April 23, 2019
Update from the Executive Director

Sunday's horrific terrorist attacks on Christians and tourists in Sri Lanka continue to upset and confound. MCC member Bill Davnie is serving St. Andrew's Scots Kirk in Colombo Sri Lanka as its locum pastor. We received the good news that he and his wife, Charlotte, along with their daughter, son-in-law and two 6 year old twin granddaughters are safe and unharmed. We are grateful for their well-being and send our support and best wishes to them as they navigate the days ahead.

Last January, I announced in this space that I would be retiring in the spring and that the Board would soon start a search for my replacement.

The search committee, comprised of 6 MCC members, received 16 qualified applications, conducted 8 phone interviews and 4 final interviews before turning over their top three candidates for consideration to the Executive Committee. In turn, the Executive Committee met with all three finalists before extending an offer.

I am happy to announce that Sara Foster has accepted their offer and will begin as Mill City Commons' new Executive Director effective May 13! Watch for her complete bio and a hearty MCC welcome in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, staff will prepare for the transition, Jeff and I will continue our Mill City Commons membership and we look forward to raising a glass of cheer to my retirement next Tuesday at Umbra at The Canopy Hotel for Last Tuesday Happy Hour. Hope you can join us it!

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

~ Joan Wright
MCC Women Connect
Thursday, April 25, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mill City Quarter, 322 2nd St S
At this month's MCC Women Connect, member Carol Hovey will lead a discussion on the topic of "What is work?" Although many of us are no longer working, we see the changes for our children and friends who are working. What will be their working future? Often politicians talk about giving money back to hard-working taxpayers. What is the definition for "hard-working"? A David Brooks column last fall addressed the new working classes (read it here). And another New York Times article asks, "Why are young people pretending to love work?". These will provide some context for our discussion.

MCC Women Connect's purpose is to gather to connect and grow, sharing our experiences and learning from each other as we adapt to life's changes and transitions. Discussion ideas come from members, volunteer facilitators and a list of suggestions being developed. We meet once a month, from 10:00-11:30 a.m., on the fourth Thursday. *Starting in May, we will meet on the third Thursday of the month.

MCC members sign up here
Nosy Neighbor Tour: First Avenue Nightclub
Friday, April 26, 10:00 - 11:00 am
First Avenue, 701 1st Ave N
Experience the venue made famous by Prince, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how First Avenue and the 7th St Entry began. You'll get a chance to step onto the club's world-renowned stage, check out the "set list wall" backstage and maybe even hear a few ghost stories. Our private tour is limited to 25 people and costs $10 per person. Meet in front of the club on the corner of First Avenue and 7th Street.

NOTE: Please pay your $10 admission fee upon registration here.
MCC members sign up here.
MCC-Best Buy Focus Group
Monday, April 29, 10:30 - 11:30 am
Open Book Meeting Room, 1011 Washington Ave S, 2nd Fl
Best Buy, in conjunction with Mill City Commons, is holding monthly discussions to gather input on product and service ideas to assist older adults in living independently in their homes. A different topic will be presented each month to a limited group of 10 to 15 focus group members. Be part of shaping future smart technology and health and wellness products designed to assist older adults to remain living independently. Refreshments will be offered!

Registration has now closed. Contact Betsy Wray if you'd like to be placed on the cancellation list: betsywray@millcitycommons.org.
Meditation Circle
Tuesday, April 30 & May 7, 9:30 - 10:30 am 
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
meditation_pose_silhouette.jpg Mill City Commons members are invited to join in a weekly drop-in meditation hour. This is a time for self-guided meditation; if you're new to meditation, we'll provide a brief explanation to help you get started. Our hope is that meditating with each other may help each of our practices and create a shared energy among participants. Drop-in sessions are on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:30 am at Mill City Quarter, across the parking lot from Abiitan. An MCC member will be there to greet you at 9:30 a.m. Please register for sessions you plan to attend so we have an idea of how many to expect. All sessions are free.

MCC members sign up here for the April 30 session; MCC members sign up here for the May 7 session.
Last Tuesday Happy Hour & Farewell to Joan
Tuesday, April 30, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Umbra at the Canopy Hotel, 708 3rd St S
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at Umbra, the restaurant/bar in the new Canopy by Hilton hotel in the former Thresher building on 3rd St S. Hosted by Carol & Ron Vantine and Bill & Karen Snedeker, this gathering is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites and will be an opportunity to say farewell and thanks to Executive Director Joan Wright. The event is dutch treat--no reservations required. If you'd like to stay for dinner, reservations can be made by calling (612) 332-0696.

NOTE: If you're planning to shop at nearby Trader's Joes after Happy Hour, you can use Trader Joe's two-hour validated parking ramp.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, May 1, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 S 2nd St
Join us to discuss  Mornings in Jenin , a multi-generational story about a Palestinian family by Susan Abulhawa. Forcibly removed from the olive-farming village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejos are displaced to live in canvas tents in the Jenin refugee camp. We follow the family as they live through a half century of violent history. Amidst the loss and fear, hatred and pain, as their tents are replaced by more forebodingly permanent cinderblock huts, there is always the waiting, waiting to return to a lost home. The novel's voice is that of Amal, the granddaughter of the old village patriarch, a bright, sensitive girl who makes it out of the camps, only to return years later, to marry and bear a child. Through her eyes, with her evolving vision, we get the story of her brothers, one who is kidnapped to be raised Jewish, one who will end with bombs strapped to his middle. But of the many interwoven stories, stretching backward and forward in time, none is more important than Amal's own. Her story is one of love and loss, of childhood and marriage and parenthood, and finally the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has.

If you'd like to read ahead, June's book is Friends Forever by Danielle Steele. Have a book suggestion for the Book Chat? Email  Marsha Blumenthal.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
M en's Coffee & Conversation
Thursday, May 2, 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 Chuck Buehler hosts. Chuck will share a little background about himself and then give an inside look at Corporate Research at 3M.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Canopy Hotel
Thursday, May 2, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Canopy by Hilton, 708 3rd St S
Join us for a look inside one of east downtown's newest hotels: Canopy by Hilton. Located in the Thresher Square building, the hotel brings to life the area's industrial roots with exposed wood and original brick. The tour will explore guest rooms (with varying floor levels and ceiling heights), meeting space and public areas. If you'd like, join your tourmates for an optional lunch afterwards in Umbra, the hotel's restaurant and bar. Meet at the check-in desk for the tour.

MCC members sign up here.
Birding Walk
Friday, May 3, 9:00 - 10:30 am
Location to be announced
Celebrate spring with a series of five bird-watching walks along the river or Minneapolis lakes! We hope to see migrating warblers and other songbirds. Gregg Severson, naturalist with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, will lead the walks. Bring binoculars and field guides, if you have them (we'll also have some to borrow). Locations for the walks to be announced each week.

NOTE: You don't have to be a serious birder to participate-this is a chance to learn! And these are not strenuous hikes but rather easy walks with lots of stopping.

MCC members sign up here.
Technology Help Desk
Monday, May 6, 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.
RiverFirst: A Progress Report
Monday, May 6, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Minnesota Tech Center, 1100 Washington Ave S
Join us as Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, provides updates on two of the signature RiverFirst projects slated to begin soon: Water Works and the Great Northern Greenway. The RiverFirst Initiative is a vision for revitalizing the Mississippi Riverfront from St. Anthony Falls to the city's northern border. Signature park projects Water Works, the Great Northern Greenway, the Upper Harbor Terminal and Halls Island will complete a missing link in the historic Grand Rounds and result in miles of new trails connecting neighborhoods in North and Northeast Minneapolis to the river. The Parks Foundation is working closely with the Park Board and fundraising to deliver this vision.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Evening Book Club
Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
RiverWest Social Room, 401 1st St S
Join us to discuss A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family's Story by Qais Akbar Omar. Twenty-three years ago--after the Soviets left and before the Taliban came to power--Kabul was a garden where seven-year-old Qais Akbar Omar flew kites from the roof of his grandfather's house. Then came the hollow sounds of rocket fire as the Mujahedin, self-proclaimed holy warriors, took over Afghanistan, and the country erupted in civil war. Omar's family fled, leaving everything behind to take shelter in an old fort. But after a narrow escape from death, his father decided that the family must leave the country. Yet the journey proved more difficult than anticipated, and in this stunning coming-of-age memoir, Omar offers a moving recollection of these events--a story of daily hardships, relieved by moments of joy and immense beauty.

The MCC Evening Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of every other month. Upcoming gatherings are on July 2, September 3 and November 5.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

View the full calendar of MCC's April 
events here.

Plan ahead! View the full calendar of MCC's May events here.
News From Members 

MCC member Jim Conaway invites you to the Traffic Zone's Open Studio on Saturday, May 4, from 5:30-9:00 pm at 250 3rd Ave N. There will be 23 artists opening their studios, plus six invited guest artists. Jim extends a special invitation to members to come up to his studio (#204) at 5:00 pm to avoid the crowds and get a jump start on parking.

MCC member Barbara Goldner shares that the Psychiatry Department with University of Minnesota Health is now offering its second round of Integrative Wellness Classes. Classes will be offered at Mill City Primary Care Clinic and Behavior Health Clinic for Families (BHCF). Two classes that may be of interest include Introduction to Brain Health and Emotional Wellbeing and Movement and Breath Work for Mental Health. Classes start May 13. For further information on the classes, including descriptions, costs and more, click on the titles above. To register, please email psychwellness@umn.edu or call (612)-273-9827.
Ar ound Town

Green Minneapolis Gardening Opportunity
April 26, 8:30 am-12:00 pm, The Commons, 425 Portland Ave S
Join the Green Minneapolis gardening crew at The Commons as they ready the gardens for the season. Participation limited to 15 people. Email info@greenminneapolis.org to sign up.

Infinite Abyss in Motion
April 28, 2:00-5:00 pm, Stonebridge Lofts, 1120 S 2nd St
The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts invites you to the opening reception of "Infinite Abyss in Motion," an exhibit at the intersection of Art and Science. While science seeks to understand the natural world in which we live and beyond into the furthest infinity of space or the tiniest unseen particles in front of us, what it cannot with certainty tell us is what the particles look like. This is where artists step in to imagine, and then visually create, what many of our world's mysteries might look like. Free and open to the public.

Westminster Town Hall Forum
April 30, 12:00 pm, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave
Barbara Brown Taylor will speak on the topic of "Finding God in the Faith of Others." Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest, teacher and bestselling author of fourteen books on religion and spirituality.

Schubert Club Mix: Chalaca
May 9, 7:30 pm, Machine Shop, 300 2nd St SE
Chalaca explores the confluence of cultures found in South America and the Caribbean with a unique combination of clarinet, harp and percussion. Following the migration of rhythm from Africa and Europe, to the Andean Mountains, to the Amazon...and finally, right to the heart of America, Chalaca is a celebration of the composers who have immigrated to the United States from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela...alongside the folk masters who inspired them. Tickets can be purchased 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
Jefe Urban Hacienda
219 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, 10:00-11:00 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required. The next  book is
Mornings in Jenin
by Susan Abulhawa
Click here to see what books we're reading at future Book Chats.

Guthrie Play Reading
North Star Group
Wednesday, May 1,
6:30-9:30 pm

RiverWest Group
Wednesday, May 7,
6:30-9:30 pm
Groups will be reading Metamorphoses  this month.

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
If you're interested in playing a round of social bridge, contact the MCC office.

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.

MCC Women Connect
Join MCC women as they connect and grow, sharing experiences and learning from each other as they adapt to life's changes and transitions. This group meets the fourth Thursday morning of the month. **Starting in May, meetings will be the third Thursday of the month.
  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.

Meditation Circle
                         Tuesdays             9:30-10:30  am
          Mill City Quarter,
322 2nd St S
 Join us for a weekly
self-guided meditation hour.
Ongoing Member-Led Activities

MCC Caregivers' Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays,
10:30 am-12:00 pm
A way to support members and non-members who are 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
April 25 & May 9
 This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact  Allan Burdick.
Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414
www.millcitycommons.org | info@millcitycommons.org  
(612) 455-3329