The thrill of September ...
It has been a truly exciting start to Fall! I'm thrilled to be back in Minneapolis, reconnecting with the city and people in it, and getting cracking on the new (and my final) semester at the Humphrey School. Here are some highlights:
Camping at Kathio State Park, Mille Lacs, MN
Several Humphrey students organized a camping trip up to Kathio State Park in Mille Lacs, MN, for the second weekend in September. What a lovely time of the year to be camping -- I think we caught the last of the summer heat, and certainly our share of late-summer mosquitoes. But, as you can see in the picture above, the view waking up was worth it.
Mill City Museum
I visited this museum for the first time earlier this month, and had to give it a shout out. It is built in the ruins of many of the flour factories that were built here along the Mississippi in the late 19th century, and presents a fascinating account of the history of Minneapolis. Admission includes a grain elevator tour of several recreated factory floors, and there's a fantastic view from the top (as you can see below). I definitely recommend it for those of us in the Cities as well as visitors.
The Album Leaf at Varsity Theater (and Radio K studios!)
I had the great pleasure of seeing The Album Leaf record their in-studio session (which will re-air on Radio K's nowlikephotographs at 8pm on Monday, Sept. 26) and later at their spectacular show at The Varsity. Wow. I'm new to the band, but I certainly recommend checking them out. Their sound tends to strike a balance between calm and deep emotional power. I think those of us who have both classical and modern musical sensibilities are especially susceptible. :) You can check out some of their tracks on Grooveshark:
New Projects, New Clients!
One very exciting part of my new semester is that I am going to be working with 3 new clients on different projects. I look forward to being able to share more about all of them as I work more with them, but here are the basics:
This local cookie company blends the cultures and tastes of Minnesota and Veracruz, along with a deep commitment to small business growth and strengthening their community ... how delicious! The company already has a fantastic brand sense and a great mission, so I'm really looking forward to working with them on their vision for growth. I'll be leading the student team through the University of Minnesota's Small Business Growth Accelerator Program, applying my marketing background to their business needs.
As part of my Capstone project, I'll be working with 4 other Humphrey students to consult with Hennepin County Human Services on developing and implementing alternative housing programs for developmentally disabled residents of Hennepin County. The current model, in which four people are housed in a fully staffed home, is both expensive for the state and overly restrictive for many of the highest functioning people served by the system. My group will be digging deeper into successful programs in the US and Canada to better understand how these programs work, how they can be funded, and how best to implement a similar plan for Hennepin County.
The Social Enterprise Alliance serves organizations that use business methods to serve a primary social or environmental mission. SEA provides learning and networking opportunities to bring Social Entrepeneurs together and support them in their work. I'm eager to learn more soon about what the Twin Cities chapter is up to!
And onward we go ...
With everything going on, October is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting month. I look forward to having more news to share soon!