Tag Archives: Seward Redesign

Tour of 904-30th Avenue at 5:00 p.m. Today

 Map to the site: http://g.co/maps/wb7qd

Hi all,

Note the available tour of a house that Seward Redesign bought and is in the process of fixing up.   This is a house that was a perennial problem and deteriorated for many years and is now just beginning renovation.  See note below.

The next tour to see progress will be on April 2 at the same time. The tour today will give people a baseline for comparison.

Thanks,

 

Kerry Cashman, Community Coordinator

Seward Neighborhood Group

2323 E. Franklin Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55406

612-338-6205, x119  Continue reading

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Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success

Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success
Shabelle Deli, 2325 E. Franklin Ave.
By Dave Madsen

If you happened to walk down Franklin Avenue on the afternoon of Sunday, May 15, you may have noticed a few things out of the ordinary. If you followed the signs and smell of delicious food, you may have had the chance to have lunch at Shabelle Deli (2619 E. Franklin Ave.) for the Bringing Neighbors Together Cultural Fair.

The fair, a joint collaboration between Shabelle Deli, Gargar Clinic and Urgent Care Pharmacy, the Sierra Club Seward Redesign, the Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG), the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA), the Seward Co-op, drew in well over a hundred people to Shabelle’s space and attendees had the chance to sample the restaurant’s food while they mingled with one another.

The intention of the fair, as described by its lead organizer, Redesign intern Tayo Yokoi, was to “build awareness of the East African culture that resides here in Seward” and “bring awareness of the opportunities for business owners and residents to get involved on a local level.”

In addition to the variety of food provided by Shabelle Deli, attendees had the chance to have their faces painted by resident and Pizza Luce employee Erik Riese. Also, many of those who attended the event chose to decorate their skin with henna tattoos by Angela Skrade of Ancient Traditions Mendhi.

After people filled themselves with injera and other African delicacies, Tayo Yokoi, Katya Pilling (of Redesign), and Abdur Omer Hassen Ismaiel (owner of Shabelle) thanked everyone who showed up. Attendees then waited in anticipation as Tayo and a few volunteers drew names for the raffle. Once the raffle was over, people continued to filter in and out of Shabelle’s space. From looking at the various locations that people and their ancestors come from on the Where are you from? map, it’s clear that this event indeed brought global and local neighbors together.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Feeding the Neighborhood, One Bus at a Time

Feeding the Neighborhood, One Bus at a Time
Sisters Camelot, 2310 Snelling Ave
by Dave Madsen

According to Mary Story’s 2008 article “Creating Healthy Food and Eating Environments: Policy and Environmental Approaches” in The Annual Review of Public Health, a food desert is an urban area in which access to healthy, organic food is limited to certain communities. These communities are therefore systematically underprivileged and left without proper nourishment. Additionally, these food deserts have the potential to create a generation of people who have no idea where their food comes from, much less the value of fresh produce.

Sister’s Camelot (2310 Snelling Ave. S.) aims to revolutionize the food systems of Minneapolis by regularly distributing organic produce to those who work and live in low-income neighborhoods. The collective’s intentions include building an ecologically-focused Minneapolis that is devoted to long-term sustainability, promoting a responsible global economic system by encouraging “cooperation between local autonomous communities,” and dealing away with the barriers and oppression associated with our society’s structure of dominance and subordinance.

In 1995, Jeff Borowiak and five others started giving away free food from a converted school bus. Their Seattle-based operation was then named Sister’s Camelot in 1997 after he and his partner read The Mists of Avalon. In the story, the term “Sisters’ Camelot” refers to a place that exists without the rule of an oppressive patriarchy. Borowiak adopted the phrase and applied it to his operation as Sisters’ Camelot subtly “resists the dominant paradigm.”

Clay Hans, a member of the collective, said that Sister’s Camelot receives about 8,000 pounds of produce on a weekly basis from Co-op Partners and Albert’s Organics. The food that the collective receives ranges from prepackaged whole foods, to bulk or overstocked foods, to food that is close to its marked expiration date. Once the bus has been loaded, volunteers and the food share committee distribute food to randomly-selected low-income neighborhoods. The boxes used to store the food are then recycled and the remaining food is composted in local community gardens.

But Sisters’ Camelot’s food share program is only a third of its entire operation. In addition to sharing free organic produce with Minneapolis, the collective owns a community garden on 5th Ave. from which the cooks in the kitchen bus use herbs for their meals during the warm months. Sister’s Camelot also provides other community gardens with materials for rich compost for local gardeners. As if that weren’t enough, the kitchen bus has recently started distributing meals alongside the food share vehicles and, according to Hans, the operation has a promising future.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Church Plants its Roots in Seward

Church Plants its Roots in Seward
Seward Church, 2011 21st Avenue South
by Dave Madsen

Imagine walking into your grandmother’s attic and sifting through the endless piles of dusty junk to find a rare painting by a world-renowned artist. The surface of the painting is caked with filth and cobwebs, but underneath the crusty layer of dirt and mold is a masterpiece of vibrant color. This is how David Modder, pastor at Seward Church, describes the responsibility of the church in Western society: to help people see behind the years of corruption and appreciate the beauty of community and worship.

Modder’s relationship with religion stemmed from his upbringing in the church. For a great deal of time, Modder’s entire worldview was centered around Christianity; however, after a tough career experience, his worldview shifted and he was forced to consider what was truly important to his life as a person of faith. From that experience, Modder started Seward Church with a core focus on Jesus and a concentration on community.

Initially, Seward Church’s congregation consisted of only two families in the neighborhood. Since that time, though, Modder and Seward Church have reached out to the surrounding community and their membership has jumped significantly. Modder credits the growth to the church’s intentional outreach to the Seward community and its surrounding neighbors. For an example of how the church extends its hand to the community, Modder said that Seward Church opens its doors on a regular basis for meals and musical performances.

Another way that Seward Church promotes civic engagement is its involvement with the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA). Modder and members of the congregation attend the SCCA’s membership on a monthly basis, and Modder also reported that he feels welcome in the association as his goals as a church representative are very similar to other business owners’ intentions: to promote a sense of togetherness in the business community and to create a neighborhood environment that welcomes all.

Peace is a driving force that motivates much of Seward Church’s effort in the area and Modder said that the church accomplishes that by striving for justice, passion, and creativity in its work. In addition to the Friday night worship services, Modder said that the congregation coordinates regular small group meetings in the church space, as well as in the homes of certain families. While the large congregations on Friday evenings feel more like “family reunions,” Modder said that the small gatherings of people are where people can “take their masks off” and worship together.

In regard to the future, Modder envisions Seward Church to continue to reach out to everyone in the community, as well as to provide a resource for people who need access to space and/or a place to worship. Seward Church’s space, according to Modder, is multi-functional and can host anything from neighborhood meetings to Radiohead cover bands. Modder said that he would also like to see the Seward Church become more sustainable in the future.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Additional Information on the 26th Avenue Bikeway

This spring, Hennepin County is planning to add on-street bike lanes to 26th Avenue (County Road 48) from the Midtown Greenway to Franklin Avenue. The changes will be accomplished by adjusting the striping for the parking and through lanes to provide two new 5-foot wide bike lanes – no changes will be made to the existing on-street parking. Representatives from the county and the city will present the proposed striping layout to the Seward Neighborhood Group’s Community Development Committee at their meeting on May 10th (Matthews Park Community Center, 7 pm).

Here is the PDF file of the proposed layout for your information. 

Katya Pilling 

Associate Director
Seward Redesign
2619 E. Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-435-0276