March 13, 2018
Update from the Executive Director

I once read that cultivating a habit of gratitude takes constant effort, but can make life so much better. Given the barrage of negative daily news, this is a habit worth cultivating!

Recently, a number of personal life experiences have filled me with gratitude: a healthy and strong new addition to the family; a positive career move for one of our daughters; a better-than-expected health update from a dear friend; a delightful reconnect with a college roommate. Each of these have brought joy and gratitude, making life richer and fuller.

"When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." G.K. Chesterton

I like that. Particularly since each day's myriad small blessings and miracles give us plenty of opportunity to practice! And speaking of gratitude, I'm particularly grateful for this week's robust News from Members list below. There're plenty of opportunities to consider, so enjoy choosing--and be grateful!

MILL CITY COMMONS: We learn. We share. We engage. We give.

~ Joan Wright
After Hours Connect: Minneapolis Foundation
Tuesday, March 13, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Minneapolis Foundation, 8000 IDS Center, 80 S 8th St
Please join us for an MCC After Hours Connect program at the Minneapolis Foundation. We'll hear from Foundation CEO and President R.T. Rybak and his team about what the Foundation is doing to spark a positive change in our community. All MCC men and women are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

After Hours Connect is an evening gathering of MCC men and women, many of whom are still working full time, that connects on an occasional basis over a speaker, tour or social event. All MCC members are welcome.

MCC members sign up here.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, March 14, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 S 2nd St
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

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn
Thursday, March 15, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
MCC women, you're invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Sonia Cairns and Ginny Craig host a discussion on the #MeToo movement. We've heard about generational differences among women in the #MeToo movement, that women of a certain age say they were socialized to accept sexual harassment, advances and assaults. And now there's a backlash to some claims being made by women in the movement. We want to hear your experiences. What was it like to be a child, a young woman in college, a professional woman and/or a woman in your broader world? How have your views changed-or not-over the past several years? How might our perspective support those who are still reeling from sexual aggression toward women?

Our Turn meets every other Thursday, alternating between morning and afternoon times. Hosts and topics change each time.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Great Decisions: The Waning of Pax Americana
Monday, March 19, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Room D104
During the first months of Donald Trump's presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has promised peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by U.S. military power. In championing "America First" isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement, where foreign commitments are limited to areas of vital U.S. interest and economic nationalism is the order of the day. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention. Speaker Dr. Mary Curtin had a 25-year career as a State Department foreign service officer before joining the U of M's Humphrey School of Public Affairs as Diplomat-in-Residence in 2013.

Registration on the MCC website is required for Great Decisions members. Sorry, not open to guests; to join the MCC Great Decisions Discussion Group, email Betsy Wray at

MCC GD members sign up here.
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, March 22, 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 every 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. This week, MCC member Bruce Pankonin hosts on the topic of "Have Passport, Will Travel." Bruce will lead an interactive group conversation about memorable moments of our world travels.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Sports Check It Out
Thursday, March 22, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Cedar Riverside Community School, 1610 S 6th St
"Sports Check It Out" is an innovative program developed by four entrepreneurial junior high students in Cedar Riverside Community School. It's a library system for any K-12 youth in the neighborhood to check out sports equipment, sports safety gear and quality winter clothing. It was created, designed and is run by the four students who, in 2016, won the Social Innovation Grand Prize. The prize included cash awards for the program and a trip to the 2017 Super Bowl. Learn more about the program here. If you'd like to walk to Cedar Riverside Community School, meet in front of the Guthrie at 4:00 p.m., where MCC member Claudia Kittock will lead the way. If you're driving, find parking information here

MCC members sign up here.
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, March 25, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
RiverWest Community Room, 401 1st St S
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by John & Sonia Cairns, Carol Hovey, Lois Libby Juster, Linnea Olesen, Sabina Sten and Bob Whitlock & Peggy Weber at RiverWest. Please contribute to the potluck by bringing a hearty hors d'oeuvre or main dish salad to serve at least 8 (we have enough desserts!). As you register, let us know what you'll bring by answering the "Question" that will appear on the screen. You are welcome to bring your own wine or beer to share.

MCC members sign up here.
Indoor Cycling Fun with MCC
Monday, March 26, 9:30 - 10:15 am
CycleBar, 2927 Girard Ave S
Join us for a free trial of a tailor-made fitness and fun program for Mill City Commons! Cyclebar, a premiere indoor cycling experience (like spinning) has created a special fitness/social class just for Mill City Commons members. The 45-minute session is designed specifically for our age group-our music (Motown, Broadway show tunes, classic rock, Frank Sinatra, etc.), with an instructor/leader who listens to just what we want. If there's enough interest following this trial class, CycleBar will offer MCC members a series of cycle classes (a package of five, 45-minute classes for $69) at this same time slot. Parking is available in the same building as Cyclebar (which is right across the street from the Lagoon movie theater in Uptown) or at meters on the street.

MCC members sign up here.
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, March 27, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Sonder Shaker, 130 E Hennepin Ave
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at one of Northeast's newest establishments, Sonder Shaker. Hosted by Jim & Tomie Conaway, this gathering is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Dutch treat--no reservations required! Sonder Shaker, on the corner of E. Hennepin and 2nd St. N.E., is on the first floor of the new condo building that replaced Nye's Polonaise Room. If you'd like to stay for dinner, reservations may be made by calling (612) 353-6557.

MCC members and guests. No registration required. 
MCC Program Calendar

View the full calendar of MCC's March events here.

Plan ahead! View the full calendar of MCC's April events here.
News from Members

MCC member Julie Craven shares that the final Lenten Fish Fry for this year at Our Lady of Lourdes (1 Lourdes Pl) is set for March 16, 5:30-7:30 pm. It will be a special St. Patrick's Day theme event. Take out is available! Details here.

MCC member Will Craig invites members to join him and Ginny at the University Y (1801 University Ave) this Friday (3/16) for a luncheon from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Guest speaker Rebecca Blank, a noted economist and Chancellor of University of Wisconsin - Madison, will lead a dialogue discussion on the topic Changing Inequality. The event is $15 and includes a box lunch and parking voucher (this is Spring Break, so traffic should be minimal). To purchase a ticket or learn more, click here.

MCC member Carol Jordan encourages members to attend this Saturday's (3/17) program on MCC member Don Fraser at 10:30 am at the Minneapolis Central Library. The program will feature author Iric Nathanson who wrote Don Fraser: Minnesota's Quiet Crusader. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Learn more here.

MCC Executive Director Joan Wright shares that The Manuscripts Meet the World: Handwriting from Around the World exhibit opens at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (1011 Washington Ave S) on March 22. The manuscripts on display include codices, scrolls and other book styles from European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African cultures. The exhibit opening coincides with a lecture on The Manuscript Meets Modernism from 7:00-9:00 pm on March 22 (register here). There will be small bites and wine provided following the lecture. For details on the exhibit, click here.

MCC member Susan Hartman wants members to know that if you are over age 70, you can participate in a wellness study to learn and practice activities to build and maintain leg strength and balance. To learn more, click here. Compensation will be offered and you'll have the option to keep the Fitbit monitor. 

If you are interested in joining other MCCers and friends for an afternoon of TWINS baseball at Target Field, contact MCC member Allan Burdick at Select one or more games from a schedule of nine mid-week/mid-day and four weekend contests. Tickets only $22 and located in 3rd deck behind home plate. No limit on number of tickets requested. For details on game dates, times and opponents, click here.

MCC member Karla Ekdahl wants members to know about an opportunity to hear Dr. Ira Byock present on What Mortality Can Teach Us About Living. This event will take place  April 9 from 7:00-8:30 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington. Dr. Byock is one of the preeminent speakers in medicine who is both engaging and inspiring. He is a leading expert in the field of palliative medicine, a practicing physician, an educator and the author of three books. To purchase a ticket ($35) for this event, click here.

MCC member Karla Ekdahl thought members might be interested in viewing Sarajevo Roses - A Cinematic Essay on April 19 at 7:00 pm at the Riverview Theater. It's an exclusive one night only special event that highlights the stories of Sarajevo and teaches us important lessons for a troubled world. Q&A will follow the film. Tickets can be purchased here.

MCC member Diane Hoftsede invites members to the Great River Coalition's 2018 Earth Day 5K Run/Walk and River Cleanup at Boom Island Park! The event takes place on 4/21. The race begins at 9:00 am, with river cleanup starting at 9:30 am. Click here for more information on the race and cleanup. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities. Consider volunteering together with your MCC friends!
Around Town
Big Ideas:  
Bunk, Featuring Kevin Young and Marlon James
March 19, 7:00-8:30 pm, The Loft, 1011 Washington Ave S
Hoaxes have played a role throughout American history, from P.T. Barnum's "humbug" to the current "fake news" assertions. In his book,  Bunk , Kevin Young traces this history and its particular focus on racist stereotypes and suspicions. In this Big Ideas, Kevin Young will be in conversation with Marlon James discussing how reality has been distorted and manipulated in America's history. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Westminster Town Hall Forum
March 22, 12:00 pm, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave
Suzy Hansen is an American journalist and editor who will speak on the topic of "An American Abroad in a Post-American World." She has recently written a memoir exploring her assumptions about American beneficence abroad, America's role in the Middle East and its standing in the world. For more information, click here.

Classes begin in April, 1:00-4:00 pm, Textile Center, 3000 University Ave SE
Textile Center introduces INTERLACE, a series of 8-week long classes geared toward building new skills for the 55+ age group - starting with rug hooking and embroidery! These sequential classes are perfect for beginners and those with no experience with fiber art. Join a creative community and bring your interest in learning a new skill in a supportive environment, taught by experienced Textile Center instructors. Scholarships are available. Learn more here.

St. Croix & Namekagon Rivers: The Enduring Gift 
April 19, 6:00-9:00 pm, Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd St
Join the grand opening and reception for Craig Blacklock's new book. Guests are invited to browse the photo exhibit showcasing prints from the book while enjoying wine and hors d'oeuvres. Craig will then lead a short program with people that were instrumental in crafting this work of art. The evening will end with music by Peter Mayer. Free, but registration is required here. Note: space is limited so reserve your spot today!

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.  
Volunteer Opportunities 
Click here  for community volunteer opportunities on the MCC website!  
MCC Ongoing Social Opportunities
Dutch Treat
Social Hour
Mondays, 4:00-5:00 pm
Jefe Urban Hacienda
219 Main St SE
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. No reservations

Guthrie Play Reading
North Star Group
Wednesday, 3/21,
6:30-9:30 pm
The group will be reading "Indecent."

North Star Group
Wednesday, 3/28,
6:30-9:30 pm
The group will be reading "Familiar."

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required.
Hero of the Empire
by Candice Millard

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!

Social Bridge
Every other Wednesday, 3:00-5:00 pm
Washburn Lofts,
700 2nd St S
Enjoy a round of social bridge. Be sure to register on the website!

Men's Coffee and Conversation
Elsie's Restaurant,
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.

 Mill City Commons

Ongoing Fitness Opportunities

SBS Class


                 9:15-10:00 am

G-Werx Fitness,

428 2nd St S, #100
An exclusive opportunity for members, this weekly class focuses on strength, balance  and stretching to keep you fit and strong.
First time participants, please contact G-Werx Fitness at (612) 767-4415 and arrive 20 minutes early to complete paperwork. Cost varies depending on commitment.


  River Walkers

Tuesdays and Thursdays,

7:30-8:30 am

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.


Ongoing Member-Led Activities

MCC Caregivers' Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays,
January - 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 more information, contact  Betsy Wray.

Exploring Meditation
Mill City Quarter,
322 2nd St S
Every Tuesday,
February 27-
March 27,
9:30-10:30 am
Clear the clutter in your mind, reduce stress and increase the feeling of calm in your life.

Men's Dutch Lunch
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
Alternating Thursdays at 11:30 am
March 15 & 29
 This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact  Allan Burdick.
Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414 |  
(612) 455-3329