Update from the Executive Director
Given today's ubiquity of this phrase, last week's program on Combating Islamaphobia garnered great interest and support from MCC members and their guests. The panel of three Somali immigrant neighbors presented unique personal experiences, spoke of their love and appreciation for what this country offers and shared their good counsel on ways in which we can, together, work towards creating healthier community relationships.
As is almost always the case, meeting and getting to know someone new, listening, sharing insights, empathizing, trying to more fully understand a different point of view or cultural practice, seeing beyond the news headlines that often define our collective "truth," proved to be an illustratively bonding experience. At the granular level, our shared humanity is so apparent and assumed basic decencies, expected.
A timely message to complement our national remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., yesterday, and a touchstone for the days ahead.
MILL CITY COMMONS: We learn. We share. We engage. We give.
~ Joan Wright
Crossing the Finish Line: Improving the Graduation Rates of Low-Income Students
Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St SE
Seventy-seven percent of students from families in the top income quartile nationally earn a college degree, as compared with only 9% of students from families in the lowest quartile. Students who begin college but don't graduate are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed and to default on their student loans. Learn more about how Wallin Education Partners is addressing these issues. Since 1992, more than 4,000 students have received support that includes four years of financial aid and ongoing services. With a graduation rate of 92%, Wallin is one of the most successful programs of its type in the country and is an effective alternative to traditional scholarships. Panelists include Brad Wallin, Wallin Education Partners Vice Chairman; Susan Basil King, Executive Director; and Tom Holman, former Board Chair, current trustee and long-time donor partner.
Wednesday, January 18, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S
Join bridge players for a round of social bridge; levels of expertise and experience vary. Bring a partner if you can, and remember to register both yourself and your partner. Questions? Contact Carol Jordan at
Artful Aging Radio Show
Monday, January 23, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Tuesday, January 24, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave S
CommonBond Communities and EngAGE.MN invite Mill City Commons members to a live show that will be performed and recorded for radio and podcast on two consecutive evenings. Featuring T. Mychael Rambo, award-winning actor, vocalist, arts educator and community organizer, the show is the culminating event of EngAGE.MN's "The Power of Storytelling" class at CommonBond's Riverview Senior Housing Community. Rambo taught the class and worked with the older artists, who also will be performing. The event is free but tickets must be reserved through the MCC website. A reception will follow the show.
MCC members sign up here for Monday's event and here for Tuesday's event; guests email MCC.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Abiitan
Tuesday, January 24, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Abiitan, 428 2nd St S
Here's your chance to get an exclusive look of one of the newest buildings in the neighborhood! Executive Director Erwan Moison will lead a tour that includes stops in the restaurant, café, activity room, memory care floor, sky room and terrace, and several of the apartments. The visit will conclude with samplings of Abiitan's dining offerings.
The tour is currently full. If you'd like to be placed on the waiting list or are interested in a future tour, email Betsy Wray.
Men's Coffee and Conversation
Thursday, January 26, 7:30 - 8:30 am
Elsie's Restaurant, 729 Marshall St NE
It's caffeine and camaraderie for the male members of MCC and guests! This group meets ev
ry other Thursday and is hosted by various members who get the conversation going. Please register by the Monday prior to Men's Coffee and Conversation. MCC community partner Erwan Moison hosts this week.
Thursday, January 26, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Fifth Avenue Lofts, 401 N 2nd St, #414
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Carol Jordan hosts on the topic of "Who are you now?" Are you still searching? Defining? How's that going? Or are you simply doing what comes along and enjoying the ride?
MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Happy Birthday Mozart: A Recital
Friday, January 27, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
MacPhail Center for Music, Antonello Hall, 501 2nd St S
Abiitan Mill City invites its Mill City Commons friends and neighbors to a recital celebrating Mozart's 261st birthday. Join MacPhail faculty member and soprano Andrea Leap and faculty member and pianist Gail Olszewski in Antonello Hall as they delight with songs and sonatas from Mozart, Haydn and Schubert, with discussion in between. Cookies and coffee will be served from 10:00-10:45 am, followed by the recital from 11:00 am to noon.
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, January 31, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
McKinney Roe, 530 4th St S
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the McKinney Roe, the new restaurant located on the ground level of the Wells Fargo towers in East Town. Hosted this month by Anne and Tom Carrier, Happy Hour is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Dutch treat--no reservations required! If you'd like to stay for dinner, reservations can be made by calling (612) 545-5863.
MCC members and guests. No reservations required!
MCC Program Calendar
View the MCC January calendar
Plan ahead! View the MCC February calendar
News from Members
Cleaning out your closets and cupboards? MCC member Mary Bednarowski suggests you consider donating your gently used items to the Learning in Style Clothes Closet (2200 Nicollet Avenue). Learning in Style is a school run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for adult immigrants learning English and studying for citizenship exams. The Clothes Closet is a free store that provides clothing and household items for students at LIS and surrounding neighborhoods. The store needs clothing, especially men's, and at this time of year jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, shoes and boots. Underwear is welcome, too, and also household items like towels, dishes, glasses, silverware and pots and pans. The store asks for seasonal clothing, since they don't have extra storage room. The store is open Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11 am and 2 pm for "shopping" and accepting donations. You may want to call ahead to be sure they're open: (651) 595-5300 or (612) 870-1815.
Are you familiar with Thursday Musical? MCC ED Joan Wright shares that Thursday Musical is dedicated to presenting fine classical music programs featuring outstanding local musicians and offering educational opportunities to artists and audiences alike. Its Thursday Morning Artist Series winter schedule is about to begin! Joan hopes you'll be able to take advantage of this brilliant musical opportunity right here in the neighborhood. Learn more here.
MCC member Diane Hofstede encourages you to visit the American Swedish Institute's new exhibit: Where the Children Sleep, which opens January 21. This internationally acclaimed exhibition is a moving series of photographs by Sweden's award-winning photojournalist Magnus Wennman about refugee children who fled Syria, leaving everything behind. Diane also invites you to the "First Look" Preview Party on January 20 at 7:00 pm to launch the five new ASI exhibitions reflecting the theme of Migration, Identity and Belonging. To learn more and register, click here.
MCC member Laura Crosby invites you to an exhibition of "SURVIVAL," photographs by Laura Crosby and David Parker, at the Plymouth Church Gallery. Laura's photographs are of homeless, beauty myth, "trafficking" and women's battles. David's photographs are of child labor, brick workers, garbage pickers and street vendors. The opening will be held on Sunday, January 22, after the church service (around 11:30-11:45 am) at 1900 Nicollet Ave.
Liberty Falls, 54321
January 19 - February 5, 7:30 pm, Lab Theater, 700 N 1st St
Join the Moving Company for an operatic comedy, loaded up with lots of laughs, singing and whole lot of heart. Liberty Rose is turning 105 and residents of Liberty Falls have planned a celebration, but things aren't going as planned. This is a production where opera meets small town Wisconsin! To purchase tickets, click
The Beautiful Brain: Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal
January 27, 7:00-10:00 pm, Weisman Art Museum, 333 E River Rd
Attend this preview party and have an opportunity to journey into
the human brain for a glimpse of the inner workings of the mind in the Exploradome.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal, considered the father of modern neuroscience, was also an exceptional artist. He drew the brain in a way that provided a clarity exceeding that achieved by photographs; see his original drawings in this exhibition. Free admission.
Mill City Times
is a local website devoted specifically to our neighborhood and a place to go to find out what's happening, whether it's a new restaurant opening, a local event, proposed construction, volunteer opportunities and more.
for community volunteer opportunities on the MCC website!
MCC Ongoing Social Opportunities
Mondays, 4:00-5:00 pm
Jefe Urban Hacienda
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. No reservations
Guthrie Play Reading
Stone Arch Group
Tuesday, January 24,
7:00 - 10:00 pm
North Star Group
Tuesday, January 31,
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Groups will read
"The Royal Family"
Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Guthrie Theater Level 5 Express
No reservations required.
A Man Called Ove
by Frederick Backman
Rendezvous on 5
Wednesdays, 9-10 am
Guthrie Theater Level 5 Express
Drop in and join your friends and neighbors for fellowship at this neighborhood haunt. This weekly adventure requires no reservations!
Men's Coffee and Conversation
729 Marshall Street NE
Caffeine and camaraderie for the male members of MCC! This group meets every other Thursday at 7:30 am and is hosted by various members who get the conversation going.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Relax and chat with other MCC women. This group meets every other Thursday and alternates between morning and afternoon times. Look for details in the body of this newsletter.
Ongoing Member-Led Activities
MCC Caregiver Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, January through April,
10:30 am-12:00 pm
A way to support members and non-members who are or have been in a caregiving role. For
contact Betsy Wray.
Men's Dutch Lunch
Guthrie Theater Level 5 Express
Alternating Thursdays at 11:30 am
January 19 & February 2
This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact
Mill City Commons
Ongoing Fitness Opportunities
501 Washington Ave
Created exclusively for MCC, this class at 501F1T focuses on strength, balance, and stretching.
First time participants, please contact 501F1T at 612-767-4415 and arrive 20 minutes early to complete paperwork. Cost varies depending on commitment.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
Stone Arch Lofts Riverside Parking Lot
All levels of walkers are welcome for this early morning walk along the banks of the Mississippi River. An MCC volunteer leads each walk.
Wednesdays and Fridays,
Yoga Center of Minneapolis,
212 3rd Ave N, Ste 205
This is an alignment-based class. Purchase a 12-class pass for $132 directly from YCM to use as your schedule allows, or drop in on a class for $12.50. Contact Dena at
612-436-4700 for details.