July 2013 Archives

An estimated 60,000 people live on the Northside of Minneapolis, but there are only two supermarkets in the entire area. The lack of access to fresh and affordable produce contributes to some of the highest obesity rates in the city for this area. KFAI’s Dan Greenwood visits Appetite for Change: a community garden in the Jordan neighborhood, to find out how groups are working with the city to offer greater access to fresh food.

The Goldstein Museum of Design on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is named after two sisters: Harriet and Vetta Goldstein. Housing thousands of objects, including Chanel dresses, Navajo rugs, Ralph Rapson chairs and other 20th century relics, the museum began as the nation’s first School of Home Economics.

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts may conjure up memories of cookies and campfires, but did you know that Minnesota created the Tiger Cub program? Or that an East St. Paul troop led the nation in the World War I Liberty Bond drive? KFAI producer Britt Aamodt discovers the North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting in North St. Paul, and learns about scout history.

The handsaw is not just a carpenter’s tool—it’s also a musical instrument. The saw makes an eerie sound similar to a violin or a woman’s voice. KFAI producer Jessica Lehman met with two local saw players to learn about this unusual instrument.

David Grant is a Twin Cities-based screenwriter and playwright. He’s been commissioned by the Minnesota Historical Society, Mixed Blood Theater and the Great American History Theatre, and is a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship. He’s written drama for Twin Cities Public Television, HBO New York and Showtime. His recent travel memoir traces his ancestry to Ghana, Africa. Grant is currently writing a young adult novel about Abraham Lincoln.

Frogtown is a St. Paul neighborhood built largely by immigrants. Years ago, Germans settled in the area, living and working around University Avenue. Today Frogtown is a thriving cultural mecca and epicenter of Hmong culture in Minnesota. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt tours Frogtown with Danielle Dart from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Native Minnesotan Alec Soth is a renowned photographer whose large-scale images feature Midwestern subjects, shot in an off-beat way. He recently spent a week traveling through North Dakota, photographing the oil boom to accompany a cover story for the New York Times magazine. KFAI producers Allegra Oxborough and Jemma Brown talked to Alec about the project, and about how he identifies as an artist, journalist and documentarian.

Kairos Alive! is an intergenerational dance group based in the Twin Cities. Founded in 1999 by dancer, choreographer, educator and artistic director Maria Genné, the group uses dance, music and storytelling to energize and connect people from all walks of life. It focuses on creating a sense of community and well-being for people of all ages, all backgrounds and all abilities. Genné also founded Kairos dancing heart—a dance and arts program that works with frail elders at care facilities, adult day cares and senior community centers. Kairos dancing heart was featured in the PBS documentary, “Arts & the Mind.”

A native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Rosa Mavins Bogar grew up in a family of 13 children and lived through segregation. Calling Minneapolis her home since 1966, Bogar worked for 30 years in local schools, and created “The Ancestral Wrap Project” to teach African-American youth about their roots. A fashion designer for more than three decades, Bogar creates work without patterns and sews everything by hand. In 2012 she produced “Black Fashion in the Twin Cities: 1970s through 1990s” at the Capri Theatre in North Minneapolis. She is also the author of two poetry collections: “Black Woman Sorrow” and “Rosa: and Other Poems.” (Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune)

The Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul was the city’s largest African-American community until construction of Interstate-94 split it in half. In its heyday, Rondo boasted many black-owned businesses, social clubs and restaurants. Some of the patrons of those establishments were the Red Caps, Pullman and porters who worked at St. Paul’s Union Depot. They greeted visitors, assisted people with their luggage and helped weary travelers or lost children find their way. But they were also more than that. Red Caps enhanced the community with their strong work ethic and dedication to service. Red Caps were recently honored at an event commemorating Rondo’s 30th anniversary. KFAI’s Allison Herrera has the story.