Statement from mpls downtown council president and ceo Steve Cramer regarding crime and public safety in the downtown community

“Concern about public safety downtown is understandable given events so far this year. The people who live, work and visit there deserve better than what they too often experience at present.

“The business community remains committed to—and financially invested in—partnerships with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and community outreach agencies to make downtown as safe as possible. We celebrate and support the many attractions, events and activities downtown has to offer.

What is also needed at this critical juncture is greater police presence, and clear support for their efforts to root out drug activity, gun violence and intimidating behaviors.

“It is an article of faith for the mpls downtown council that downtown is a place for everyone who comes exhibiting and expecting in return respectful conduct. Upholding that standard must be an immediate priority to insure confidence in the days and weeks ahead.”

Minneapolis Aquatennial Fireworks on Saturday, July 27, at 10 p.m.

The Target Fireworks are set to take place Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 10:00 pm. This is one of the country’s largest annual fireworks displays. Watch the Target Fireworks light up the Minneapolis sky! Come early for Aquatennial Pre-Fireworks Festivities beginning at 4 pm and enjoy food trucks, your favorite festival treats, live music, local craft beers, the Minneapolis Craft Market, a Ferris wheel, the Family Fun Zone and much more. A full schedule of the pre-fireworks festivities and music lineup will be announced soon.

For more information, please visit

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is proudly produced by the mpls downtown council.
Residents should print and put this pass in their windows so they will be able to easily get through to their building. The residents impacted will be those with parking access off of West River Parkway on either side of Portland and also any Apartment building on 1st St S (across from old Fujiya building).

Tonight’s Personal Safety Workshop has been POSTPONED until June 18

Due to the weather forecast, we have decided to postpone tonight’s Personal Safety Workshop until next Tuesday, June 18.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this might cause you.  We want to keep everyone safe, and if the grass is wet, we are afraid it might create some slippery conditions.  We are hoping for a better forecast next week.


Partnership between Minneapolis’ Bridgewater Lofts and Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts set for May 11-June 8, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn (April 26, 2019) The Bridgewater Lofts is known throughout the Mill District for its vibrant building-wide art exhibits.  Now, the downtown condominium community is partnering with noted St. Paul arts organization Interact on a four-week exhibit set for the building’s main floor gallery space at 215 10th Avenue South in Minneapolis.

The exhibit’s title, “Work With Your Quirk,” is a motto of Interact, which provides adults with disabilities the opportunity to grow their artistic skills in a creative and safe environment.  The exhibit will include more than forty works by eighteen Interact artists.  Several pieces by Bridgewater resident Lena Osman also will be featured.

“Work With Your Quirk” is presented under the banner of Art @ the bridgewater, a rotating exhibit program organized by a committee of Bridgewater residents.  “We are thrilled to showcase the work of these talented artists and introduce our residents and the larger community to the exceptional work being accomplished by Interact,” said Art @ the bridgewater committee members Dianne Walsh and Peter Zenner.

“Work With Your Quirk” is the latest in a series of rotating art exhibits presented under the banner of ART @ the bridgewater.  There have been nine exhibits since the program’s official launch in July 2016.

“We have received tremendous positive feedback on ART @ the bridgewater not only from our residents but from local realtors, potential home buyers and other building visitors,” noted Zenner . “It’s a wonderful amenity that has added to the day-to-day quality of life, “ he added.

Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts is a community of artists who choose to go through their disabilities rather than around them.  The Bridgewater exhibit is a celebration of the organization’s culture of mutual inspiration and support.

“We are excited to be partnering with Bridgewater Lofts to introduce new audiences to the exceptional work of Interact artists challenging perceptions of disabilities,” said Interact Artistic Director Jeanne Calvit.  “We commend the Bridgewater for its passionate commitment to the arts.”


About ART @ the bridgewater


ART @ the bridgewater is an ongoing program developed in 2014 by the Bridgewater Neighbors and Friends of the Arts, a resident-driven steering committee whose mission is to enhance, enliven and enrich the condominium community.  The program is curated by artist Alison Price, owner of Tres Leches Gallery in the Northrop King building.

In addition to rotating exhibits, the condominium community also has embarked on an acquisition program, The Bridgewater Collection, purchasing works for permanent display from local artists including ceramic artists Maren Kloppmann, Leila Denecke and Warren MacKenzie, painter Michael Schmidt and sculptor Peter Vanni.

About Interact Center for the Performing Arts

Founded by Artistic Director, Jeanne Calvit, in 1996, Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts has transformed lives through its mission to create art that challenges perceptions of disability.  Its overriding vision is to lift all voices through the stories it tells – through original devised theater, through original visual artwork, and through the collaborative stories generated when artists with disabilities connect with their peers in a wide diversity of communities and situations.

Interact Theater has won two Ivey Awards, multiple National Endowment for the Arts awards, and has been presented by the Guthrie Dowling Studio, as well as mounting performances at The Lab, Pantages and Southern Theaters, Theater Latte Da, The Cowles Center and other venues.

Interact Visual Arts Studio shows have taken place in venues throughout the area, including Soo Vac Gallery, the Rochester Museum of Contemporary Art, NE Minneapolis’ Art-A-Whirl, Highpoint Center and its own Interact Gallery. In 2018, Interact won a prestigious grant from the state of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services for “Proclaiming Our Place,” an initiative to help its artists better market their art through an expanded website featuring their work, exhibitions, workshops and networking opportunities.

For information about ART @ the bridgewater,  please contact Peter Zenner, or Dianne Walsh,

For information on Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, please contact Raleigh Wolpert, Interact Director of Advancement, Cell: 612-802-7479, Desk: 651-209-3575.














The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts Art Exhibit announces a new exhibit. “Infinite Abyss In Motion”

Opening Reception Sunday, April 28,  2:00 to 5:00PM
Exhibition dates April 28 – June 30, 2019
1120 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis 55415

The Mill Yard presents a new show, “Infinite Abyss In Motion

About the Show:

Infinite Abyss in Motion is at the intersection of Art and Science. While science seeks to understand the natural world in which we live and beyond into the furthest infinity of space or the tiniest unseen particles in front of us, what it cannot with certainty tell us is what the particles look like.  This is where artists step in to imagine, and then visually create, what many of our world’s mysteries might look like.

Infinite Abyss in Motion imagines the “out there” question from the perspective of two artists – for Mary Simon-Casati, the infinite physical abyss, and for Jenna Murphy, the digital abyss in the infinite possibilities. Mary paints what she imagines particles might look like and how they might move and sweep across a canvas, visibly playing with the idea of an abyss that goes on and on into infinity. She strives to make the unseen not only visible, but also felt through its movement.
Jenna’s digital compositions feature organic shapes that appear to dance, allowing a snapshot, and one of an infinite number of iterations, of the motion within the infinite abyss; an unseen world discovered.

Artists featured at the new show:

Mary Simon-Casati

Jenna Murphy

Opening Reception Only:  Brett Freund




The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts

The Mill City. Residents celebrate our area’s industrial heritage of the mighty Mississippi River and the mills. Today, what we see are the most recognizable Minneapolis landmarks. However, this is only part of the story. Rail lines were key to Minneapolis’ growth, and were particularly integral to the Mill District, bringing in wheat and timber and shipping out flour and lumber. We also honor the history of the mills, the reason for the rail yard’s existence.  The Mill Yard aims to be both a gathering place for art and artists and a conduit by which art can be shared with and disseminated into the wider community.

The Mill Yard at Stonebridge Lofts thanks Luke Kleckner, Condo Development and Sales, for his generous sponsorship.

Contact us at:


Mary Simon-Casati

Mary Simon-Casati earned a BS degree in Art Ed from the U of MN and a Master of Arts in Human Development from St. Mary’s College.  After a successful career teaching art, she resumed making art as a painter/installation artist.  Simon-Casati is a recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the State of Minnesota.  Her current body of work is about energy, specifically particle physics.   Her mixed-media installations play with light and shadow and include 3-dimensional objects, paintings and drawings as components of an immersive experience.

“I want to explore what science tells us about how the universe works.  How is it that the universe is made of particles I can’t see?  Working within the tradition of abstract painting and using black/white colors, I create paintings that are experiments-imaginings of how particles move and what they might look like.  I visually play with the idea of infinity-making the unseen visible through my art.”




Instagram:  @mscasati

Jenna Murphy

Jenna Murphy, a Minneapolis based artist, has been exploring what a contemporary drawing can be in today’s digital age. With a background in Intaglio printmaking and drawing, Jenna’s recent work aims to discover similar tactile qualities through computer code generated images. Following a degree in Studio Arts at Hamline University, Jenna went on to study Interactive Design at MCAD. It was during this time that Jenna was first introduced to p5.js, a client-side JavaScript library. P5.js helped facilitate an experimental interaction with the computer, allowing Jenna the freedom to move away from traditional subject matter and explore abstract shapes and concepts. Through iteration, the shapes multiply, shift and move across the piece. Continued experimentation reveals a balanced composition; one of an infinite number just waiting to be found in the digital abyss.

“My final compositions feature organic shapes that appear to dance across the pieces, allowing the viewer a glimpse of the motion within the infinite abyss; an unseen world, discovered.”

Web site:


Brett Freund

When working I think about my own definitions of preciousness and value. How does an object qualify itself as being important? Is what I’m after rare like a diamond, does it take time to grow like a crystal or is it a symbol that references a status or identity? Most importantly, how can I scrutinize hierarchies without undermining the possibility of growing in my craft? My work starts with prototypes designed from hand building, wheel throwing, and 3D printed clay. These components are a library of forms I pull from, making new combinations and discoveries as I piece slip cast parts together intuitively. I’m attracted to techniques associated with the industrial process and mass repetition but each piece I make is arranged so that no piece is ever exactly the same as another. This process puts a filter between the material and myself.

Web site:

Instagram: bfreundly

Chameleon Shops NOW OPEN at Gaviidae Common

MINNEAPOLIS (April 2, 2019) — The mpls downtown council announced today the launch of
Chameleon Shoppes, a Chameleon Consortium pop-up retail initiative based out of Intersections:
The Downtown 2025 Plan. Chameleon Consortium’s work focuses on the experiential and economic
vitality of downtown Minneapolis. Its purpose is to create vibrant downtown experiences by
transforming empty retail spaces into equity opportunities for minority- and women-owned

Chameleon Shoppes provides unique, interesting and dynamic shopping experiences for downtown
workers, residents and visitors, including food, snacks, sauces, candles, soaps, art, woodworking,
jewelry, apparel, pet accessories, spices and more.

Chameleon Shoppes launched April 1 on the ground and skyway levels of Gaviidae Common (651
Nicollet) and runs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am-2 pm through April 26 with
special hours and times on April 1-8:

• April 1-5: 10 am-2 pm
• April 6-7: 12 pm-4 pm
• April 8: 10 am-2 pm
• April 10-12: 10 am-2 pm
• April 17-19: 10 am-2 pm
• April 24-26: 10 am-2 pm

“The mpls downtown council is focused on and committed to enhancing our retail scene along
Nicollet from 5th to 10th streets,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council.
“With our growing residential population and dynamic downtown workforce, we are focused on not
only enhancing retail in our city’s core but also offering pathways for local business to gain
exposure and thrive.”

Chameleon Consortium relied on several organizations throughout this initiative: Neka Creative
(anchor brand partner), Impact Hub MSP (administrative partner) and Shop Northside, a program of
the West Broadway Business & Area Coalition, to help bring local, dynamic retail to the downtown

“Chameleon Shoppes is about incubating small business and offering a chance for local makers to
gain new exposure,” said Dan Collison, director of downtown partnerships at the mpls downtown
council. “Our mission is to revitalize downtown space with incredible offerings while helping these
local businesses thrive.”

A collection of retailers taking part in April’s pop-up at Gaviidae Common include:

Adorn By Kella
Ancient Indian Spices
Angela Davis Art
Black Excellence
Body Love Products
Bowtie Billionaire
Charles Caldwell
Christstyle’s Closet
Coffee and Crumbs
Cuddle Mutt
Dancing Bear
Excelsior Candle
Femelle Spirit
Hagen and Oats
Hair Love
Healthy Helpful Insight
Hippy Feet
Homegrown Company
House of Talents
Junita’s Jar
Just Hair USA
Lady Staxx Acessories
Nature’s Syrup
Northern Thread
Reparation Apparel
Salty Tart
Sebesta Apothecary
Siena Soap Company
Tashonda (Makeup)
The Black Threadist
The Cat Lab
Tina Dionne Jewelry
Triple Crown MPLS
Twiggy Fresh
Up Your Image
Vintage Poole Boy
We Wanna Rock
West Indies Soul Food
Wonderous Crane

Chameleon Shoppes will hold a media event on April 11 at 12 pm to highlight the retailers and
showcase the activated space.

To learn more about Chameleon Shoppes, including location, activities and more, visit

For more information, follow @mplsdowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the
hashtags #mplsdowntown and #mymplsdt.

About the mpls downtown council:
Founded in 1955, and one of the most historic central business associations in the nation, the mpls
downtown council (mdc) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary
downtown. The mdc’s collaborative developments of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan was
designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets
and implement future goals. For more information, please visit

About Chameleon Consortium:
The Chameleon Consortium is a private-public group dedicated to the experiential and economic
vitality of downtown Minneapolis. Its purpose is to create vibrant downtown experiences by
transforming empty retail spaces into equity opportunities for minority- and women-owned
businesses. Chameleon Shoppes is a pop-up retail initiative on the ground and skyway levels of
Gaviidae Common in downtown Minneapolis that will feature 50 retailers beginning April 1 and
running Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am-2 pm through April 26. For more
information, visit

DMNA Response to the Neighborhoods 2020 Framework

March 28, 2019

Mr. David Rubedor
Neighborhood and Community Relations
105 5th Ave South, Suite 425
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Re: Response to the Neighborhoods 2020 Framework

Dear David:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association with regards to the NCR Department’s Neighborhoods 2020 Framework Recommendations. We have had the opportunity to review and discuss both the Work Group Recommendations, as well as the Framework. We have some concerns, as well as things we like about the proposed Framework that we want to share with you. We appreciate the opportunity to provide this feedback.


1. The Framework recommends an appointed advisory body as opposed to an elected body. We support an advisory board that is similar in nature to the current Neighborhood Community Engagement Commission; one that has a combination of members elected by neighborhoods and others appointed by the Mayor and City Council. Neighborhood organizations need a seat at the table, and the City should recognize the voice of the community.

2. The Framework indicates that the City will base funding allocations on the types of outreach and engagement strategies a neighborhood organization uses. One of the suggested strategies is door-knocking, which we believe would be impractical downtown; we have experienced great difficulty in even getting access to common room facilities in condo and apartment buildings. The DMNA hopes the City will recognize that what works in one neighborhood, isn’t always reasonable and practical in another. We appreciate the NCR report that suggests options like “tabling at events” which would be much more practical for us.

3. The Framework suggests that neighborhood organizations will have to make changes to their bylaws to make them function more similarly. While we understand and appreciate the robust engagement and diversity goals the City is trying to achieve with this recommendation, neighborhoods across Minneapolis are quite different in geography, demographics and economics. Neighborhood organizations were set-up as individual, 501 (c) (3)’s to meet the distinctive needs of the communities they serve. Is there a way to achieve the desired goals while supporting and embracing the unique character of each Minneapolis neighborhood? What works in one part of the city may not work in another. We can certainly learn from one another, but do not make us look the same. We encourage the city to prioritize only the very most important goals and allow a great deal of flexibility in how each neighborhood association achieves them.

The DMNA, for example, holds monthly board meetings, as well as monthly Land Use Committee meetings. We promote these meetings via our Website, Facebook page and weekly e-blast. We get a good turnout of people at our regular monthly meetings. We hold our annual meeting in October. This is when elections to our board of directors takes place. We routinely get between 50 and 100 people that attend this meeting. We believe we are already working hard on outreach and participation.

We are not in favor of term limits. Our recent challenge has been finding willing candidates for open seats. We do recognize the importance of diversity on the board, and support periodic changes in leadership.

4. The Framework proposes that the City will fund the new program out of the general fund. The DMNA has strong apprehension about this source of revenue. The DMNA is concerned that funding the program out of the City’s general fund could pit neighborhood organizations against City Departments. It could also making the funding allocation process very political. The DMNA supports an objective funding methodology that is consistent and long-term. We need stability in order to continue the good work we have been doing over the past 20 years to address the needs of the rapidly growing downtown community.

The Framework also proposes to fund Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in addition to Neighborhood Organizations. We have some concerns about this aspect of the program, because of the lack of detail about how Neighborhood Organizations will compete against CBOs. Will Neighborhood Organizations have to compete against CBOs from across the city, or just within their neighborhood boundaries? This seems diametrically opposed to other areas of the Framework that ask Neighborhood Organizations to work collaboratively with CBOs. Instead, could Neighborhood Organizations and CBOs apply together for a specific project or program? For example, the DMNA has provided funding to St. Stephen’s Human Services and YouthLink to support their street outreach programs.

Regardless, to make the proposed funding structure work – 25% for CO’s and 75% for Neighborhood Organizations split between base funding, discretionary funds, and project funds – the new program needs to be funded at a minimum level of $10 million per year. Moreover, with the new expectations for diversity and outreach, base funding for Neighborhood Organizations must absolutely continue at least at the current level.

5. The Framework recommends unspecified proposed improvements to NRP funding. What are these improvements? The DMNA wants assurance to know that the balance of our NRP dollars are secure.

Things we like:

1. The Framework aims to increase involvement in civic and community life. We will continue to look for ways to engage with residents who live in the downtown community. This past year, we held meetings at three residential buildings and YouthLink. We intend to do this again at different locations in 2019. We also facilitated a meeting with a group of residential building managers and homeowner association (HOA) board members. We hope to help this group establish more regular meetings. We also conducted a community survey seeking input from community members about what they feel our priorities should be. The community identified crime and safety, green space, affordable housing and homelessness as the most important issues.

2. The Framework promotes collaboration between neighborhood organizations, community organizations and the City of Minneapolis. This is a strength of the DMNA. Since our inception, we have been working collaboratively with adjacent neighborhood organizations, the Minneapolis Police Department, CPED, NCR, Council Members Steve Fletcher and Lisa Goodman, the Minneapolis Downtown Council – DID, Green Minneapolis, the East Town Business Partnership and the many nonprofit, human service organizations that work to improve the well-being of people who have experienced homelessness. We look forward to continuing this tradition.

3. The Framework continues to allow neighborhood organizations to identify and find creative solutions to neighborhood problems. We very much like the funding proposal that includes the opportunity to apply for discretionary funds for enhanced outreach and for specific neighborhood improvements.

4. The Framework states that the City will provide training, technical assistance and tools and resources to neighborhood organizations. One example of this that we are appreciative of is the newly established relationship with Attorney Jess Birken.

5. The Framework encourages collaboration between neighborhood organizations to pool services. The DMNA welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with adjacent neighborhood organizations. The Downtown Neighborhood Leaders Group (reps from DMNA, EPNI, Loring Park and North Loop) meets regularly, and if there are opportunities for efficiencies, we will discuss them. We will also look for more opportunities to collaborate on events and activities.

The DMNA already hosts regular community cleanups along Washington Avenue with the North Loop Neighborhood Association. The DMNA works collaboratively with the Citizens for a Loring Park Community on crime and safety issues on Hennepin Avenue, and with Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc., to review development projects on bordering properties. The downtown neighborhood organizations routinely cross promote events and activities via our Websites, Social Media and e-blasts. And finally, the DMNA and EPNI are discussing the possibility of co-hosting a National Night Out event at The Commons this year.

6. We appreciate that the Framework recommends the continuation of the NRP Policy Board. It is important that this body, with its institutional memory, remain in place until all neighborhood organizations have completed implementation of their Neighborhood Revitalization Program Action Plans.

7. We are grateful that the Framework advocates providing dollars for food. Neighborhoods typically hold meetings after work, in the early evening. We know people are hungry at this time of day. Offering food at meetings would be a great way to increase participation. Food is a very powerful way to build community and a demonstrated successful strategy in promoting participation.

In closing, the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association respectively requests that the City thoughtfully review and reflect upon the feedback and recommendations you receive from neighborhood organizations regarding the Neighborhoods 2020 Framework. We also ask that you allow for more in-depth conversation and collaboration before taking any action on it. Finally, we hope that you can recognize the good work that the DMNA and other neighborhood organizations have done across the City over the past 20 years. We all want the best for the city of Minneapolis. If we work together, we can build upon our groundwork for years to come.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please feel free to contact me at, or 320-583-4573.

Joe Tamburino
DMNA Board Chair

Christie Rock Hantge
DMNA Neighborhood Coordinator

CC: Council Member Steve Fletcher
Council Member Lisa Goodman
Steven Gallagher, NCR Specialist
Nick Cichowicz, NCEC Commissioner

DMNA Board Meeting on March 25 – Community Vote on Contribution to St. Stephen’s Human Services

The next DMNA Board Meeting is on Monday, March 25, at 5:45 p.m., at the Mill City Museum, in the ADM Room.

A Community Vote, open to the general membership, will take place prior to the DMNA Board of Directors meeting.  The purpose of the vote is to approve an NRP Phase II Plan Modification to move $60,000 from the Housing Opportunities Fund strategy to the Support to End Homelessness strategy.  The reason for moving the dollars is to support a contribution to St. Stephen’s Human Services for their Street Outreach Program.  Anyone who lives, works or owns property in the Downtown East or Downtown West neighborhoods is encouraged to attend, review and vote. The DMNA Board will take action reflecting the vote of the general membership immediately after the community vote. City processes requires a 21-day notification to the neighborhood regarding the Community Vote.

DMNA Land Use Committee meets on March 5

The next DMNA Land Use Committee meeting is on Tuesday, March 5, at 6 p.m., at the Mill City Museum, in the ADM Room.


DMNA Board Meeting on February 25, at the Mill City Museum

The next DMNA Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 25, at 5:45 p.m., at the Mill City Museum, in the ADM Room.