March 20, 2018
Update from the Executive Director

Recently, a nonmember commented on the number of programs Mill City Commons offers that "appear to be strictly social." 

The direct correlation between social connections in older adults and health and well-being is well documented. For fun, I encourage you to watch this brief  TED Talk. It is compelling in its delivery and affirming in its message that social connections and interactions lead to a longer, healthier life. 

So, yes. Mill City Commons takes this research seriously. Whether you decide to engage in a small discussion group ( Men's Coffee and Conversation Rendezvous on Five Our Turn: A Conversation for Women  or  Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat ), or a health and wellness activity ( River Walkers Exploring Meditation SBS (Strength Balance Stretch) , or Social Bridge ), or one of our popular monthly social connections ( Sunday Soiree  or  Last Tuesday Happy Hour ), your opportunities to stay socially engaged, connected and involved are great.

Want to try something new and fun? Join us next Monday morning at Cyclebar in Uptown for a free trial of a tailor-made fun and fitness program. This fitness/social class featuring a premier indoor cycling experience was created specifically for MCC members. You can read more about it in the program section below. Check it out! Members may  register here! 

Living active lives through volunteering is gathering a body of evidence that shows an association between volunteering and mental and physical health benefits, as well. Many of you have shared information with me about the activities and organizations for which you volunteer. Everything from rocking babies in neo-natal units, to organizing fun runs, singing groups, reading partners, affordable housing advocacy, refugee resettlement, youth outreach and myriad nonprofit board positions. 

This Thursday, please consider registering for the Nosy Neighbor Tour of Sports Check It Out, an area volunteer program organized by some remarkable Jr. High students at Cedar Riverside Community School. I'm looking forward to hearing their story and getting their take on the value of volunteerism. I hope you'll join me!

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

~ Joan Wright
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. 
Social Bridge
Wednesday, March 28, 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 29, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
MCC women, you're invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. 
This week, Our Turn will focus on books, with Corin Kagan leading the discussion. She invites you to think about the following: What is the best (worst) book you ever read? Why are you recommending it? Not recommending it? What books are currently on your nightstand or on your floor waiting their turn to be read? Who are your favorite (least favorite) authors? Why? What is your favorite genre? Are there books do you avoid? How do you select your books? Do you prefer hard cover, soft cover, ebooks? Do you pre-read a book before you buy it?

Although this is not a formal book exchange, please feel free to bring a book to share - either to give or to loan.

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.
Senator Dave Durenberger: A Way Forward in Health Care?
Wednesday, April 4, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Room D104
A year after the 1965 passage of Medicare and Medicaid, David Durenberger began a 50-plus-year journey through state and national health financing policy and health system reform, including 12 years as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota. After retiring from the Senate, he spent 20 years teaching health policy and chairing the National Institute of Health Policy at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. Because of his journey, he's very familiar with the history of health care in America and its current issues, as well as the players involved, and he has some thoughts on a positive way forward.

MCC members sign up here.
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 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. 

MCC Executive Director Joan Wright shares that the Minnesota Stroke Association will present FREE MONTHLY education sessions about caregiving through the Caregiver Advocacy and Resource Education (CARE) Program. The program will also include 30 minutes of social time for caregivers to connect and benefit from the experience, wisdom and skills of other caregivers. To learn more about these free monthly sessions which begin March 28, 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 LivingThis 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.
Around Town
Heron Watch
March 24, 1:00-4:00 pm, Marshall Terrace Park, 2740 Marshall St NE
Join a National Park Service ranger to view a great blue heron rookery and learn more about why great blue herons thrive along the Mississippi River. Marshall Terrace Park in Northeast Minneapolis sits directly across from a heron rookery, and is an ideal spot for observing the majestic great blue heron. You'll also likely see bald eagles, American robins and maybe even an osprey or two. This free event is open to birders of all abilities. For information and to register, click here.

Schubert Club: Colin Currie, percussionist
March 27, 7:30 pm, Aria, 105 N 1st St
The Schubert Club Mix is an innovative series that takes the formality out of classical music. Aria will host a high energy evening featuring percussionist Colin Currie, whose program will feature a wide array of instruments and includes music based on stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, interspersed with readings of the texts. Currie is as mesmerizing to watch as he is to listen to - and his broad array of percussion instruments make a fascinating theatrical set. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Building a Healthy Community
March 29, 4:45-6:00 pm, Lumber Exchange Event Space, 10 S 5th St, #300
Join The Minneapolis Foundation for an opportunity to learn about the power and potential for culturally grounded efforts to advance community health and well-being, featuring keynote speaker Penny George. Following her remarks, a panel of local experts will share their knowledge about exciting community-based efforts to build a culture of health and well-being in Minneapolis and beyond. Free, but registration is required here

Fifty Years Later: Has the Dream Been Realized?
April 2, 7:00 pm, Guthrie Theater, 818 2nd St S, McGuire Proscenium Stage
Please join the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Historical Society and an impactful group of local panelists in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. It will be a special evening of reflection, readings and community conversation. Fifty Years Later is part of the Guthrie's series of "Happenings," which are periodic and timely events responsive to the world around us. Tickets are free, but reservations are required 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
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 29 & April 12
 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