Vol. 2, No. 1 - JAN/FEB 2017
THE WARMTH ISSUE WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 1
in discovering new skills while supporting local handcrafters, artisans, builders, and more who teach our classes.
for a class and get your creative juices flowing!
Work with your hands, build community, & have fun! • Noncompetitive
Looking to the Future
• Small class sizes
• Local instructors
• New Mobile Workshop to bring to youth programs & teach kids how to make things. • We are buying a building! This will allow us to deliver fun programming year-round, and will help develop the Crafting District in Duluth’s Lincoln Park.
Learn more at >> www.duluthfolkschool.com
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The Warmth Issue “We live in an historical moment when telling our stories is crucial, because they become our truth—a truth that circulates and gives ourselves a vision of our life chances… We need the light and the warmth of stories authentically told and shared.” –Seph Rodney I didn’t realize the depth of the word Warmth before this issue. In the journey of curating this collection of stories, I set out to contemplate the meaning of warmth in the world around me. Through this lens, I seem to locate a circular path. Where I felt warmth, I found a renewed respect and appreciation for its source—storytelling. Warmth is truth—siphoned through experience. It strengthens the pulse of our communities, inviting us huddle together around the flame, basking in the warmth of its compassionate glow. Humans, from the very beginning, found purpose in storytelling. Around the fire we sat, sharing ourselves, engaged in the raw authenticity of storytelling. Today, our stories continue to form our perspectives, connect us to our past, and inspire us to empathize with others. Yet, there is danger and beauty in fire— and here too lies the power of storytelling. At this time in history, telling our stories authentically is more important than ever. We have a responsibility to be genuine in our words, promising to respect the truth and, at the same time, listening intently to the perspectives of others. In the stories ahead, you’ll find a common thread—truth. The embers of authenticity flicker ceaselessly here, far from gone forever. These stories feature warmth in the voices of an allwoman choir, the perseverance of an innovative beer-brewing duo, the creative hydroponic systems of a youth agriculture program, the cozy meals of a husband-wife baking duo, and in every story in between. In these stories, these creative minds, these artistic journeys… warmth not only resides, it thrives. I hope this collection renews your belief that truth in storytelling is
restorative for the individual, advantageous in our communities, and vital for honest change. If I’m being truthful, it absolutely did that for me.
— Kara Larson
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Editor Kara Larson Production Manager Leah Matzke
Contributors Linda Andersen Diana Crane Matt Frank Elise Lehr and Michael Gaffney Hunter Stanek and Jeff Geier Emily Taplin Colby Wegter Contributing Designer Adrian Whitney Cover Photo 2017 Warmth Issue contest winner Tucker Olson
Copyright All images contained in Make It Minnesota are subject to copyright of the artist, illustrator or photographers as named, but not limited to. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior permission is prohibited. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Disclaimer The views and comments expressed by the writers are not always that of Make It Minnesota. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication, Make It Minnesota accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. Make It Minnesota (ISSN 2471-6744) Volume 2, No. 1, is published by Make It MN LLC
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LINDA ANDERSEN A native of Roseau, Minnesota, Linda has resided near Karlstad, Minnesota for over thirty years. She has worked for Wikstrom Enterprises at Nordisk Hemslöjd, the variety store mentioned in her article, for more than eight years. She regularly writes feature articles for a weekly county newspaper and a quarterly agriculture publication. DIANA CRANE AND EMY CRANE
Diana and Emy felt like little nomads from a very young age—from Arizona, to Arkansas, to Idaho, it seemed they were always on the move. Now settled in Minneapolis, they’re still figuring out how to put down roots. Spruce is storytelling, it’s learning, it’s growth—it’s their attempt to weave themselves into this city, and to feel truly at home. MATT FRANK Matt’s passions for urban agriculture, regenerative landscape design, and food justice issues led to From the Ground Up North’s creation as an educational and inspirational tool for change in the Upper Midwest. He strongly believes in the power of narratives to shape minds, open eyes and shift perspectives. Learn more about his work at www.fromthegroundupnorth.org ELISE LEHR AND MICHAEL GAFFNEY
Rosemary and Miint is made up of Elise and Michael, two photographers with a deep passion for food and who love feeding other people. They are working towards opening a bakery as well as putting a cookbook together. Elise, a native of NE Minneapolis focuses more on the sweeter side of things while Michael, a transplant from Rochester, NY is more savory-minded. HUNTER STANEK AND JEFF GEIER Hunter and Jeff share a passion of serving others through their company, Born Passion. Their mission is to use purpose-driven experiences that revolve around social responsibility for corporations and nonprofits to engage millennials. They believe whether big or small, nonprofit or corporation, all organizations have an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. EMILY TAPLIN
Born in New York, raised in Colorado and proud to have selected Minnesota as her adulthood home. She owns the “crazy dog lady” title and has fun managing Murrow’s Instagram account (@ murrow_the_frenchie). She has a background in TV news and currently works at Twin Cities Public Television on the PBS Kids Show, SciGirls. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga and trying foods around the Twin Cities. COLBY WEGTER
From growing up near a town without a stop light to working in NYC’s Chinatown to finally landing in St. Paul, Colby looks to converse, to learn and attempt to tell. He feels more at home in Minnesota than anywhere else and enjoys her beauty on the daily. He’s also the founder of A Look Into (alookinto.com), an online editorial that tells the stories of the people behind the products we love.
Contents Featured Communities
Permission To Be
Local by Local: Hunter Stanek & Jeff Geier
Out & About
The Wikstroms: Keeping Color in Karlstad B-Lectric: A Celebration of Art and Light
Behind The Creative
Spark-Y Youth Action Labs
Mocha Cinnamon Rolls with Espresso Glaze
Finding Warmth Instagram Contest Winners
limitless: women sparking strength
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Warmth Issue Community Feature:
P erm i s s io n t o B e By Diana Crane “I wouldn’t call myself a winter person…” Nona Invie reflects, “…but I do love this kind of excuse we have to hibernate.” Yes! I nod my head furiously, eyes wide—after living here for nearly nine years, I’m still working on my relationship with winter. I really only like the way it feels from my sunroom—tempered, soft. Light streams in through honeycomb shades and I lose this rushed, weekend-tendency to think in the subjunctive. My toes are cold, dammit, and “shoulds” will wait.
Photo by Tod Seelie 4 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
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“…it’s about the raw feelings behind their songwriting… I think that’s the charm of the choir. It’s this raw desire to sing together.” —Nona Invie
Photo by Zoey Melf
The choir ultimately offered a space for a beautifully diverse group of women—jewelers, painters, yoga instructors, soccer moms—to broaden their understanding of themselves, and to safely explore their untapped talents. Nona explains, “I think that because this isn’t a professional career for everyone… it keeps it lighter. It’s just fun for them. It’s not a perfectionist group, and if you make a mistake, it truly doesn’t matter.”
In 2011, Invie, of the American folk band, Dark Dark Dark, let a Minnesota freeze set her pace. After years of traveling—promoting albums both at home and internationally—the St. Louis Park native slowed down to consider prioritizing new musical pursuits. With a little bit of encouragement from close friend and local jeweler, Annika Kaplan, one Sunday, she invited a few women to her South Minneapolis home to sing. “I really just wanted to create a meaningful, nourishing space for women to bond. I had a piano and enough room for everyone…the group just blossomed from there.” Over the course of a few months, the choir grew from four members to fifteen, as women outside of Invie’s close circle of friends learned about it, and expressed interest in joining. “I started getting emails from people who wanted to audition.” Invie laughs, in disbelief. “I had never even really thought about establishing it…but I had all of these women… really wanting to make space for women, wanting to prioritize women.” And with that, slowly, quietly, the Anonymous Choir was born. Most of the group’s earliest members had never even performed in front of an audience before—most had little experience beyond a few years singing in high school or church choirs. Talking to Invie, I was struck by the incredible courage this implied. When I’m driving home from work, crawling along 394, and I remember that I have the Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces” album on my iPhone, I am transformed. I love to sing. But that version of me just doesn’t exist outside of my car. There are limits I’ve created for myself—identities I do not dare to adopt. 6 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
This laid-back attitude should not be mistaken for flippancy or indifference—the women work hard to blend their voices to Nona’s careful arrangements. While she’s written a few songs for the choir to perform, Nona prefers to arrange covers of some of her greatest inspirations—Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Otis Redding. “I think I’m drawn to these artists because their voices aren’t overly produced…they’re not hitting every single note perfectly…it’s about the raw feelings behind their songwriting… I think that’s the charm of the choir. It’s this raw desire to sing together.” I caught one of the group’s performances last winter. I’d never heard of The Anonymous Choir before, but I’d decided to tag along with my roommates after learning that the show was at Modern Times, and that there would likely be free pizza. My passion for the arts is only matched by my commitment to tracking down free food. I remember trudging through the snow to the back door of the Café—it had felt pretty covert and cool at the time. A small child sat on a stool just inside the entryway, holding out a hat, collecting whatever small change or combination of bills we felt inclined to give her. We were required to guess “the password.” Once we’d provided a satisfactory response, we filtered to the back room, where groups of people had already begun to gather. Soon, the choir fanned out across a small, half-moon shaped space at the front of the room. I mostly remember the depth of the silence that followed their entrance. It was as if every last person in that small, dark café had taken a deep breath, was waiting for permission to exhale. The women—dressed in overalls, floral frocks, turtlenecks, big brass bracelets—looked to Nona, poised at the bench of the piano, and began to sing. Oh, like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.
Hunter Stanek & Jeff Geier F ounders , B orn P assi o n
On paper, Hunter Stanek and Jeff Geier chose vastly different paths for themselves. While Jeff went to St. Cloud State University, majoring in Business Administration and Marketing, Hunter went to University of North Dakota, where he majored in Criminal Justice and Chinese. And yet, they attribute their success as business partners to these seemingly unrelated backgrounds. Why? Because underneath these differing directions, they share a passion of serving others. So, when Hunter and Jeff met during the spring of 2014, they wasted no time and began crafting their vision to engage people in a way with local nonprofits that would spark transformation. This vision would soon become Born Passion. Through Born Passion, it is Hunter and Jeff â€™s mission to use purpose-driven experiences to engage, retain, and attract millennials. Born Passion creates and alters experiences that revolve around social responsibility for corporations and nonprofits to engage millennials. Hunter and Jeff believe whether big or small, nonprofit or corporation, all organizations have an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Hunter and Jeff also share a passion in genuinely connecting to their own community, which made it was difficult for them to narrow down their list of favorite cold weather escapes. However, they did manage to come up with their top five businesses, restaurants, outdoor spots, and more to help us all find warmth in these wintry times.
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“Located on North Washington in Minneapolis, The Freehouse is the place to be. It is a buzzy brewpub serving both house-brewed and outside beers, plus a menu of gastropub fare in a slick space. Born Passion has been very fortunate to partner up with The Freehouse in the past to raise money and awareness to homeless youth in the Twin Cities. It’s a great place to eat and its filled with excellent staff—that’s why it’s our number one spot to grab a bit to eat.”
“If you’re looking for a little adventure, Lebanon Hills in Eagan, MN is the place to be. In any season, exploring the travels that Lebanon Hills has to offer will make anyone’s day. Born Passion’s culture is all about being outside and enjoying Minnesota’s outdoor playgrounds, and with Lebanon Hills located so close to the Twin Cities, that’s our number one spot to explore a little nature.”
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“If you like to laugh and surround yourself with awesome people, you need to check out The Brave New Workshop, located in downtown Minneapolis. The Brave New Workshop is a sketch and improvisational comedy theater that will keep you laughing all day long. Born Passion has been fortunate enough to partner up with The Brave New Workshop in the past to help raise money and awareness for starving children all around the world. Also, if you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends and colleagues, check out their Happy Hour Squared event that happens every third Thursday of the month. You get to make sandwiches for the homeless and drink Finnegans beer while you do so. The Brave New Workshop offers all this and so much more to the community, so make sure to check them out!”
“Looking for a great place to grab some coffee and maybe a bit to eat? Check out Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine located in Burnsville, MN, where you will find not only great food but great people as well. This is Born Passion’s number one spot to meet up with clients, friends, and family. The overall atmosphere is Minnesota at its finest, so make sure to swing by—you just might see us there!”
“If you’re a millennial or an organization looking for top talent within the millennial generation, you need to check out the Katapult Network located in Edina, MN. For a host of reasons, it is not uncommon today for someone to graduate college only to find that their major does not lead them to the path of what they “want to be when they grow up.” Katapult Network understands this and aims to unlock the total potential of recent graduates and early stage professionals to envision success in companies and careers they may never have imagined. They seek to develop a 360-degree profile of your skills and talents. The goal of their process is not to put you in a box, but expand the way you think about your qualifications and goals.” WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 9
Out & About
in Karlstad By Linda Andersen
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he Atlantic, in 2016, published an article titled “The Graying of Rural America,” detailing the decline of small, rural communities.
Karlstad (population 747), a rural community in the Northwest corner of Minnesota just thirty miles from the Canadian border, is keeping its color—thanks, in part, to the work of Curt, Sharon (now deceased), Matt, and Andrea Wikstrom. Curt, CEO of Wikstrom Telephone Company (Wiktel), and his wife, Sharon, conceived the idea of transforming Karlstad into a Scandinavian themed community since a large number of Scandinavian emigrants had settled in the area. Besides inspiring local businesses to add Scandinavian touches to their buildings, they opened a gift & variety store and began a restaurant, which includes a heritage center. Their son Matt was a part of the project from the start and, in his marriage to Andrea Gladen in the summer of 2011, acquired a new partner in the project. For the last six years of her life, until her untimely death in early 2011, Sharon volunteered many hours to designing, painting, and beautifying Karlstad. She once studied art at the University of Minnesota and according to Andrea, had a “knack for understanding colors and shadows.” All color schemes on the exteriors and interiors of buildings are authentic colors from Norway and Sweden. The Wikstroms called their variety store Nordisk Hemslöjd, a Swedish name, meaning “Scandinavian Handicrafts.” Sharon and Matt set to work painting a mural on the side of the building. Matt reminisces about the early days of the work. He says they worked after dark to project the design on the side of the building using an overhead projector and laptop. Then they drew the design on the stucco wall using Sharpies. He says he was “eaten alive by mosquitoes” until his mother began holding a fan next to him to blow off the critters. They named the restaurant Nordhem (Northern Home) and began to paint designs on panels, doors, and walls. Matt and Andrea have continued the time consuming work since Sharon’s death. Matt manages to do most of his work as graphic artist and webmaster for Wikstrom Telephone Company from their primary home (the port town of Anacortes, Washington), but
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the couple travels to Karlstad periodically for their ongoing Karlstad project. In creating scenes, they try to “keep things interesting to the people here” and try to choose subjects that “have a connection to the people here.” One finds scenes that include subjects such as moose, fishermen, and farmers. They say Bible stories and Scandinavian folk tales and heritage inspire their work. Matt, who has painted panels above restaurant booths and most recently decorated doors in the restaurant, has represented the parable of the mustard seed on one door and the parable of the lost sheep on another. One door bears the Swedish words for “God bless this meal.” He says the painting of each panel in every door takes about ten hours, not including planning time. Although Andrea was not particularly familiar with Scandinavian art when she first came to Karlstad, she said she has an “interest in other cultures,” and is happy to learn. She and Matt have taken classes in Scandinavian arts at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Andrea has painted scenes inspired by Norwegian folk tales on the walls beside each booth, bringing characters such as Mr. Goodbrand and Little Grouse to life. “The style of painting mimics Sigmond Aarseth,” she says. A heritage center (telecommunications and printing museum) adjoins Nordhem. The Wikstrom Family has been in the telecommunications business for seventy years and donated equipment, such as antique telephones (including old magneto crank phones through the first dial phones) and switchboards to
the center. The local newspaper, The North Star News, donated old printing equipment, such as a linotype machine, an early copy machine, and trays of lead type. The Wikstroms’ artwork is also featured in the museum. Andrea painted a mural on one wall. Matt describes it as “anachronous,” or “something out of step with time.” The work is a merger of three scenes, beginning with a fishing village of Norway, then going to a scene from Karlstad, Sweden, and finally going to a scene from 1950s Karlstad, Minnesota. Depicted in the latter scene are Matt’s grandparents, George and Delores Wikstrom, founders of Wikstrom Telephone Company. Andrea, who maintains a presence on the web at www.artmurals. com and on Facebook, also loves to create jewelry. She calls her business “B.U.tiful” and occasionally holds a sale of her creations at Nordhem. She makes her jewelry from antiqued brass, and semi-precious gemstones and glass. She says nature, people, and cultures provide the inspiration for each piece. The Wikstroms aren’t sure when they’ll be finished with their Karlstad project, saying it’s “one of those things that takes longer than anticipated.” Matt plans to paint more doors in the restaurant. Andrea will take her brush to the banquet room. “When we’re done with the restaurant we will be planning a booklet that explains the artwork because everything has a story behind it,” concludes Andrea. Looks like the Wikstroms will help keep Karlstad colorful for a while longer! WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 13
Out & About
A CELEBRATION OF
By Kara Larson
“Hey, there’s a yeti walking around over there. Oh, and a yeti made of ice holding oyster trays there. Nice.” Welcome to winter in the North—a time and place where, to get through the frosty months, we get weird. But it’s a weird we can all get behind. Because within it, there is an imaginative playfulness, a genuine wonder, and a creative spark that only a season like winter could inspire.
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When we attended B-Lectric: A Celebration of Art and Light on Sunday, January 29th at Barbette, we found ourselves amongst yetis of all sizes, art in many forms, barrels of fire, cozy bevvies, and more. In this urban cove of wintertime bliss, we reveled in an event put on by Northern Spark and Barbette that certainly embraced the weirdness, magic, and spirit of winter.
As part of The Great Northern Festival, which is comprised of 10 days of signature events and new programming in the Twin Cities, B-Lectric was created with the mission to give residents and visitors a reason to get outside, enjoy the incredible winter season, and to experience the light of art along the way. During B-Lectric, the block behind Barbette was filled with artists commissioned by Northern Spark to create projections on neighborhood buildings and massive ice screens that were set up around the event. Highlights included Joshua McGarveyâ€™s Ice FallFeel the Change, which allowed audiences to feel glaciers calving as they lean back into sound beds, and a documentary compilation by local curator Graci Horne.
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In addition, a select number of Art Shanty Projects transformed certain areas of the event into creative community spaces that were part art gallery and part social experiment. If you are unfamiliar with Art Shanty Projects, it is an artist driven temporary community that explores how public spaces can be used as challenging artistic environments to expand notions of what art can be. B-Lectric featured a sample of shanties that will be part of the On-Ice Program each weekend from February 4-26 in White Bear Lake. The shanties in attendance were Sesastation Story Shanty, which aimed to engage participants in story writing, The Dance Shanty, which encouraged free-spirited dancing, and the Vehicle of Expression, which connected writers and readers of literature to share performances. Lastly, Chef Shanty by eatontheloose.com combined art and food, featuring maple syrup lollipops made on site, tastes of winter libations, and a creative outlet to warm your artistic soul. Beyond all this, B-Lectric featured DJ Jake Rudh (of The Current and Transmission), performances from Infiammati FireCircus, fire barrels, the mysterious YETI, Indeed Brewing Company, a whiskey and bourbon winter cocktail bar thanks to Beam Suntory, mulled wine, oysters, kefta, halloumi cheese skewers, and more. As a free and zero waste event, other partners included Indeed Brewing, Effen, Beam, Teacher’s, Sauza, City Pages, 89.3 the Current, Uptown Association, Thrifty Hipster, and Yelp. A line up like this made for a festive affair with just the right amount of fire to huddle around, hot toddy’s to sip on, and different forms of yetis to keep you honest. It also served as a helpful reminder that winter in the North is a time that deserves to cherished, explored, and celebrated. Because, in a way, winter here, no matter how cruel, feels like it belongs to us—a defining key in our sense of cultural identity. It’s harsh out there, but we’re yeti tough and too stubborn to give up now. WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 17
Behind the Creative
URBAN AGRICULTURE YOUTH EDUCATOR By Matt Frank Photos by Amanda Rueter Spark-Y is a Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated to educating Twin Citiesâ€™ youth about sustainable living through the use of urban agriculture programing. Topics taught by Spark-Y include aquaponics, vermicomposting, algae cultivation, and mushroom cultivation. Their hands-on teaching methodology empowers local youth and equips them with the necessary tools to positively impact the health of both people and planet. This socially and environmentally-conscious organization not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Their tenacity, urban agriculture focus, and social entrepreneurship model is incredibly admirable, and one that brings much needed hope for a brighter future.
O R I G I NS
Spark-Y began under the name YEA (Young Enterprising Agents) Corps. In the mid-2000s, Founder Mary Helen had been working closely with a group of passionate young middleschoolers on a garden project and was inspired by their creativity. This in turn led to the development of a nature-based education model focused on youth empowerment and job preparation, which served as the organizationâ€™s launching point. In 2008, current
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Spark-Y Executive Director Zach Robinson and Founder Mary Helen met at a U.S. Green Building Council networking event where the two discussed their shared interests in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and education. After initial discussions, Mary Helen invited Zach to serve as a Founding Board Member of YEA Corps. In 2009, the first YEA Corps projects began in earnest and were operated by an all volunteer Board of Directors. The following year, Mary Helen stepped back capacity-wise from her role yet remained an integral member of the Board. It was during this transitional phase that Zach learned about Growing Power, a nonprofit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin focused on youth education, empowerment, and job training through the use of urban agriculture and aquaponics. Aquaponics is highly efficient closed-loop system of agricultural production that utilizes fish waste to fertilize produce, which in turn filters and cleans water that is recirculated back into tanks where the fish live. Since water circulates throughout the system and is reused indefinitely for multiple purposes, aquaponic
systems utilize far less water than traditional in-ground agricultural methods. It is a hybrid model that combines the practices of hydroponics - growing produce in fertilized water instead of soil - and aquaculture, often referred to as fish farming. Zach was immediately blown away by aquaponics and its potential as both a sustainable agriculture production method and an educational tool for youth engagement in urban areas. In 2010, Zach pitched the idea of developing an aquaponic pilot project to the full Board. This came to fruition and turned out to be a huge success thanks in part to the Boardâ€™s previous connections with a handful of local Twin City-area schools. The pilot project was developed over the 2010-2011 school year in partnership with the Minnesota Internship Center in south Minneapolis and was implemented as an educational tool for their young students. This pilot project was the first operational aquaponics system in the state of Minnesota! The Minnesota Internship Center project highlighted sustainability principles and began to address educational needs such as providing students hands-on opportunities while presenting them with real-world skills. Aquaponics was chosen as the first of what would become Spark-Yâ€™s four urban agriculture programs - aquaponics, vermicomposting, algae cultivation, and mushroom cultivation. Spark-Y views these urban agriculture practices as tools for social change with the potential to positively affect our local environment and economy. Aquaponics was also initially chosen because of its ability to cut across institutional education silos since it touches on many topics at once, including math, science, ecology, engineering, and more.
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ORGA N I Z AT I O NAL G R O W TH The following academic school year, a second aquaponic system was created in partnership with the School of Environmental Studies, a magnet high school on the grounds of the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN. During this time, the organization developed a robust sustainability curriculum to be used in tandem with their aquaponic projects. Students at the School of Environmental Studies were tasked with building an aquaponic system and developing business plans for production and sales. Students received professional titles such as Chief Operating Officer, Marketing Officer, and Chief Executive Officer, instilling within them self confidence and introducing them to real world skills. Resulting student business plans included growing dill and cucumbers aquaponically in order to produce and sell pickles and growing flowers in order to create boutonnieres for sale at the school prom. Going into the 2013-2014 school year, YEA Corps officially changed its name to Spark-Y as a result of Board led discussions on organizational mission. The name Spark-Y stemmed from their mission to spark action among youth and ignite engagement (Spark-Y = Spark Youth). At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, they had six established school partnerships and had also developed a once-a-week, full-year curriculum based on a three tiered aquaponic model. This model included teaching students about aquaponic systems, helping them build and maintain a fully functional prototype, and encouraging them to sell produce grown in the system. During this time, Spark-Y also took on a few more staff members, many passionate volunteers, and a community of enthusiastic people looking to get involved. A summer Youth Sustainability Internship program was also developed that helped establish relationships with local high school and college students who remained interested in helping the organization grow further.
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PROJECTS, PARTNERSHIPS & PLANS Spark-Y has a strong relationship with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) who hired them to teach elective classes at Roosevelt and Edison High Schools. They’ve also partnered with MPS Culinary & Nutrition Services over the past few years to develop a timber framed greenhouse and an aquaponic system at Roosevelt High School where food grown by students is harvested, cooked, and served to students in the school’s cafeteria. This project was the city’s first garden-to-cafeteria pilot project. Spark-Y has also partnered with the following local schools:
• Southside Family Charter School (MPLS) • FAIR Middle School (Crystal) • Integrated Arts Academy (Chaska) • St. Croix Lutheran (West St. Paul) • Crossroads Elementary School (St. Paul) • University of Minnesota (MSP) • El Colegio Charter School (MPLS) • Metro Heights Academy (Fridley) • Humboldt High School (St. Paul)
In addition to their school partnerships, Spark-Y has partnered with community organizations throughout the metro to develop aquaponic, hydroponic, and permaculture-based systems. Community partnerships include Ghandi Mahal, an authentic Indian cuisine restaurant, GastroTruck, an environmentally conscious food truck, and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. A commercial scale aquaponic system housed in the basement of Ghandi Mahal provides fresh produce and fish to the restaurant and is used as a place where young students are taken on field trips to view the system in action. Spark-Y also partners with local groceries, restaurants, and farmers markets to sell aquaponicallygrown micro greens from the systems they’ve implemented at schools and their urban ag lab in south Minneapolis. Microgreens from Spark-Y aquaponic systems are sold at Ghandi Mahal, Cafe Levain, The Lowbrow, Groundswell, and Seward Co-op.
T HA T ’ S A WRAP !
Spark-Y is an amazing organization that has begun to alter the state of youth education in the Twin Cities for the better. Their innovative use of urban agriculture practices as tools for experiential, participatory learning is an incredibly inspiring endeavor. Here’s to more engaged, environmentally and socially conscious Twin Cities youth!
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Behind the Creative
The Unpredictable Art of Brewing Beer Words By Colby Wegter Photos By Ben Lundsten As an avid homebrewer, brewing out of necessity makes sense to me. Not necessarily the act, but certainly the sentiment. But for those of you who don’t know, a typical batch of homebrewed beer is five gallons. You can often brew that much beer in your own home for a total of 30 bucks. Which boils down to less than a dollar a beer. In beer I get it. In conserving money I get it. Clockwerks Brewing was born out of this line of thinking. You see, Lonnie and Brett brewed beer in college. Out of necessity. From the beginning of the conversation with owners Lonnie Manresa and Brett Michlitsch of the newly opened Clockwerks Brewing, I felt a kindred spirit. Lonnie learned how to brew from his father, a pioneer in his age, where he was one of only a handful of homebrewers. Nowadays, there are millions of them, but back then, Lonnie was the number one beer assistant to one of a prideful few. Brewing out of necessity came from Brett. Like myself, he was also broke in college. Brett has an analytical mind. He’s known Lonnie and his father since he was a kid and by the time he got to college, he did the math on how to imbibe and it meant doing it yourself. Back in college, or as Lonnie cheekily says, in high school, you’d drink whatever you could get your hands on when it came to beer. Tiny budgets and a less than cultured beer scene didn’t really allow the two lifelong friends much choice. But as I got into talking with Lonnie about how they started in the now booming craft beer business, he explains how instrumental his father’s influence was in bringing their love for beer further—into a vocation. “That’s how I developed a palate for beer,” Lonnie says with an agreeing nod from Brett. In fact, it was Lonnie’s father who gave Brett his first pony kegs and regulator, the devices to help Brett finally feed his scientific mind and ramp up his brewing process. It was those first days in college that got him going. “For like 30 dollars, I could have five gallons of beer. Y’know 22 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Pictured: Lonnie Manresa WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 23
your first few batches are whatever. You typically have success in your second batch and you’re like, ‘Wow! That’s palatable.’ Then you have a problem you have to figure out and then you work that out and then you get better and better over time,” he says.
down and started making our business plan and thought maybe this is an option... so we went and got all our numbers and then went back and reworked it a couple times and said, ‘Wow, this looks like a totally viable business plan,’” Brett explains.
“Brett’s been brewing consistently for over 15 years,” chimes in Lonnie.
With the numbers locked in, they went around and shopped the idea all over town. With the expectation for angel investors, they quickly realized how excited their friends and family were about the idea. “We approached friends and family and they all wanted to be equity owners. They all said, ‘No, we don’t want to be angel investors. We want to own a piece of it.’ We thought, ‘They’re in it for the long haul.’ So that’s what we did.”
“15, yeah,” Brett says back, looking down at the ground with his arms crossed, the expression on his face exuding how quickly time flies. And indeed it has for these two. For years, what was becoming a hobby for men and women all over the country was already rooted in obsession for Brett and Lonnie. They’d sampled beers all over, crafted their own recipes, brewed, tinkered and tailored to what they wanted, and what their friends would happily enjoy. When it came down to it, the law was what really put the cogs in motion to make Clockwerks a reality. “After the Dangerous Man and Surly Bill got passed… we sat 24 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
The idea was solid, the business plan steady, but what lied ahead for the duo took all the determination and grit they had. For two years, from one bank to another, Lonnie and Brett were realizing this was purely their dream, or at least completely on their shoulders to see it through. Over and over, bank to bank, they weren’t getting the loan they were seeking. Their business plan and figures weren’t even getting looked over at a few of them. Annoyance ensued.
Finally, they found a match in a bank who had supported other breweries in the Twin Cities and their dream was on a road to reality. Scouting a place came next. Both of them decided the location had to be downtown Minneapolis. There was a history there that needed their personal carving. While video games and beer were always commonalities amongst them, they really found a passion in music and would often come down to First Avenue, as kids, to watch concerts. “We said if we can’t find a space downtown, we’ll be done. We’ll fold it up and be done,” Brett says. But they found the perfect location in what was previously City Billiards. With a bar already in place, a basement to put in the larger tanks and a loading dock to bring the ingredients in, it was perfect. “Where does the stress come from this job?” I ask, “because neither of you strike me as people who stress.” “What I tell people is I’m in a constant state of shock,” Lonnie says. “This whole process has included so many fire drills and bombs dropped on us that yeah, we freaked out all the time for years but it gets to the point where it’s like, OK, it’s going to happen. We’ll figure it out. What’s next? A constant state of shock like ‘Oh, what happened? The place is on fire? OK, we’ll figure it out.’” WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 25
“We’ll get some fire extinguishers and put it out,” says Brett laughing. “It’s interesting you say that,” Lonnie says. “We’re so stressed out that we’re just numb.” They both laugh. “The stress putting this together over the last six years was unpredictable for one,” says Lonnie. “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we’ve overcome all the obstacles. There’s still an amazing amount to think about everyday. There is so much on our shoulders and so many people counting on us. It’s a hell of an obligation.” There’s a brief smile. A genuine one.
I ask Lonnie, “I’m sure this is a question you get all the time.” He quickly fires back with, “I’m single,” and a laugh.
The obligation is real for them both. Lonnie has experience in the service industry and will ensure the house is humming. Brett has the scientific background and will be putting together what he hopes will be creative, finessed and enjoyable sessionable beers
It throws me off in the most delightful way possible. What is more than obvious chatting with them is how fun it all is. No matter how long it took to get a loan. No matter how stressful it is to build up a taproom from scratch. These two will be leaning on their friendship and laughing and having fun the whole way through.
A conversation with these two is filled with tons of smiling and laughter.
And the taste of the beer will simply follow.
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Kitchen MOCHA CINNAMON ROLLS WITH ESPRESSO GLAZE
Words and Photography by Elise Lehr and Michael Gaffney, Founders of Rosemary and Miint
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As daylight begins to wane in the late fall, we begin to gather inside more and more often with family and friends. As frost begins appearing in our gardens and on our windowpanes, we start adding more layers before we leave the house or apartment. We instinctively start seeking out new forms of warmth as the days of summer fade into memory. The warmth that we seek could come literally from a roaring fire or from the heating pads stuffed into your gloves while you sit over a hole in the ice. For us though, warmth comes from meeting up with friends more often to catch up or from enjoying a cocktail while the snow piles up outside. The most satisfying part of winter though is to make good food and share it with others.
On chilly days here in St. Paul, we want nothing more than cinnamon rolls and a cup of coffee. We love experimenting with different flavors and we’ve finally settled on a winner for our favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Elise has been toying with this recipe for a few months and ended up with these Mocha Cinnamon Rolls with Espresso Glaze. We dislike overly sweet pastries and like to consider these a more “grown-up” version of what we are all used to. The addition of espresso powder helps to cut down on the sweetness considerably and pairs quite well with the chocolate chips. The sliced almonds add a bit of crunch and liven things up a bit.
As kids, we both grew up helping out with baking in the kitchen. There was always a cake or a pan of delicious brownies around to have for dessert (or breakfast!). We always had cookies to share with friends at school and to this day, we both still bring extras to work with us for everyone to enjoy.
These are a staple if we are making brunch but are great for any occasion. Whether it’s as your breakfast as you run out the door or with your coffee as you take your Fika in the afternoon, these are a satisfying addition to your recipe box.
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Mocha Cinnamon Rolls with Espresso Glaze Total Time: 70 Minutes + Rising and Proofing Time
Makes between 8 and 12 rolls depending on pan size
- Ingredients Dough:
¼ cup butter ½ cup + 2Tbsp Whole Milk 2 large eggs 3 ½ cups flour 2 tsp. Active-dry yeast ¼ cup white sugar 1 tsp. Salt
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¼ cup chocolate chips 1 cup brown sugar ¼ cup softened butter 2 tsp. Cinnamon ⅛ tsp salt ⅛ cup sliced almonds 2 Tbsp espresso powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder 1 cup confectioners sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp whole milk 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: 1. To make the dough, sift all of the dry ingredients for it together
into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and then beat in the milk followed by the eggs.
2. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden
spoon until the dough is pulled together but still sticky. Leave sit for 5 minutes.
3. Dust your work surface with flour, then turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands lightly and begin kneading the dough. Add flour as needed but avoid adding too much. After kneading for 5-10 minutes the dough should feel springy and smooth. Oil a
large bowl and place the dough into it, covered and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.
4. While the dough rises, mix together your filling ingredients.
Place all of the ingredients except the butter into a bowl and mix together until well-combined.
5. Once the dough has risen, add more flour to your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle lightly with flour and then press it out into a rectangle that is about 12 x 10 inches.
Spread the softened butter out evenly onto the dough with your fingers all the way to each edge. Next add the filling mixture
evenly and then form into a tight roll from long end to long end.
6. Cut the roll into 12 even slices with a sharp knife dusted with flour. 7. Grease a pan of your choice and add the slices into it, making sure to keep the seams facing inward.
8. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to proof in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen. While proofing, preheat your oven to 400F.
9. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes and turn down to 350F. Bake for
another 20-25 minutes. The rolls should have risen more, taken on a golden color all over, and cooked fully through.
10. While the rolls are baking, make your glaze. Begin by dissolving
the instant espresso powder in 1tsp of hot water. Then, whisk the remaining ingredients together until the glaze takes on a creamy texture. If itâ€™s too runny, add confectioners sugar 1 Tbsp at a
time; if itâ€™s too thick, add milk a splash at a time. Let the rolls
cool for 20-30 minutes in the pan and then pour the glaze over them. Let it set and then enjoy!
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# M a k e It M N _ D oN orth MN
proudly sponsored by For the Warmth Issue, we collaborated with Visit Cook County, the organization behind the excellent Instagram account, @ DoNorthMN. With their connection to the region of Cook County, one of the most notoriously beautiful places in Minnesota, we began an Instagram contest all about finding warmth in the depths of Minnesota winter! We are excited to share that our #MakeItMN_DoNorthMN contest gathered nearly 200 entries, and in these photos, we saw a beautiful variety of Minnesota activities. We saw our followers’ favorite cozy hobbies, cold weather antidotes, and quiet moments of warm, content escape. But we also saw our followers braving the cold in layers of warm weather gear, camping in insulated yurts, ice fishing, or snowshoeing in the Northwoods. We narrowed it down to the Top 20, which are featured at makeitmn. com. And in these pages, you will see the Top 10.These top winners will also have their photo displayed during Visit Cook County’s Annual Hygge Week February 9-15. From there, the #1 photographer will receive a prize donated by Visit Cook County. This #1 photograph was taken by Tucker Olson—a big congratulations to Tucker!
WINNING IMAGE: Tucker Olson (@tuckolson)
2ND PLACE: Emily Falkenberg (@thegoodwithin)
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We are so grateful for the efforts of our fantastic partner on this contest, Visit Cook County. Their mission is to encourage people to encounter Minnesota’s most extraordinary place. In their opinion, life is bigger in Cook County, MN along legendary Highway 61. They believe in the tip of Minnesota’s Arrowhead, amidst the north shore of Lake Superior and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), you can go bigger, play harder and relax better than anywhere else in the Midwest.
3RD PLACE: Rachel Ewell (@rachel_six12)
HONORABLE MENTIONS From left to right, top to bottom: Katherine Archbold (@thebuckhornproject) Daleri Brown (@dillydaleri) Kendra Ann (@knittyvet) Shannon Svensrud (@storiedlifepictures) Whitney Carlson (@whitneysummerphotography) Yahya Rushdi (@yahyarushdi) Brianna Prahl (@yayoubetcha)
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limitless: women sparking strength through supportive words and wellness By Emily Taplin Photos By Meghan Swanson Photography “Chaturanga! Upward-facing dog! Downward dog!” All of the dogs are enough to get the heart rate pumping to the beat of the music and the sweat pouring to the floor with each command the instructor calls. “Frog squat and lift!” With each minute the moves become more challenging, but the motivation is moving her. So are the words, “You’re worthy, you’re treasured, you’re loved.” A powerful message from a woman on a sweaty journey to empower other women and chase goals alongside them. As Minnesotans we all have our own ways of coping with the constant cold of what feels like a ceaseless season. When winter comes in without so much as a Minnesota Nice “hello”, some embrace it and others, like me, tolerate it. Some take to the serenity of a frozen lake and ice shanty. Others retreat to warmer climates and resurface when the flowers begin to bloom. 34 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Recently, I’ve found a miniature escape in the warmth of my yoga studio. It’s a place where, if only for an hour, I can trick myself into thinking it’s summer, or at the very least, spring. There, humidity and sweat fills the space until the final savasana of the evening. Similar to me, Emily Healy finds her wintertime happy place doing a little flow at her favorite Minneapolis studio on a frigid day. Several months back, I started following Emily, or @getfitminny, on Instagram. I was first drawn to her account because I found it encouraging to follow the fitness journeys of those living in my own community. After a few weeks of following and loving her content, it was easy to understand why more than 13,000 others do too. It’s about more than pictures of her conquering complicated poses in pretty places, bragging about getting in the latest workout or eating clean one hundred percent of the time. Her account is all about spreading positive energy with each modern and cleanly styled capture.
Emily tells me she started her fitness account on Instagram about six months ago as a creative outlet. She says she’s always been passionate about health and wellness and wanted the focus to be on fitting fitness into a normal lifestyle rather than forcing a life around an unrealistic training schedule. Just two short months ago she posted this:
“People have asked why I made this account and I’ll tell you it wasn’t to get 6,000 followers. I love fitness, I love people and I love chasing my dreams alongside people chasing theirs. I’ve experienced both the destruction and the power of love and know for a fact that we all need more of it. If I can fill even the tiniest of love voids I will die happy. I’m a firm believer in the power of community and the power that each of us has to make a difference in someone’s life, and I love you for being a part of mine.”
Since then, her following has more than doubled. More than that, she’s gained a community of like-minded people who she inspires and who inspire her. But like many things we scroll through on the screen it can be easy to get caught up in a social media highlight reel. Emily drew inspiration from all of the love and support and created something that goes beyond the squares of her page. She started the new year with a new movement. In January, she launched Limitless. A white cotton tank top makes it tangible, a piece of clothing that goes beyond the four corners of the photos on her page. The tanks are made by a friend who does screen printing in Minneapolis and the look is in keeping with her simplistic style, but the meaning behind the one word etched in black across the front is anything but simple:
Emily says the powerful word sums up the message she wants to share with women everywhere. The movement, #LimitlessTogether, is calling on all women to rise up and challenge society’s definition of beauty.
WARMTH - VOL 2, NO. 1 - 2017 35
Emily hopes to encourage women to ditch what has become a misconstrued definition of beauty and embrace who they are and their desire to grow. She also wants them to understand that their “better” doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s, or be about looks at all. “Not only through pushing our bodies, but through pushing each other we can inspire and ignite change—to pursue a life without limits,” which it says right on the about page of her website. Emily told me it’s a message she had to remind herself of when she was inspired with the idea. She had to fight the fear of receiving negative feedback. Ultimately, she decided to take the mentality she does in her workouts—you can’t grow as a person if you’re not willing to be uncomfortable on occasion. From something she doodled in a Word document to a tank she’s personally mailing to dozens of women around the country, Emily hopes the tanks—which have sold as far as London—will be a conversation starter, a tool for women to spread support for one another. Emily told me the order that has stood out most so far is a mother who asked if the tanks came in toddler sizes. She was inspired by the message and wanted each of her two daughters to have one.
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They settled on an extra small and that, for now, they’d be dresses! Emily said seeing a mother empowering her daughters at a young age is exactly the kind of strength she wants to see shared. Emily hopes her Instagram account and Limitless will help bring some recognition to Minnesota. She explains that oftentimes the accounts with large followings are from New York or California, but she wants to put our state on the Instagram map too. Much like her mantra, Emily has no boundaries placed on where this movement will go. Right now the cost of the tanks is covering the funding she put in, but Emily would eventually like to donate a portion of proceeds. Emily would also like to feature the stories of women who become part of the movement on her blog. One day, she envisions women gathering as part of a unified Limitless movement. She says she wants to use her platform to encourage a community of strength through the sharing of sweaty workout sessions and words of encouragement filled with warmth and compassion.
Minnesota Creatives ...
Share Your Story With Us! Recent Online Feature: Danielle Sakry started on her career path by studying law, focused on social justice and human rights as a way of helping others. And while the goals were important to her, the path she was taking to reach them, was not. After deciding to take some time to travel, she realized that using her creativity and sharing her love of new experiences was extremely important to her. She wanted to create something beautiful that helped women, just like herself, feel effortlessly foxy, confident and understated without losing their sense of adventure and authenticity. In creating Danielle Sakry handbags, she wants to design accessible luxury and create accessories that are as hard working, spontaneous, and free spirited. While her brand continuously evolves and improves, her values stay strong. She seeks to help women feel effortlessly on point everyday of her adventurous life by creating bags that are of the highest quality and that stand out in a crowd. Danielleâ€™s handbags are handcrafted one bag at a time. She currently does every stitch, pattern, and painted edge. Every piece takes hours upon hours, until finished with the highest craftsmanship and quality. As an admitted, yet reluctant perfectionist, things take time with Danielle. A lot of time. In her eyes, sheâ€™d rather create a bag with longevity and years of use than cut corners. Read full story online at www.makeitmn.com/danielle-sakry
Join Other Makers Like Danielle Across The State - Submit Online At: www.makeitmn.com/creatives
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Subscribe Today! We create a magazine that shares the stories of makers and innovators spanning our great northern state. As we feature bold and inspiring Minnesotans—from craftsman to beekeepers, artists to farmers, brewers to foodies—we’re here to build a timeless collection of tales from each region across the state. We aim to strengthen and promote sustainable, beautiful, altruistic, unique, and creative communities. We are so proud to share our one-of-a-kind Minnesota magazine with you.
www.makeitmn.com/subscribe 38 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jan/Feb 2017)