September 19 , 2017
Update from the Executive Director

Context is everything. I've been thinking a lot about an article I read recently, The Heroism of Incremental Care by Atul Gawande, that appeared last January in The New Yorker. Dr. Gawande, a surgeon, writes persuasively about the inherent high-value in a life-long healthcare relationship. I encourage you to read it.

Next Monday, September 25, Mill City Commons, with the support of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul and St. Anthony Main Theatre, will air a live-stream presentation by Dr. Gawande on The Value of Community and Choice as We Get Older. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. You can register  here or within the body of the event write-up below.

The Vikings season has begun and is accompanied by the predictable anticipation of Super Bowl LII, which will take place at USBank Stadium in our neighborhood next February. Community leaders have been preparing for months, focusing on how best to facilitate hospitality and transportation needs, as well as promoting a healthy community that focuses on child well-being and restricts human trafficking. To learn more about their efforts, plan to attend Wednesday's program on Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl. Register  here or within the body of the program write-up below.

Clarification: Last Friday's End of Week Update included the names of those who have been newly appointed to serve on Mill City Commons Board of Directors: David Plimpton, Ginny Craig, Sonia Cairns and Steve Patnode. These new directors will begin their term effective January 1, 2018. Outgoing Directors Ellen Breyer, Ken Searl, Patty Connelly and Suzanne Joyce will complete their BOD terms effective December 31, 2017. Congratulations and thanks to all!

The Jewish High Holidays begin with Rosh Hashana at sundown tomorrow evening. I extend my good wishes to all for whom these celebrations hold deep meaning and significance. 

One last promo: Ken Burns' series on Vietnam airs this week, 7:00 - 8:30 pm on PBS. Its content as it relates specifically to context of Vietnam's history, has greatly enhanced my understanding of so many things surrounding this historical time period. I'm learning a lot, and I am once again in awe of Mr. Burns' enormous talent.

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

~ Joan Wright
Sex Trafficking & the Super Bowl
Wednesday, September 20, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Minnesota Tech Center, 1100 Washington Ave S
In a few short months, Super Bowl week will arrive in our community. As with so many best-laid plans, there are unintended consequences. The research tells us that there's an uptick in sex trafficking of underage youth that accompanies large events like this. A panel of experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in working with communities to mitigate the effects of human trafficking will help us understand this reality and what we can do to promote a healthy community that focuses on child well-being. Panelists include Terry Williams of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota; John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; and Amanda Koonjbeharry of Hennepin County's No Wrong Door Initiative. The three are co-chairs of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Anti Sex Trafficking Planning Committee.

MCC members sign up here.
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, September 21, 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 Jan Breyer hosts on the topic of "What is Your Avocation?".

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Atul Gawande: The Value of Community and Choice as We Get Older
Monday, September 25, 3:45 - 5:00 pm
St. Anthony Main Theater, 115 Main St SE, Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul's Screen 3
Celebrate 15 years of the Village Movement at this virtual event featuring renowned surgeon, public health researcher and bestselling author Dr. Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande wrote the seminal book Being Mortal, which spent months on the New York Times bestseller list. He will be speaking live in Boston in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the first Village, Beacon Hill Village, and the Village Movement, of which Mill City Commons is a part. His talk will be live-streamed across the country and here in the Twin Cities, with the support of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul and St. Anthony Main Theatre. Join us for this conversation about the importance of community and the many opportunities inherent in aging. A reception will follow in the Aster Café's River Room, just down the hall from the theater (cash bar).

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, September 26, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Cafe Alma, 528 University Ave SE
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at Café Alma. Hosted by Dick & Peg Kavaney and Sabina Sten, this gathering is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Dutch treat--no reservations required! We'll be in the room at the back of Café Alma. If you wish to stay for dinner at either Café Alma or Restaurant Alma, reservations may be made by calling (612) 379-4909 or reserving online at Alma.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, September 27, 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.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, September 28, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
RiverWest, 401 S 1st St, #322
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Sonia Cairns hosts on the topic of Success. How do we define success in each of our lives? Living in these complex times, we've learned that we also need to focus on what is going well in our lives. We'll take a closer look at what each of us is really proud of in our individual lives. Give a couple examples of something that illustrates your success. No "I could have" or "I should have." Let's leave this session feeling really good about our lives so we're ready to take on the world!

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.
The U.S. and Northeast Asia: What's Next?
Monday, October 2, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Washburn Common Room, 700 2nd St S
Under the Trump administration, the U.S. appears to have turned against the multilateral institutions, alliances, partnerships and policies that for 75 years have shaped the U.S. approach to Asia and the Pacific. The Obama administration's "Pivot to Asia" has been abandoned. Meanwhile, China is more assertive, North Korea moves closer to the acquisition of nuclear weapons, and Putin's Russia seeks to reassert itself. Japan, long the linchpin of U.S. security in East Asia, feels increasingly threatened by these developments. In the context of this uncertain and evolving international environment, we will consider challenges to U.S. policy, with primary emphasis on Japan and North Korea. Speaker and career diplomat Lawrence Farrar was posted to Japan five times. During his final Japan tour, he served as Minister of Political Affairs for Ambassador Walter Mondale.

MCC members sign up here.
Men's After Hours Connect
Tuesday, October 3, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Lourdes Square, 178 Bank St SE
The men of MCC have formed an evening group that connects once a month over a speaker, tour or social event. This month, the group hosts Dr. Sarah Bridges, who'll speak on "Your Brain on Retirement: Lessons from Neuropsychology (Or Why Early Retirement Can Make Us Dumb)." Dr. Bridges blends the latest findings from brain science to provide practical and counter-intuitive ideas for successful transitions. Her entertaining and provocative ideas provide the basis for building a brain-healthy time in our second half of life. Dr. Bridges, Ph.D., is the founder and leader of Bridges, a firm that specializes in coaching, leadership training and human potential consulting.

Male MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Simple Preserves for the Urban Dweller
Wednesday, October 4, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Village Lofts River Room, 100 2nd St. NE
Think making preserves is just for those with large pantries and la rge families? Think again. As a single person, local author and photographer Mette Nielsen had no interest in old-time canning and preserving, but she loved to cook and wanted to make some interesting preserves, often to give as gifts. With her book  Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen , she redefines modern preserving to better suit urban dwellers with smaller households and spaces. Mette will bring samples and show us how to pair these fun preserves with purchased items for instant entertaining.

Members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

View the full MCC September calendar here.

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

MCC member Chris Bray encourages movie fans to watch "Blood Stripe" at St. Anthony Main Theatre. The film is showing now through September 21. The movie was filmed in just 16 days on Lake Vermillion and in the Twin Cities and has received many awards. Chris reports "for being low budget, it's compelling and offers another perspective on PTSD." Show times and details can be found here.

MCC ED Joan Wright wants members to know that Thursday Musical is opening with a free concert at 10:30 am on September 28 at MacPhail's Center for Music, 501 S 2nd St. The opening concert will be a celebration of Thursday Musical's 125th anniversary and will feature the premiere of Give Her the River by Minnesota composer David Evan Thomas. Learn more here.

MCC members Bud and Carol Hayden invite you to join Friends of the Mississippi River to celebrate and protect the Mississippi in the midst of its fall splendor on September 28 from 5:30-8:30 pm. From a beautiful, historic venue on the river in Saint Paul, guests will hear from keynote speaker, Dr. Dorceta Taylor, one of the country's preeminent environmental justice scholars about the intersection of environmental history, politics and justice, and what we can all do to make our special, natural places more inclusive. To learn more or to RSVP click here. Or contact John Czyscon at (651) 222-2193 ext 19, email RSVPs requested by September 22.

MCC member Michael Brennan invites members to come hear nationally renowned Dr. Henry Emmons speak on "Cultivating the roots of resiliency by nurturing our mind, body and heart" on Tuesday, October 3, at 7:00 pm at Washburn Center for Children (1100 Glenwood Ave). Henry Emmons is a psychiatrist who integrates mind-body and natural therapies, mindfulness, and compassion and insight into his clinical work. Henry developed the Resilience Training Program, which is currently offered at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. His career has been animated by the desire to develop more integrative approaches to the treatment of depression and anxiety. RSVP by emailing

MCC member Jeanne Ravich invites members to see how musical theater is changing the lives of children and teens at a free one-hour breakfast on Wednesday, October 11, 8:00-9:00 am at Lundstrum Performing Arts, 1617 N. 2nd St. Lundstrum's joyful mission is to inspire young people through musical theater. Hear from students about their dreams and achievements and how the program has impacted their lives. For more information, contact Jeanne at

MCC member Patty Connelly shares that members can buy tickets to a brunch with Vice President Mondale at the University Club in St. Paul on October 15 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Vice President Mondale will be reflecting on the Civil Rights Act and the turbulent time captured in the Tony Award-winning play All The Way, the History Theatre's 40th Season opener. MPR News Editor-at-Large and Retired Host Gary Eichten will serve as guest host for this special event. Funds raised support the History Theatre. To purchase tickets, click here or call (651) 292-4323.
Around Town

Mill City Oktoberfest
Saturday, September 23, 8:00 am-2:00 pm, Mill City Farmers Market
Celebrate Minnesota brewing past and present as Mill City Museum and the Mill City Farmers Market team up for their 11th annual Mill City Oktoberfest. Enjoy the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of Germany with activities inside the museum, outside in the Ruin Courtyard, and in the Farmers Market area in the Train Shed and Chicago Mall next to the Guthrie Theater. Find a schedule of events here.

Perspectives on "To Really See" Exhibit: A Panel Discussion
September 27, 6:00-7:30 pm, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall
The "To Really See" exhibit, which runs through September 27 in the Cargill Gallery, explores medication use stories and challenges mental health stigma regarding the medication-taking experience. A panel discussion will reflect on the artwork in the exhibit and engage multiple perspectives in conversation about mental health and medication use.  Learn more here .

Illuminate the Lock:   Andrea Carlson, The Uncompromising Hand
September 29 & 30, 8:00-10:30 pm, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam
The Uncompromising Hand, by Andrea Carlson engages Spirit Island, a limestone island and Dakota sacred site that was once in the Mississippi River near the current Lock and Dam. The lock wall will come alive with a hand drawn animation based on six photographs of the island from the MN Historical Society's collection, which plot the island's lengthy dismantle between the 1890's and 1960's. Text in Dakota and Ojibwe will accompany the animation. More details can be found 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
125 Main St SE
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. No reservations

Guthrie Play Reading
North Star Group
Wednesday, 9/27,
6:30-9:30 pm

RiverWest Group
Tuesday, 10/3,
6:30-9:30 pm
Groups will  read  "Watch on the Rhine" this month.

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required. A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota
by Sun Yung Shin

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 - November 21,
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 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
September 28 & October 12
 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,

103 N 2nd St

This is an alignment-based class. Purchase a 12-class pass for $150 directly from YCM to use as your schedule allows, or drop in on a class for $13. Call 

612-436-4700 for details.

Drop-ins welcome.

Discounted rate for MCC members applies to any drop-in class at YCM.

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