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Can you imagine a new building on Lake Street that yields a floor area of more than 50,000 square feet? The City of Minneapolis is the fiscal agent for The Family Partnership's new building, which will be built in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood on the southeast quadrant of East Lake Street and Bloomington Avenue South.

It's important that the community helps to activate this beautiful asset and that's why the City Council has approved a Staff Direction calling for more cultural and community input on the design of this significant new project.

With the help of the City, this project has successfully received approximately $11.6M in taxpayer funding, so come help us put your tax payer dollars to work! Next Monday, The Family Partnership is hosting a public ideation session to seek cultural and community input on how to activate the building using design. I hope you can make it to the session!

Monday, December 9
5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Dinner will be served. The presentation will be in English and Spanish.

For more information and to RSVP please contact Rebecca Troast at RTroast (at) thefamilypartnership (dot) org.

Tragic Loss of Lives this past Sunday

As many of you are aware, we lost 3 beautiful souls in our Phillips community this past Sunday.  Kjersten Ellingson and her two small sons.  There are just no words for this horrific tragedy.

Their funeral will be at Central Lutheran Church in Loring Park on Saturday, December 14th at 11:00, with visitation at 10:00 am.

At this time the family requests that their privacy be respected.

If you have the time, the neighbors have set up a memorial at Kjersten’s house.  Flowers, teddy bears, cards.  Please feel free to stop by, add something to the memorial, say a prayer, talk to the neighbors.  They too can use a lot of support from our Phillips community at this time.


Gratitude Open House

Sun, December 8 2019 · 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
In the Heart of the Beast

*From the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre*
Dear Friends,
At this time of transition and change, In the Heart of the Beast Theater invites you to share food and enjoy each other’s company. We invite all current and former staff, board, volunteers, collaborators, supporters, and neighborhood participants from the many years of the theatre’s life. This gathering is sponsored by the HOBT Board as an event to honor Sandy Spieler and her four decades of artistry and leadership. Sandy was laid off last spring, and is finding new ways to move forward with her artistic career. When the planning committee asked Sandy about what she’d like, her response was:

“While many have wanted to have a special celebration for me, and I do acknowledge my history with the theatre is unique, the party is not just about my history, but all of our histories with this work that has changed our lives and our community. The importance of honoring the work is empty without honoring YOU who have built, supported and received this work. SO PLEASE COME, bring your hearts and your stories, your tears, laughter, and aspirations. We’ll have some food, and share a few words in the middle of our gathering.”

As part of this event we will be launching an “Archive Initiative”: a fundraiser to support Sandy and a team of others to do the work of documenting and updating the archives of the Theater, to properly credit work to its many artists.

This gathering is a celebration of the beauty, joy, and wonder that In the Heart of the Beast has created and supported for many decades. We hope you will join us and share this invitation with others.

The HOBT Board of Directors

Karen Brown
Malia Araki Burkhart
Victoria Igoe
Claire Graupmann
Alex Haecker
Katie Peacock
Rosa Raarup
Quinn Rivenburgh
Laura Wilhelm
Corrie Zoll · Ex Officio


Check out a new book by Father Patrick Hansel!
Father Patrick, Pastor of St Paul’s Lutheran in Midtown Phillips recently released "The Devouring Land"
Purchase the book here.

A wonderland for the child at heart at Minneapolis' Norway House

Meander the streets of this gingerbread kingdom for plenty of oohs and aahs. 
By  Star Tribune (See the article on their website here)

The fragrance of gingerbread — cinnamon, molasses and ginger — teases visitors before they even step into the room. 

Then the twinkly lights, white paper stars and that familiar late-afternoon winter-blue sky welcome guests who, in a nanosecond, step into a neighborhood of brightly festooned gingerbread structures.

In that instant, we are all 5 years old, besotted by the whimsical, the colorful and, well, let’s be honest, all that candy.

Where do we look first? Such is the dilemma of the ever-charming Gingerbread Wonderland, now in its fifth year at Norway House (913 E. Franklin Av., Mpls.) and open until Jan. 5.

If your attention is drawn to the biggest gingerbread building in the room, that would be the St. Paul Cathedral, towering over the other structures. If it’s the most colorful, that’s likely to be the very classic Candy Castle.

The most familiar? Split Rock Lighthouse (two of them!). The smallest? The tiny pies and vegetables in the CG Farm Fresh Produce stand (the corn on the cob and heads of cabbage are particularly delightful).

The whimsical? That’s a tough call, with choices including a two-level ice fishing tableau, or a scene from the movie “Up,” with its balloon hitched to the house (and it’s really all edible!).

Then again, it may be the outhouse with a half-pretzel for a toilet seat, or the gingerbread people browsing vinyl at the Electric Fetus. There’s a fjord horse substituting for a camel in the Norwegian Nativity scene. Or the snow children made of marshmallows. Surely those count, too.

The display exudes sensory overload, with 180 gingerbread structures, a significant increase from 50 the first year. That dramatic uptick may be due to the popularity of “The Great British Baking Show” on TV, said Christina Carlson, executive director of Norway House. “They really stepped it up this year.”

The oldest buildings in the Twin Cities are featured in edible form: the Ard Godfrey House (1848) in Minneapolis and the Waldmann site in St. Paul (1857). But that’s only a starter. Landmarks abound from around the area: the Stone Arch Bridge, Dayton’s, Matt’s Bar (with tiny burgers visible inside), Sharing & Caring Hands, Hubbard Broadcasting, Nordic Waffles, a White Castle from St. Paul.

And then there are the international displays: a city scene from Bergen, Norway, the Oslo Opera House, various Vikings ships (the most inventive using baked fettuccine as oars).

The most magnificent display is not a building at all, but a violin and bow, created by Carolina Downs and based on an 1891 fiddle from Gunnar O. Helland of Bø, Telemark, Norway. His son Gunnar H. Helland later moved to Minneapolis and built violins. The remarkable creation took six days to complete.

For some, the building process came from practiced hands. For others, it was an eye-opener.

“Perhaps what comes most as a surprise is how difficult it is,” wrote Becky Wahlquist and John Morrison on their entry form. “The roof collapsed 3 times! Does the salt on pretzel sticks react to the icing? Before deciding the size of your structure make sure to find a box to transport it first. We didn’t. This was a very good learning experiment.”

Another newbie, who we will simply call Anonymous, wrote of her experience, “It was my first and possibly my last. My royal icing was too thin alone to hold things together; the other was too big and everything collapsed. Yikes. Live and learn.”

Cody Johnson had a tale of constructing two displays with his 6 year old. “Our original was being stored in the oven, which got destroyed when we preheated the oven.” Ah, yes, the old stick-it-in-the oven-for-safety flaw.

Kristina Brust, who built the Stone Arch Bridge replica over 10 hours, summed up the experience of many of the builders: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again!" 

With so many exquisite displays, there had to be a competition for the best. And there was, with 10 categories that depicted many structures, big and small. The judges who faced this veritable Candyland were Nancy Ngo, Sue Zelickson and me.

Where: Norway House (913 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-871-2211,
Date: Through Jan. 5.
Cost: General admission, $5; free to members and children under 12.
Time: Closed Mondays; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

Have your own favorites? Visitors can vote for a People’s Choice award through Dec. 22.

Best of Minnesota: St. Paul Cathedral, by Maggie Karschnia.

Best kids’ display (ages 9-16): Ice Fishing, by Eloise and Henry Brandt.

Best kids’ display (age 8 and under): Back to the Future Winter Wonderland, by Penelope Lindberg.

Most creative: Up, Adventure in Norway, which included a “book of travel photos,” by Caitlynn Decker and Amy Decker.

Best amateur: Hardanger Fiddle and Bow, by Carolina Downs.

Best professional: Glensheen Mansion, by Steph Kissner and Kelley Loso of Sweet Retreat.

Most coeslig (cozy): Log Cabin, by Kathleen Devaney.

Most whimsical: “Home Sweet Home,” by Annette Korolchuk.

Best international: Bryggen in Bergen, by the Daughters of Norway.

Best classic: Candy Castle, by Jean Dorland and Hannah Grossman.

Our mailing address is:
2828 10th Avenue South Suite 1205F, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association · 2828 10th Ave S · Minneapolis, MN 55407 · USA

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