September 3, 2019
Update from the Executive Director

Hello! I hope you are having a wonderful day. As I write this, the sun is shining, the river is sparkling, and the leaves are dancing. It's a glorious day in Minneapolis! 

Please join me in welcoming our three newest members: JoAnn Boraas, Ember Reichgott Junge, and Mary Kramer. Welcome to Mill City Commons! We are so glad you've decided to become a part of our community. 

We've got a lot of great programming coming up this month! Our play reading groups are starting again, as is the Great Decisions foreign policy series; mah jongg classes are beginning, and so much more! From social engagement, to cultural and educational programs, to wellness opportunities -- we've got you covered.  Make sure you check out the  News from Members and Around Town sections of this newsletter, too. 

If you're reading this and you're not yet a member of Mill City Commons, consider joining us! If you have any questions, just ask. We are here for you and with you!   

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

~ Sara J.B. Foster
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, September 4, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 2nd St S
Join us to discuss  There There by Tommy Orange, a story of 12 unforgettable characters-Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day.  As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow-some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent-momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.
If you'd like to read ahead, October's book is  Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Have a book suggestion for the Book Chat? Email  Marsha Blumenthal.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
M en's Coffee & Conversation
Thursday, September 5, 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 Walt Bailey hosts. Walt will give a review of new and old poetry with Billy Collins and Bill Staines. He last did this about four years ago. Why? Walt will explain.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
The Minnesotans Who Brought "Hadestown" to Broadway
Thursday, September 5, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Washburn Common Room, 700 2nd St S
Join us to hear from Stone Arch Theatricals partners and Riverfront residents Jennifer Melin Miller, Christopher Schout and Frances Wilkinson, co-producers of the 2019 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, "Hadestown" (also winner of seven additional Tonys!) They will share how "Hadestown" made it from concept album to Broadway (a 10-year journey), their involvement in the show, as well as their journeys in commercial theater investing and producing.

MCC members sign up here.
Spotlight on Native American Community Development
Monday, September 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St SE
After centuries of colonization and forced assimilation, contemporary Native Americans are increasingly working to reclaim their narrative and make progress based on a foundation of traditional Native values, cultures, languages and practices. Join us to hear Robert Lillegren, President and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), speak about this 10-year old, asset-based community development intermediary located on Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis. NACDI is focusing on the people-side of community development and is keeper of the community vision of the American Indian Cultural Corridor as a destination and economic engine for the local Native Community. Lillegren also serves as Metropolitan Council Member for District 7, including downtown Minneapolis.

MCC members sign up here.
Technology Help Desk
Tuesday, September 10, 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.

Registration is now closed. To be added to the cancellation list, please email
Learn to Play Mah Jongg
September 11, 18 & 25 and October 2, 16 & 23, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
RiverWest Social Room, 401 S 1st St 
Learn to play the modern American version of the ancient Chinese game of mah jongg in this series of six interactive, hands-on classes for beginners or those who want to refresh their skills. Students will learn mah jongg terms, rules of the game, how to create a winning hand and basic strategic concepts. Course materials will be provided by instructor Jody Brennan, who has a master's degree in education and teaches mah jongg in the St. Louis Park Senior Program. The series of six classes meets on September 11, 18 & 25 and October 2, 16 & 23.
Cost is $59 per person for the six sessions (regardless of how many sessions you can attend), payable to MCC ahead of time. This includes the instructional 2019 National Mah Jongg League game card, required to play the game.

MCC members and guests can email to sign up for the series of lessons. 
MCC Sing-Along
Thursday, September 12, 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Stone Arch Lofts, 600 2nd St S, #303
Come together with other MCC members for an informal sing-along at Anne and Tom Carrier's Stone Arch loft. With Sara Foster on the piano, we'll be refreshing our memories with tunes that are all very familiar. Song sheets will be provided, and refreshments will be served. Come, sing and join the fun!

MCC members sign up here.
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, September 15, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Lourdes Square, 186 Bank St SE
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by Liz & Van Hawn at Lourdes Square. 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: Refugees and Global Migration
Monday, September 16, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
DeLaSalle High School, 1 DeLaSalle Dr, Room D104
Today, no countries have open borders. Every state in today's global system has its own laws and policies about who is permitted to cross its borders, and how they will do so. Who determines whether someone is a refugee or a migrant? How have different countries, including the United States, reacted to migration? How effective are the international laws, policies and organizations that have evolved to assist and protect refugees and migrants? Speaker Michele Garnett McKenzie serves on the senior leadership team at The Advocates for Human Rights as well as the national leadership team of the Immigration Advocates Network. A graduate of the U of M's Law School, she also teaches the Immigration Education and Outreach Externship for the U of M Law School's Center for New Americans.

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 Betsy Wray at

MCC members sign up here.
Meditation Circle
Tuesday, September 17, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
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.
Current Events: A Conversation with Bill 
Tuesday, September 17, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
Current international news and U.S. foreign policy provide an endless trove of topics for learning and discussion. Retired foreign service officer and MCC member Bill Davnie will identify a topic in advance, although news can always lead us in a fresh direction. There will be both presentation and discussion.
This ongoing program is held on the third Wednesday of the month (this month is an exception). Topic ideas for each monthly gathering are welcome.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

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

MCC member Jim Conaway invites members to attend an opening reception of his art exhibit,  Nicollet Island: A Visual History, on Saturday, September 7, 2:00-5:00 pm at the Groveland Gallery (25 Groveland Terrace). The show is a confluence of Jim's research and his impressions of this historically significant landmark. To learn more, click here.

MCC member Peggy Lucas encourages members to consider volunteering to "Get to Know Your Downtown Forest." You can attend one of two orientation sessions (September 19 or 24) and then sign up for a route to survey trees for the fall census in neighborhoods across downtown by October 1. Registration for the orientation sessions is requested by September 13. You can learn more here, or email for more information or to register.
Ar ound Town

First Thursdays in the Arts District
September 5, 5:00-9:00 pm, Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St NE
The Northrup King Building is the largest arts complex in Minnesota with over 300 artists on four floors. An evening of Open Studios is an excellent opportunity to explore art, learn processes and meet the artists. Learn more here

Bird Watching - Watchful Wednesdays
September 11, 8:30-10:00 am, North Mississippi River Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Ct
Every other Wednesday, get up with the morning birds to discover what to look for when identifying birds in the field. Learn about bird songs, calls and other behaviors while strolling through prairie, woodland and along the river with a naturalist and keeping eyes and ears open for various birds. Binoculars available. Coffee, tea and treats provided. $5. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required 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 
JoAnn Boraas

Mary Kramer

Ember Reichgott Junge 
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

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
There There
by Tommy Orange.
Click here to see what books we're reading at future Book Chats.

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!

Guthrie Play Reading
North Star Group
Wednesday, September 11, 6:30-9:30 pm

RiverWest Group
Tuesday, September 17,
6:30-9:30 pm
Groups will be reading Sweat this month.

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 third Thursday morning 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.
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
September 12 & 26
 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 |  
(612) 455-3329