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Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023

<strong>Time to Activate An Uprising of Support Around East Phillips</strong>

East Phillips neighbors and allies overflowed the City Council Chamber on January 26 in opposition to the demolition of the Roof Depot building. The City Council approved the demolition on a 7-6 vote. Pending ongoing legal action, demolition is expected to begin in late February. Source: Delaney Russell


Minneapolis is a deliberate settlement built on Native land. The land we live on was taken through brutal violence, unilaterally justified through force and broken treaties and lies. The repercussions of this original violence shapes so much about our lives to this day.

As you read this, the now long-established City of Minneapolis is practicing its own version of Manifest Destiny on an area of land in the East Phillips neighborhood. The City is hell-bent on shoving a diesel vehicle parking lot and maintenance yard down the throats of our neighbors. It will sit on the site of the former Roof Depot business, which itself sits on top of a federal Superfund toxic contamination site.  The City has been steadily advancing a nightmare plan that will amplify the effects of the industrial pollution from the asphalt plant and metal foundry that already choke children’s lungs in the Little Earth community and the surrounding neighborhood. The playbook they are working from is one that has always forced more pollution, industry, contamination, and violence into poorer and more diverse neighborhoods and ignored their pleas to stop the abuse. 

Home to Little Earth and thousands of native peoples, East Phillips has always been a place for visionary building of community, culture, alternatives, and healing. It has also always been a battleground for stopping extraction, contamination, violence, displacement, and divisions. East Phillips has been fighting back! Our neighbors in East Phillips have been asking for our help defending themselves against the cold machine and bureaucracy of the City of Minneapolis for years. As demolition at []

Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023

<strong>Youth Performance Company</strong>


I first learned about the Youth Performance Company (YPC) after interviewing Sha’Vontie Rose Juneau Hosfield as the June 2022 alley’s spotlighted youth artist. This December I went to see Sha’Vontie in YPC’s The Velveteen Rabbit with my (adult) daughter. We both left the performance uplifted and happy. 

This was not the The Velveteen Rabbit old timers will remember from their youth. YPC’s version is clever, humorous, and much more entertaining. YPC’s new Artistic Director Maya Washington (an alum of YPC herself) wrote, directed and choreographed this modern adaptation. The cast was beautifully diverse in age, race, and gender. Sha’Vontie played the title role of the Velveteen Rabbit. She and all of the cast were terrific! The music by Kymani Kahlil, local composer and musician, was fabulous; and the choreography perfect. 

I think what impressed me the most though, was the Q & A after the performance. All the actors were poised, articulate, funny, and affectionate. It hit me how really valuable youth theater is – it doesn’t just teach acting skills, but builds those admirable qualities that will serve young people and the world throughout their lives, whatever roads they follow. The cast definitely showcased the company’s mission: Youth Performance Company empowers youth and inspires social change through BOLD theatre and media arts.

Youth Performance Company has a long history – starting in 1989 in a corner of an office at the Theatre in the Round on the West Bank of Minneapolis. They’ve amassed an impressive list of awards received over the years, both locally and internationally. The office and class location are now in Saint Paul, but performances are at the Conn Theatre, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, close to home here in Phillips! Tickets are very affordable. 

I had the opportunity to ask Sha’Vontie some questions about her experience with YPC:

How long have you been involved with YPC? Six []

Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023

 Above: An example of an urban design project rendering done by a member of Radicle Land Collective. This image explores the idea of a community design school spread out on a greenway in the Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, DC. Source: Mattie Wong


“If only they had put a cut-through here!” “What if Phillips had a protected bicycle lane on every street?” “Phillips should have heated sidewalks!” Have you ever imagined something in your neighborhood, or felt like you saw a solution that would make the neighborhood better, if only it had been designed that way? Phillips Imaginary is a project to help folks dream about the possibilities of urban design, real or far-fetched, and share these ideas through drawings of what could be. Your idea combined with renderings of your vision created by Radicle Land Collective could end up in the alley! Send in your thoughts to and keep an eye out for the first in this series in an upcoming issue!

Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023


All information listed here is accurate as of February 15, 2023. For the most recent information, check out the library website at


Monday 9 AM to 5 PM

Tuesday 12 PM to 8 PM

Wednesday 12 PM to 8 PM

Thursday 12 PM to 8 PM  

Friday 9 AM to 5 PM  

Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM

Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM


The Hosmer Film series offers adult patrons a chance to gain exposure to a variety of viewpoints with films from various cultures and communities. February’s film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is based on a true story of a cancer victim whose cells were harvested without her knowledge. Starring Oprah Winfrey.

Hosmer Library

February 1 at 5:30 – 7 PM


Celebrate the winter season with a handmade touch! Learn how to design, draw, carve and print using a linoleum cutter and printing block. Then use your favorite colors of ink and press a set of handmade cards to give to friends and family. Register now at while spaces are still available. 

Franklin Library

March 1 at 2 – 3:30 PM


A youth leadership club that’s driven by curiosity. For adolescents.

Franklin Library

Tuesdays at 4 – 5:30 PM


Join us for Coffee & Conversations.

Franklin Library

Second Friday of the month 10 AM – 12 Noon


Way to Grow connects parents of kids ages 0-8 to a culture-to-culture family educator to help with resources and provide support and education.

Franklin Library

Tuesdays at 3 – 5 PM


The Franklin Library’s Teen Tech Squad leads education and entertainment for kids 8 and over on topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. 

Franklin Library

Wednesdays at 5 – 6 PM


A Workforce Coach from EMERGE will be available to work with people []

Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023

Share Your Ideas to Obtain the Greatest Prize of All


Tomia MacQueen has been an Edible Gardens Consultant for 14 years. Source: Minneapolis Edible Boulevards

Minneapolis Edible Boulevards (MEB) wants to hear from you! If you live in one of the following neighborhoods, complete the survey, and enter for a chance to win a $25 CUB gift card or a Land Back t-shirt from Naokah Designs. Most importantly, you’ll be helping our community by sharing your awesome ideas, and that’s priceless. 

Today, MEB offers garden resources to the neighborhoods that are a part of the Northside Green Zone (McKinley, Hawthorne, Near North, St. Anthony West, Bottineau, Marshall Terrace, and Sheridan) and the Southside Green Zone (East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West, Cedar Riverside, and Ventura Village). Additional neighborhood associations partnering with us are Longfellow, Powderhorn Park, Jordan, Webber-Camden, and Heritage Park. Go to our Facebook and Instagram pages for the survey. 

As a small initiative with a fiscal sponsor (we aren’t a nonprofit), we want to partner with our neighbors and hear from those living in participating neighborhoods as much as possible. We’d also appreciate partnering with other Minneapolis Northside and Southside neighborhoods who continue to experience food and environmental injustices. The survey also includes questions about the boulevard growing ordinance many thought was changed in 2014. 

On March 25, we’ll be joined by Tomia MacQueen of Wildflower Farm and Northeast Organic Farming Association, to learn how to grow seedlings and best practices for transplanting them. If time, she’ll also teach us about kitchen pantry gardening. Find more information on facebook and instagram. If you aren’t on social media, email so we can send links to you for one or both of these opportunities.

Posted by : the alley Published: February 1st, 2023

Tales from Pioneers & Soldiers Cemetery: 207th in a Series

 City Leaders at an Impasse, Garbage Piles Grow

In the cemetery’s early years, the city’s center was located near what is now the intersection of Hennepin and Washington Avenues. A visit to the cemetery was regarded as a day-long excursion. Over the next 50-75 years the city moved steadily southward and the land around the cemetery, and on occasion the cemetery itself, had been involved in disputes over land use near Lake Street. The most obvious dispute came to a head in the late 19-teens, early 19-twenties, when an effort was made to vacate parts of the cemetery and develop the land for commercial purposes. More recently, in the mid-1960s, one City Council Member, most likely unaware that there are 22,000 people buried there, floated the idea that the cemetery would make an ideal location for the new South High School. Both ideas failed.

Cemetery in the 1930s. Looking southeast toward Cedar Avenue and Lake Street.  Photo from Library of Congress Collection. John Vachon, photographer.

In 1938, one of the city’s biggest problems was garbage. Hundreds of stories, many of them on the front page, appeared in the local papers as local politicians struggled to find a solution to the problem. Few disagreed about the need to build a new incinerator but the debate about where to build it had been going on for ten years without the issue being resolved. One of the proposed sites was at 29th Street and 20th Avenue, adjacent to the cemetery’s northeast corner. It was the most popular choice but not one that was welcomed by those who lived and worked in the surrounding area. Members of the Minneapolis Cemetery Protective Association, a group organized to protect and to advocate for the cemetery, stood firm in their opposition to that location. They supported local residents who formed the South Side Protective Committee, a group organized to explore what legal options might be available to those who opposed having the incinerator (referred to rather []

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