000 to create a detailed design that can be submitted to the City of Minneapolis for approval. The detailed design will include sculpture dimensions, [...]

Midtown Phillips News

Midtown Phillips News

Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Improvement Association News

By Dan Wilder I am happy to report that at our March monthly members meeting the Midtown Phillips neighborhood voted to support a plan to put a streetcar on the Midtown Greenway. We feel it will bring a much needed connection to the light rail lines and businesses along Lake Street for all the neighborhoods along the Greenway. You can learn more about the Alternatives Analysis study Metro Transit is conducting this year to review options for the Midtown Corridor on our website www.MidtownPhillips.org. In other news, we have an open board seat that we need to fill on our volunteer board of directors. It is a one year term to fill the seat I left vacant when I stepped into the role of president. I urge anyone who has a desire to help move our neighborhood in a positive direction to come to our next monthly members meeting and run for the open seat. If you can”'t make it in person, please let me know that you”'re interested in running. If you”'d like to stay informed of upcoming meetings and events in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood, you should check out our new website at www.MidtownPhillips.org. On the website you can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, through which you can receive previous board meeting minutes and an update on what we”'re working on. Also please pass along any announcements you”'d like us to post on the web. (Oh, and don”'t forget to “Like” us on Facebook too at www.Facebook.com/MidtownPhillipsMinneapolis.) I plan on writing monthly updates in the Alley from now on. Until next time, I look forward to working with you to make Midtown Phillips a vibrant and bustling community.

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

By Dallas Johnson Our 12 hour event on 8/13 (two dozen activities moving through 10 sites) exceeded our wildest expectations. The active embodiment of an invitation, the majority of the day was hands-on and interactive. It was well attended and numbers grew with each stop along 24th St. From collecting the water at dawn, bringing the water together (w/ Sandy Spieler), Simone Speer”'s dance workshop at E Philips Park, singing quietly in a circle (with Louis Alemayhu at PCC), decorating parade regalia (w/ Heart of the Beast), marveling at the Somali Mall, the parade up 24th St (with three 12 foot puppets, musicians and our decorated umbrellas), a big crowd and Patrick Nolan”'s original poem at the murals unveiling (w/ artists Elissa Cedarleaf and Greta McLain), neighborhood skit honoring Muriel Simmons that ended in a spiral dance, party at Center for Changing Lives with art activities, seed balls, MPRB”'s kids”' games, live African music, The Alley-hosted storytelling, snow cones and fudgicles, my original song with Julie Allen”' ASL interpretation)”¦we showed how creative, welcoming, willing and visionary we are when we come together. (more…)

“Programs might die, but good ideas and community”¦ live” Phillips”' “Wellness Corridor”

“Programs might die, but good ideas and community”¦ live” Phillips”' “Wellness Corridor”

by Robert Albee For the past two years many of us in the Phillips Community have been working to resurrect the Phillips Community Center (PCC) and turn it into a centerpiece for rebuilding the fabric of the neighborhood””this time as Phillips people instead of edifices or individual programs. We want the PCC to become Phillip”'s hub of activity just like the Sabathani Community Center does for the Greater Central neighborhood. If you look below at the map of Phillips, 24th Street is the only street in Phillips that intersects all four Phillips neighborhoods: West Phillips, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips and East Phillips. It connects LSS”' Center For Changing Lives on the west to Little Earth of the United Tribes on the East. In between is East Phillips Park”'s new building, Holy Rosary Church, AICDC”'s Townhomes, Center School and Open Arms. Then there is the Minnesota Indian Women”'s Resource Center, All Nations Church, 1ra Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus, Habitat For Humanity homes, Indian Health Board, Phillips Community Center, the Somali Village Market, Hope Academy, Phillips Eye Institute, Our Saviour”'s Church and Shelter, Southside Family Nurturing Center, Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens, and of course Lutheran Social Services. WOW! (more…)

PCPI Pitches PCC Proposal to Park Personnel

PCPI Pitches PCC Proposal to Park Personnel

by Robert Albee After three months of waiting, the Phillips Community Parks Initiative (PCPI) finally had an opportunity to present its proposal to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for leasing and participating in the operations of the Phillips Community Center. The actual written proposal was submitted July 9th and project organizers have been waiting ever since to formally address the opportunities face-to-face with Park Board staff and commissioners. Presentations were finally made on November 3rd and November 4th. MPRB staff members Don Siggelkow, Judd Reichert and Al Bangoura attended the two days of presentations provided by the Waite House, Soos Early Childhood Learning Center, Minneapolis Swims a “wellness” coalition including Native American Community Clinic, Running Wolf Fitness Center, Freeport West, A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD), Guri Nabad and Ventura Village neighborhood. The other three Phillips Community neighborhoods, East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Mid Town Phillips  and Phillips West Neighborhood Association were on hand supporting most of the other presenters and the notion of the MPRB and Phillips Community jointly supporting the Community Services Area (CSA), currently comprising Phillips Community and Eliot Park neighborhood. Soos represents a Day Care center seeking to move from South 33rd Street and Chicago Avenue and was not included in the group presentations but all the rest of the groups presented together as an applicant”'s coalition and then separately as the Pillsbury United Communities (Waite House), Minneapolis Swims and Soos. The response of MPRB staff was friendly and very responsive but stopped short of making any commitments to the applicants who will present their report and recommendations to the MPRB commissioners. Then the MPRB commissioners will then decide to approve or reject the request, which is expected to take place within the next four to six weeks. The [...]

Phillips Community Center Update “No, I”'ll take the stairs!” ”¦ Carl Peterson

Phillips Community Center Update  “No, I”'ll take the stairs!”  ”¦ Carl Peterson

by Robert Albee, Ventura Village It”'s finally done! Last week we sent to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for most of the organizations who want to work together with the Park Board in the reopening and ongoing operations of the Phillips Community Center. It”'s located at 11th Avenue and 24th Street in Ventura Village of the Phillips Community. In addition to prospective tenants, others who wish to have an ongoing presence in the building also have signed the agreement. Those seeking to be tenants and are signatories to this MOU are the Waite House/Pillsbury United Communities, Freeport West, Native American Community Clinic, Running Wolf Fitness Center, A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD), Ventura Village (Neighborhood), Guri Nabad, a No Child Left Behind After-School Program and Minneapolis Swims. Representatives from the other three Phillips Communities are also signatories to the MOU and include East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association and Phillips West Neighborhood Organization. Also participating as “non-tenants”, but strongly interested parties include Sergio Martinez from Messiah Lutheran Church, Hope Academy, Phillips Neighborhood Free Clinic and Access Chiropractic Clinic. (more…)

1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

Update on the Backyard Initiative By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center 1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative Community residents celebrated the first year of the BYI at the Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) on January 30th. Atum Azzahir, CWC Executive Director and facilitator of BYI community meetings, reviewed the progress that has been made: A community-authored definition of health A set of guiding principles for BYI work in the community An understanding of community dynamics before and after engagement Attention paid to the history and culture of the people in the Backyard The formation and development of Citizen Health Action Teams that have been working on designing projects to improve health The work of the Assessment and Analysis Teams that has transformed conventional assessment into a community-owned process, and The concept of a Community Commission on Health was developed and the formation of the Commission was approved by community members. Participants left with a written report on results of the Listening Circles, a process in which community residents developed questions, were trained in facilitation and note-taking, recruited people for the Listening Circles, facilitated the discussion and took the notes, analyzed the notes using qualitative methods, and approved the report. Since the BYI began, close to 300 residents have been involved in ongoing BYI meetings hosted by the Center. In addition, approximately 250 residents, participated in the Listening Circles that were held in the community. In the BYI Walk Around, more than 650 residents were interviewed, either in person or via telephone. Quotes from people who have participated in the BYI throughout 2009: “There is more than meets the eye in the people on the street, in the stores, and in the cars passing by.” “The big institution is just people who have to be encouraged to come outside.” “People want to work together [...]

Health Assessment Leads to Health Action Teams

Health Assessment Leads to Health Action Teams

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Thank you to all the residents who participated in the Listening Circles and the Walk-Around door-to-door or telephone interviews. Gracias a todos los residentes que participaron en los grupos de pláticas y en la encuesta, en persona o por teléfono. Waxaan u mahadcelineynaa dhamaan dadki kasoo qeyb galeen fikrad isweydaarsigi iyo wareysi xaafadaha oo ka dhacay xaafadaha kamid ah Phillips, Powderhorn Park , Central iyo Corcoran. BYI Assessment Completed The implementation of the health assessment of Backyard residents is now complete. The Listening Circles were completed in September and the Walk-around, where community residents hired by Wilder Research interviewed community residents about their health, was completed in January. Over 650 interviews were completed, in person or by phone. In accordance with one of the principles that guide the Backyard Initiative community engagement, “Any assessment of needs or assets, strengths or weaknesses, must be done by residents or with residents,” the assessment process has been planned, guided by, and implemented from start to finish by residents of the Backyard area. For the residents who were involved in conducting the door to door and telephone interviews the process has been engaging and full of insight. Stories from this process and the information from both the Listening Circles and the Walk-around will be shared in upcoming reports. (more…)

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