Northern Expressions Arts Collective

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Tuesday, Two Ways

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There are two very different community events going on tomorrow evening, but they both have the community’s health in mind. Stop by one on your way to the other if you can!

The first: Fair Food Access and Insure Duluth are partnering up to have an open house for local residents who need a little bit of guidance making it through the health insurance sign-up process. There will be food provided, and Northern Expressions Arts Collective will have creative kids’ activities to keep them busy while you navigate the enrollment process. That’s from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Harrison Community Center, 3002 W. 3rd St.

Then head way down Grand Avenue to the Morgan Park Community Center for the monthly meeting on the Morgan Park Community Club. Why would you go if you’re not a MP resident? Tomorrow’s special guests, Susan Johnson and Catie McCoy from the Environmental Protection Agency District 5,  will be discussing plans for the US Steel site cleanup, which will have an impact on all the riverfront neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park. That starts at 6:30, and the address is 1242 88th Avenue West.

A very Lincoln Park Halloween

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Looking for fun, free family activities to celebrate a holiday where it’s totally legitimate to put on weird clothes and beg for candy? Lincoln Park has its own set of events this Friday evening.

  • Northern Expressions Arts Collective’s Haunted Happenings event will once again transform the Harrison Community Center at 3002 W. 3rd St. This interactive, creative, and totally non-scary event for all ages, the Fairytale Food Festival, will challenge kids to identify characters from their favorite fairytales, books, and nursery rhymes…as well as identifying healthy ways to enjoy treats. The event runs from 4:30-7:30 on Friday. They’re also collecting donations of gently used kids’ and young adult books for the United Way’s Big Red Bookshelf program. For more information, check them out on Facebook.
  • Duluth Gospel Tabernacle is holding a Fall Festival from 6-8 p.m. Come by for this indoor carnival (they’re predicting a chilly day on Friday, so this is good to know…) featuring games, prizes, crafts, and candy. This event is a family-friendly one, aimed at kids from babies to sixth-graders. They’re located at 1515 W. Superior St.
  • Bark Avenue Grooming, at the corner of 24th Ave. W and W. 3rd St.,  is reprising its popular Haunted Basement with even more creepy goodness. From 5:30 to 8, venture into the basement maze and prepare to be scared…for real. They recommend this event for kids 10 and older. Younger visitors, as well as anyone feeling particularly faint-hearted, can go through an alternate pathway to get treats without getting scared out of their shoes. (Literally. It has happened.)  If you love the adrenaline rush that comes from getting well and truly freaked out, this is the event for you!
  • The Boys and Girls Club in the old Lincoln Park School building (2407 W. 4th St.) will be having a Halloween carnival from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Friday. Come on by for a fortune teller, pumpkin pass, ring toss, face painting, bug eating, Halloween candy/prizes, a safety table with glow sticks for safe trick or treating, a gently used winter coat giveaway for youth/teens, and more games/activities!

If you’re doing old-school trick-or-treating, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has tips to keep the evening safe. Stay visible and have a great time!

Do you have any Halloween events you’d like to see on the calendar? Send us a reply with the details!

Comm-U-N-Ity Compstat is back!

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Want to help take the initiative in making Lincoln Park safer and healthier? Comm-U-N-Ity Compstat came back in September after taking the summer off…but they’re hoping to see even more neighbors at this month’s meeting!

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 (one week away!)
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Harrison Community Center (3002 W. 3rd St.)

Note that the time and place overlap with two other super-cool things:

(1) The Lincoln Park Farmers’ Market, 4-7 p.m. Some sweet summer veggie bounty right here in the neighborhood!

(2) Northern Expressions Arts Collective’s weekly In the Park-After Dark event. Parents and guardians, here’s what the kids can be doing while you’re in the meeting.

Yeah, we met on the street!

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Turns out that if you let the community transform a space, they’ll do it with gusto! Over 1,000 people came out to Lincoln Park Meet on the Street yesterday, Sunday July 13.  For a few hours, 3rd St. between 24th and 27th Avenues West was a new community center–a space where you could get to know your neighbors, play some games, enjoy storytime under the trees, cover the asphalt with chalk art, meet Laverne the Lake Superior Zoo chinchilla and her creepy-crawly buddies, and much more.

Did you go to Meet on the Street? Share your story here. Tell us what you liked or didn’t like–and stay tuned for next year! Can we make it 1500? Or even more?

 

 

Highlights:

 

The party’s just getting started at 2:15, but already the neighborhood is taking to the streets.

bike party

Bike party! A cluster of bikes gathers around the UMD Office of Sustainability’s Fender Blender, a human-powered smoothie maker on loan to Ecolibrium3 for the event.

Lincoln Park Meet on the Street

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It’s the final countdown! The Lincoln Park Meet on the Street event will be taking place this coming Sunday afternoon, July 13, from 2 pm to 6 pm, rain or shine. This is a chance for some fun activities and community building in a space that’s usually dominated by cars–Third Street between 24th and 27th Avenues West.  This event, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Center for Prevention and other local sponsors, is totally free and open to the public.

What would you do if you could play in the street? Would you throw a Frisbee, have a picnic, do cartwheels up and down the street, or draw on the asphalt with chalk? Would you break out your bike or your yoga mat? Would you play pickup basketball or crochet a lamppost cozy or simply take a nap in the sun? You’re only limited by your imagination! (Disclaimer: Also by local, state, and federal laws, of course.) This is an event designed to help us all rethink the way we look at public space.

There will be free food (thank you, Duluth Grill!) and plenty of activities, so come on out!

Lincoln Park Summer Celebration

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Check out WDIO’s report from the Lincoln Park Summer Celebration yesterday! It was the sort of June day in Duluth where you can sunburn your face and break out your cozy layers. Things were hopping at the Harrison Community Center. If you attended the event, what was your favorite part?

Things to do in our Neighborhood

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“There’s nothing to do in Duluth!”

For those of us planning and promoting events, that statement could not be further from the truth. Duluth is starting to come alive again [now that we’re thawing out!] and there are many opportunities to get out and experience all that our unique city has to offer. The best part is that all of these events are extremely affordable or even free!!

April 13 and May 18 – Zeitgeist Family Concert Series at Teatro Zuccone downtown – Bring the whole family for some great music and performances for only $5 a ticket. Each performance begins at 3:30 pm and lasts just long enough to keep the interest of even the smallest child. All proceeds go to support arts programming in the Duluth School District, and the concerts will also help to connect you to local art and music teachers if you feel inspired! You can buy tickets and get more information at www.ZeitgeistArts.com.

April 19 – Egg-Splosion!! Join Northern Expressions Arts Collective and Rock Hill Community Church for a day of Easter fun at Harrison Park/Community Center! We will feature a light breakfast, an Easter story craft, an egg dyeing contest, and our 2nd annual EGG LAUNCH!! That’s right – after we color eggs, we will launch them out into the field with wrist rockets and watch them EGG-SPLODE! All activities are free of charge and take place anytime between 10am and 1pm that day.

April 24 – In the Park – After Dark: All Things Beans – Northern Expressions Arts Collective, the Fair Food Access Committee and One Vegetable, One Community are working together for a GIGANTIC family event that is all Duluth’s 2014 Vegetable of the Year! Cook and sample recipes, do an art project with beans, and learn a little bit about how to grow your own beans as well. This special evening takes place at our usual In the Park – After Dark time at Harrison Community Center (5:30 – 7:30 pm), is for the whole family, and is free of charge.

More events are planned in the area throughout the summer in the Lincoln Park and West Duluth areas – stop by here often and check the calendar. Step away from the t.v., get outside and meet your neighbors and enjoy this wonderful neighborhood we live in!!

Healthy in the Park – Healthier Shamrock Shakes

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Okay, so St. Patrick’s Day is over, but Shamrock Shakes are still a thing. I will not lie; I went to Mickey D’s and had one – a tradition that goes back to childhood. There is nothing tastier than the cool, minty shake topped with whipped cream and the elusive cherry that fights all attempts to eat it first. I am in no way discouraging any readers from taking part in that annual pleasure.

Still, many of us crave this deliciousness during the “off” season as well. Some of us really want more than one per year, but don’t want all the calories. Or you are looking for a way to sneak some extra fruits and/or veggies into your child’s diet.

This recipe, which is a modified version of one I found on chocolatecoveredkatie.com (an excellent resource for healthy desserts!), was taste tested on a group of kids at “In the Park – After Dark.” Roughly 3/4 of the kids there enjoyed it, and about half of them said it tasted “just like” the real thing.

Here you go:

For one batch (serves 2), combine:

1 cup of mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt
1 small frozen banana
1 cup milk of choice (we used skim, but almond or coconut milk would taste fabulous, too!
1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
8 drops of green food coloring [*for an extra boost of nutrition, you could replace the food coloring with about a cup of spinach – kale or other greens are not recommended, as they will mess with the minty flavor!]

Blend and enjoy! If you want to make it truly authentic, add a dollop of Reddi-Wip and a cherry.

Healthy in the Park: Super Simple Chili

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We may be thawing out a little bit here in Duluth, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t in store for a few more “soup-appropriate” evenings! This is an extremely versatile, healthy recipe with ingredients that are easily found in your local grocery store [and also makes use of several versions of Duluth’s 2014 Vegetable of the Year!].

Ingredients:

3 cans of diced tomatoes [use Rotel for some or all if you like more heat!]
3 cans of your favorite beans, drained [I use black beans, kidney beans and butter beans]
1/2 bag of frozen green beans
1/2 bag of frozen corn
1 packet of your favorite chili seasoning [store-bought or homemade]

Stovetop: Mix ingredients together, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Crock pot: Mix ingredients together and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until bubbly.

*If you need a “meaty” texture to your chili, add some ground beef or turkey, or meatless crumbles.

Serve with your favorite chili accompaniments: cheese, sour cream, Fritos, crackers, corn bread, etc.

Enjoy!!

Healthy In the Park: Does Eating Well Really Cost More?

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The argument I hear often is that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy foods than to eat healthy. You can buy 10 frozen pizzas for $10. Those frozen entrees go on sale all the time [and they are just so darn convenient!]. Frozen fries. Boxed dinners with all sorts of processed ingredients.

But here’s the thing: eating healthy can be economical as well.

Here’s one example: You are in the grocery store with your child and she gets hungry and wants a snack. You can spend $1 on a candy bar on the way out, or you can go to your produce section. Many times, kiwis are on sale for three for $1. For the same price as a candy bar in the checkout lane, you have purchased three separate snacks for your child, each with a healthy boost of Vitamin C.

Maybe I’ve convinced you there. Everyone wants to see their child eating healthier foods.

But what about you? You are on your way to work and you throw one of those individual frozen entrees into your bag. You know, the ones you bought because they were a good deal, and you promised yourself that you would only use them in dire emergencies? From my experience, if they are in my freezer, I am going to eat them. They are full of sodium and processed foods, and will make your entire office smell bad.

Take control! Here are some healthy and thrifty suggestions for lunches for busy people [and doesn’t that describe all of us?]:

*Salads – Wash and tear your lettuce right away when you buy it and separate it into individual containers. Take about five minutes each evening to add your favorite ingredients and you have a quick “grab and go” lunch that is just as convenient, but much more delicious and healthy than the frozen dinners!

*Not a fan of lettuce? Make an extra portion or two of whatever you are eating for dinner and immediately place that portion into a container. This works especially well for spaghetti, casseroles and stir-frys. You control the amount of fat and sodium that goes into your meal and again, you have a convenient lunch that you can grab on your way out the door.

*Beverages – Again, experience has shown me that if it is in my fridge, I am going to drink it. That includes cans or bottles of soda. Even diet soda can make you crave sweet foods and, if you drink enough of it, does not make you feel your best at the end of the day. Instead, invest in a quality water bottle and fill it up throughout the day. It is better for the environment – and for you! Mix-ins and flavor drops can help if the water at your place of employment is less than tasty, and they are much more economical than continually buying 24-packs of diet soda.

I hope that I have provided some great ideas for convenient, healthy and economic eating!

Share some of your ideas with us!