February 2014 Archives

Erik Koskinen grew up in a rural, working class town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He got his first guitar from his father when he was 12 years old. Over the years he’s made a living as a carpenter, welder, snow blower, truck driver—the list goes on. But since he moved to St. Paul eight years ago, he’s built a following as a musician, songwriter, producer, and engineer. “America Theater” is Erik’s second album.

Commercial kitchens lease time and space to small businesses. A hub for entrepreneurs, Kindred Kitchen in North Minneapolis offers a 2,000-square-foot commercial facility, side-by-side studio kitchens, monthly classes, and resources for food industry start-ups. KFAI producer Susan Budig visited the space on West Broadway for a closer look.

Kevin Kling is a Minnesota playwright, author and storyteller. In 2013 he boarded an Earth Train to Washington, DC, to be part of the largest rally on climate change in our nation’s history. He sees storytelling as way to bring people together and enact change on a large scale. Produced for KFAI by Barbara Jean Meyers.

George Bonga was born to an Ojibwe mother and an African-American father in 1802. A member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe, he became a fur trader, translator and diplomat—negotiating treaties between the Ojibwe and white settlers. Bonga was also an entrepreneur. He opened a lodge on Leech Lake with his wife, and died in 1880. KFAI producer Allison Herrera has more.

More and more fathers are staying home to raise their children. KFAI producer Manda Lillie talks with Jim Altstatt—stay-at-home dad, father of three and director of a local organization called Minnesota Dads at Home. The fathers’ group support one another through activities, play dates and other social outings.

The Book House in Dinkytown has been part of the University of Minnesota culture since 1976. From quality used books to academic texts and vinyl records, the Book House is known for an array of collections—especially philosophy and theology. Owner Kristen Eide-Tollefson talks to KFAI producer Dixie Treichel about being a literary steward to generations of scholars and collectors.

For more than half a century, the flats along the Mississippi River below the Washington Avenue Bridge were an entry point for new immigrants. Living conditions at Bohemian Flats were spartan at best, and repeated floods and freezing conditions forced many people out. For those who braved the elements, a community evolved. In this story, KFAI producer Allison Herrera tells the story of the women of Bohemian Flats.

Twin Cities’ students are experiencing fine art in the classroom through an initiative by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. As part of its Art Adventure program, the MIA trains parents and volunteers to present art from its collection to students. KFAI producer Manda Lillie joins a fourth grade class on their weekly art adventure, led by Karen Nachtsheim.

A team from Twin Cities Maker is receiving national recognition for winning the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and Make Magazine. Ford plans to build their design of the Hackmobile—a fully equipped wood shop and electronic studio on wheels. KFAI producer Susan Gray visited the Hack Factory to learn what the “maker movement” is all about.

Tucked away on the second floor of the African Development Center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, is a tiny thrift shop called the Sisterhood Boutique. The shop is a dream come true for the founders—a group of young East African women who call themselves the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarves. After meeting and planning for nearly two years at the Brian Coyle Community Center, the high school entrepreneurs opened their store in February 2014.