North Side :
The local office of the Chicago-based Women's Business Development Center gives majority-women-owned ventures here support and connections they might not otherwise have--as long as they can pass a rigorous qualifying process. It's women helping women to shatter the glass ceiling.
Art lives in the Twin Cities--and not just in the tonier parts of town. Thanks to initiatives like Twin Cities LISC's Building Sustainable Communities program, art and artists are taking major roles in helping some of our most challenged inner-city communities thrive.
A pair of determined nonprofits, Minneapolis' Urban Homeworks and Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services in Saint Paul, begin by fixing up damaged, foreclosed, and derelict houses--and then go on to help strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods in many other ways.
With a new school year approaching, we take a look at three unique programs that show how Minnesota has become a "thought leader" in developing--and funding--positive alternatives for youth.
As new export niches open up, Minnesota companies are selling some unconventional products overseas. Case in point: an inventive, environmentally aware North Minneapolis outfit that creates ADA-compliant interior signage for public buildings--and markets it in China, Brazil, and the Middle East.
Managing Photographer Bill Kelley talked to some friends, checked in with some experts, and wandered the city a bit on his own to find the local street art that appealed to him the most. Herewith, his images of art meant to make you stop, look, have a startle reaction, and then continue on your way, energized.
When the economic downturn derailed plans for a U of M North Minneapolis campus, university and civic visionaries created a unique alternative: a Northside research and outreach center that's the hub for a whole galaxy of town-gown partnerships in economic development and social betterment.
For hopeful food entrepreneurs, it can be a long, hard road from cooking a tasty treat to creating a viable business around it. That's where the North Side's innovative food-business incubator comes in.
Often, says Concordia University economist and biz-school dean Bruce Corrie, our minority and immigrant communities are seen solely through the "problem" lens. Their struggles are real, but their contributions to our prosperity and potential for growth are greater than most majority Minnesotans realize. And Corrie's got the figures to prove it.
Most of us in the Twin Cities are aware that we've become a great town for bicycling in recent years, but urbanist and author Jay Walljasper--an avid biker for decades--has been digging into the trend to find out the what and the why behind it. In this adaptation of an article he wrote for Bikes Belong, he fills in the story and gives us some impressive facts about the sheer scale and promise of our new two-wheel era.
To accompany Jay Walljasper's take on bike policy and bike culture in the Twin Cities, here's a video by Streetfilms that shows just how valuable one of the crown jewels in our bikeway system is--the Midtown Greenway, running more or less parallel to Lake Street from Chowen Avenue to the Mississippi River.
Muralist, public-school teacher, and MCAD professor Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl has a big idea for Minneapolis: a mural program that would engage at-risk kids, create beautiful public art all over the city, and celebrate our neighborhoods and the people who live in them.
With winter nipping at our heels, we thought it would be appropriate to take a lingering second look at the beautiful Twin Cities community gardens that Managing Photographer Bill Kelley shot back in August--eight little paradises in Saint Paul and Minneapolis where community spirit is cultivated along with the flowers and vegetables.
In the past year or so, the Twin Cities have solidified their reputation as one of the bike-friendliest metropolitan areas in America. And we're not resting on our laurels. An expanded bike-share program, a brand-new online bike-rental business, new trails and connections, a new bike/coffee shop combo in the works, and more--they all point to a great spring for the human-powered-transport set.
When it comes to dining-and-drinking venues, there's atmosphere--and then there's atmosphere. Some go the extra mile beyond a good color sense and a lively vibe to actually spirit you away to another place or time, real or imaginary. Herewith, a slide show of four of our favorite local places to escape the here-and-now.
John Hoff, aka Johnny Northside, blogs about North Minneapolis with passion and personality. He believes the neighborhood is headed "someplace amazing," and he's helping it get there with stories about its pleasures and problems. And he's inspired others to join the cyber-conversation, co-creating one of the most vibrant civic blogospheres in town.
In North Minneapolis, there's an arts center that's been tapping into, and amplifying, the energy of African-American youth culture for fifteen years. Juxtaposition Arts is a place where neighborhood kids fired up by hip-hop turn street savvy into beauty and visual excitement through art and design. "Juxta" has collaborated with the likes of the Walker Art Center and the Guthrie Theater, but its heart has always been in its neighborhood; and now, with a planned $8.2- million expansion, it's primed to be a major player in the cities' art scene as it amps up its impact on the North Side.
The palmy days of Prince, Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, and other iconic Twin Cities bands may have passed, but our music scene is just as vital, and a lot more diverse, today. Just as in the golden age, seeing and hearing the bands live is crucial to really getting to know the scene, so here is our list of definitive venues--from the legendary and cavernous former home base of the Purple One, First Avenue, to the beer-fragrant holes-in-the-wall where tomorrow's stars are plugging in their amps.
When Lili Hall moved her hip marketing agency, KNOCK, from the Warehouse District into a massively remodeled former grocery market on Glenwood Avenue, eyebrows were raised. After all, the street was best known for the municipal impound lot, vacant storefronts, and vast stretches of cracked concrete. But Hall is sure that Glenwood's creative resources (International Market Square, for one) and its role as a gateway to downtown foretell a cool future for the struggling street--and she intends to help it happen.
North Minneapolis--NoMi--has had its share of hard times, crime, and social dislocation over the years. But neighborhood advocate Joel Breeggemann is sick of one-sided portrayals of the neighborhood. He and other Northsiders know it as a friendly, green, increasingly trendy "small town in the city" where neighbors are joining together to make things better--and word has been getting out. Scores of first-time homeowners have been drawn into the neighborhood by Breeggemann's Get to NoMi Home Buyers Tours, which celebrate the North Side while showcasing some amazingly affordable houses.
What's the special sauce that makes so many bright people who come here stay here--and a lot people who go away, come back? (And what do we need to make that sauce even richer?) Some local creative types weigh in.