FORECAST: A new era

30 years ago, a partnership between the Minneapolis Arts Commission and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) inadvertently launched one of the most active and broad-reaching arts organ Continue Reading

Earth Day 2008

Dozens of events around the Twin Cities mark Earth Day 2008. April 22 is the actual date for Earth Day, but the celebrations begin April 17 and continue for more than a week. The observance of Earth Day on April 22 began in 2008, at the urging of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day 2008by Betsy Mowry, TC Daily PlanetAs Earth Day once again approaches on April 22, Minnesotans are looking for a way to celebrate nature, contribute to a cleaner environment and, perhaps most importantly, get outside after a long winter. As usual, a range of prospects is available from trash pick-up and wilderness walks to art activities and educational forums. Regardless, there are loads of opportunities for everyone. Continue Reading

St. Paul dog owners straining at the leash

Minnesota boasts at least 40 official dog parks. Among cities, Minneapolis and Eden Prairie host the highest number of parks, with five and six respectively. In the city of St. Paul, there are an estimated 40,000 households with dogs, surpassing the 31,000 households with children. Yet the city of St. Continue Reading

Arts advocates celebrate the approval of the Great Outdoors and Heritage Amendment bill

For Minnesotans, 2008 may be a pivotal year for both the arts and the environment. On February 14, the Great Outdoors and Heritage Amendment bill was approved as the first piece of business in this year’s state legislative session. Nearly ten years in the making, the initiative asks voters to amend the state constitution to dedicate a small portion of the state sales tax to protect clean water, wildlife, natural areas and cultural heritage projects.On Election Day this fall, voters will see the following question on their ballots. Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural AreasShall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to dedicate funding to protect our drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve our arts and cultural heritage; to support our parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater by increasing the sales and use tax rate beginning July 1, 2009, by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales until the year 2034? Yes_____ No_____
If approved by the voters, the increase in the state sales tax is predicted to raise approximately $291 million per year, available starting in 2010. Continue Reading

Public Art Saint Paul receives grant to commission new Wing Young Huie work on University Avenue

Two weeks ago, Public Art Saint Paul announced that it had been awarded a 2008 Joyce Award—the sole Joyce Award in the visual arts this year. The award carries a $50,000 grant to support the commission of a new work of public art. In this case, the award will pay for a major installation along University Avenue by local photographer Wing Young Huie. The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation sponsors the annual Joyce Awards, which give Midwest cultural institutions financial support to commission works by artists of color. Over five years, the foundation has awarded $1 million to leading Midwestern arts organizations and presenters. Continue Reading

Local Latino music legend José Carrera fights for his life

With soft-spoken intensity, local Latino musician José Carrera has touched the lives of many Minnesotans through the rhythms of his music and as a multicultural consultant and activist. Today, he is fighting one of the biggest challenges of his life. For more information on ordering empanadas or on upcoming fundraisers, e-mail latinsounds1@msn.com. Also, see latinsounds.net and www.multiculturalbusiness.org. In 2002, Carrera was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, an aggressive cancer manifested as a tumor of the supportive tissue of the brain. Continue Reading

Saint Paul Public Schools passes the 2007-2008 Budget

Budget designates 77% of funds for classrooms, 12% to buildings and faciliteis, 8% to transportation and meals, 3% to administration. The Saint Paul Public School Board unanimously approved a $629 million budget for the 2007-2008 school year on June 19. The budget dovetails well with the Strategic Plan for Continued Excellence, which was created as a guide for the district through the year 2011. Approximately 77% of funds go into classrooms, 12% to buildings and facilities, and 8% to transportation and meals. The budget reflects both expansions and reductions in funding. Continue Reading