Welcome to our CSP Newsletter!

Click here for a printable version of our January Calendar


CSP Member Spotlight


Rick Tveitbakk

Rick Tveitbakk is an active CSP member and abstract artist. His artwork incorporates ideas and feelings from his daily life as well as from the classes he takes. He regularly participates in the CSP’s Mindful Art, Mindful Movement, Perspective Photography, and Peers Check-In groups. Aside from using oil pastels and sketch paper (pictured) to create his artwork, Rick also makes digital art using his computer. He’s currently compiling his work into a book, titled Acceptance, that he plans to print himself.


Jennie Biegler

Art has always been central to Jennie Biegler’s life. Ever since she was a young art student studying in Chicago, Jennie has worked in glass blowing, sculpture, needlepoint, painting, and wood burning (pictured). When the pandemic closed Jennie's regular art programming, she was thrilled to discover the CSP. Since joining the CSP, Jennie has become an enthusiastic participant in Mindful Art and Expressive Therapy. Jennie’s daughter says that belonging to the CSP has changed Jennie’s life! Aside from being a prolific artist, Jennie is a passionate mother, grandmother, and friend. Her morning ritual includes writing texts to all of her family members and friends – it’s important to Jennie to tell them that she loves them every day. 

Do you want to step into the Member Spotlight in 2022? Contact Laura to volunteer: laura.schwarz@avivomn.org. We'd love to share your story with our community!


Staff Directory

Lam, Director


Lynn, Manager



Justin (FoodWorks)


Tovah (ArtWorks)


Laura (NatureWorks)



J-D, Employment



Kate, Mental Health





Lusu (FoodWorks)


T'Adre (ArtWorks)


Pam (NatureWorks)


Wellness Coaches

Mary (FoodWorks)


Hilary (ArtWorks)


Rupa (NatureWorks)


Peer Specialists

Ari (FoodWorks)


Rick (ArtWorks)


Michael (NatureWorks)


Winter Weather Cancellation Protocol

Starting in January 2022, the CSP will enact a new protocol for cancelling programming due to bad winter weather. When storms or poor weather conditions are predicted or taking place, CSP staff will make a decision about each day's programming before 9:00 am. If we decide to cancel, we will begin contacting members at this time. We want to give members enough advanced notice to cancel any planned transportation. 

If you are RSVPed for programming, we will call or email you to confirm the cancellation. If you have not RSVPed, we will be unable to notify you. Please RSVP for all programming you plan to attend. This will ensure you are contacted in the case of a winter weather cancellation. We accept both email and phone RSVPs: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

CSP Scenes: Why RSVP?

January RSVP comic final.jpg

Drawings by Ari Rodriguez-Corbetti, text by Justin Carlson


Introducing Winter Bingo!

Are you looking to cultivate some new habits or try out different activities during the seemingly never-ending winter? Do you like to win prizes? Come join the fun of Winter Bingo! You’ll receive a score card with 25 different activities. If you complete a bingo (or multiples!) you'll be eligible to win some great prizes throughout January and February. Check in with CSP staff at Crystal and Creekside Community Center gatherings about how your Bingo game is going. Questions? Talk to a NatureWorks staff member: Laura, Pam, Michael, or Rupa.

Art Show at the Hennepin Theatre Trust

The Avivo ArtWorks Collective's Crossroads Art Show is currently on display at the at the Best Buy Foundation Gallery, located at 900 Hennepin Ave in downtown Minneapolis. The Gallery is open every Friday in January from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Join us for a special closing reception on Jan. 28, also from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. All works in the show are available for purchase, and proceeds will directly support the artists. Thank you to the Hennepin Theatre Trust for partnering with us!

Last Call for COMPAS Submissions

CSP Members who participated in COMPAS Workshops during 2021 are invited to submit their written and visual work for publication in the COMPAS Storytelling Anthology. Please send finished copies of your work to Tovah (tovah.rudawski@avivomn.org) or Rick (rick.carey@avivomn.org) by January 7 so that it can be included in the anthology, which will be printed and distributed in February.

Is it your first time visiting our Grain Belt Studio? Don't worry, it's easy to get there! The studio is located in the Grain Belt Bottling Building. The address is 79 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis MN 55413. If you need help figuring out public transportation to this building, please call ArtWorks staff. Our studio is #105, up a short flight of stairs (or a short elevator ride). When you arrive, call 612-978-8638 and a friendly CSP staff member will let you into the building. We can't wait to see you!

Attention Providers: To refer a client for an intake, call or email Hilary: 612-916-7928 or hilary.hampton@avivomn.org. We're actively seeking new CSP members for 2022.


Click here to view our online calendar

To RSVP for groups, call 612-752-8332 or email community.support@avivomn.org

(Group leaders will send Zoom links to RSVPed members prior to each event.)



The Avivo CSP is working hard to provide safe indoor & in-person programming this winter! Here's what to expect when you arrive to indoor programming:

  • Staff will greet you at the door and ask you COVID screening questions, in addition to taking your temperature. Anyone with symptoms or a temperature of 100.4 (or higher) will be sent home for the day.

  • You will be required to wear a mask while inside; staff will provide you with a mask if you need one.

The health and safety of our members and our staff is of the utmost importance to us – it takes all of us doing our part in keeping each other safe. Please stay home if you are feeling sick and join us on our continued virtual program offerings. Reach out to CSP staff if you need help accessing virtual programs.


January Programming


Peers Check-In 

Mondays, January 10, 24, 31, 11:00am-12:00pm over Zoom 

A Peer Specialist-led group providing a supportive community. Check in with fellow CSP members about how your weekend was, what you have planned for the week, challenges you might be facing, and recent successes or accomplishments. RSVP to receive the Zoom link: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Avivo CSP at Crystal Community Center  

Tuesdays, January 4, 11, 25, 1:00-3:00 pm -- Note: We will NOT gather on Jan. 18

4800 Douglas Drive North, Crystal, MN 55429   

Join the Avivo CSP at the Crystal Community Center for casual company and connection. We'll provide coffee, an optional food- or nature-based group activity, puzzles and games, and lots of friendly staff to talk to. Call the RSVP line (612-752-8332) to make an appointment for 1:1 assistance with paperwork, filling out forms, applying for benefits, etc. (Without an appointment, we can help you on a first-come-first-served basis.) Capacity is limited, so RSVP to reserve your spot: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

BIPOC Support 

Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 2:00-3:00pm over Zoom   

Safe space for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color to share how their weeks are going. Facilitated by Avivo CSP staff who identify as BIPOC. Open ongoing group. RSVP for Zoom link: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Coping with Anxiety: Introvert or Extrovert?

Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 2:00-3:00pm over Zoom   

An open, ongoing group to learn new ideas, share coping skills, and give and receive support from each other.   What can be a big cause of  stress but also also of comfort and relief? The company of other human beings, of course!   The pandemic and winter in Minnesota have given many of us more alone time -- OR more time with those who share our living space. How do we learn to thrive in this environment the best we can? Join us to find out. RSVP to receive zoom link: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.   

Book Club: Notes from a Young Black Chef, by Kwame Onwuachi 

Wednesdays, January 12 & 26, 12:00pm- 1:30pm over Zoom

In this inspirational memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, Kwame shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age. It's a powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest account of chasing your dreams—even when they don’t turn out as you expected. Join us for a lively discussion as we talk about the book, food, and how it's relevant in our lives today. We will read this book in Jan & Feb. Book provided by Avivio. Please RSVP so a book can be dropped off at your home: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.   

Avivo CSP at Creekside Community Center in Bloomington  

Thursdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27, 1:00-3:00 pm  

9801 Penn Ave South, Bloomington MN 55431 

Join the Avivo CSP at the Creekside Community Center for casual company and connection. We'll provide coffee, an optional food- or nature-based group activity, puzzles and games, and lots of friendly staff to talk to. Call the RSVP line (612-752-8332) to make an appointment for 1:1 assistance with paperwork, filling out forms, applying for benefits, etc. (Without an appointment, we can help you on a first-come-first-served basis.) Capacity is limited, so RSVP to reserve your spot: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org

Tea Tasting Club

Friday, January 28, 1:00-2:30pm over Zoom   

Join us for a fun and lively discussion on different teas from around the world. You will have the opportunity to taste three different teas and decide for yourself which one you like. Since this is on Zoom, please RSVP at least five days in advance so the tea can be dropped off at your home. Dive deep, and become a connoisseur of tea! To RSVP, call 612-752-8332. 

NEW -- Conservatory Field Trip 

Friday, Jan. 21, 1:00-3:00pm  

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103) 

Visit a tropical oasis in the middle of winter! Join the NatureWorks Team as we travel to one of our favorite winter retreats -- the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo in St. Paul. Enjoy warmth, flowers and foliage, and the fun and fellowship of a CSP field trip! Contact Laura, Pam, Michael, or Rupa to discuss transportation options – we'd love to make this outing accessible for everyone.  


RSVPs required by January 14: the Conservatory requires us to reserve spots in advance due to COVID restrictions. 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org



NEW -- Textile Craft Club 

Mondays, January 3, 10, 24, 31, 10:30am-12:30pm 

Grain Belt Studio (79 13th Avenue NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413) or over Zoom 

This is a group where textiles, beads, yarn, and creativity will come alive! We will meet to build community and practice skills such as crocheting, knitting, and bead work.  Bring your own projects or find inspiration when you arrive at the studio -- some materials will be provided. Optional Zoom participation. RSVP: community.support@avivomn.org

Open Studio

Mondays, January 3, 10, 24, 31 & Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 1:00-4:00pm  

Grain Belt Studio (79 13th Avenue NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413)

Please join us in our new studio space in the Grain Belt Bottling House for Open Studio in-person! Art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Masks and RSVPs are required due to Covid-19. 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org

Monday Open Studios will feature different art demos, including how to use masking fluid with ink and watercolor to create print-like drawings and how to do transfers. Wednesday Open Studios will be led by Rick, who’s bringing back his popular Collage Club! Independent creative work is always also encouraged! 

Mindful Art 

Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 11:00am-12:00pm on Zoom     

We will be exploring various art mediums and mindful art making. This is a fun space for self-expression and self-exploration through the art making process. No experience necessary!

To RSVP, call 612-752-8332. 

Nature Writing Circle 

Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 10:30am – 12:00pm   

Grain Belt Studio (79 13th Avenue NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413)  

Join the CSP’s new Nature Writing Circle to get your creative juices flowing! During this time, a nature-based writing prompt will be given, you’ll have ample time for writing, and there will be optional sharing and discussion at the end. Journals and pens provided – or bring your laptop if you prefer typing. Optional Zoom participation. Please RSVP so we can purchase supplies and/or send the Zoom link: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Perspectives Photography Group

Thursdays, January 13, 20, 27, 11:00am-12:00pm over Zoom   

Join Perspectives Photography Group on Zoom as we share photos and feedback and learn about different photography techniques. All you need is a smartphone to put these lessons into practice! If you would like staff to share photos during the Zoom meeting, please email photos to rick.carey@avivomn.org. RSVP required: 612-752-8332.

NEW -- Digital Storytelling with Kelley Meister: a COMPAS Workshop

Thursdays, Jan 13, 20, 27, 1:00-3:00 pm

Grain Belt Studio (79 13th Avenue NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413)

Students will work in small groups or individually to create nonfictional digital storytelling pieces based on stories from their own lives. They will use iMovie or similar nonlinear editing software; Garage Band or similar audio editing software; and digital video cameras to construct their stories. The stories can be abstract, narrative, poetic, or metaphorical. Lessons in storyboarding, composition and camera movement prepare students for video production. Kelley constructs multimedia installations that fuse sculpture, printmaking, and drawing with time-based media such as video, sound-manipulation, and performative or participatory experience. Kelley teaches stop-motion animation, documentary and narrative filmmaking, digital photography, computer game design, creative circuitry, photographic printmaking, and other technology-infused arts. Kelley’s teaching philosophy is rooted in inquiry, exploration, and process.  Capacity is limited to 8 people: RSVPs required! To RSVP, call 612-752-8332 or email community.support@avivomn.org.


Mindful Movement 

Wednesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26, 3:00-4:00 pm over Zoom  

In the Mindful Movement class, we will move slowly and intentionally through stretching, breathing, and a little exercise. This can be done in a chair or standing. You do not need to be flexible to do this class. It is open to all fitness levels and can be adapted to anybody. We start the class with a short meditation to calm the mind and then move into movement. Please join us on Zoom! To RSVP, call 612-752-8332 or email community.support@avivomn.org.



Zoom Fitness

Thursdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27, 11:30am-12:30pm over Zoom

Join us for an invigorating exercise class on Zoom, followed by a brief discussion on nutrition that supports your exercise plan. Have a mat or blanket to lie on and water nearby. If you have weights have those handy as well. Please join us as we build community through fitness. RSVPs required: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Nature Walk 

Friday, Jan. 7, 1:00-3:00pm  

Veterans Park (6335 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423) 

Join us for a beautiful walk at a great local park. Winter walks are perfect for bird watching and animal tracking! Trails at Veterans Park are paved. If it’s snowy/icy, we'll have boot cleats available to help your feet grip the ground.  Meet at the shelter north of the main parking lot (off of Portland). Watch your email inbox in case of a bad weather cancellation. RSVPs required: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

NEW – Gentle Yoga 

Fridays, January 14 & 28, 11:00am-12:00pm over Zoom 

In this yoga class, we will use slow and gentle movement to maintain flexibility, incorporate breath work and explore concepts of yoga philosophy. No prior experience or fancy materials necessary. Please bring two blankets, a couple of pillows, and a belt to class. These movements will be done from a mix of seated, standing and laying down with ample time for transitioning between positions. Each class will begin with a short grounding and centering and end with a brief relaxation pose. There will also be time for discussion after our relaxation pose. RSVPs required: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.


Sound Healing

Wednesday, January 19, 12:00-1:00pm over Zoom   

Listen to beautiful relaxing music to help wash away your anxiety and worries. No meditation experience required, but you must RSVP to get the Zoom link. To RSVP, call 612-752-8332. 

Expressive Therapy Group 

Thursdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27 11:00am-12:30pm 

Grain Belt Studio (79 13th Avenue NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413)

Hands-on artistic, creative, expressive therapy in a group setting. Call Kate at 612-446-9119 for more information and to reserve your space ongoingly. This is a therapeutic offering. Insurance is required. 

NEW -- MI/CD Recovery Support Group 

Fridays, January 14, 21, 28, 1:00pm–2:00pm over Zoom

The MI/CD Recovery Support Group is an open support group for anyone working on recovery with Chemical Dependency & Mental Illness. Many participants may identify with what’s called Dual Diagnoses, meaning both CD (Chemical Dependency) and MI (Mental Illness). Participants will enjoy an easy-going group with introductions and hand-out readings as well as reading aloud together from the recovery style self-help books. After the readings members will be able to have a brief check-in about how their week is going. Please contact Michael (612-499-7960) or Ari (612-449-5712) to sign up for this group.

NEW -- Music Talks 

Friday, January 14 & 28, 2:00-3:00pm over Zoom     

Join Ari’s new group for sharing and discussing music -- how it speaks to us, how we enjoy music differently, and how it can connect us to others. After a car accident in 1990 caused him to experience memory loss, Ari started using music to help himself in various ways. For years, his  mind would struggle to find peace, patience, and harmony, but through music he was able to find all of those things. Feel free to bring a song title that you’d like to share! Please RSVP to get the Zoom link: 612-752-8332. 

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Dear Mary

A monthly column by Wellness Coach Mary Newstrom

Dear Mary, I make New Year's resolutions every year, but by spring most of them have fallen by the wayside. What can I do to keep working on them throughout the year?  

Good question. So many of us struggle with keeping our New Year’s resolutions, but I have a few easy tips you can follow to improve your chances of success. Be sure to make the goal realistic. For example, don’t make a goal to lose 100 pounds! Instead, maybe you can work toward losing five pounds over the first three months of the year. Make an action plan and then talk about it with other people to get their support. If you want to get in better shape, recruit a workout buddy and make a schedule you both can stick to.  Reframe why you are working out; instead of making it about losing weight, make the goal about  feeling better. Track your progress and reward yourself as you go with a special treat, such as a day trip visiting one of our local State Parks.  

Need a little help or an accountability partner? Reach out to one of the CSP Wellness Coaches to schedule a one-on-one consultation. You'll find them in the Staff Directory above.


Dear Mary, I want to start using different spices and foods in recipes, but I am afraid to try them. What can I do to overcome this fear?  


Trying new things can be scary, but kudos to you for being brave enough to venture into new territory. I would suggest starting by testing only one new spice or one new food at a time.  And remember to go easy using the new spice or only add a small amount of the new food. You may need to try the new dish several times before you know if you like it or not.  Prepare the new recipe along with something you like, just in case you decide you can’t eat the new food. Eat the new dish first when you are most hungry, and take your time to savor it.  Life is a series of adventures. The more risks we are willing to take, the more alive we become.  As we enter into a new year, I want to extend my wishes of peace and love to you, and I hope that many adventures fill your life to the brim!  May you taste the sweetness of 2022. Happy New Year from all of us at the Avivo CSP. 

Do you have a Dear Mary Question? Mary would love to hear from you. Send your questions to Mary’s email address (mary.newstrom@avivomn.org) or call it in to our RSVP line at 612-752-8332.


Member Holiday Party 2021 -- Thanks for attending!

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