November 28, 2017
Update from the Executive Director

What does it mean to be a financially sustainable organization? This question and others were asked during a plenary session earlier this month (Fund Development for Mature Villages) at the 9th Annual Village Gathering in Baltimore.

Simply put, a financially sustainable organization is one that has the ability to generate resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future. This valuable goal is an orientation, not a destination. In other words, ongoing efforts that include major gifts and planned giving (Fund Development) are building blocks--a process--by which organizations can build capacity and financial sustainability.

Mill City Commons is among the oldest villages in operation across the country. Next year, it will celebrate its 10th Anniversary, an enviable milestone! Accordingly, members of the Governance and Finance and 10th Anniversary Planning Committees are considering ways in which MCC's financial sustainability can be secured for the next ten! Please send your questions and feedback to  

Please consider Mill City Commons in your year-end giving. Every donation, in any amount, is greatly appreciated! Donations can be made onnline  here, or sent to Mill City Commons, 125 Main Street SE, #339, Minneapolis, MN  55414.

Our annual Turkey & Extra Helpings Holiday Drive is well underway! To learn more about how you can help, click  here.

Last Tuesday Happy Hour is tonight! Bring a friend and check out Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel; more information is listed below this letter. Hope to see you there!

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

~ Joan Wright
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, November 28, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Tullibee Restaurant and Bar at the Hewing Hotel, 300 Washington Ave N
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel. Hosted by Ginny and Will Craig, this gathering is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Our group will be gathering in "The Library," a large area to the left as you come in the front door. Dutch treat--no reservations required! If you wish to stay for dinner, reservations may be made by calling (651) 468-0400. Valet parking is available ($12), as well as meters and Ramp C (1 block down 3rd Ave.).

MCC members and guests. No registration required!
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, November 29, 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, Dr. Wally Ritchie hosts. As surgery department chair in a busy Philadelphia medical school, Dr. Ritchie did a lot of operating, administrating, serving on hundreds of committees, running a busy research lab, and teaching residents and students. Beyond question, this last was the most fun. Only drawback: writing up to 60 to 75 personal letters of recommendation annually for good people looking for good positions in good places. It was a recurring and annoying task, until he thought of a way he hoped might make the process slightly more tolerable. Find out if it worked.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, November 30, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St S E
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Arvonne Fraser hosts an end of the year party at La Rive. We'll take a look back at 2017 and forward to 2018, expressing gratitude or thanks for something in 2017 and what you hope for individually or publicly in 2018. We'll also hold our twice-yearly book exchange. Bring a book you've read that you'd like to give away and take one you'd like to read. Contributions of wine or goodies are welcomed, as well as guests who might be potential MCC members. Please register any guests, as well as yourself. You can come at 3 pm if you'd like to socialize or look at books beforehand.

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

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC
Comparative Law: Differences Between Common Law, Civil Law and Shariah Law
Monday, December 4, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Rm D104
There are three great legal traditions in the world today: the Common Law, the Civil Law, and Shariah Law. U.S. legal traditions trace to the English Common Law, which has come to embody individual rights and judicial continuity amid the hurly-burly of democracy. The Civil Law arose from the Roman genius for administration and carried forward to the Code Napoleon. It achieved its highest expression in the elegant and enduring German Burgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB). Shariah Law, much misunderstood in the west, governs the lives of more people than any other legal system. Speaker Duncan McCampbell is an American lawyer and university professor who became familiar with the world's leading legal systems while working in legal publishing for Thomson Reuters in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He will discuss the foundations of these three legal traditions, as well as the substantive, structural, stylistic and procedural differences separating them.

MCC members sign up here.
Exploring Meditation
Tuesday, December 5, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Mill City Quarter, 322 2nd St S
Mill City Commons members launched a 10-week fall meditation series that offers the opportunity to explore a regular meditation practice. The meditation will be a peaceful guided experience that is intended to increase a feeling of calm, reduce stress and clear the clutter in your mind. Carole Baker will be joining Linda Dolan as co-facilitator for the fall series; together they bring more than 80 years combined experience in meditation. Carole has a background in Transcendental Meditation and mantras. Linda's background is in Mindfulness Meditation, Qigong and Energy Flow. The group will meet on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:30 am through December 5. Cost to participate is $100, whether or not you can attend all 10 sessions.

NOTE: This final class of the fall series is open to all members who want to "try out" the class.

MCC members sign up here.
Technology Help Desk
Tuesday, December 5, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
MCC office, 125 Main St SE, Ste 339
Schedule time with a tech support guru and have your nagging technology questions answered during our complimentary Help Desk. Support for both Apple products and PCs is available. After you register, MCC will confirm the time of your 20-minute one-on-one session. Reminder: Installing or upgrading software and creating accounts cannot be included in the Help Desk session, as they exceed the allotted appointment time.

MCC members sign up here.
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, December 6, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 2nd St S
Join us to discuss Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. In this debut memoir, acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds and soil. Lab Girl is a book about work, love and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It's told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom's labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science and learned to perform lab work done "with both the heart and the hands;" and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes-rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

If you'd like to read ahead, January's book is The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck. Have a book suggestion for the Book Chat? Email
MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, December 6, 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.
Author Celebration: Lee Lynch
Wednesday, December 6, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Stonebridge Lofts Community Room, 1120 S 2nd St, 2nd fl
Join us as Minnesota advertising legend Lee Lynch shares some of the little-known, quirky and fascinating facts about Minnesota from his just-published book, Amazing Minnesota: State Rankings and Unusual Information. How do we compare against other states or localities? What are some of the unusual facts even locals don't know about our amazing state? Find out in this fun evening! Lynch retired in 2008 from Carmichael Lynch, the firm he co-founded in 1962, and now spends his time immersed in other businesses and nonprofit activities.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Annual Meeting
Monday, December 11, 4:00 - 4:30 pm
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St SE, 2nd fl
Learn about the direction of your Mill City Commons as our current board chair passes the gavel to next year's chair and welcomes new officers and board members. The regular monthly meeting of the board will follow at 4:30 pm. Members are welcome to stay for the board meeting also.

MCC members sign up here.
Minneapolis' Comprehensive Plan: What the Next 20 Years Hold
Monday, December 11, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Minnesota Tech Center, 1100 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis 2040 is an update to the City's Comprehensive Plan, a document that shapes how Minneapolis will grow and change. The plan will cover topics such as housing, job creation and the design of new buildings, and how we use our streets. Brian Schaffer, principal project coordinator in the city's Long Range Planning Division, will provide an overview of the timeline and steps to develop the Comprehensive Plan and engagement content. For more information visit

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

View the full MCC December calendar here.
News from Members

MCC Executive Director Joan Wright wants you to know about the plans that are underway to launch a second Caregivers' Support Group in January. MCC members as well as nonmembers may join. The group will meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the afternoon, 1:30 - 3:00 pm. The cost for a 4-month session is $80. Mill City Commons member Susan Hartman will facilitate the group. Read Susan's professional bio  here. The group's maximum is 10. If you'd like to register, or have questions, please email  Betsy Wray.

MCC member Carol Jordan invites members to attend  Health Wise: Sharpen Your Critical Thinking on November 30 from 10:00-11:30 am at the Minneapolis Central Library. Adjunct Associate Professor Gary Schwitzer of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and founder and publisher of the website, will help you learn how to protect your health and avoid misleading medical claims. Click here for a program poster; registration requested  here. Members might also be interested in a podcast from HealthNewsReview with former Minnesota Senator David Durenberger regarding health care reform, available  here.

MCC member Susan Hartman invites members to join her in attending a Dementia Friends Training on December 5 from 12:00-1:00 pm at the Minnetonka Community Center (14600 Minnetonka Blvd). This free program will explain what dementia is, how it affects people and how we each can make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia. You can register by calling (952) 939-8393 or clicking here and entering "dementia" into the search feature. 

MCC member Claudia Kittock wants members to know that Friends of the Mill District and the Guthrie are co-sponsoring a youth acting program for youth from Youthlink, MacPhail and the Mill District. They would like to provide a meal to the youth during their rehearsal and have the following dates available: December 6, 13 and 20. If you would like to help provide a meal, contact Claudia at

Did you attend September's program on " Is the North Loop Losing Its Cool?" MCC member Will Craig wants you to know that the final exhibit of Dr. Fernando Burgo's land use class is on December 8 at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Atrium. Drop in anytime from noon - 6:00 pm to see more than 131 posters based on planning policy projects focused on resilience in the City of Ramsey. 

MCC member Allan Burdick and the MCC Men's Coffee and Conversation members compiled their 2017 book recommendations. If you're looking for a good book to read over the holidays, you might want to take a look at their list

MCC Executive Director Joan Wright wishes to thank MCC friend Parker Trostel for sharing a PowerPoint on dementia by Angela Lunde, MA. It contains helpful and empowering information for everyone. View the PowerPoint here.

MCC member Peg Kavaney wants to share the following article with members: #1 Biggest Secret to Success and Happiness.
Around Town

December 2, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 2nd St S
Celebrate the season at the 2nd annual Winterfest on 2nd Street! Last year was a hit with horse drawn sleigh rides, sledding at Gold Medal Park, Hot Cocoa from Misfit Coffee and caroling from the Mill District Singers! In tandem with Winterfest on 2nd St, holiday gifts, donations and checks for People Serving People and YouthLink are being accepted at The Cynthia Froid Group, 709 2nd St S, until December 15. 

Sonomento presents Dido and Aeneas
December 3, 7:30 pm, MacPhail Center for Music, 501 2nd St S
Sonomento, under the direction of Craig Fields, opens its tenth season with an encore presentation of the 2008 concert performance of Dido and Aeneas, which some call "the greatest opera ever written in the English language." It will be presented with outstanding professional string players from the Minneapolis area and the forty voices of Sonomento, in an intensely stirring performance with baroque orchestra. For more information, click here.

December 7-10, various times, Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave S
How much is too much? How little is too little? And who gets to decide? From the burka ban in France to dress codes in our own communities, when it comes to women's clothing it seems like everyone has an opinion. Cloth is a new work that explores women's relationship to cloth, covering and choice, and the avalanche of factors influencing that choice. For information and tickets, 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 
MCC's 10th Annual Turkey & Extra Helpings Drive is kicking off! Click here to learn more.

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, 11/29,
6:30-9:30 pm
Reading "Blithe Spirit".

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required.
Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren

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.
Ongoing Member-Led Activities

Exploring Meditation
Every Tuesday, September 19 - December 5,
9:30-10:30 am
Clear the clutter in your mind, reduce stress and increase the feeling of calm in your life. For more information on future meditation opportunities, email Betsy Wray.

MCC Caregivers' 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
December 7 & 21
 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


                 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.


Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414 |  
(612) 455-3329