A string of sugar crystals: Greenway inspires a new model for urban development

Before Tina Nelson started working for the Midtown Greenway Coalition back in 1999, she worked for years as a community organizer in the Seward neighborhood. She toyed with the idea of going back to school for urban planning, but remained uncertain. Then Tim Springer entered her world. Springer is a bicycle commuter and has not owned a car for many years. In 1991 Springer became frustrated about the lack of a proper east-west bike route in South Minneapolis. Continue Reading

“Holding the water for us to see it”: New artist-designed outdoor drinking fountains in Minneapolis

Minneapolis City Council approved $500,000 last January for the construction of 10 new public drinking fountains, each designed by different Minnesota artists. Invigorate the Common Well, a trilogy of performances being staged over a two-year period at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre (HOBT), inspired the project. Sandy Spieler, artistic director of HOBT, writes in a public letter that the show began as a meditation upon a broken drinking fountain in the lobby of the group’s Avalon Theater. It is a “sad shrine,” she writes, to widespread neglect of the value of water. Now, Spieler and Staff from HOBT are providing overall artistic direction for Minneapolis’s ambitious drinking fountain project, which means they will work with the fountains’ artists on the overall concept, artistic themes and designs. Continue Reading

“Persepolis” author Marjane Satrapi speaks at Century College

“‘The evil’ one day is Communists, one day it’s Khomeini, one day it’s Saddam,” Marjane Satrapi told an audience of over 800 people at Century College in White Bear Lake last Thursday night. “In 1984, Iran was ‘the evil.’ Now we are just part of ‘the Axis of the Evil,'” she quipped, “so the situation is very much improving for us.” Satrapi’s acclaimed two-volume comic Persepolis recounts Satrapi’s youth in Iran during the Iranian Revolution, as well as her troubled adolescence in Europe—an adolescence marked by loud music, strange friends, homelessness, and heartbreak. Century invited Satrapi to speak because the college made Persepolis their common text this year. Continue Reading