Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

June 2019: In Our Community

Posted on 04 June 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Lori Mercil, a 25-year resident of the Nokomis East neighborhood, is one of three co-producers of an annual dance showcase called “16 Feet,” along with Becky Heist and Gerry Girouard. A wonderful collection of seasoned professionals will be offering an eclectic mix of dance for every viewer’s taste. There are three evening performances of “16 Feet: Dance off the Dock”, the third annual independent choreographer’s showcase at the TEK BOX in the Cowles Center on June 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 at This series is designed to raise local voices and bring their visions to life. “Come take in these explorations of life: happy, sad, zany, and everything in between!” encourage organizers.

Plant along river gorge
Join Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) staff and volunteers on June 25, from 6-8 p.m. for a worknight along the beautiful and rare oak savanna and woodlands located just off the main trail along the Minneapolis side of the river gorge. Spend the evening planting shrubs, wildflowers, sedges and a few trees helping to build a buffer of native plant populations around the prized oak savanna area and will help to re-establish native vegetation where buckthorn has been previously removed.
All are welcome and no experience is needed. All tools, gloves and training will be provided. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain.To learn more and register, visit

Anxiety support group meets
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) sponsors free support groups for persons with anxiety disorders. The groups help individuals develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. An Open Door Anxiety and Panic support group meets in St. Paul’s Highland Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m., on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., in Room 108. For information, call Les at 612-229-1863 or NAMI at 651-645-2948.

New youth kickball leagues
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board just launched brand-new youth kickball leagues in South Minneapolis. Teams from different Southside parks will learn the rules of kickball and partake in friendly competition against each other during a four-week season that begins after Fourth of July Weekend. Emphasis will be placed on fun. To sign up, go to, or visit any of the following South Minneapolis recreation centers: Corcoran, Keewaydin, Lake Hiawatha, McRae, Morris, Nokomis or Powderhorn.

Hiawatha Golf CAC meets next June 11
The Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan continues to move forward with a new Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting scheduled Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 6-8:30 pm at Pearl Recreation Center, 414 E Diamond Lake Rd. The June 11 CAC meeting will take the form of a workshop in which CAC members will decide on an outline for a single preferred design alternative for the golf course property. The CAC will discuss what they like and don’t like about the three concepts, potentially propose ideas that are a combination of any of the concepts, or propose new ideas that fit the project’s vision and guiding principles. All CAC meetings are public and anyone interested in the creation a long-term plan for the Hiawatha Golf Course Property is welcome to attend. Snacks, refreshments, and passive children’s activities are provided. Contact Cindy Anderson at 612-230-6472 or to request language, access or interpretation accommodations.

Annual parade at McRae Park on June 1
Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group & McRae Park’s annual neighborhood parade and celebration is set for Saturday, June 1 at 906 East 47th Street, 55407 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Rain date Saturday, June 8. Join in the fun of pony rides, live music, a magician, free ice cream cones, games for kids, a giant bouncy house, urban chickens, face painting, exhibit lane, food trucks, a drawing for bike giveaways from Nokomis Cycle and more, plus purchase raffle tickets to win a 55-inch TV. Parade lineup is at 10:45 a.m. at Field School parking lot, 46th St. and 4th Ave., with the parade starting at 11 and ending at McRae Park. More at

Hiawatha Academies Senior Signing Day

Hiawatha Collegiate High School’s 75 scholars have 265 college admission letters in hand. In all, 100% of seniors are planning to attend college. (Photo by Natanael Moreno)

On Friday, May 17, 2019 the first graduating class of Hiawatha Academies celebrated their admission to college. One hundred percent of Hiawatha Collegiate High School’s seniors have been admitted to college. At the event, each senior announced in front of family, friends and supporters the college they have chosen to attend.
Hiawatha Collegiate High School’s 75 scholars have 265 college admissions letters in hand. One hundred percent college admission is remarkable in Minnesota, a state with one of the nation’s lowest high school graduation rates for students of color. Hiawatha Academies (3500 E 28th St.) aims to ensure access to college as a path to eliminate educational disparities between students of color and their white peers.
Nearly all of the students will be the first in their family to attend college. “Being accepted into college is a really big step in my life,” says Kamren Anderson, a senior at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. “I used to think that I wasn’t smart enough to go to college or like I would never go to college. Over the years I’ve matured and tell myself that I can do it and not give up.”
Hiawatha Academies is a network of high-performing K-12 college preparatory public charter schools located in South Minneapolis. Its mission is to empower all Hiawatha scholars with the knowledge, character and leadership skills to graduate from college and serve the common good. Its vision is to honor the humanity of all people, by actively disrupting systemic inequity in pursuit of an equitable world, and permanently disrupting educational inequity by ensuring a great school for every child.

Theatre at St. Peder’s
Open Eye Figure Theatre is coming to St. Peder’s (4600 E. 42nd St.) and presenting “The Adventures of Katie Tomatie” – an all ages outdoor puppet show – on July 28, 7-8 p.m. More at

Longfellow Garden Club Plant Swap: Growing Iris
Irises have inspired painters and gardeners for centuries. Whether you are new to growing irises or are an experienced iris gardener, come learn about the many varieties of irises and how to plant and care for these beautiful flowers on June 12, 7 p.m., Epworth United Methodist Church (3207 37th Ave S.).The speaker will be Tim Moore, who has been growing irises for over 20 years and whose home garden has been on two national tours. He is currently on the board of directors of the Tall Bearded Iris Society and the Dwarf Iris Society.

Get outdoors June 7
Curious about archery, canoeing, climbing, fishing or Zumba? Try out those outdoor activities and more, for free, at Powderhorn Park during National Get Outdoors Day, June 7, 4-8 p.m. There will be local entertainment for the whole family and dinner available for purchase from food trucks. Powderhorn Park is located at 3400 15th Ave S. and is easily accessible by bus or bicycle. Plenty of on-street parking is also available. The event and recreational activities are presented by the REI Co-op, The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, US Forest Service, Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Ellen Sweetman show at The Vine Arts
The Vine Arts Gallery and livelybrush, LLC. are pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by native-born Minnesota artist, Ellen Sweetman (Minnetonka) June 1 to June 28. Sweetman dismantles her layered identity, old belief systems, and education, and ideas behind acceptance. Utilizing all the tools in her toolbox, she unlearns and begins anew. Discovering her own unique process of creation and becoming reborn in art.

Upcoming events at Hook & Ladder
Dylan & The Dead, The Jones Gang with special “Dylan” guests Mae Simpson, Dan Israel, James Loney, Mark Joseph, Jon Sullivan plus Tangled Up In Dylan, & Dreams of the Wild will be performing on Friday, June 7, 8 p.m. at the Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Ave. The Magnolias with Mike Nicolai (backed by The Rank Strangers), and The Owl-Eyes will be on Friday, June 14. The Suitcase Junket with special guest Snarles B is on Sunday, June 16. The Belfast Cowboys are a nine-piece band that specializes in the music of Van Morrison. They have become one of Minnesota’s (and The Hook & Ladder’s) most popular bands, traveling only when their feet get itchy or the offer is too good to refuse. See them on Saturday, June 22. Malamanya, a U.S.-based band of musicians who mutually share respect and enthusiasm for traditional rhythms and melodies from Cuba and Latin America, will perform on Thursday, June 27. Twin Cities musicians Mark Lickteig and Andra Lee Suchy team up to present a special celebration of two of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music – seminal soul music and rhythm and blues artists, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin on Sunday, June 30.

Picnic & Praise
Enjoy the beautiful spring evenings with a casual picnic meal and informal worship outdoors on the circle drive of Trinity Lutheran of Minnehaha Falls (52nd St. and 40th Ave.). Food and music are provided; bring a lawn chair if you’d like. The meal begins at 6 p.m. each Wednesday in June followed by worship and wrapping up about 7:30 p.m. Call 612-724-3691 for more details.

VBS at Morris Park
All children preschool through 5th grade are invited to kick off summer with a “roar” at Morris Park from 9:30 a.m. to noon, June 10-14. “Life is wild and God is good – and so is having fun with new friends and old,” say organizers. “There will be games, tasty snacks, singing and lots of laughs while learning how amazing God is in our lives.” Register online at or call 612-724-3691 with questions.

Ice cream, social set for June 20
The 7th annual Ice Cream Social and Sidewalk Sale at 56th and Chicago is planned for Thursday, June 20, 4-7 p.m. There will be ice cream, hot dogs, bouncy house, shopping and more. The annual event is hosted by Diamond Lake Community Business Alliance.

Elder voices meets
Elder Voices will meet Friday, May 31 and Friday, June 28, 10-11:30am. Elder Voices meets at Turtle Bread Company , 4205 34th St the corner of 42nd Ave. and 34th St. There will be time for people to tell or update their Elder stories. Don will be back from being hit by a car on his way to Elder Voices on Feb. 22. DeWayne and Marcea will be back from their road trip.

Clay center of celebration July 13
Celebrate the summer season and the opening of Northern Clay Center’s annual exhibition Six McKnight Artists during an afternoon open house on Saturday, July 13, from 1-4 p.m., 2424 Franklin Ave. E. See the works of talented mid-career artists from across the country and the world. Partake in fellowship, picnic food, fun, and hands-on, clay-themed games and contests. Tour the annual Studio Artist Sale, which runs Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and features artwork by several dozen artists who work, glaze, and fire at the Clay Center. A wide range of sculpture, tableware, and serving pieces will be featured from over 50 in-house talented artists.

LSS Healthy Seniors June events
Join Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors and Minneapolis Community Education for a monthly Senior Social/Health Talk on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.) at Bradshaw Funeral & Cremation Services, 3131 Minnehaha Ave. The presentation is “The Seward Neighborhood – A People’s History.” The Seward Neighborhood Group History Committee compiled a history of this vibrant and historic neighborhood and this book is the result. They’ll share stories that celebrate the people and events that make Seward Neighborhood an important part of Minneapolis history. Tai Chi Easy exercise classes are held on Mondays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E. 31st Street. Classes cost $5/each and discounts may be available for lower income seniors. Weekly classes will be held through June 24, and then will break for the rest of the summer. Tai Chi is low-impact, slow-motion exercise that’s adaptable to individual abilities. Movements vary between sitting and standing and help improve breathing, coordination, flexibility and strength. Registration is not required – come and try it! A free monthly Diabetes Support Group for adults will be held on June 12 from 1-2:30 p.m. at Trinity Apartments, 2800 E. 31st St.. Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is invited to attend. Additionally, Healthy Seniores is looking for “Friendly Visitor” volunteers and volunteer drivers to help seniors live independently. Call Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors at 612-729-5799 or email for more information on activities, services or volunteer opportunities.

VBS, Weed & Water, Beer and Bible
Whether you’re new to the Bible, new to beer, or well-versed in both, you’re invited to join the Beer and Bible group every second Wednesday at Merlin’s Rest organized by Epworth UMC All walks of life and faith welcome. “Come and enjoy great discussion and fellowship —beer is optional,” say organizers. Weed & Water Wednesday is every Wednesday through Aug. 7, 9:30-11 a.m., at Epworth UMC (3207 37th Ave S, Minneapolis). Kids 0 to 8 and their caring adult are invited to Epworth every Wednesday to tend to the Epworth Garden. Each free session will include a story, craft, games and a snack. Any donations for snacks or supplies are appreciated. Calling all children ages 5-11 – you’re invited to God’s Garden, God’s City Vacation Bible School at Epworth Aug. 12-16, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. “Kids will not want to miss this action-packed week, where we will explore the entire faith story, from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem. We’ll learn more about God’s creation and his love for us through stories, crafts, games, science and music! Each day will also include lunch,” say organizers. Learn more and sign up at

Hope for parents
On Sunday, June 9, Hope Lutheran Church (5728 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis) welcomes Pastor Hollie Holt-Woehl to lead the adult forum at 9 a.m. and worship at 10 a.m. At the Adult forum Holt-Woehl will share about her recently published book, “They don’t come with Instructions: Cries, Wisdom and Hope for Parenting Children with Developmental Challenges.” The book offers companionship for the journey with a developmentally challenged child. The mother of a son with an autism diagnosis, Holt-Woehl recognizes that parenting is never easy. Drawing on her own experience and that of nearly forty other parents she surveyed, Holt-Woehl shares stories, information, and insights about tending to the pain, recognizing the joy, and finding ways to keep hope through the ups and downs of this path. The book focuses on the challenges of parenting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), and/or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Mental illness and substance abuse
A free Dual Diagnosis peer support group for adults recovering from both a mental illness and a substance use disorder such as chemical dependency meets bi-weekly in Minneapolis. The group is sponsored by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead the group, which meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, from 2-3:30 p.m., at Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave., in the Longfellow Room. Use the east entrance and ask the receptionist for directions. For information, contact Bruce at 612-338-9084.
All ages ultimate Frisbee
Transition Longfellow hosts All ages Ultimate Frisbee! Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. to dusk at Brackett Park. It’s purposely a low-barrier-of-entry group and style of play. “If you kind-of maybe know how to throw a frisbee and are ok with some jogging, this game is for you!” say organizers. All ages and experience levels – we’ve had kids from age 8 to over 60.

Women’s Golf Week
Women’s Golf Day expands to Women’s Golf Week. Free golf and lessons June 3-7. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Play Golf Minneapolis courses are the only golf courses in the state hosting outdoor Women’s Golf Week events, with FREE clinics, or a FREE 9-hole round (walking or riding on a cart) offered at six golf courses throughout the city.

Catholic school partners with Groves
Our Lady of Peace Catholic School has been selected by Catholic Schools Center of Excellence as one of 18 Catholic elementary schools to participate in a literacy partnership with Groves Academy. CSCOE helps Catholic elementary schools enhance educational excellence and increase their enrollments and Groves Academy advocates for evidence-based literacy instruction for all students in the state of Minnesota. The Groves Literacy Framework™ is a comprehensive, three-year program for reading and spelling instruction designed to prevent reading problems using evidence-based practices supported by scientific research. Weekly classroom coaching, monthly team meetings and other teacher supports are key to the Framework’s success. “Our goal is to have each and every child in our Catholic elementary schools be fluent readers and spellers by the end of third grade. The Framework not only helps the typical student excel, but it can also identify students who struggle and provide them with the support they need to be successful,” said Gail Dorn, president, CSCOE. “We believe that the Groves approach is the best and most successful in the country and we want to partner with the very best!”

Venn Brewing honored
Venn Brewing earned best in the Fruit & Spice Beers (Non-sour) for its Breakfast Stout in the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild (MNCBG) inaugural MN Brewers Cup. More than 500 beers from 80 Minnesota breweries were submitted to 24 beer categories, ranging from Light Lagers to Imperial Stouts and Porters to Wild and Sour Ales. Beers were judged by 30 BJCP certified beer judges. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild ( is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 2000. The Guild promotes Minnesota’s booming brewing industry by sponsoring festivals and special events, and ultimately showcasing the talent of Minnesota’s craft brewers.

Reading and math tutors needed
Longfellow-Nokomis schools need 11 literacy and math tutors for the 2019-2020 school year according to Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps. Minnesota is reported to have one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation, heightening the need for literacy and math tutors in schools throughout the state. Longfellow-Nokomis schools that have been awarded tutor positions are: Dowling School, Urban Environmental Magnet (K3/Math); Hiawatha Community School (PreK); Pillsbury Elementary (PreK); and Sheridan Arts Magnet (PreK/K3). Tutors are being sought for three different levels of commitment: 35, 25 or 18 hours a week. Tutors receive a stipend every two weeks, and can earn up to an additional $4,200 for student loans or tuition, which can be gifted to a family member if the tutor is 55 or older. Many tutors also qualify for additional benefits like free health insurance and child care assistance. Anyone interested is encouraged to apply now at or by calling 866-859-2825. Tutors will begin in August 2019, and spend the next school year making the commitment to “Help Minnesota Be More.”

Sen. Torres Ray honored
State Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Minneapolis) was honored at the 8th Annual Minnesota DFL Humphrey-Mondale Dinner on Friday, May 24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The dinner celebrates leaders in the DFL party who make significant contributions to the Democratic party and the State of Minnesota. Senator Torres Ray will receive the Joan and Walter Mondale for Public Service Award in recognition for her tireless work and advocacy on behalf of all Minnesotans, particularly those who are most in need. After working in public policy for 16 years, Senator Patricia Torres Ray became the first Latina elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2006. In 2010 she was the first woman of color to run as Lieutenant Governor in the State. She is a recognized local and national leader and was recently elected to chair the National Caucus of Latina Elected Officials within the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, NHCSL. She is a Public Affairs graduate from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, a former adjunct faculty, and ongoing consultant for the school. She has been a resident of Minneapolis for 30 years and has two boys, ages 24 and 22.

Submit your news
If you are an organization located in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger delivery area, you can submit your event, special program, or noteworthy news to us for consideration. Submit your item by email to The deadline for the next issue is Monday, June 17 for the June 27 issue.