October 6, 2020 Update from the Executive Director

Thinking about travel can make you happy. Granted most travel plans have been cancelled this year, but “This virus … cannot stop our travel dreams...” says travel expert Rick Steves. Thinking about a trip I was on last year at this time led me to craft a list of desired destinations to experience in the future. Soon, I was researching the locations online and getting excited. “Being able to think about and imagine something positive in the future has benefits in the present” according to Shevaun Neupert, a Professor of Psychology, and “future-oriented thinking is equated with proactive coping” which can reduce stress.

We may not physically be going anywhere soon, but travel exploration can give your mind a mini- vacation. To help you get inspired and connect with other fascinating places, spend some time with a list of 101 ways to travel while staying at home. Or do some binge watching of 50 favorite travel movies. If you have any travel photos to share, please send them our way as inspiration for others. This week let’s all get away thinking about our next adventure – bon voyage!

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

~ Elise Linehan (612) 455-3329, 125 Main Street SE, #339, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Upcoming Virtual Programs and Events
Virtual via Zoom: Safeguarding Public Health
Tuesday, October 6, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Since 1976 the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has been at the forefront of the Nation's efforts to fight waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, and the more than 100 other HHS programs. Join Anne Gavin, OIG's Director of Quality Assurance in the Evaluation office, for an introductory discussion as we learn more about the OIG's mission, goals, roles, successes and challenges. FUN FACT: Anne is also Margee and Will Bracken's daughter! Don't miss this informative program and the chance to meet an extended member of the MCC family.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, October 7, 10:15 - 11:15 am
Join us to discuss The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai. The Hundred-Year House is a big-hearted gothic novel, an intergenerational mystery, a story of heartbreak and a romance, all crammed into one grand Midwestern estate. Laurelfield, as it's called, has gone from family home to artist colony and back again.

If you'd like to read ahead, November's book will be The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Have a book suggestion for the Book Chat? Email Marsha Blumenthal.

No registration required. MCC members, click here to access the Zoom link.
Virtual via Zoom: Meditation Circle
Thursday, October 8, 9:15 - 10:15 am (*Note the new time)
Leader: Terry Pearson will provide guided meditation via zoom.

Fee: An additional fee of $10.25 is required for this class to cover instructor costs.

Attendance Policy: A minimum of 3 registrants are required for this program to run. If there are less than 3 registrations 24 hours prior to the start of the program, the following will occur:
  1. the program will be cancelled and the calendar will be updated
  2. registrants will be notified via email that the program is cancelled
  3. registrants will not be charged

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your registration less than 24 hours before this program is scheduled to take place, you will be charged for attendance. To avoid being charged, please cancel your registration at least 24 hours prior to the program start time.

MCC members sign up here. Registered members will receive the Zoom link in their confirmation email.
Virtual via Zoom: David Lawrence Grant: People Like Us
Thursday, October 8, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Join us for a discussion with local playwright, screenwriter, teacher, inspired community leader and commentator, David Lawrence Grant. His essay, People Like Us, published in the book A Good Time for the Truth: Race in America, has been a source of inspiration for many on black culture, racial injustice, and opportunities for transformation. David will offer insights on the history of our nation's long (and ever-lengthening) list of lost opportunities to address racial justice and equity, challenging us to think hard about what we can do to help ensure that our grandchildren and their children aren't still grappling with these issues as we march on toward the beginning of the next century.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Tell Me A Story
Monday, October 12, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
During these strange times when we are more-or-less house-bound, many members are sorting through decades of photos. Others say they are writing about incidents that happened in their lives. Join us as three members - Linda Dolan, Marcia Townley, and Lou Burdick- read about unique experiences in their lives that had some staying power with each of them over the years. It will be a time to ponder whether you can relate to their stories, or perhaps, be prompted to write one of your own.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: COVID-19: Updates and Q&A with Michael Brennan
Tuesday, October 13, 9:30 - 10:30 am
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, MCC member and retired physician Michael Brennan is keeping a close watch on all medical and health developments put forth by the CDC, NIH and MN Department of Public Health. Join us for this every-other-week meeting where Michael will share the most recent information available, his perspective of how to keep ourselves safe and healthy, and answer questions.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Men's Coffee and Conversation
Thursday, October 15, 7:30 - 9:00 am
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. This week's conversation will be led by David Plimpton. David has invited guest speaker Steve Kelley to present. Steve is the former Commissioner of Commerce for Governor Tim Walz and will focus his talk on renewable energy and its availability in Minnesota.

**Note: it's also time to start thinking about our annual Men’s Breakfast Book Review scheduled for November 12. Please come with one book recommendation, of any genre, to share with the group. Given the stresses of COVID-19, we’d especially like to hear about books of good humor or wit, as well as off-beat stories. Each person will have 2 minutes to describe his book recommendation.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Women Connect
Thursday, October 15, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
It is time to RE-Connect! It's time to make connections with women members of Mill City Commons after a long, hot summer. This month's meeting will be facilitated by Susan Hartman. Using an interactive technique, we will share a bit of our stories as a way to know each other better. In order to make this work, members need to send an interesting, unusual one line tidbit about themselves (an experience, hobby, adventure, etc.) to Susan Hartman at susanhartman7@mac.com by Tuesday evening, October 13. During our meeting, we will have on-line “voting” to guess who is represented by each comment. Questions? Feel free to contact Susan.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Black Lives Matter & the Limits of Police Reform
Thursday, October 15, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Decades of sociological research has documented the pervasive fear and distrust of police violence in race-class subjugated communities. More recently, the explosion of Black Lives Matter (BLM) activism pushed these issues into mainstream discourses, expanding white Americans’ awareness of police violence and propelling jurisdictions to adopt police reform measures, often modeled off the Taskforce on 21st Century Policing recommendations. Join us as Michelle Phelps, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology at UMN shares research from mixed-methods interviews with 112 residents in a set of low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis, MN, from 2017-2019. The research asked how people of color and white residents in a heavily policed community made sense of racialized police violence and the reform measures enacted to respond to these concerns. Her findings highlight the enduring role of race in shaping orientations towards the police and the stark limits of the 21st Century Policing reform model.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Great Decisions: The Northern Triangle
Monday, October 19, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Combating illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Savador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the US. With funds from the US cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration? Rob Scarlett will be our speaker.

Note: This program is for Great Decisions members only and is not open to guests.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Ongoing MCC Activities
Dutch Treat Social Hour
4:00-5:00 pm
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. Click here for the Zoom link.
Rendezvous on 5
9:00-10:00 am
Drop in and join your friends and neighbors for a morning chat over Zoom. Click here for the Zoom link.
Men's Dutch Lunch
Alternating Thursdays,
11:30 am-12:30 pm
This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation.
Click here for the Zoom link.
River Walkers
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
8:00-9:00 am
Stone Arch Lofts Riverside Parking Lot
All levels of walkers are welcome for this early morning walk -with pandemic protocols-along the banks of the Mississippi River. An MCC volunteer leads each walk.
Strength, Balance & Stretch (SBS)
Mondays and Wednesdays
2:00-2:45 pm
An exclusive opportunity for members, this class focuses on keeping you fit and strong. First time participants, please contact G-Werx at (612) 767-4415. Cost varies depending on commitment.
MCC Community Care Resources
MCC Caregivers' Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays,
September-December, 10:30-12:00 pm
A way to support members and non-members who are in a caregiving role.

Members will be contacted with a Zoom link to join the meeting.
Member-to-Member Volunteering
If you want to support other members, you can sign up to become a volunteer driver or member-to-member volunteer.

If you are in need of volunteer services, let us know. Mary Texidor can help arrange a ride, meals, grocery shopping, visits and more.
Medical Equipment Loan Program
If you have a medical need, we may have the equipment you are looking for. Consider contacting the office before you buy or rent a piece of equipment. We have a shower chair, raised toilet seat, walker, cane and grabber available.
Go to MCC's COVID-19 Response page to see resources, Zoom tutorials and recommendations from members on things to do while staying at home.
News from and for Members
MCC member Anita Kunin recommends the movie Oliver Sacks: His Own Life now playing virtually through the MSP Film Society. The film is $12/household and is available for viewing for 5 days. The film explores the life and work of the legendary neurologist and storyteller, as he shares intimate details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact. Click here to purchase a ticket.

MCC member Linnea Olesen shares that she is taking a series of classes through Wildnerness Inquiry that may interest other members. It's the Mississippi River Virtual Adventure which starts October 7 and runs for 4 weeks. During each session, you will gain a deeper understanding of outdoor spaces by learning about unique ecosystems, natural and cultural history and how we can venture out to enjoy these spaces ourselves. You will be immersed in the geology, natural history and river connections of the past. Each participant will receive an exploration kit that includes hands-on activity materials relevant to each week’s program topic. Cost: $25 per person. To learn more, click here.

MCC member Patty Canney's art is featured at a virtual exhibit at Plymouth Congregational Church. Click here to see her work!

Jane Whitlock, aka Death Doula Jane, is offering three online classes this fall that may interest members. On October 6, DIY Memorial and Funeral Services; on October 13, Death: It's a Collaborative Event; on November 10, Green Burials and Home Vigils. Click on the links to learn more and register for any or all of these classes.
Get Your Vote in Early!

MCC Members have volunteered to help other MCC members by driving them to the polls or delivering their absentee ballots to a safe mailbox. Email us if you are interested. 

  • You can vote early now through November 2. Click here more information on location and hours. 
  • If you want to get an absentee ballot, the Secretary of State website makes it easy. 
  • If you are interested in helping your community get ready to vote through a non-partisan voter education program or by signing up to be an election judge, click here
Around Town
Breaking the Bubble: Staying Creative and Connected
October 6, 5:00 pm, virtual
How are creative minds helping the rest of us stay inspired and connected from home — even when we feel stuck in our personal bubbles? Join The New York Times technology and culture reporter Nellie Bowles as she gets three perspectives on staying creative and connected during COVID-19. To watch the free program, RSVP here.

Building an Indigenized Future: Seventh Generation Philosophy
October 12, 12:00-1:00 pm, virtual
In this three-part virtual event series, two Indigenous changemakers who are actively working to create a positive path forward for their nations will be featured. For the first Native Governance Center event, Cohort 7 Rebuilder Nikki Pieratos (NDN Collective) and Wizipan Little Elk (Rosebud Economic Development Corporation) will discuss ways to Indigenize our future using the seventh generation philosophy. Sign up here for this free event.

MacPhail Center for Music
Ongoing virtual opportunities
MacPhail is offering a wide variety of programs this fall semester, including beginning instrument lessons, mindfulness and meditation, music appreciation, and group classes. Click here to learn more.

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.
Contact Us
Elise Linehan, Executive Director, eliselinehan@millcitycommons.org
Mary Texidor, Business and Member Services Admin, marytexidor@millcitycommons.org
Bethany Boom, Program and Events Manager, bethanyboom@millcitycommons.org
(612) 455-3329