March 14, 2017
Update from the Executive Director

Recently, a friend shared some startling personal information with me about some significant health issues and the end of her 40-year marriage. I was stunned, not only because of the harsh realities of her present life, but that I had been oblivious to her pain.

The walking wounded are  among us. Sometimes, in the midst of the ordinariness of our own lives, we miss them. Often, they are those we know well, like my friend. But more often than not, they are those we pass by on the street, interact with at the grocery check out, overhear at the movie theater or talk to while making a reservation. 

When I asked my friend how I could best support her, she simply said, "Be kind. Be kind to everyone around you. You just don't know what is going on in people's lives at any given moment, and the kindness of strangers can be so affirming."

Wise and helpful words to inform our daily interactions with our friends, our neighbors and, perhaps most significant, the stranger among us.

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

~ Joan Wright
Social Bridge
Wednesday, March 15, 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

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
The Future of Higher Education
Thursday, March 16, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St SE
Join us for a thought-provoking discussion led by Robert Bruininks, University of Minnesota Professor and President Emeritus. Bob will draw on his experience as president at the U of M to discuss the future opportunities and challenges facing large public research universities in the United States. Bob has the unusual distinction of spending his entire career at one institution-the U of M-as both an academic and an administrator.

MCC members sign up here.
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, March 19, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Bridgewater Community Room, 215 10th Ave S
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by Mary & Steve Patnode and Pat Hoven at the Bridgewater Community Room. Please contribute to the potluck by bringing a hearty hors d'oeuvre, main dish salad or dessert to serve at least 12. 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.
Great Decisions: Nuclear Security
Monday, March 20, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Room D014
Nuclear nonproliferation was a top priority for the Obama administration. While the Iran Deal was a diplomatic victory toward this end, major threats persist from both state and non-state actors. Countries like North Korea, Russia, India and Pakistan continue to challenge nonproliferation efforts. The possibility that terrorists will carry out an attack using a "dirty bomb" made from captured nuclear materials looks increasingly real. In a fractious world, what is the way forward for U.S. nuclear security policy? Speaker Margo Squire was a career diplomat for 30 years with the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State, serving in Munich, Moscow, Melbourne, Baku, Ankara and Washington, D.C. Squire was a decorated Foreign Service Officer and recipient of numerous meritorious service awards. She holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Studies from Dartmouth College and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

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 the MCC office at

MCC GD members sign up here.
Foodie Tour: The Food Building
Tuesday, March 21, 10:30 - 11:30 am
The Food Building, 1401 Marshall St NE
Do you consider yourself a foodie? Then you need to visit the Food Building! Founded by Kiernan Foillard, former owner of The Local and founder of 2 Gingers Whiskey, this northeast Minneapolis gem is home to two artisan food makers. During the tour, you'll learn about the art, craft and care that go into the making of Red Table Meats and Baker's Field Flour and Bread. The tour will end with a tasting of each maker's products. Those who are interested may choose to stay for lunch at the adjacent Draft Horse bistro, which uses Food Building products in many of its menu items. Cost for the tour is $15; please bring cash or a check (no credit cards).

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, March 23, 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 e 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. This week, MCC member Jim Conaway will present his "Visual Essence of Mill City," part of a series of oil paintings he's been doing for the past four years. He'll share digital images, starting with the initial stroke of the brush on a plain white canvas through the completion of the painting. Jim will talk about some of his influences and problems along the way to the painting's completion.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, March 23, 10:00 - 11:30 am 
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S, #91
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Anita Kunin hosts on "Positive Aging Activities." Bring one or two examples of positive aging activities that you think are stimulating and/or fulfilling. Your personal experiences are welcome.

This group meets every other Thursday, alternating between morning and afternoon times. Locations and topics will change each time.

MCC members sign up here ; guests email MCC .
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, March 28, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Sea Change, 806 2nd St S
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at Sea Change, located in the Guthrie Theater. Hosted by Suzanne Joyce and Barbara McBurney, this gathering 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) 225-6499.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Conflicts of Interest in the New Administration
Monday, April 3, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S
Join us as Richard Painter, University of Minnesota law professor and a top ethics scholar who worked as George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer, discusses conflicts of interest for the president of the United States and other government officials. Professor Painter's talk will include discussion of the U.S. Constitution, conflict of interest laws and the practices used by government officials to comply. There will be ample time for questions.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

View the MCC March calendar here.

Plan ahead! View the MCC April calendar here.
News from Members

Thinking of spring cleaning? If you have clothes, household items, small appliances, books, purses, small pieces of furniture, sports equipment or kitchen items that you'd like to donate, MCC member Peggy Lucas suggests you consider donating them to the Cedar Riverside Community School's (CRCS) first rummage sale (April 6-7) to raise funds for their traveling basketball teams. Make arrangements for items to be picked up or dropped off at CRCS (1610 S 6th St) by contacting Jennifer Weber at (763) 464-2790 or email
MCC ED Joan Wright
wants to share that MinnPost is hosting a breakfast conversation around Minnesota's Retirement Savings Crisis on April 7 from 8:00-9:30 am at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. MinnPost will ask ""How great is the challenge?" and "What can be done now to address a crisis decades in the making?" The event is free but registration is required here.

Want to see a good play? MCC member Patty Connelly recommends that members consider attending a performance of "Six Degrees of Separation," presented by Theater Latté Da at the Ritz Theatre, 345 13th Ave NE. Patty says, "This is a strongly acted play starring Sally Wingert and Mark Benninghofen. I highly recommend it." The play runs through April 9. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

MCC member Diane Hoftsede
invites members to the Great River Coalition's 2017 Earth Day 5K Run/Walk and River Cleanup at Boom Island Park! The event takes place on 4/22. The race begins at 9:00 am, with river cleanup starting at 9:30 am. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities. Click here for more information on the race and cleanup. You'lll also have a chance to see MCC member Tony Hofstede sporting a bee won't want to miss it!

Interested in a portrait of a family member or special pet? MCC member Karla Ekdahl knows "a very talented young man who does very special, soul-filled portraits." Karla reports that Dub Ludcke can render a loved one in a beautiful piece of art and is able to capture something special and deep in each of his subjects. Contact information for Dub Ludcke Portraiture can be found here
Around Town

Bird Signs of Spring
March 25, 1:00-2:30 pm, North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Court
With a change in weather comes a change in activity. Discover the early spring activities of our local birds by seeking out their signs of the season! Join us along the Mississippi River flyway as we watch for fishing eagles, early nesting birds and the return of waterfowl. Free for all ages. To register, click here.

More Than a Single Story: Reclaiming Our Food
March 26, 2:00-4:00 pm, The Loft, 1011 Washington Ave S
Food has always been a tool for organizing, celebrating and creating community. By those determined to assert and maintain power, it has been a means of gaining control of the people. Human bodies and land have been commodified and food became a privilege instead of a human right. Hear how colonization and commodification have affected our communities' relationships with food and how we can reclaim the food that is meaningful to us. For information, click here.

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
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. No reservations

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Guthrie Theater Level 5 Express
    No reservations required.
Hillbilly Elegy
by J.D. Vance

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
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.
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
more information,    contact Betsy Wray.

Men's Dutch Lunch
Abiitan's Porter Cafe (Note the new location)
Alternating Thursdays at 11:30 am
March 16 & 30
 This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact  Allan Burdick.

 Mill City Commons

Ongoing Fitness Opportunities

SBS Class


2:00-3:00 pm

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.


Hatha Yoga

Wednesdays and Fridays,

8:00-9:15 am

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.

Drop-ins welcome.


Mill City Commons | 219 Main St SE, Suite 401, Minneapolis, MN 55414 |  
(612) 455-3329