Twin Cities Creative Spaces To Visit

This week’s edition covers stories 
from February 9th to February 15th, 2023.

Today’s issue is 750 words, a 5.8minute read.

In today’s edition, Isabella and Helene talk Black led art spaces to visit, Aldi’s closing in north Minneapolis, Birchbark Books, and Pollen Midwest.

Continue reading to find out more.

There’s a couple spaces I would like to highlight this week: 

  • The Affirmation Space, a temporary art installation at Northrup King Building (Suite 144) brings together a creative and collaborative community into a grounding space. The “tangible and evolving space” is held by Bayou Bay and Saba Shabazz. There is astounding beautiful Black art in the space that provokes deep thought and is uplifting. This month they have a series of events happening every week. Check here for more and make sure to follow their instagram for news on the space. 
  • “To Illuminate Abundance” is an exhibition featuring nine local, Black women and femme designers at Augsburg University’s Gage and Christensen galleries. From Jan. 21 – Mar. 24, the designers explore what it means to live a life full of love, freedom and light. MPR recently interviewed the artists involved in the project that focuses on joy, led by the 13.4 Collective, which is black led and made up of black visual artists and designers looking to amplify the voices of their community in order to make change. The purpose of the exhibition is to bring “awareness to societal struggles that black femme communities face everyday” in an uplifting and peaceful space. 

A shopper loading groceries into their vehicle outside of Aldi located at 3120 Penn Ave. N in Minneapolis, MN on February 9, 2023.  📸 Credit: Drew Arrieta | Sahan Journal

Many of you might be familiar with the grocery store, Aldi. On Sunday, Feb. 12, they closed the Aldi’s on 3120 Penn Ave N, in north Minneapolis. A Walgreens store nearby, on Broadway and North Lyndale, will close on Feb. 22. Why is this relevant? The Aldi’s building has been around for almost 17 years, according to David Wellington for the SahanJournal. That is almost two decades of families and communities relying on an affordable and accessible grocery store. The closest stores are HyVee or Cub Foods, 1 to 2 miles away. However, community members view those stores as “too expensive”. The nearest Aldi store is 4.5 miles away in Crystal, which is a 15 minute drive. Grocery shopping has changed from a couple of trips and manageable budgeting, to bulk buying once a month. It might not seem like a big deal for most but some don’t have accessibility to a car, to physically move, or to afford other available options. Communities need affordable and accessible groceries. 

Birchbark books storefront 📸 Birchbark Books website

Hello everyone! Helene here. This week, I’m excited about Birchbark Books. Have you been? They’ve got a cozy little space in the Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis. They focus on providing Native-written books and art, although they’ve got a whole bunch of stuff in the store and online. And now they’re opening up a new event space, Birchbark Lynx! The space is in the historic Loring Corners building, next to Loring Park, and just two miles away from Birchbark Books. It’s not open yet – that’s coming later this spring – but you can keep an eye out for events on their social media! 

“Here is MPLS”, a new storytelling campaign by Pollen Midwest 📸 Pollen Midwest Twitter 

Isabella introduced me to Pollen Midwest recently. They’re an arts nonprofit based in the midwest, and they’re launching a new collective, Here is MPLS, which will be a way to share stories of people or organizations positively contributing to the community. Their initiative is based on four main themes: Housing, Opportunity Equity, Public Safety, and Civic Engagement. They’re looking for nominations of community members and organizations who are deeply rooted in the community and share their values. They’re going to select 12 feature stories, 3 in each themed category. The selected nominees will each receive $5000 and have their stories heavily featured across multiple social media platforms. Does someone come to mind for this project? Nominate them here! Submissions close March 24th, 2023. 

That’s all from us this week. We hope you have a great Thursday!

Remember to tune in to our new bi-weekly playlist.

-Isabella and Helene

Hi, friend: Isabella and Helene here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day
and learning pottery by night!

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