The Line tells the story of the new economy in The Twin Cities -- a narrative of creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play.
Each Wednesday, the online magazine presents original stories, video and photography to tell that story. Get The Line free in your e-mailbox each week. Sign up here.
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Publisher Dena Alspach is a publisher and digital futurist with 14 years experience in magazines and media. As long-time publisher of Twin Cities METRO, Minnesota Bride, and many other targeted, regional publications, she was on the front lines as the business of print underwent its massive upheaval. With curiosity and a passion for innovation and technology, she led the way into digital strategy, social media, and mobile development, creating successful integrated marketing plans for her partners. She has now turned her focus, energy and experience to the future of content marketing and the next-generation products and platforms necessary to the growth of business. An active mom raising two amazing boys, Dena also dedicates herself to a rescued black lab, a houseful of books, a (nearly) unmanageable garden, and eating her way around the Twin Cities.
Managing Editor Jon Spayde was an editor for Northwest Airlines Portfolio, Departures, and Travel and Leisure in New York. After moving to the Twin Cities, he worked at Utne Reader for thirteen years. He was arts and culture editor of the first Utne web site (1995) and co-author of Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life and Salons: The Art of Conversation. In 2008 he published How to Believe, a collection of profiles of religious believers, with Random House. His articles have appeared in publications ranging from ID and Art in America to City Pages and Experience Life. He lives in Saint Paul with his wife, business coach Laurie Phillips, and cat, Kerfuffle.
Managing Photographer Bill Kelley is a freelancer based in Minneapolis, specializing in images of people, lifestyles, and travel. He has made images around the Midwest, shooting everything from rodeos to CEOs. His clients include Minneapolis—St. Paul magazine, St. Olaf College, St. Catherine University, MinnPost, ADC Communications, and Novartis. He strives to become more fluid, more expressive, and more creative in his craft.
Development Editor Anna Pratt has covered arts, business, community news, education, civil rights and more, as a staffer and freelancer for various print, online and radio media outlets, including the Star Tribune, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Independent, Southwest Journal/Downtown Journal and others. She got her start with a double-major in journalism and art at the University of Minnesota. On the side, she's the "thought editor" for Spout Press, an independent literary publisher that cultivates young and emerging writers. She's lived in Minnesota for most of her life and is an eight-year resident of Minneapolis's Elliot Park neighborhood.
Innovation and Jobs Editor Elizabeth Millard is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer who specializes in business, technology, and lifestyle, and focuses on the intersections among them. From her first article--on how to unlock a pet's creativity through art (no, really)--she's enjoyed writing about a range of topics, from Horst's organic-ingredient empire to Minnesota's ethanol prospects. Her work has appeared in Business 2.0, Ms., Mpls/St. Paul, Detour, Metro, Entrepreneur, and a host of other publications.
Contributor Alyssa Ford is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent more than five years covering the Twin Cities design community for Midwest Home magazine. Today she's her own boss, but she's still fascinated and inspired by the wealth of creativity in the Twin Cities metro. When she's not covering design for The Line, she's working on articles for the Star Tribune and other notable publications. She lives in Minneapolis' diverse Lyndale neighborhood with her husband, Chris Shields, and their cats, Picky-Picky and Pojke.
Contributor Holly Dolezalek is a freelancer who has been writing for a living since 2002. Her areas of expertise include adult learning, IT, new businesses, and auto collision repair. She writes for numerous publications in the Twin Cities and nationally, and also does contract editing work. Originally from Bloomfield, CO, a northern suburb of Denver, she has lived in the Twin Cities since 1994 and owns a small house in south Minneapolis, which she occupies with her dog, Jasper, and her cat, Birkenstock. Her name is pronounced more easily if you remember that it rhymes with "alcoholic."
Contributor Camille LeFevre is a dance, art, and architecture critic whose work has appeared in Metropolis, Architectural Record, Audubon, Preservation, and nearly every media outlet in the Twin Cities, including the StarTribune and Pioneer Press. She was the founding editor of Prairie Reader, and teaches arts writing at the University of Minnesota. An avid hiker and gardener, she escapes to Sedona, AZ, at the drop of a hat.
Contributor Karen Olson's articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in Utne Reader, Natural Home, Ode, Experience Life, Room of One's Own and Cimarron Review, among other publications. A former editor of Utne Reader, she's also edited Colorado Review, FenderBender and Public Art Review. Before she started working with words, Karen was a wildland firefighter, ski guide and certified chainsaw operator. She is currently living in a Minneapolis apartment she calls The Treehouse, studying permaculture and getting ready to become an urban homesteader.
Videographer Kevin Obsatz is a filmmaker and a video artist. His work ranges in scope and scale from postage stamp-sized web video haiku to a gallery installation in 2009 at the Weisman Art Museum. His feature-length documentary Journeyman has been broadcast by dozens of PBS affiliates, has screened at theaters across the US, and has been translated into Spanish, French, German and Italian for international audiences. His portfolio is online at www.videohaiku.com.
Contributor Meleah Maynard is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, editor, and master gardener. Her stories have appeared in a wide range of regional and national publications, including Garden How-To, Garden, Deck and Landscape, Minnesota Monthly, The History Channel Magazine and Midwest Home. She is also a regular garden columnist for Minneapolis' Southwest Journal and Northern Gardener.
Contributor Andi McDaniel is a writer, journalist, and multimedia producer who recently returned to the Twin Cities after three years in Berkeley, CA, where people don't talk nearly enough about the weather. Her print work has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, Orion, and Utne Reader. She has produced multimedia work for PBS FRONTLINE/World, CBS News in San Francisco, and Alaska Public Radio, and she currently produces news videos for Minnesota Public Radio. Andi and her husband, Eric, live in a little blue farmhouse in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, with their puppy Wendell, who has yet to reveal where he's hidden everyone's shoes. Visit her at www.andimcdaniel.com
Contributor Lori Storm has been covering people, places and hot trends in the Twin Cities for more than a decade. She is the former editor of Twin Cities Statement magazine. She also has a background in television news and lifestyle shows after spending years as a producer at KARE 11. She is currently a freelance writer and also works as a field producer and media trainer.
Contributor Ellen Shaffer is a marketing and features writer who specializes in deep thoughts about shallow subjects. She is semi-famous on an extremely local scale as the handmaiden of Albert the Greyhound, the most recognizable four-legged resident of Saint Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood. Ellen's work has appeared in Minnesota Monthly and Midwest Home. Several years ago, in a fit of pique, she shut down her blog, Cool on the Hill, much to the consternation of her dad. Her interests include travel, greyhound rescue, and listening to her husband go on and on about his novel.
Contributor Molly Priesmeyer is a journalist, writer, and performer whose stories have appeared in City Pages, the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, Rolling Stone, MinnPost, ArtNEWS, and others. Along with her reporting duties, she is the co-founder of Good Work Group, a writer on Powder Keg Live!, and has performed as a storyteller at the Women Stand Up! series, Salon Saloon, and Mulligan's Stu Do-Over Revue. She is working on her first series of short stories, Why Me?! A Martyr's Guide to Life. She has been working on it since the 5th grade.
Contributor Susan Klemond is a St. Paul-based freelancer who writes about her community, faith and education. After corporate and trade publication jobs offered her the chance to delve into such topics as marine vinyl and credit card processing, she now prefers to write about people and their stories. She has written for, among others, Stillwater Living, St. Paul Voice, National Catholic Register, The Catholic Spirit, The Villager and the Minnesota Private College Council.
Contributor Dan Heilman has been a professional writer and editor since the early 1980s. He has written for dozens of local, regional, and national publications about music, business, technology, and other topics. He most recently was managing editor of the daily business newspaper Finance & Commerce before starting his own independent writing and editing business in May 2010. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Annie, dog Smokey, and sibling cats Bo and Gidget.
Contributor Dale Connelly has been throwing his voice around the upper Midwest since 1976, when he joined Minnesota Public Radio to be a journalist and stayed to work alongside Jim Ed Poole for 25 years as co-host of The Morning Show. His writing has been featured on the commentary page of the Star Tribune and on stage at the Illusion Theater as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. His unusual hours as an early morning disc jockey forced him to sleep through most of the 80's, 90's and 00's. Now freed from the tyranny of an unforgiving alarm clock, Dale is re-discovering his half-familiar surroundings in a way that qualifies him to be our Resident Tourist.
Contributor Michelle Bruch is a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, reporting for The Journal newspaper, City Pages, and KFAI Radio. However, the biggest chunk of her work week is devoted to caring for her adorable toddler, Sawyer. Before Sawyer's arrival, she spent three
years writing for the Downtown Journal, covering everything from crime trends to sports stadium sagas. She also spent two years in Chicago, where she covered community news for the Journal & Topics newspaper chain. She lives near Lake Nokomis with her husband Matt, son Sawyer,
dog Connor, and cat Wrigley.
After more than 20 years out East, contributor Don Lee returned home under the illusion that climate change had tamed Minnesota winters. At National Public Radio in Washington, DC, he was executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning classical music program Performance Today, an editor/producer for Morning Edition and The Sunday Show and host of NPR's Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra broadcasts. In the Twin Cities, he oversaw cultural news coverage for Minnesota Public Radio and directed producer relations at Public Radio International. Among his current media projects: co-executive producer of AARP Internet Radio. He and his family live in a drafty old house in St. Paul.
Contributor Tristan Pollock is a cause- and tech-focused writer/cultivator for a plethora of online communities, websites, and journalistic blogs, including StarTribune's Vita.mn, Ashoka's Change InSight blog, Tech.mn, StartSomeGood and HFHope.org. After helping co-found social entrepreneurship weblog SocialEarth.org in 2009, Tristan won the 2010 Social Enterprise Alliance Blogger Contest and his coverage of the 2010 Social Enterprise World Forum was featured on The Huffington Post. Currently, Tristan is looking to harness bottom-up storytelling and collective impact networks to address today's most pressing issues.
Contributor Jeremy Stratton is the former Innovation and Jobs Editor of The Line. He has written about business, development, sustainable design, local history, education, travel, civic and economic issues, and many other topics for many Twin Cities publications, including Finance and Commerce, Downtown Journal, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and The Bridge/Bridgeland News, of which he was formerly editor. A photographer, wine enthusiast, and amateur chef, he lives by the motto "it's better to learn something than to know everything." A Bloomington native with a degree in English from Hamline University in St. Paul, he currently lives in South Minneapolis with his wife and young son.
Contributor Julie Kendrick is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer who focuses on trends, family issues, and lifestyle reporting for sites and publications like swag52.com and Minnesota Parent. Her corporate gigs include customers in bio-agriculture, app development and school nutrition. She blogs about life, work and punctuation at kendrickworks.blogspot.com, and is a board member of Youth Performance Company and Kids Voting Minneapolis. After living in a few other cities, she appreciates the Twin Cities more than most natives, even after last winter.
Contributor Nancy Crotti has been writing for newspapers since her days at What's Bruin?, the newspaper of Bishop O'Hara High School in Dunmore, Pa. That led to stints at the Daily Orange at Syracuse University and her first "real" (i.e. IRL) newspaper, the Germantown Courier, a scrappy weekly in northwest Philadelphia. Nancy hit the dailies with the Delaware State News in Dover, DE, and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey before moving with her family to St. Paul in 1999. She's been freelancing in the Twin Cities for a variety of newspapers and magazines ever since.
The Line is published by Issue Media Group.
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