Green Minneapolis announces The Commons 2017 Summer Season

Today Green Minneapolis announced The Commons 2017 Summer Season of programming and events. Green Minneapolis is under contract with the City of Minneapolis to operate, maintain, and program the new 4.2 acre downtown green space.

Mayor Betsy Hodges said, “The Commons is a warm and inviting place for everyone to enjoy in downtown Minneapolis. I’m very excited to see this transformative public space became even more dynamic this summer with a wide range of activities that will appeal to a large cross section of the community.”

The nonprofit conservancy Green Minneapolis partnered with several local organizations to create programming that is meant to attract daily visitors to the destination park, engage users with a variety of interests, and showcase the work of organizations and performers from across the Twin Cities.

Daily amenities include an Imagination Playground, a large building block set for children, umbrellas for shade, table tennis, reading and games carts.

Free recurring programs include children’s story time with local authors, musical performances with MacPhail Center for Music, fitness classes with Fly Feet Running, and a weekly evening Mill City Farmers Market. (Full 2017 Summer Season listings below.)

Under a new ordinance passed by the City Council spearheaded by Council Member Jacob Frey, visitors to The Commons can bring and consume alcoholic beverages during designated events. The first event will be a film screening on June 29.

“Bring a picnic blanket, a pastrami sandwich, and a bottle of wine, and we’ll see ya there,” Frey said. While restricted to a limited number of events this year, Green Minneapolis is excited to facilitate this sort of social recreation at The Commons.

The Commons is also a site for events produced by others, including the X Games, which comes to U.S. Bank Stadium and The Commons in mid-July, and Vikings home game activations.

These programs are intended to draw not only neighbors but also people from the greater community and region. “It is important that The Commons be engaging for everyone. Parks and green spaces are one of the few places where people from diverse backgrounds still come together as a community to recreate and have fun. We are committed to making The Commons our city’s ‘common ground’,” said David Wilson, board chair of Green Minneapolis.

“There has been a lot of interest in activating The Commons,” said Beth Shogren, executive director of Green Minneapolis. “We are grateful for the sponsors and in kind partnerships that have made this level of programming possible. Programming and activation are essential to the operations of The Commons, to create the active and engaging destination park envisioned by City leaders. Sponsorships and donations are needed to develop a sustainable operating model for the future.”

Event updates will be available throughout the season on The Commons website www.commonsmpls.com, or via The Commons social media channels, @commonsmpls.

The 2017 Summer Season is just the start. In the future, Green Minneapolis will work toward more robust programming, further tailor events to community desires, and produce more events unique to Minneapolis.

The Commons is also available for private events; if interested please contact events@commonsmpls.com.


The Commons 2017 Summer Season

Daily Amenities – Free and open to the public

• Umbrellas – colorful umbrellas provide shade at amenity areas and within program rooms.

• Games Cart – a variety of favorite lawn and board games, including Corn Hole, ladder ball, bocce, chess, checkers, Connect Four, etc. Available free of charge, to borrow from our games cart.
o Produced by The Commons
o Daily: Opens June 1
o 10am – 8pm
o Location: East Block

• Reading cart – Explore best sellers and titles from local publishers as well as daily newspapers, available for use in the park. Make The Commons your stop over lunch to read up on news.
o Produced by The Commons
o Sponsor: With support from Bond & Devick Wealth Partners
o Daily: Opens June 1
o 8am – 8pm
o Location: 4th Street side of West Block

• Ping Pong – Challenge your friends, family and colleagues to a game. Free paddles and balls available for use in the park.
o Produced by The Commons
o Daily: Opens June 1
o 10am – 8pm
o Location: East Block

• Public Art Installation – Orbacles by MINN_LAB is presented as part of the City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge. The winning submission by MINN_LAB addresses how climate change affects birdlife in Minnesota, and launches in conjunction with the Northern Spark Festival June 10.
o Partner Event: The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis and Northern Lights.mn
o Daily: June 10 – July 31
o 6am – 10pm
o Location: West Block


Series – Free and open to the public

• Kubb Lessons – Learn how to play Kubb, the Swedish lawn game described as “a combination of bowling and horseshoes”. Lessons provided by the St. Paul Kubb Society. Grab a bite at one of the rotating food trucks featured each class.
o Partner Event: St. Paul Kubb Society
o Wednesdays: June 7 – August 16, 4:45 – 6:45pm
o Excluding July 5 and 12
o Location: Great Lawn on the East Block

• Hip Hop Dance – Join instructors from House of Dance as they demonstrate and teach Breakin’, Popping, House, Krump and other styles of Hip Hop dance. All ages and skill levels welcome.
o Partner Event: House of Dance Twin Cities
o Fridays & Saturdays: July 7, July 8, August 11 & September 8, 5-6pm
o Location: East Block

• Fly Feet HIIT & Run – Train alongside the expert running coaches at Fly Feet Running.
o Partner Event: Fly Feet Running
o Third Thursday of the month: June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, 6-7pm
o Location: East Block

• Silent Disco – The newest dance craze to hit Minnesota; Silent Disco. 3 different DJ’s provide different soundtracks; you choose your favorite via illuminated headphones. Come to participate or just watch the crowd get their boogie on.
o Produced by The Commons
o Fridays, June 16 & August 4, 8-10pm
o Location: TBD

• Summer Extravaplaza – Lunchtime musical performances by MacPhail students.
o Partner Event: MacPhail Center for Music
o Fridays: June 23, June 30, July 21 & July 28, 12-1pm
o Location: Good Lawn of the West Block

• Spoken Word Workshops – Express yourself through poetry and performance in sessions led by teaching artists from TruArtSpeaks. Kids and teens welcome.
o Partner Event: TruArtSpeaks
o Fourth Monday of the month: June 26, July 24, August 28 & September 25, 4-6pm
o Location: West Block at reading cart

• Sing Play Learn – Early Childhood music teachers engage people young and old in these fun music events. Toot your horn and bang your drum to the beat.
o Partner Event: MacPhail Center for Music
o Last Thursday of the month: June 29, July 27 & August 31, 1-2pm
o Location: Good Lawn of the West Block

• Film Festival – A series of 4 festive movie nights, with a large format LED screen to enable easy viewing before sundown. Scheduled films to be announced, but will include popular titles as well as features by local filmmakers. This Commons-Produced event is the first ever designated as a BYO event, enabling patrons to bring and consume their own wine or beer in the park. Settle in for an evening of film with friends and a picnic.
o Produced by The Commons
o Thursdays: June 29, July 27, August 10 & August 24, 7pm+
o Designated BYO Event

• Mill City Farmers Market – A new night farmers market in partnership with Mill City Farmers Market. Pick up farm fresh, organic produce and local artisan foods for an easy weeknight meal. Prepared food vendors will be cooking up seasonal recipes all evening, so come hungry, stay, listen to live music and have a picnic supper in The Commons!
o Partner Event: Mill City Farmers Market
o Tuesdays: July 18 – September 26, 3:30 – 7:30 pm
o Location: East Block

• Bike with a Ranger – Hop on your own bike, or grab a Nice Ride to take a tour with a National Park Service Ranger. Tour the neighborhoods and learn more about flora and fauna, the Mississippi River or a variety of topics.
o Partner Event: Mississippi Park Connection & the National Park Service
o Saturdays: August 5, September 16 & October 21, 10-11:30am
o Location: Meet at NiceRide – 4th Street and Portland Avenue


Single Events – Free and open to the public

• Storytime with Nancy Carlson: I Like Me & Sometimes You Barf. – Sunday children’s literary feature.
o Produced by The Commons
o Sunday, June 4, 11am – 12pm
o Location: West Block at reading cart

• Northern Spark – Free all night art festival. Start your evening at The Commons, and then continue on to view more than 70 art installations at sites along the Green Line.
o Produced by Northern Lights.mn in partnership with The Commons
o See https://2017.northernspark.org/ for more information
o Saturday, June 10, 8:59pm – 5:26am
o Location: Both blocks
o Portland Avenue closed

• German Student Orchestra Performance
o Partner Event: Kreisjugund Orchester
o Monday, June 12, 6 – 7pm
o Location: East Block

• Lit Community Potluck – A literary picnic lunch, celebrating the Twin Cities Literary Calendar and highlighting upcoming author events.
o Partner Event: Rain Taxi
o Saturday, June 17, 12 – 2pm
o Location West Block at reading cart

• Storytime with John Coy & Wing Young Huie: Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land. – Where does your family come from? We’ll talk about the process behind the creation of Coy & Young Huie’s award-winning book, our own arrival stories, and create our own family trees.
o Produced by The Commons
o Sunday, June 18, 11am-12pm
o Location: West Block at reading cart

• Make Music Day Twin Cities – Stroll through The Commons and enjoy a series of performances by local musicians.
o Partner Event: Make Music Day Twin Cities
o Wednesday, June 21, 7 – 8pm
o Location: Both blocks

• Aquatennial Yoga with CorePower Yoga presented by Go Outside with Hennepin County
o Partner Event: Aquatennial
o Friday, July 21, 5:30-6:30pm
o Location: East Block

• Storytime & Sing-A-Long with Trisha Speed Shaskan and Stephen Shaskan: Punk Skunks and Q & Ray: Case #1 The Missing Mola Lisa (Early Release). – Sunday children’s literary feature.
o Produced by The Commons
o Sunday, August 13, 11am – 12pm
o Location: West Block at reading cart


External Events (thru September)

• Badass Dash – Badass Dash is an obstacle course challenge and endurance race offered to competitors of all levels in multiple divisions. Programming in The Commons and within US Bank Stadium.
o See https://www.usbankstadium.com/events/detail/badass-dash for more information.
o June 3
o Time: 8:00am
o Open to the public; Ticketed
o Location: East Block

• X Games Concerts – In conjunction with the nationally televised X Games competition, ESPN will produce a concert series in The Commons.
o Acts: A Day to Remember, Flume, Atmosphere
o Produced by ESPN
o See http://xgames.espn.com/xgames/minneapolis/ for more information
o June 14 at 10:45pm, June 15 at 10:45pm, and June 16 at 5:30pm
o Open to the public; Ticketed
o Location: Both blocks
o Portland Avenue closed

• Vikings Activations – Enjoy free family fun activities provided by the Minnesota Vikings on home game days. Inflatables, music, food trucks, and more.
o August 27 (pre-season), August 31 (pre-season), September 11, September 24, October 1, October 15, October 22, November 19,          [December activations TBD]


About Green Minneapolis
Green Minneapolis is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 multi-project conservancy, established to advance the vitality of downtown Minneapolis through parks, greening and activation. Green Minneapolis engages in strategic public, private and philanthropic partnerships to advance the common goal of creating a vibrant public realm. www.greenminneapolis.org

About The Commons
The Commons is a new 4.2 acre public green space in downtown Minneapolis. The Commons was designed as a place for respite, everyday activities, and events for residents, workers, and visitors. www.commonsmpls.com @commonsmpls