June 2012 10,000 Fresh Voices Archives

Located at the corner of Plymouth and Russell Avenues in North Minneapolis, Homewood Studios is a hotbed of creative invention and exposition. Founded by George and Beverly Roberts in 1998 as an arts and community-building center, Homewood boasts five studio spaces available for rent, a gallery with rotating shows every three weeks, workshops and a writer’s group. It also features musical performances, traveling shows, workshops, a writer’s group, and even morning Tai Chi.

Crimes of passion are not uncommon, but in the late 19th century, a lower-class woman being acquitted of a high-class murder on an insanity defense was unheard of. KFAI producer Bobbie Scott recalls the the 1877 case of Kate Noonan—a young servant girl who fatally shot local businessman Will Siedel, and the unusual case that followed.

Construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail line is affecting businesses in and around University Avenue. In St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, customer access is a challenge for local businesses. KFAI producer Eric Blom visits the area and talks to Southeast Asian business owners about a collaborative project called “Little Mekong.”

Since the late 1800s, University Avenue has been a major thoroughfare connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 1890, urban streetcars shuttled residents from city to city, and today light rail construction is underway. Numerous businesses line the Avenue, evolving over the years with ever-changing neighborhoods. KFAI’s Dan Greenwood visits with Linda and Nikolai Alenov, owners of the Russian Tea House, to talk about how local immigrants have shaped this area.

Book artist and dream teacher Sheila Asato couldn’t believe what she was seeing on television in March 2011. The tsunami that struck Japan hit close to home for the woman who lived outside of Tokyo for more than a decade. Within two months she was headed to Japan to help a group of third graders deal with the recent trauma through art and the interpretation of dreams. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Sheila Asato is a book artist and instructor at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

There are several teen centers in the Twin Cities metro area, but one in Brooklyn Park has garnered national attention. This year the A-List was recognized by the White House in its Campus Champions of Change Challenge.

An ESL class at Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis spent six months researching poverty. The students created mini-documentaries that explored solutions to poverty, and their work was widely watched by community members, local politicians and even a Nobel Prize winner. KFAI’s Michelle Bruch interviewed the students about the experience.

Minneapolis writer and activist Bill Burleson has published short stories in literary fiction, and recently completed “Avenue of the Lost and Found.” He has also written numerous nonfiction works, including “Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community.” As a community activist, Burleson is a a regular speaker and workshop facilitator at LGBT conferences and events, founder of the Bisexual Organizing Project, and co-founder of the weekly Minneapolis cable access television show, BiCities!

Last spring, the Minneapolis City Council amended a zoning code to expand urban agriculture in the city. KFAI’s Eric Blom talked to members of Stones Throw Urban Farm and Project Sweetie Pie about how this growing movement is feeding communities and teaching valuable life skills.