MN VOICES | Jack Reuler and Mixed Blood Theater

In the converted old firehouse that the Mixed Blood Theater calls home, audiences can see diverse ensembles collaborating for a common purpose: To perform high quality, socially conscious theater.  But much of Mixed Blood’s programming happens offstage. They also hold performances in schools, churches, offices, and juvenile detention centers. It’s all part of founder Jack Reuler’s vision that theater can effect powerful change when it is part of a collaborative, grassroots effort. Reuler’s activism earned him a recent nomination for the Facing Race Ambassador award, which honors those “who excel in creating opportunities for people of all races to understand the impact of racism.”I spoke with Reuler in a sunny rehearsal room at the Mixed Blood about his 33 years with Mixed Blood. I read that you were inspired to start the theater by MLK’s dream.  I was struck by your initiative to devote your life to enacting a part of that dream.  Can you tell me a little bit about how you started out? Continue Reading

A food shelf for pets

In their struggle to survive the recession, many families have had to make the difficult decision to give up their beloved pets. With an annual cost of around $300 to $900 to keep an animal, according to the ASPCA, the expense is simply too much. The animals may end up in over-crowded shelters, kennels, or on the street. That’s why Kimberly Carrier started The Pet Project in the Twin Cities to help people hold on to their furry companions. The Pet Project, which launched in July, distributes pet food to food shelves in the area, provides donation boxes at local pet stores, and offers resources to find pet friendly housing. Continue Reading

A local dissenting voice on Iran

When Nasrin Jewell heard a CNN commentator respond to footage of Iranian protesters by saying, “Now we know what Iranians want,” she had had enough. She spoke about Iran and the recent election and protests to a crowd of about 60 who gathered June 24 at the Mayday Bookstore, hosted by Women Against Military Madness. Jewell, a professor of economics at St. Catherine University, is currently conducting research on redefining and reevaluating work for women in Iran. She feels the coverage of the Iranian election is not only excessive (“It’s almost 24 hours!”), but also inaccurate. Continue Reading

Between a rock and a Greenway: Xcel takes heat for plans to run power lines along bike trail

Just over 100 community members attended a public meeting at the Midtown Global Market last Wednesday, June 18th to submit their comments and questions on Xcel Energy’s Hiawatha Project. The project proposes several routes for a new 115 kilovolt transmission line stretching between two new substations at Hiawatha Avenue and Portland Avenue South. Xcel’s preferred route follows the Midtown Greenway, a former railroad corridor and current non-motorized bike path. The meeting, held by the Office of Energy Security, is a required step in the application process. It was a chance to provide public information about Xcel’s review process, and to allow the public to voice their comments on the project and on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Continue Reading