Wally is the electrician who has wired every square inch of On Being’s new offices on Loring Park. He’s always upbeat, never kvetches, and has a can-do attitude. Take this photo, for example. Here he is on a lift 17 feet in the air changing the location of an electrical box for the third time. (The HVAC installer ran his duct work right over the top of where a pendant light is supposed to hang.) Not a word. Just a slight smile and he forges ahead.
(at On Being on Loring Park)
Hey, check out this 3D rendering of the storefront of our new office on Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. The building is located near Loring Park, which is the religious and cultural hub of the city — with the Basilica of St. Mary directly across the street, the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden a block away, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, and Minneapolis Community & Technical College just up the street.
The space pictured in the image above will be an intimate live events space. We can seat 25-60 (I prefer to keep it below 25) and we plan on having Krista Tippett (our host) conduct interviews next to the 17-foot library wall. But, we also hope to make it available for the community to hold informal salons and cultural exchanges that deepen our connection with the community. It’s a place of exchange and reciprocity, in which we as journalists and the media get a chance to learn and remember why we’re in this profession.
Here are two more renderings from different perspectives. From the front of the house looking into the space, you can see our studio with the herringbone pattern wrapped in Douglas fir:
And, from the back of the space looking toward Hennepin Avenue:
~Trent Gilliss, chief content officer
Brother Ali and A Day of Dignity in North Minneapolis
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
The hip-hop artist Brother Ali's lyrics are infused with notions of community, family, and serving one another. And, today in the blocks surrounding his mosque in North Minneapolis, Masjid An-Nur, he is putting on this cool community get-together and outreach effort, which they're calling the Twin Cities Day of Dignity: A Celebration of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
The north side, one of the poorest and most crime-ridden areas of the city, was devastated by a tornado in May of this year. The natural disaster left the neighborhood in tatters, but the community also united in the clean-up effort. To celebrate, they’ll be closing down the streets and offering free health care services and medical supplies, haircuts, winter clothing, food, and school supplies to people and families in need. And, to round out the day’s celebration, a free performance by Freeway and Brother Ali:
"But this event has a particularly special place in my heart because it’s in my particular space in the community, but then it’s also such a service to humanity. It’s not just a show. All different parts of the Twin Cities community get to come together to actually help people, help people in need, and to be a part of that, to be able to have this music here to celebrate the cultural side of it as well. It’s a beautiful thing."
Gary Snyder Gave Me Goose Bumps
by Kate Moos, executive producer
Snyder is often characterized as one of the Beats, but his habits of exploration and inquiry led him to a different experience and a different poetry than we associate with Kerouac and Ginsberg. Early, he became a student of Asian literature and Buddhism. His pioneering devotion to the environment and the idea of wildness in the American West has made him an icon for generations of poets, Buddhist aspirants, and defenders of the natural world.
He read his old poems, including his translations of Han-Shan, the famous Cold Mountain poems. He also read poems that are not yet in print — a generous gesture from a senior figure of his stature.
When I first read the Cold Mountain poems years ago, this stanza got stuck in my brain. I don’t know why.
It’s a kind of explanation of everything for me, and I’ve been reciting it to myself inwardly for the better part of my life. Hearing him read it aloud in person last night gave me goose bumps.
When men see Han-shan
They all say he’s crazy
And not much to look at —
Dressed in rags and hides.
They don’t get what I say
And I don’t talk their language.
All I can say to those I meet:
"Try and make it to Cold Mountain."
The Enchantment of Minnehaha Falls
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
A long, prosperous winter is coming to pass. The spring thaw is upon us in Minnesota. And, it feels so necessary. But, it’s not without some remorse, especially when taking in the shocking beauty of Minnehaha Falls captured in such exquisite light. The creek is now assuming its dutiful labor, the water wresting and freeing itself from its dormant state.
A big thanks to Al Gage for capturing this bit of nature!