September  5, 2017
Update from the Executive Director

Today's Musings contains a multitude of member-recommended opportunities under News from Members. Check them out, and pay particular attention to those that require time-sensitive reservations!

Ten years ago, a couple of good friends discussed the possibility of starting a Village in the Mill District neighborhood. Angus Wurtele thought the Village concept intriguing, so he gathered a handful of friends together and began to plan our river district village:  Mill City Commons.

This morning's paper carried the very sad news of Angus's passing on Sunday. His significant business and philanthropic legacy has and will continue to have great impact within our community and across the state of Minnesota. We are grateful for his vision, his passion for the arts and his keen understanding and appreciation for the idea of community.  We extend our condolences to his wife Margaret and the family and offer our deep appreciation for his life and commitment to community. 

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

~ Joan Wright
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, September 6, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 2nd St S
Join us to discuss  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Sympathizer was the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.
The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Men's After Hours Connect
Wednesday, September 6, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Piper Jaffray, 800 Nicollet Mall, 12th fl
The MCC men are launching a new evening group that will connect once a month over a speaker, tour or social event. This inaugural event, hosted by member Bob Rinek, will include a tour of the trading floor at Piper Jaffray, with comments on sales, trading and capital markets from one of the traders; an overview of Piper Jaffray and the Merchant Banking business; and remarks from Lars Oddsson, founder and chairman of RxFunction, an early-stage medical device company. Those who are interested may conclude the evening at McCormick & Schmick's for a dutch-treat happy hour.

Male MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, September 7, 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 Dr. Michael Brennan hosts on the topic of "The Wages of Societal Mistrust: Lessons from China." Michael and his wife Dr. Rebecca Bahn have been in the Far East several times in the past year and have returned with some interesting and provocative insights about institutions and comparisons with China and elsewhere in the world.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, September 7, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Lou Burdick hosts on the topic of Immigration. Immigrants and immigration are front and center in the national dialogue in America today, and the immigrant experience is deeply woven into the fabric of this country's creation. Many immigrants came to America seeking greater economic opportunity, while some, such as the Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom. Others came unwillingly as slaves or willingly paid for their passage by signing on for years of indentured servitude before becoming citizens. What is your family's immigrant story and how is this historical heritage reflected in your life and your attitudes? Do you have any friends or family members who are immigrants?

Our Turn meets every other Thursday, alternating between morning and afternoon times. Locations, hosts and topics change each time.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Concert: A Musical Offering
Thursday, September 7, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S, #W61
Join us for a special concert presented by The Musical Offering (TMO), the Twin Cities' oldest chamber ensemble. TMO has a core ensemble of nine musicians affiliated with the Minnesota Orchestra, eight of whom will be performing at this gathering. On the program is Mozart's quintet for piano and winds K.452. In a letter to his father, Mozart wrote, "I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life." The program will also include Milhaud's jazz-inspired Suite for violin, clarinet and piano. Musicians performing include Susan Billmeyer, piano; Jane Garvin, flute; John Snow, oboe; David Pharris, clarinet; Norbert Nielubowski, bassoon; Caroline Lemen, horn; Celine Leathead, violin; and Jim Jacobson, cello.
MCC members sign up here.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Washburn Center for Children
Friday, September 8, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Washburn Center for Children, 1100 Glenwood Ave
This tour will be introduced by MCC members Drs. Michael Brennan and Rebecca Bahn. Washburn Center for Children was founded as the Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum in 1883 by Cadwallader C. Washburn after the Washburn "A Mill" explosion left children orphaned. Continually evolving to meet the children's mental health needs of the community, Washburn Center serves 3,000 children and their families annually. In 2014 the organization completed a $24.5 million capital campaign and opened an expanded, nature-infused facility. Tour this unique community resource that creates a space for young minds to heal and grow. Washburn Center's LEED Gold building provides a therapeutic environment to support a comprehensive spectrum of services and is also home to the United Health Foundation Training Institute, which trains mental health professionals, nationally and internationally, in children's mental health evidence-based and best practices.

MCC members sign up here.
Cooks of Crocus Hill Class: Say Cheese!
Monday, September 11, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cooks of Crocus Hill, 208 1st St N
Do you find yourself selecting the same cheeses every time when you shop the cheese section? This session can help you break free of your cheese comfort zone and teach you the best ways to pair delicious cheeses with sweet and savory accoutrements. Perfect for entertaining ideas!

Each attendee will also receive a 15% discount to Cooks of Crocus Hill for that day. (Coupon is good for regular priced, in-stock merchandise. Excludes cooking classes, private events, gift cards, electrics and sale items.)
MCC members sign up here.
Technology Workshop: Technology Tools for Travelers
Tuesday, September 12, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
American Academy of Neurology, 201 Chicago Ave, Training Room A
If you missed our sold-out spring Technology Tools for Travelers series, here's your second chance! This session is the first in a three-part series focusing on useful apps, accessories and tips for traveling with your iPhone or iPad. The series will cover tools that can help you stay in touch, save money, navigate your way in a new place and discover interesting sites. This first class will cover apps to use for accommodations, transportation and airline travel, such as Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Roadtrippers, FlySmart, My TSA and more. The workshop is limited to 14 attendees, and it will cover iPhones only, not Android devices. You do not need to participate in all three workshops to attend. Please make sure your device is fully charged, as electrical will not be available in the room.

MCC members sign up here.
Driven to Discover: Is the North Loop Losing Its Cool?
Tuesday, September 12, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Rock Island Lofts Party Room, 111 4th Ave N
The North Loop Neighborhood is a heat island in the middle of Minneapolis. This is the result of early urbanization, the loss of most vegetation and historical preservation rules that limit return of that vegetation. The problem will only increase with global warming. Professor Fernando Burga and his Land Use Planning students at the Humphrey School spent Fall 2016 studying this issue and recommending appropriate responses. Graduate students Alyssa Schmeling, Christopher Brittain and Maureen Hoffman will present their findings.

  is the first in MCC's new, ongoing program series under the banner "Driven to Discover." The series will feature University of Minnesota faculty and students sharing current research and programming at the University.

MCC members sign up here.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, September 13, 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.
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, September 17, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Stonebridge Lofts Community Room, 2nd fl, 1120 2nd St S
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by Rebecca Bahn and Michael Brennan. 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.
Great Decisions: Conflict in the South China Sea
Monday, September 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Room D104
The South China Sea is a locus of competing territorial claims, and China its most vocal claimant. Beijing's interest has intensified disputes with other countries in the region in recent years, especially since China has increased its naval presence. Despite rising international pressure, including an unfavorable ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, China staunchly defends its policies in the region. Preventing tensions from boiling over is a matter of careful diplomacy. Speaker Duncan McCampbell is a lawyer and professor of international business and law at Metropolitan State University, where he also serves as MBA Program Director. He teaches law and business in China and travels extensively in Asia. He writes on global commercial, legal, political and security issues, and recently returned from a one-month visit to China and the Philippines to research the evolving situation in the South China Sea.

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.
Exploring Meditation
Tuesday, September 19, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
Mill City Commons members have 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. Member Linda Dolan is facilitating the series, which will meet on consecutive Tuesdays from 9:30-10:30 am through November 21. Cost to participate is $100, whether or not you can attend all 10 sessions. Please contact Betsy Wray ( if you'd like to join. Registration will close after the first session on September 19.

MCC members sign up here. 
MCC Program Calendar

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

MCC member Karla Ekdahl wants members to know about "an amazing shop" she discovered in the North Loop recently. The shop is House of Talents (located in The Traffic Zone at 250 3rd Ave N, Ste 615) and is open Wed-Sat 11 am - 6 pm. The store's mission is to "alleviate poverty by connecting artisans from developing countries with consumers worldwide." Owner Kate Herzog and her team are providing income to 1000 Ghanaian women in the basket weaver's community alone. Karla reports "the products are beautiful - baskets, jewelry, cloth, etc. I was just blown away by the colorful and well-made products. Think gifts for family, friends and yourself!"

Have you heard about the Minnesota Bach Ensemble (MBE)? MCC member Susan Plimpton shares that the MBE is a professional chamber orchestra dedicated to performing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble explores other composers of the Baroque and early Classical periods yet always returns to the intense beauty, emotionalism and inspiration of J.S. Bach. Susan invites you to an MBE house concert on September 10 at 3:00 pm at the Carlyle, 100 3rd Ave S. RSVP by emailing Learn more about the MBE, including details of their upcoming season, by clicking  here.

MCC member Peg Kavaney invites members to attend a community meeting regarding security incidents involving gunfire that have taken place in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood recently. The meeting will be on September 11, 6:00 pm, at the First Congregational Church, 500 8th Ave SE. The Minneapolis Police Department will be present to answer questions and address community members' concerns.

MCC ED Joan Wright shares that The Mill City Singers (which claims several MCCers) will sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch at the Twins game on September 15. The game starts at 7:10 pm against the Toronto Blue Jays. MCC member Allan Burdick has tickets available for purchase ($22) if you'd like to sit with other MCC members. Email Allan by 9/7 at
for tickets to the 9/15 game or for any of the remaining home games after 9/15.

MCC member Margee Bracken invites members to attend Nadia, a marriage of music and theater, produced by the Bakken Trio. The play is about the legendary Nadia Boulanger, who Quincy Jones called "the most astounding woman I've ever met". She influenced an entire century of music.  Christina Baldwin stars as Nadia Boulanger, assisted by Bakken Trio musicians whose performance triggers her stories and vignettes of her life. Performances will be at MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S 2nd St, on September 17 & 18. Learn more here.

MCC member Ellen Breyer wants members to know that the Minnesota Orchestra is offering a free concert from 6:00-7:00 pm on September 19, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä at The Commons Park (425 Portland Ave S). Enjoy a mix of classical works, including Smetana's The Moldau, a series of Dvořák's Slavonic Dances, Sibelius' Finlandia and John Williams' March from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pre-Show entertainment begins at 5:00 pm. 

MCC member Bob Callahan invites members to attend the next Author Talk at the Minneapolis Central Library on Saturday, September 23, 10:00 - 11:30 am.
Retrace the steps of Martin Luther with Andrew Wilson, author of Here I Walk: A Thousand Miles on Foot to Rome With Martin Luther. Mr. Wilson and his wife recreated the pilgrimage by walking from southern Germany to Rome over 70 days.
This autumn marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The presentation will be part history and part travelogue. Mr. Wilson will be accompanied by a professor of religion from Augsburg College, Dr. Hans Wiersma, who is a Luther expert. Revisit the Reformation and learn what's changed across Europe in the last 500 years. Registration requested here.
Around Town

Global Conversations: The Geopolitics of Energy
September 13, 6:00-7:00 pm, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall
What impact will climate change, the growth of large-scale consumers in China and India, and the rise of wind, solar, and other increasingly cheap renewables have on U.S. energy and foreign policy? According to Ross Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, these developments will increasingly affect how energy and foreign policy come together. Join Ambassador Wilson as he leads a thought-provoking conversation about these factors and what the main areas of focus of U.S. foreign policy will be in the years to come. Free. Seating is limited; register here.

Wednesdays, September 13-December 16, 6:30-8:00 pm, Cowles Center for Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave
Looking for a way to keep those summer vibes going? MovementWise is an invigorating, community-oriented dance class for adults 50+ who love a healthy, active lifestyle. Participants explore a wide variety of dance forms - from social dance to modern and ballet to percussive. No experience necessary. Register here.

Illuminate the Lock: Aaron Dysart, Surface
September 15 & 16, 8:00 pm, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock, 1 Portland Ave
The 49-foot tall chamber of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam will become a canvas for experimental artworks. Data derived from handwritten pool heights will dictate a constant shifting background color while the color intensity will speak to the times the lock was emptied or filled with the river allowing for navigation of the falls. For more details, 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.  
Please Welcome MCC's Newest Members!
Claudia Kittock

Martha Gabbert
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

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required.
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

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

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 14 & 28
 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.


Volunteer Opportunities 
Click here for community volunteer opportunities on the MCC website!  
Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414 |  
(612) 455-3329