May 9, 2017
Update from the Executive Director

Some unmistakable signs of spring: increased sidewalk and street activity around the neighborhood; filled outdoor cafes; screaming motorcycles; hair-pulling, ubiquitous road construction; bigger broader smiles, just because.

April's annual International Film Festival at the St. Anthony Main Theatre makes way for several area events that herald spring's arrival:

The Mill City Farmer's Market , open Saturdays from 8 am - 1:00 pm, May thru October;  Art-A-Whirl , the largest open studio tour in the country, opens in Northeast Minneapolis, May 19-21;  The Minneapolis International Festival , celebrating the different cultures in Minneapolis, is May 20 on Boom Island from noon - 4:00 pm. 

Mill City Commons programming, coupled with the varied opportunities in and around the neighborhood, it's no wonder people love living here!
MILL CITY COMMONS: We learn. We share. We engage. We give.

~ Joan Wright
Author Celebration: Fred Amram
Tuesday, May 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
RiverWest Community Room, 401 S 1st St
Join us as Fred Amram, University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus of communication and creativity, shares stories from his riveting memoir, We're in America Now: A Survivor's Stories. Born in Germany during the rise of Hitler in the 1930s, Amram and his surviving family escaped to Holland and sailed to America, where they encountered many challenges as immigrants in a new world. This country truly became a land of opportunity where they built a new life and became more than "Holocaust survivors."
MCC members sign up here.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, May 10, 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.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: East Side Neighborhood Services
Thursday, May 11, 10:30 - 11:30 am
East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St NE
Join former MCC Executive Director Linnea Tweed for a tour of East Side Neighborhood Services. Founded in 1915, East Side is a multiservice agency with programs in the areas of child and youth development, education, employment, family violence prevention, senior services and food support. Linnea leads the Empowering Vital Aging (EVA) project at East Side. In addition to developing new initiatives to enhance aging in place, EVA serves as an umbrella for other vital programs that address needs of underserved older adults: The Senior Community Service Employment Program, Metro Food Programs, Handicap Accessible Transportation and Adult Day at Friendship Center.

OPTIONAL: If you wish to stay for lunch, served at 11:45 am by Volunteers of America, please make a reservation by May 4 with Betsy Wray at Cost is $5.50 and can be paid on May 11.

MCC members sign up here.
Great Decisions: Saudia Arabia in Transition
Monday, May 15, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Rm D104
As Saudi Arabia struggles to adjust to the drastic decline in oil revenue, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman attempts to boldly transform the country and shift more power to the younger generation. At the same time, many countries such as the U.S. point out the lack of democracy, women's rights and human rights in Saudi Arabia and blame its promotion of Wahhabism, an extremely conservative version of Islam, for creating jihadists. Bipartisan criticism of Saudi Arabia is rising in Congress. Both countries need each other, but they are at a crossroads in bilateral relations. Speaker Molly Hayes worked for the U.S. Department of State from 2008-2014 as an advisor on foreign policy issues in East Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. Hayes served as the State Department's counterterrorism advisor for East Africa, desk officer for Kenya, Morocco, Western Sahara and Tunisia, and assistant to the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. She was also a deputy coordinator of the State Department's Egypt Task Force during the 2011 Arab Spring. Hayes holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame in English and Arabic and has lived in Cairo, Egypt, and County Kildare, Ireland.

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 Great Decisions members sign up here.
Birding Walk 2
Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 - 9:00 am
Location to be announced
Celebrate spring with a series of four bird-watching walks along the river! We hope to see migrating warblers and other songbirds. Jamie McBride, Naturalist Education Coordinator with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, will lead the walks along with master birding volunteer Greg Severson. The meeting location for this second walk will be announced soon.

MCC members sign up here
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, May 16, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Blarney Pub & Grill, 903 Washington Ave S
Join us for Tuesday Happy Hour-a little earlier this month--at Blarney Pub & Grill. Hosted by Katie and Ken Searl, Happy Hour is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Dutch treat--no reservations required!

MCC members and guests. No registration required. 
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Water Works
Wednesday, May 17, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
Join the Minneapolis Parks Foundation Executive Director Tom Evers and board member Sue Bennett on a walking tour of the future Water Works site. Located on the birthplace of Minneapolis's milling district, Water Works is a future park site being reimagined by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to create a world-class place of arrival in the Central Riverfront district. This summer, the former Fuji Ya building will be deconstructed to begin the process of transforming the site into a signature park space. Participants will get a personalized tour of the site before construction, including stories of the site's history and the people who used the land before current times. Optional: Return to Mill City Quarter at the end of the tour for refreshments!

MCC members sign up here.
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, May 18, 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 community partner David Tinjum leads the discussion. How do you start a newspaper, found a software development company, become a political activist? You'll learn about these activities from Tinjum, publisher of Mill City Times. You might also get some insights into happenings (past, present and future) in our Mill District Community.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, May 18, 10:00 - 11:30 am 
Zenith, 901 2nd St S, #603
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Barbara Forster hosts guest speaker Kelly Drummer, Oglala Lakota and a founding member of the Tiwahe Foundation. She'll speak about the movement in philanthropy in Native Nations and communities of color in both giving and grantmaking. Other areas she'll address include understanding American Indian communities and sovereignty, their role as water protectors and what's happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Keystone Pipeline movement and how it relates to sovereignty and treaty rights.

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 .
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, May 21, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Fifth Avenue Lofts Community Room, 401 2nd St N
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by Bruce Pankonin and Nancy Darcy. Please contribute to the potluck by bringing a hearty hors d'oeuvre, main dish salad or dessert to serve at least 8. 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.
What is Clean Water Worth?
Monday, May 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Winslow House, 100 2nd St SE
Minnesota has abundant clean water resources that enhance recreation, support regional economic development, and promote cultural values and sense of place. At the same time, society continues to undervalue clean water: We overuse and pollute water resources leading others to "pay" for degraded water quality. How can we better account for the true value of clean water? And how can this information be used to inform policy and behavior? Drawing on recent advances in ecology and economics, Dr. Bonnie Keeler will describe evidence for how clean water affects households and communities in Minnesota and what may be at stake if we fail to internalize the true cost of water in decisions. Keeler is a program director and lead scientist at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment where she oversees the Natural Capital Project, a partnership between universities and conservation organizations that aims to mainstream the value of nature in decisions.

MCC members sign up here.
Birding Walk 3
Tuesday, May 23, 7:00 - 9:00 am
Location to be announced
Celebrate spring with a series of four bird-watching walks along the river! We hope to see migrating warblers and other songbirds. Jamie McBride, Naturalist Education Coordinator with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, will lead the walks along with master birding volunteer Greg Severson. The meeting location for this second walk will be announced soon.

MCC members sign up here
MCC Program Calendar

View the MCC May calendar here.
News from Members

Are you a Trial Member with MCC? If so, MCC ED Joan Wright invites you to mix and mingle with the MCC Board on May 10 from 5:30-6:30 pm. Click here to RSVP.

MCC member Patty Connelly invites you to join East Side Neighborhood Services for its 21st Annual Wine Tasting - an evening of wine, food, spectacular views and entertainment on Thursday, May 11th, from 5-8 pm at Nicollet Island Pavilion. For more information, click here.

Save the date for this year's Art-A-Whirl -- May 19-21. Consider stopping by the studios of MCC members Patty Canney (painter) and Lynn Bollman (printmaker). Patty's studio in the California Building will be open May 19 from 5-10 pm, May 20 from 12-8 pm and May 21 from 12-5 pm at 2205 California St NE, #406. Lynn's studio in the Northrup King Building will be open May 19 from 5-10 pm, May 20 from 2-8 pm and May 21 from 12-5 pm at 1500 Jackson St NE, #334. For more information on Art-A-Whirl, click here. If your building would allow for Art-A-Whirl guide books to be dropped off and available to residents, Lynn would be happy to bring them to you. Email
Around Town

Art-A-Whirl at A-Mill Artist Lofts
May 19-21, A-Mill Artist Lofts, 315 Main St SE
Over 70 artists, including residents and their guests, will display their work throughout the building. There will also be 20 performing artists live in three separate spaces throughout Art-A-Whirl. Patrons are encouraged to explore the open lofts, gallery spaces, dance studio and performance hall. To see a schedule of performances, click here.

Minneapolis International Festival
May 20, 12:00-4:00 pm, Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St NE
Celebrate the different cultures in the City of Minneapolis and surrounding communities and recognize the growing cultural diversity through music, dance, cultural exhibits, demonstrations, food and other learning opportunities. 

Love, Africa
May 30, 5:30-7:00 pm, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall
Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for the New York Times, shares his "Love, Africa" story, which bears witness to his time in one of the most turbulent regions of the world and tells a revealing story about finding a calling - and love.  The evening will include a short reading from his memoir, moderated discussion on his book and the impact of U.S. policies in East Africa and in-depth Q&A with the audience. Register 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
Aster Cafe
**note the new location
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
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required.
Our Souls at Night
by Ken Haruf

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,
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
428 2nd St S
Alternating Thursdays at 11:30 am
May 11 & 25
 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