A Note on Sourcing - Minnesota II
Hello readers and welcome back to a new series for the website, which as I stated last time began as an outgrowth of a file that’s been sitting in my Google Drive for months now so I thought I’d just break out some of the more important elements. That initial post was called “What’s a Reader For?” and was going to take a look at all the sources we bring into account each day as we try to understand the world. In the age of the internet and social media I realize that could be an infinite amount so I’m going to break it down into the sources I try to follow.
So what are some more important resources for finding out what’s going on in the great city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota? The first post collected my major “go to” sites. But if you’re interested in even more, here's a handful of others, many I get direct to my email inbox whenever they publish new content.
I’ve written before that my wife comes from the great northern region of this state, and has helped me understand its rich history and customs. Another person who has helped me understand the culture of “Up North” is Aaron Brown. Aaron has been blogging about life in that part of the state for as long as I can remember and also has a daily column in a newspaper (he’s also finishing up a book’s worth of history of the area). I would highly recommend him for anyone looking to understand how the northern areas approach politics and life and how this has changed, especially in the last decade.
Another great site for radical info and people’s struggles is Fight Back! News. They cover protest movements and (lately) strikes and are a great source for learning about actual progressive and leftist struggles both here and around the country and world.
Another site that I’ve been following via newsletter since it launched two years ago is the Minnesota Reformer. Now some of you may know I’ve had some issues with this site’s editor but I can’t deny the quality coverage it has provided, especially during the Minneapolis Uprising of 2020 and beyond. I’d also like to single out their state reporter Ricardo Lopez as he’s broken some major stories in St. Paul over the years.
I will also mention here that the City of Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Council have decent email newsletters providing information about resources and what those entities are doing on a weekly basis. I’ve waxed and waned (on Twitter) about how they get covered by journalists here, but there’s no doubt a ton of information about municipal affairs in their newsletters.
I’d also like to quickly shout-out the last of the “old school” Minnesota blogosphere tenants still going strong: Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie. Sally has been a great source for news about southern Minnesota and is worth checking out for her incisive commentary about all of state politics. Another “old schooler” that I just recently became aware of again is the Minnesota Progressive Project.
And finally a quick look at some email newsletters that provide coverage of art and music and other things. The MPLS Art newsletter is a great roundup of local galleries and helps me know what’s showing where. Other great newsletters can be found from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (I’d recommend their latest supernatural exhibit), the Soo Visual Arts Center, and the Walker Art Center. In terms of music, while I don’t usually have time to peruse it, the Electric Fetus has a great roundup of newly released music and vinyl, and while my wife and I haven’t been in years, the Minnesota Orchestra has great ways of reaching us with their newest lineups. Other options include the Landmark Theater for film, and the world-class Guthrie Theater which offers a newsletter to broadcast its stage shows each year. I’ll wrap up this list with a few others: Minneapolis Climate Action is a great activist collective I’ve followed for a while now; Friends of the Hennepin County Library hosts tons of literary events (many online these days); and Housing Link provides a huge amount of resources and their email newsletter is invaluable for housing information (needless disclosure: I am also friends with someone who works for them).
Here are a few more links to round out the set: Open Streets Mpls has been hosting events and lobbying for a more pedestrian-centered mindset in our fair city; the Weisman Art Museum is yet another phenomenal gallery; and Hennepin Theater Trust is a collection of all the great stages adorning that street in Minneapolis.
Once again feel free to post comments or reply to the email regarding your own source lists. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but there’s only so much time in the day to read. Upcoming areas this series will be taking a look at include: Books/Literary, News & Journalism, Environment, Politics, and a few other topics. Thanks for reading!
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John Abraham is a published author and freelance journalist who lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Mary and their cat. He is writing a speculative dystopian novel and is seeking representation and a publisher.