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Tour: Community Cultural Anchors: Neighborhood Foodways

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Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:45 am--12:00 pm

Scott Pollock (American Swedish Institute), leader

Minnesota has been, and continues to be among the top immigrant resettlement states in this country and viewed by many as a model for how resettlement can succeed. The vitality of cultures and traditions, born out of their origin countries and sustained in communities and neighborhoods these cultures settle, is evidenced in the culturally diverse and vibrant Phillips Neighborhood in Minneapolis. Waves of immigration have shaped the storefronts, streetscapes and cultural expressions, starting with German and Irish, later Swedish and Norwegian and now Mexican, Hmong, Somali and Ojibwe and Dakota nations migrating from rural areas of the state to Minneapolis’ city center. Our cafes and markets are filled with creative, entrepreneurial newcomers, many who learn from each other, live side by side, and support each other.

This tour offers an opportunity to experience three cultural anchors in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis through an exploration of foodways and cultural centers that support the ongoing continuity of cultural traditions and expression.

The Minnesota Transportation Museum will provide vintage city buses that once operated in Minneapolis, with stops starting at the American Swedish Institute, a vibrant arts and cultural center that has been the epicenter of the Nordic-American community since it was founded in 1929. Participants will enjoy fika, the culturally appropriated daily break (both a noun and verb), traditionally involving coffee, pastries and conversation, as expressed in a 21st century New Nordic café.

Participants will then bus a few blocks away to the original home of the Somali Museum of Minnesota, the Bright Moon Café, where they’ll enjoy shaah (Somali tea) and hear stories from the Museum’s passionate founder, Osman Ali, who has made the Somali museum a household name in both Minneapolis’ vibrant arts and cultural sector, as well as a community staple for the East African community.

Participants will then reboard the mid-century bus to drive to All My Relations Gallery and café, Pow Wow Grounds, a cultural fixture in Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor and home to the Native American Community Development Institute.

Each stop will include unique coffee/tea and pastry favorites and a short overview of how these cultural anchors continue to serve their communities. Participants will discover how foodway traditions have been sustained, traditions adapted, and cultural expressions have been shaped by the movement of cultural groups in and out of this Minneapolis neighborhood.

Transportation, food and beverage included.

The tour bus will pick up and drop off at the main entrance of the Marriott City Center.

Photo: Mini cinnamon buns and coffee. Photo jirkaejc/123RF.

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