robertogreco + minneapolis   18

Field Experience
"Field Experience is an organization dedicated to the cultivation of curiosity and creativity through inquiry and the art of exploration."

"Field Experience was founded by Minneapolis-based designer and researcher Julka Almquist. She has 15 years of experience as an ethnographer and design researcher. While working at IDEO she found that people were profoundly impacted by the inspiration phase of research, and that exploring the world was far more transformational than sitting in an office giving presentations. Since then, she has grown passionate about the art of exploration and how it can heighten curiosity and creativity. She holds a PhD at the intersection of design and anthropology from the University of California, Irvine, and has taught at Art Center College of Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Julka collaborates with an extraordinary team of experts to craft learning experiences. Explore with us: hello@fieldexperience.co"

[See also:

https://www.instagram.com/field_experience/

"Reading List"
https://fieldexperience.co/readinglist

""Landscape: An Education Program"
https://fieldexperience.co/programs

"Throughout 2019, we are curating an experience-based learning program in Minneapolis/St. Paul called Landscape. We will be exploring creativity through a variety of events situated within our natural landscape. Project support provided by the Visual Arts Fund, administered by Midway Contemporary Art with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.

We are partnering with local and international artists, designers, naturalists, and biologists to craft experiences for our community. The monthly programs will be free and open to the public. We have an events calendar with programming updates, and a reading list where we post articles, chapters and other forms of inspiration to accompany the programs.

Our programs are grounded in the following ideas:

Local Landscape
We have increasingly been asking questions about how our relationship to the natural world influences our creativity. We aim to expand creative practice through new ways of engaging with our local landscape, and in particular with plants. Our programming will be shaped in response to the changing seasons.

Place-Based Pedagogy
One of the fundamental goals of this program is to build community in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and to foster a deeper connection to place through creative learning experiences. We acknowledge the history of place, and that we are working on Dakota and Ojibwe land.

Experiential and Sensorial Inquiry
The modes of inquiry for the program are embodied, experienced-based, and multi-sensory. We encourage everyone to get out of their offices, studios, and classrooms and into the world. In order to engage the senses, the workshops and events will primarily be outdoors, with the exception of the deep winter months when our extreme climate brings us indoors.

Creative Experimentation
Many of our programs will offer an opportunity for making. We want to encourage people to make things that may not be central to their practice and to push the boundaries of creative experimentation. We also hope that the experiences and discussions are transformational and inspire new possibilities for creative practice."]
lcproject  openstudioproject  local  place  experience  experientiallearning  learning  education  landscape  pedagogy  place-based  senses  via:jenksbyjenks  julkaalmquist  minnesota  minneapolis  ethnography  sensoryethnography  design  anthropology  place-basededucation  place-basedlearning  place-basedpedagogy 
may 2019 by robertogreco
Why the Economic Fates of America’s Cities Diverged - The Atlantic
"What accounts for these anomalous and unpredicted trends? The first explanation many people cite is the decline of the Rust Belt, and certainly that played a role."



"Another conventional explanation is that the decline of Heartland cities reflects the growing importance of high-end services and rarified consumption."



"Another explanation for the increase in regional inequality is that it reflects the growing demand for “innovation.” A prominent example of this line of thinking comes from the Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti, whose 2012 book, The New Geography of Jobs, explains the increase in regional inequality as the result of two new supposed mega-trends: markets offering far higher rewards to “innovation,” and innovative people increasingly needing and preferring each other’s company."



"What, then, is the missing piece? A major factor that has not received sufficient attention is the role of public policy. Throughout most of the country’s history, American government at all levels has pursued policies designed to preserve local control of businesses and to check the tendency of a few dominant cities to monopolize power over the rest of the country. These efforts moved to the federal level beginning in the late 19th century and reached a climax of enforcement in the 1960s and ’70s. Yet starting shortly thereafter, each of these policy levers were flipped, one after the other, in the opposite direction, usually in the guise of “deregulation.” Understanding this history, largely forgotten today, is essential to turning the problem of inequality around.

Starting with the country’s founding, government policy worked to ensure that specific towns, cities, and regions would not gain an unwarranted competitive advantage. The very structure of the U.S. Senate reflects a compromise among the Founders meant to balance the power of densely and sparsely populated states. Similarly, the Founders, understanding that private enterprise would not by itself provide broadly distributed postal service (because of the high cost of delivering mail to smaller towns and far-flung cities), wrote into the Constitution that a government monopoly would take on the challenge of providing the necessary cross-subsidization.

Throughout most of the 19th century and much of the 20th, generations of Americans similarly struggled with how to keep railroads from engaging in price discrimination against specific areas or otherwise favoring one town or region over another. Many states set up their own bureaucracies to regulate railroad fares—“to the end,” as the head of the Texas Railroad Commission put it, “that our producers, manufacturers, and merchants may be placed on an equal footing with their rivals in other states.” In 1887, the federal government took over the task of regulating railroad rates with the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Railroads came to be regulated much as telegraph, telephone, and power companies would be—as natural monopolies that were allowed to remain in private hands and earn a profit, but only if they did not engage in pricing or service patterns that would add significantly to the competitive advantage of some regions over others.

Passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 was another watershed moment in the use of public policy to limit regional inequality. The antitrust movement that sprung up during the Populist and Progressive era was very much about checking regional concentrations of wealth and power. Across the Midwest, hard-pressed farmers formed the “Granger” movement and demanded protection from eastern monopolists controlling railroads, wholesale-grain distribution, and the country’s manufacturing base. The South in this era was also, in the words of the historian C. Vann Woodward, in a “revolt against the East” and its attempts to impose a “colonial economy.”"



"By the 1960s, antitrust enforcement grew to proportions never seen before, while at the same time the broad middle class grew and prospered, overall levels of inequality fell dramatically, and midsize metro areas across the South, the Midwest, and the West Coast achieved a standard of living that converged with that of America’s historically richest cites in the East. Of course, antitrust was not the only cause of the increase in regional equality, but it played a much larger role than most people realize today.

To get a flavor of how thoroughly the federal government managed competition throughout the economy in the 1960s, consider the case of Brown Shoe Co., Inc. v. United States, in which the Supreme Court blocked a merger that would have given a single distributor a mere 2 percent share of the national shoe market.

Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren explained that the Court was following a clear and long-established desire by Congress to keep many forms of business small and local: “We cannot fail to recognize Congress’ desire to promote competition through the protection of viable, small, locally owned business. Congress appreciated that occasional higher costs and prices might result from the maintenance of fragmented industries and markets. It resolved these competing considerations in favor of decentralization. We must give effect to that decision.”

In 1964, the historian and public intellectual Richard Hofstadter would observe that an “antitrust movement” no longer existed, but only because regulators were managing competition with such effectiveness that monopoly no longer appeared to be a realistic threat. “Today, anybody who knows anything about the conduct of American business,” Hofstadter observed, “knows that the managers of the large corporations do their business with one eye constantly cast over their shoulders at the antitrust division.”

In 1966, the Supreme Court blocked a merger of two supermarket chains in Los Angeles that, had they been allowed to combine, would have controlled just 7.5 percent of the local market. (Today, by contrast there are nearly 40 metro areas in the U.S where Walmart controls half or more of all grocery sales.) Writing for the majority, Justice Harry Blackmun noted the long opposition of Congress and the Court to business combinations that restrained competition “by driving out of business the small dealers and worthy men.”

During this era, other policy levers, large and small, were also pulled in the same direction—such as bank regulation, for example. Since the Great Recession, America has relearned the history of how New Deal legislation such as the Glass-Steagall Act served to contain the risks of financial contagion. Less well remembered is how New Deal-era and subsequent banking regulation long served to contain the growth of banks that were “too big to fail” by pushing power in the banking system out to the hinterland. Into the early 1990s, federal laws severely limited banks headquartered in one state from setting up branches in any other state. State and federal law fostered a dense web of small-scale community banks and locally operated thrifts and credit unions.

Meanwhile, bank mergers, along with mergers of all kinds, faced tough regulatory barriers that included close scrutiny of their effects on the social fabric and political economy of local communities. Lawmakers realized that levels of civic engagement and community trust tended to decline in towns that came under the control of outside ownership, and they resolved not to let that happen in their time.

In other realms, too, federal policy during the New Deal and for several decades afterward pushed strongly to spread regional equality. For example, New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Rural Electrification Administration dramatically improved the infrastructure of the South and West. During and after World War II, federal spending on the military and the space program also tilted heavily in the Sunbelt’s favor.

The government’s role in regulating prices and levels of service in transportation was also a huge factor in promoting regional equality. In 1952, the Interstate Commerce Commission ordered a 10-percent reduction in railroad freight rates for southern shippers, a political decision that played a substantial role in enabling the South’s economic ascent after the war. The ICC and state governments also ordered railroads to run money-losing long-distance and commuter passenger trains to ensure that far-flung towns and villages remained connected to the national economy.

Into the 1970s, the ICC also closely regulated trucking routes and prices so they did not tilt in favor of any one region. Similarly, the Civil Aeronautics Board made sure that passengers flying to and from small and midsize cities paid roughly the same price per mile as those flying to and from the largest cities. It also required airlines to offer service to less populous areas even when such routes were unprofitable.

Meanwhile, massive public investments in the interstate-highway system and other arterial roads added enormously to regional equality. First, it vastly increased the connectivity of rural areas to major population centers. Second, it facilitated the growth of reasonably priced suburban housing around high-wage metro areas such as New York and Los Angeles, thus making it much more possible than it is now for working-class people to move to or remain in those areas.

Beginning in the late 1970s, however, nearly all the policy levers that had been used to push for greater regional income equality suddenly reversed direction. The first major changes came during Jimmy Carter’s administration. Fearful of inflation, and under the spell of policy entrepreneurs such as Alfred Kahn, Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978. This abolished the Civil Aeronautics Board, which had worked to offer rough regional parity in airfares and levels of service since 1938… [more]
us  cities  policy  economics  history  inequality  via:robinsonmeyer  2016  philliplongman  regulation  deregulation  capitalism  trusts  antitrustlaw  mergers  competition  markets  banks  finance  ronaldreagan  corporatization  intellectualproperty  patents  law  legal  equality  politics  government  rentseeking  innovation  acquisitions  antitrustenforcement  income  detroit  nyc  siliconvalley  technology  banking  peterganong  danielshoag  1950s  1960s  1970s  1980s  1990s  greatdepression  horacegreely  chicago  denver  cleveland  seattle  atlanta  houston  saltlakecity  stlouis  enricomoretti  shermanantitrustact  1890  cvannwoodward  woodrowwilson  1912  claytonantitrustact  louisbrandeis  federalreserve  minneapolis  kansascity  robinson-patmanact  1920s  1930s  miller-tydingsact  fdr  celler-kefauveract  emanuelceller  huberhumphrey  earlwarren  richardhofstadter  harryblackmun  newdeal  interstatecommercecommission  jimmycarter  alfredkahn  airlinederegulationact  1978  memphis  cincinnati  losangeles  airlines  transportation  rail  railroads  1980  texas  florida  1976  amazon  walmart  r 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Economist: The siren song of ISIS – Why young Somalis try to join Islamic State | Somalia Online
"Somalis feel targeted both by the extremists, who lure away their children, and by non-Muslim Americans, who suspect them of terrorism, says Jaylani Hussein of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota. They are especially fearful of CVE [Countering Violent Extremism], which they think will amount to a giant spying operation camouflaged as social services. Mr Stanek agrees that “countering violent extremism” sounds confrontational—but he would happily take the promised federal funds and expand his community-engagement team from six members to twelve"
somalia  isis  somalis  us  minneapolis  poverty  economics  2015 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Which is the cleanest city in the world? | Cities | The Guardian
"Fines, public humiliation and citizen action – every city has a different way of dealing with urban cleanliness. But is it community clean-ups or strict municipal laws that have the most success in making a city spotless?"



"There are less punitive ways to be clean and tidy, however. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, seems to have achieved a clean and litter-free environment without the threat of harsh fines. Not on any of Mercer’s lists, modern Kigali isn’t exactly beautiful. It rises up on a tree-covered slope and is mainly built of concrete, but the level of upkeep is extraordinary.

Indeed, the city’s roundabouts are so well-swept and the grass so well-maintained that wedding couples sprint across the traffic to be photographed in the middle of them. Unusually, this has been achieved not through punishment, but by the principle of Umuganda. This word has many meanings relating to “community” and “payment”, and dates back before Rwanda was part of Belgium’s African empire.

In the 19th century, a number visitors recorded that Rwandans were required to work two days a week for their community leader and during Belgian rule Umuganda was encouraged as a way of bolstering civic responsibility. In the years before the 1994 genocide, President Juvénal Habyarimana emphasised it as part of his concept of “true” Rwandan identity. “True Rwandans” provided free labour for state-led projects like school building, road works, the construction of sanitation facilities and digging of anti-erosion ditches. Unfortunately Habyarimana’s true Rwandans, by extension, also belonged to the Hutu tribe, and Umuganda eventually became caught up in ideas of racial purity.

After taking office in 2000, President Paul Kagame harnessed Umuganda to help clean up his gun and shell-strewn capital, as well as to promote the idea of a cohesive national identity through communal projects. Under Kagame, Umuganda was formalised as a collective event on the last Saturday in each month when traffic – including airport taxis – is stopped for three hours in the morning, and the city comes together to tidy up. This can be problematic if you have a flight to catch. This day is called umunsi w’umuganda (contribution made by the community) and all able-bodied people between the ages of 18 and 65 are required by law to participate. The knock-on effect of such conscientious cleaning up is, of course, that people are less inclined to drop litter in the first place."



"So, if Singapore is proof that cleanliness can be achieved by legislation, Kigali and Dar es Salaam are definitely proof that motivation and communal spirit can work as well. Calgary, on the other hand, falls somewhere between the two. It’s also the least interesting of the three cities to visit – but that’s a whole other list.

Finally one has to ask, does it matter? Last year a Ugandan looking at Kigali told me wistfully that Kampala used to be as pristine as Kigali: “Why can’t we keep our capital clean and tidy anymore?”

So, if you live there I think it matters, very much."
cities  uban  urbanism  rwanda  umuganda  community  civics  responsibility  civicresponsibility  kigali  kampala  uganda  daressalaam  communalism  communalspirit  tanzania  singapore  via:anabjain  cleanliness  litter  calgary  zurich  adelaide  honolulu  minneapolis  kobe  tidiness  china  paulkagame 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Beats and Rhymes
"Beats & Rhymes was founded in 2007 at the Nellie Stone Johnson Beacons Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Shortly after the program was founded, the YMCA received a grant from Best Buy to fund this new venture. Its purpose was to provide school-age kids the chance to experience making and recording music in a way they could relate to. Each student has to complete their homework in order to participate in the after-school program. It was designed to provide challenging, positive youth and career development opportunities for low income, culturally-diverse youth.

The Beats & Rhymes program has produced and released 8 albums with the various groups it has developed. The NSJ Crew, consisting of just students from Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, was the first group to form. In 2010, the program expanded with the Y.N.RichKids (“Why enrich kids?”) at the North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center where it was able to include kids from many schools around the neighborhood, as well as high school kids. More groups are being developed at Lucy Laney Community School, among many others.

Beats & Rhymes is used as a vehicle to help young people more fully develop their writing, technical, business, academic and social skills. The program uses positive youth development principles and project-based learning to promote leadership skills and cultural tolerance. They teach youth technology skills in the area of music production and engineering.

The mission of Beats & Rhymes is to provide schools and community centers with the knowledge and resources they need to implement their own successful program, and subsequent music group. If you are interested in doing this for your own program, please visit the EDUCATION section."

[See also:

Y.N.RichKids
http://ynrichkids.com/

“My Bike” - Y.N.RichKids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rSH5K5LlE8

“Hot Cheetos & Takis” - Y.N.RichKids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YLy4j8EZIk

“Khaki Pants” - The NSJ Crew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQDN9j_kKV0

“Honor Roll” - The NSJ Crew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8rueZBNkXI

“The Granddaddy” - Y.N.RichKids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtft8dGdBlo ]
minneapolis  arts  education  music  writing  lcproject  openstudioproject  youth  technology  minnesota 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Radio Re-Volt [at the Walker Art Center]
"If the broadcasting power of the most powerful radio station in the Twin Cities is 100,000 watts, we propose a network of microradio transmitters, which can cumulatively match this power. A movement should be set into motion in the spirit of de-centralization and diversity in ownership and programming of the radio waves. Radio Re-Volt! - Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

RADIO RE-VOLT: ONE PERSON .00ONE WATT

Radio Re-Volt
This project seeks to rethink the voltage (who has the power to transmit, who owns this power, how can this power be re-thought, re-formed, re-directed) in order to recover radio as a self-controlled tool and generate diversity in the ownership and programming of the radio waves.

Workshops
There will be a series of free radio workshops held throughout the Twin Cities led by different technicians (media activities, radio aficionados, etc.). Participants will receive and learn how to operate a one milliwatt transmitter and create a personal sculpture to house the electronic equipment The programming for each radio is to be determined by each radio owner-transmitter.

Radio Stations
Each radio transmitter has the potential to become a meeting station, a place for people within their one block (walking or bicycling distance) transmission range to meet and exchange ideas. These stations could generate a different type of community radio--a dialogue between the transmitters and the listeners, and, as a result, generate new identifications and community formations: block by block, house by house, person by person.

Mob-ile Power Stations
Hundreds of mini-FM radio stations can relay and transmit together through this radio network that will be formed throughout the Twin Cities.

Exercise your Communicative Rights: Transmit Now!"

[See also:
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/17_robertsc_radiorevolt/
http://archive.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2004/10/65137 ]
activism  audio  radio  commons  2004  fmradio  jenniferallora  guillermocalzadilla  edg  radiore-volt  minneapolis  minnesota  broadcast  fcc  transmission  twincities  microradios  art 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 208, Louise Erdrich
[From the intro]

"After invariably classifying Erdrich as a Native American ­writer, many reviewers proceed to compare her work to that of William Faulkner or Gabriel García Márquez: Faulkner for her tangled family trees, her ventriloquist skill, and her expansive use of a fictional province no less fully imagined than Yoknapatawpha County; García Márquez for her flirtations with magical realism. But so strange are Erdrich’s narrative rhythms, and so bonded is her language to its subject matter, that it seems just as ­accurate to call hers a genre of one."



"The next day, while Erdrich attended a wedding in Flandreau, South Dakota, her sister took me the remaining two hundred miles to Minneapolis, where, three days later, Erdrich and I reconvened at her bookstore and Native American arts shop, Birchbark Books. Here, Erdrich’s eldest daughter, Persia, decides which children’s books to stock. Taped to most of the shelves are detailed recommendations handwritten by Erdrich herself. An upside-down canoe hangs from the ceiling, suspended between a birch-bark reading loft and a Roman Catholic confessional decorated with sweetgrass rosaries."



"Crowded into a bookshelf beside a worn armchair in the center of the room are the hardbound spiral notebooks in which, in a deeply slanted longhand, Erdrich still writes most of her books—sitting in the chair with a wooden board laid across its arms as a desk."

[Erdrich's words]

"I was a model child. It was the teacher’s mistake I am sure. The box was drawn on the blackboard and the names of misbehaving children were written in it. As I adored my teacher, Miss Smith, I was destroyed to see my name appear. This was just the first of the many humiliations of my youth that I’ve tried to revenge through my writing. I have never fully exorcised shames that struck me to the heart as a child except through written violence, shadowy caricature, and dark jokes."



"My father is my biggest literary influence. Recently I’ve been looking through his letters. He was in the National Guard when I was a child and whenever he left, he would write to me. He wrote letters to me all through college, and we still correspond. His letters, and my mother’s, are one of my life’s treasures.

[Interviewer asks "What are they about?"]

Mushroom hunting. Roman Stoics. American Indian Movement politics. Longfellow. Stamp collecting. Apples. He and my mother have an orchard. He used to talk about how close together meadowlarks sit on fence posts—every seventh fence post. Now, of course, they are rare. When I went off to college, he wrote about the family, but in highly inflated terms, so that whatever my sisters and brothers were doing seemed outrageously funny or tragic. If my mother bought something it would be a cumbersome, dramatic addition to the household, but of course unnecessary. If the dog got into the neighbor’s garbage it would be a saga of canine effort and exertion—and if the police caught the dog it would be a case of grand injustice."



"We are wired to have a period of language opportunity. It is harder to learn languages after the age of eight or ten. In addition, Ojibwe is one of the most difficult languages to learn because its verbs take on an unusual ­array of forms. There’s no masculine or feminine designation to the nouns, but instead they’re qualified as animate or inanimate. The verb form changes ­according to its status as animate or inanimate as well as in regard to ­human relationships. The verbs go on and on. Often when I’m trying to speak Ojibwe my brain freezes. But my daughter is learning to speak it, and that has given me new resolve. Of course, English is a very powerful language, a colonizer’s language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures—its cruelty is its vitality. Ojibwe is taught in colleges, increasingly in immersion programs, but when my grandfather went to government boarding school he wasn’t allowed to speak Ojibwe. Nor were Indian students in Catholic boarding schools, where my mother went, as so many of our family were Catholic."



"Every Catholic is raised to be devout and love the Gospels, but I was spoiled by the Old Testament. I was very young when I started reading, and the Old Testament sucked me in. I was at the age of magical thinking and believed sticks could change to serpents, a voice might speak from a burning bush, angels wrestled with people. After I went to school and started catechism I realized that religion was about rules. I remember staring at a neighbor’s bridal-wreath bush. It bloomed every year but was voiceless. No angels, no parting of the Red River. It all seemed so dull once I realized that nothing spectacular was going to happen.

I’ve come to love the traditional Ojibwe ceremonies, and some rituals, but I hate religious rules. They are usually about controlling women. On Sundays when other people go to wood-and-stone churches, I like to take my daughters into the woods. Or at least work in the garden and be outside. Any god we have is out there. I’d hate to be certain that there was nothing. When it comes to God, I cherish doubt."



"Before coming to Dartmouth, I won a scholarship to an American Legion summer camp and was trapped with the John Birch Society. So I had a strange, brief flirtation with the right. I voted for Richard Nixon. But then Nixon was a hero to a lot of Native people. Despite everything else, he was one of the first presidents to understand anything about American Indians. He effectively ended the policy of termination and set our Nations on the course of self-determination. That had a galvanizing effect in Indian country. So I voted for Nixon and my boyfriend wanted to kill me and I didn’t know why. Why was this so important? Nixon was even running against a South Dakota boy, George McGovern. But McGovern had no understanding of treaty rights, and I also thought I was voting in accordance with my father, because he kept saying George this, George that, what a demagogue. Then about a year ago, I said, Dad, I thought we were both against George in that election. And he said, I was talking about George Wallace."



"He [Erdrich's father] gave me those nickels [one for every story Eldrich wrote as a child], remember? It didn’t occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That’s how one has to write anyway—in secret. At a certain point, you have to not please your parents, although for me that’s painful because I’m close to my parents and of course I want them to be happy."



"INTERVIEWER

You said before that your bookstore is a way you have of meeting with other people. Is the business still working?

ERDRICH

Birchbark Books is still here! In fact, doing well. But I’m not a business person. At first I looked at the bookstore as a work of art that would survive on its own artfulness. Now I get that it’s a business, but it is also much more. Any good business is about its people. Marvelous people work at Birchbark Books. That’s why it’s still alive. Walking into a huge bookstore feels a bit like walking into Amazon.com. But walking into a small bookstore, you immediately feel the presence of the mind that has chosen the books on the shelves. You communicate intellectually with the buyer. Then, if you’re lucky, you meet another great reader in person—our manager, Susan White, ready with ideas for you. People need bookstores and need other readers. We need the intimate communication with others who love books. We don’t really think we do, because of the ease that the Internet has introduced, but we still need the physical world more than we know. Little bookstores are community services, not profitable business enterprises. Books are just too inexpensive online and there are too many of them, so a physical bookstore has to offer something different. Perhaps little bookstores will attain nonprofit status. Maybe one fine day the government will subsidize them, so they can thrive as nonprofit entities. Some very clever bookstore, probably not us, is going to manage to do that and become the paradigm for the rest.

INTERVIEWER

What do you do to differentiate your store?

ERDRICH

We attract writers, especially Native writers, and we host literary events, which means, again, the bookstore is more than a business—it is an arts organization. We support a number of Native artists: basket makers and jewelers and painters. We sell medicines grown by a Dakota family: sage, sweetgrass, bear root. My sister Heid and I launched an affiliated nonprofit press that will publish in the Ojibwe and Dakota languages. With a small bookstore, you get to encourage your eccentricities. It’s quite a wonderful thing, this bookstore. I thought it would be a project for my daughters and me, some work we could do together, and that has happened. Each daughter has worked in the store.

There’s something very wrong in our country—and not just in the book business. We now see what barely fettered capitalism looks like. We are killing the small and the intimate. We all feel it and we don’t know quite why everything is beginning to look the same. The central cores of large cities can still sustain interesting places. But all across our country we are intent on developing chain after chain with no character and employees who work for barely livable wages. We are losing our individuality. Killing the soul of our landscape. Yet we’re supposed to be the most individualistic of countries. I feel the sadness of it every time I go through cities like Fargo and Minneapolis and walk the wonderful old Main Streets and then go out to the edges and wander through acres of concrete boxes. Our country is starting to look like Legoland.

INTERVIEWER

Do you find any shortage of good books being published these days?

ERDRICH

… [more]
louiseerdrich  writing  2010  interviews  culture  feminism  religion  bookstores  minneapolis  reading  howweread  howwewrite  community  gabrielgarcíamárquez 
april 2014 by robertogreco
SCHOOLHAUS
"Schoolhaus is a design studio classroom inspired by our desire to remedy the growing divide between learning and education. While learning is a universal way of life, education is the institutionalization of that way of life— at times to the detriment of learning, and at excessive cost to the student. But there are aspects of both education and learning that are valuable, and not necessarily mutually exclusive. Schoolhaus is Aesthetic Apparatus’ attempt to combine what we consider the best of education (a social community, invested and informed guidance) with the best of learning (self-motivation, one-on-one mentorship) and embed them into a studio discipline (working-world applications with opportunities for invention and entrepreneurship.)

Schoolhaus works like a group-mentorship, held on-site during operating hours at Aesthetic Apparatus. Similar to a studio, each student submits an application or letter of intent for consideration. Enrollment is limited to 12 students at any one time — the size of a comfortable classroom. Schoolhaus can be used as a stand-alone design education or to supplement a previous design education. Anyone of any ability is welcome to apply; beginners, amateurs, even seasoned veterans. Once accepted, students may stay with the Schoolhaus as long as they and the studio feel is necessary. The curriculum begins with the student’s own self-initiated goals for learning. As the studio gains better understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, learning is augmented with suggested and mentored study. Client-based or studio-based projects may be introduced, as well as inter-student mentorships or new creative ventures. The curriculum is amenable, the goal is to create a shared place for human-scale learning.

This program offers neither an earned degree or certification. We question the requirement of either in the working profession of graphic design. That said, higher education is essential for those who wish to pursue a deeply academic or pedagogical pursuit of graphic design. If this is the case, we suggest attending an undergraduate and graduate degree path at an accredited institution, as is required for future consideration of professorship. What Schoolhaus does offer is intimate, responsive, one-on-one creative guidance within the context of a close-knit group studio in preparation for a creative position in graphic design.

We are now accepting initial applications for an initial 2-month preliminary Schoolhaus starting August 1. The current tuition subscription for Schoolhaus is $500/month."

[Aesthetic Apparatus: http://aestheticapparatus.com/ ]
studiohaus  aestheticapparatus  openstudioproject  certification  design  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  mentorship  openstudio  studioclassroom  schooldesign  via:ethanbodanr  graphicdesign  minneapolis 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Field Trip Day | Events in Six Cities on September 29, 2012
"Field Trip day is a series of explorations in six cities on Saturday, September 29th.

Find hidden places, and learn skills long forgotten. There are no right choices, no wrong turns - but there are wonders to be uncovered. Tickets are limited. Register below.

NEW YORK • SAN FRANCISCO • LOS ANGELES • CHICAGO • MINNEAPOLIS • BOSTON"
discovery  fieldtrips  fieldtripday  urbanexploration  urbanism  urban  boston  chicago  greenpoint  brooklyn  minneapolis  nyc  losangeles  sanfrancisco  cities  2012  atlasobscura 
september 2012 by robertogreco
At Last, 'Hot Cheetos and Takis' Is the Jam We've Been Searching For All Summer - Hollywood Prospectus Blog - Grantland
"What you just listened to, and then listened to 22 more times, is the end-of-summer jam "Hot Cheetos and Takis" by the Y.N.RichKids. A few answers to some questions, right off the bat:

* Who are they signed to? No one.
* Who are their famous rapper parents? No one.
* Is this some sort of spoof? Not at all.
* Does this completely straddle the line between adorable and impressive? Absolutely.

Even more confused? Here's some of what you need to know (Spoiler alert: It's about to get much more adorable and impressive)."
education  ynrichkids  rembertbrowne  songs  summer2012  2012  minneapolis  youth  children  music  takis  hotcheetos 
september 2012 by robertogreco
How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? - Culture - The Atlantic
"Man listen--Negroes like Atlanta. Negroes like Chicago. Negroes like Houston. Negroes like Raleigh-Durham (another area that doesn't make the cut, for some reason.) Negroes like Oakland. Negroes have the right to like where they live, independent of Massa, for their own particular, native, independent reasons (family? great barbecue? housing stock?) Just like Jewish-Americans have the right to like New York--or not. Just like Japanese-Americans have the right to like Cali--or not.

This particular Negro loves Denver--and Chicago too. But the notion that black people are pawns on a chess-board, which conservatives and liberals move around in order to one-up each each other, has got to go. Sometimes--just sometimes--a black dude isn't a problem. He's just a dude trying to marry a beautiful woman, raise a decent kid, retire to an tropical island, smoke some good herb, and drink some good rum.

Let Portland be Portland. And let black folks be themselves. We're getting along fine."
cities  race  ta-nehisicoates  portland  atlanta  nyc  houston  dallas  progressive  urban  diversity  chicago  seattle  austin  minneapolis  denver  oregon  losangeles  raleigh  2009  gentrification  politics  policy 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Race and the new urbanism « Snarkmarket
"This is some­thing I think about a lot, not least because I’m an aspir­ing col­lege pro­fes­sor mar­ried to an urban plan­ning stu­dent who is also a black lady. Who doesn’t drive. And we have kids."

[references: http://www.newgeography.com/content/001110-the-white-city ]
race  cities  progressive  progressivism  us  portland  seattle  austin  minneapolis  sanfrancisco  snarkmarket  politics  urban  urbanism  planning  society  comparison  diversity  boston  nyc 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Sorry, Portland | GOOD
"In any list of the best biking cities on the continent, Portland, Oregon, would certainly come out on top (with some cries of foul from San Francisco cyclists). But there are plenty of other North American cities where people move on pedal power. And in the wake of the 2008 spike in gas prices and boom in bike sales, municipal governments are attempting to make things easier for riders. We’ve measured everything from the League of American Bicyclists’ comprehensive Bicycle Friendly Community ratings to the frequency of informal street races to bring you snapshots of seven places where the gears are turning. (A glossary of terms–including the dangerous races called alley cats—is listed at the end of this article.)"
bikes  cities  portland  sanfrancisco  biking  culture  albuquerque  austin  miami  minneapolis  montreal  pittsburgh  saltlakecity 
may 2009 by robertogreco

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