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Local cultural institutions in the running for funding from ArtPlace America

A handful of local cultural institutions are among 105 finalists from across the country for creative placemaking grants from ArtPlace America.

The list includes Bedlam Theatre, Minnesota Public Radio and the Blue Ox in St. Paul, along with the Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis.

“The selected applicants represent the best of the 1,225 letters of inquiry from across the country,” ArtPlace’s website reads. “Finalists were chosen for their potential to transform communities through placing art and culture at the heart of portfolios of integrated strategies that drive vibrancy and diversity.”  

Grant recipients will be announced in May, according to the website.

New York Times features Minnesota Opera's production of 'Doubt'

A recent feature in The New York Times centers on the Minnesota Opera’s premiere of “Doubt,” which opens January 26 and runs through Feb. 3. 

According to the article, playwright John Patrick Shanley was initially skeptical of the idea of rewriting the show, which had been a play and an award-winning movie, into an opera libretto.  

But it turned out to be a rewarding experience, Shanley says. “There’s a lot of feelings that could not be expressed in the play because of its austerity,” he says, adding, “But opera, even when it is austere, is as rich as chocolate cake. So that allowed me to go back and express a lot of things that I could not before and still tell the story"--a story which centers on the nature of the relationship between a Catholic proest and a young African-American boy.

Preparing for production, the Minnesota Opera hosted a number of workshops for composer Douglas J. Cuomo, Shanley, and stage director Kevin Newbury, the story states.

Newbury says of the resulting show, “It isn’t just about doubt, it’s doubt brought to life onstage. And it’s a particularly American play with all the questions about class and race and religion rolled up into one.”

Several local neighborhoods got high marks as 'art places' by ArtPlace America

Several Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods made ArtPlace America’s list for 2013 of the country’s top art destinations.

Every year, ArtPlace, a consortium of national arts groups, puts together a report that pinpoints the top “art places” in 33 of the country’s largest metro areas.  

Art places are those that have a “backbone of creative culture,” the ArtPlace website reads. Small local businesses and shops define these areas, which are often walkable. These are “neighborhoods where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to be.”

ArtPlace uses indicators such as the percentage of independent and arts-related businesses and organizations, walkability, and the number of people in creative professions.

In Minneapolis, Downtown West and Loring Park are on the list, while across the Mississippi River the Lowertown neighborhood is included.

Monster.com ranks Minneapolis in top five for career advancement this year

Minneapolis is one of the top five cities for advancing in one’s career in 2013, according to Monster.com.

For those moving into a new city, a post from the website states, “it might be smart to factor wage and employment potential into your city choice.”

Monster looked at the online salary database to pull that kind of information for cities across the country.

It found that Minneapolis, rated fourth, is seeing 3.2 percent wage growth. The city “enjoys an economy that thrives on manufacturing, including electronics, medical equipment, and machinery,” while popular jobs are actuary, senior business manager, project manager, and marketing and category manager, according to Monster.

Houston topped the list, with 3.9 percent in wage growth.


Bill Moyers names Minneapolis one of 12 cities leading the way in sustainability

Minneapolis is included in a list from BillMoyers.com of a dozen cities that are “leading the way in sustainability.”

For example, the city has put a lot of effort into becoming more bike-friendly: “With over 160 miles of bikeways, 85 miles of which don’t run alongside a road, Minneapolis is among America’s greener large cities,” it reads.

But that’s not the only area where Minneapolis is getting attention for its green initiatives.

It has also worked to promote the importance of tap water as opposed to bottled water. Also, Mayor R.T. Rybak has “recently become a major advocate for his city’s tap water, arguing that it is less expensive and better for the environment than bottled water,” the article states.

Food and Wine magazine features Pizzeria Lola as one of country's top pizza places

Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis recently got props from Food and Wine magazine as one of the best pizza joints in the country.

On its website, Food and Wine quotes TV star and chef Andrew Zimmern, who says,

“Yes, it’s true, Minnesota has the best pizza in America,” adding, “Better than New York City and Chicago put together.”

Although the piece acknowledges that Zimmern, a Minnesotan, could be biased, “his favorite order makes a case for thinking outside those major pizzaiola hubs: The Sunnyside is topped with guanciale and leeks that have been caramelized in the cured pork fat and finished with a hint of cream. A sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese and two fresh sunny-side up eggs complete the recipe,” it reads.

I AM MPLS collaboration featured in Minnesota Daily

A recent story from the Minnesota Daily highlights a Minneapolis-specific annual variety show called, “I AM MPLS,” including its future plans.

Sarah Edwards, a marketing director at the Pixel Farm creative agency, initiated the show several years ago as way to “bring together all of the different types of talent the Twin Cities offers, from rockabilly to the sophistication of the MIA,” it reads.

“It’s hard to explain what people should expect,” Edwards is quoted saying, adding, “It’s not a fashion show, and it’s not a comedy show and it’s not a music show; it’s all of those things together telling a story.”

She hopes this collaboration will happen more frequently and become “more of a hub for innovators and artistic enthusiasts to have easier access to one another,” it reads.

Already, the ”revolution-esque intent of the collaboration has the foundation to become more than just a Minneapolis project, insofar as creatives from Denver will be flying in for the production.”

Public Interest Design 100 gains traction

A new group called Public Interest Design has released its first “Public Interest Design 100,” an infographic list of national design leaders--trained designers and others--who deal with public policy issues. And it includes a couple of local notables in the field.

Eric Muschler, a program officer at the locally based McKnight Foundation, has made big strides in affordable housing, while Thomas Fischer, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design, is “one of the foremost writers and thinkers in architecture and design,” it states.  

On its web site Public Interest Design describes the attention the list has already garnered: “We watched our inbox explode; literally hundreds of people have alternately described it as a “milestone” for the movement or a 'resource' or 'reference' for those in the field and working to support it,” the piece states. “But we are most heartened to have had the opportunity to recognize so many amazing people (in the U.S. alone, as a global edition will follow), doing such important work in the world.”

OnEarth.org features commentary from Minneapolis Public Schools official about healthy, local food

In a recent blog post at OnEarth.org, Andrea Northrup, who has won awards for her work to improve school lunches nationwide, talks about a strategic career move: coming to the Minneapolis Public Schools.   

She works for the district, “to source local food for school meals and coordinate food, nutrition, and agricultural education for the District’s 32,000 students,” the post states.

She credits Bertrand Weber, who leads the school district’s nutrition program, with making it possible for her to do this work. “He was hired at the start of 2012 to transform MPS’s school meal program, and knew that farm-to-school had to be a part of it,” she states.

The NRDC Growing Green Young Food Leader award, which she was given last May, “is one success that helped catapult me into this next exciting chapter of my career,” she says, adding, “Things are just getting started at MPS, but do look for news and updates about the exciting changes we’re making!”  

Twin Cities fare well in Travel + Leisure magazine poll

Travel + Leisure magazine recently polled readers about their favorite cities across the country.

People ranked 35 cities according to food, people, nightlife, and more.

Survey results show that Minneapolis and St. Paul have the best ratings in public parks and outdoor access, summer, cleanliness, intelligence, and home décor and design stores.    

However,the Cities are among the worst for winter, spring break, and New Year’s Eve, the article states.  

Blog compares Minneapolis and Portland biking experience

In a Minnesota 2020 blog post titled “A tale of two bike cities,” guest blogger Amber Collett compares biking in Minneapolis to Portland, Ore., where she recently relocated.

She touches on how both cities have made a name for themselves with more and more bike infrastructure and a growing cycle culture.

Bike boulevards differ from place to place, with Minneapolis having roomier lanes, she says.

Portland has more of them, plus protective boxes at traffic signals that keep bicyclists from breathing in exhaust.

She turns to Steve Clark at Bike Walk Twin Cities to find out more about how the two cities compare bike-wise. He’s quoted saying, “Minneapolis has been trying to catch up to Portland in terms of on-street facilities where certainly Portland has led the way with some of the nation’s first and finest bike boulevards and miles upon miles of bike lanes.”

That being said, visitors from Portland “quickly become very envious of our off-street trails--particularly the Midtown Greenway which is basically a freeway for bicyclists and provides separate space for walkers and joggers too.”

Highlighting art as development tool

A recent Star Tribune story highlights art as a successful development tool in a number of St. Paul building projects.

While in the past, artists may have been viewed as “a mysterious and crazy bunch,” today they’re sought out by the city to help make development plans, the story states.

They’re seen as “innovators who can fill hard-to-adapt historic structures like the long-vacant Schmidt Brewery and turn them into vital and lively corners of the city once again,” the story reads.

Renovation plans for the Schmidt Brewery, for example, include studio, gallery, and performance space. The place is also a part of a developing Midway arts district.  

Mayor Chris Coleman says in the story, “I look at every thriving city in the country and there's a thriving arts community within it,” adding, “It helps shape investment decisions. Things are enhanced.”

Harvard Business Review tells of local CEOs taking a stand

A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review examines the local business community's stand this month against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Business leaders made the case that this piece of legislation would negatively affect everything from employee retention to workforce diversity, the article states.

Fifty current and former CEOs took out a full-page ad in the Star Tribune a week before the election this month, voicing their opposition.   

“Business executives know a winning brand proposition when they see one. Which is why they stepped into the political arena this year to defend the community values that have helped make Minnesota one of the most economically vital and livable states in America,” it reads.  

Local singer pursues dream on The Voice

St. Paul resident Nicholas David has been named one of the top 12 contestants on NBC's reality TV show The Voice.

It’s quite a feat because “Getting onto The Voice means you have to rely solely on (wait for it...) your voice while a team of celeb judges decides whether or not they'll turn their chair around and offer you a spot on their team,” a City Pages story reads.

His recent performance on the show of Barry White's “You're the First, the Last, My Only” is described as "raspy, passionate, and unique."

David doesn’t fit the “usual pop-star mold,” the story goes on to say. “When most of the other singers on the show merely gush about how crazy and amazing it feels to be on The Voice's stage David talks about inspiration, his 'gal' and his kids,” it states.

Livability website lists Minneapolis as top place to live and visit

Livability.com, which profiles the best places across the country to live and visit, has an entry about Minneapolis.

The site characterizes Minneapolis as “a center for business, arts and professional sports,” with Fortune 500 companies, a strong theater scene, and the Twins, Timberwolves, and Vikings. Forbes has also named it as one of the safest cities nationwide, it adds.

The city’s workforce and parks are also highlighted on the website, while local landmarks are featured in the photo gallery.

“With so much to offer, Minneapolis has received numerous accolades,” the entry reads.

176 Creative Economy Articles | Page: | Show All
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