Dear friends and supporters,
It’s finally happening! After over a year of organizing, a new radical landmark is sprouting in South Minneapolis this month: the Minnehaha Free Space!
Last week, we signed the lease for a storefront space located at 3458 Minnehaha Avenue, one mile east of Powderhorn Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. (See our map here.) This new space is an exciting opportunity for us all to come together to strengthen cultures of resistance, build empowering networks and relationships, and facilitate the growth, healing and self-determination of our communities.
You’re invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Minnehaha Free Space with us at an Open House on the afternoon of Sunday, July 17. Mark your calendar now and stay tuned for details!
There’s still a lot to do before the grand opening. Read on for some of the ways you can contribute to the space and make it what you’ve always wanted, STARTING NOW.
1) Volunteer at a work day. There’s a lot to do to get the Minnehaha Free Space up and running! Helping at a work day is your chance to shape the space the way you’d like it to be. It’s time to not just share your dreams, but to put them into action!
MARS collective members have committed to opening the space every day this week. We’ll be open for painting, setting up the patio, receiving donated furniture and other items, tending the plants out front, working on small construction projects, hanging out and more. No need to ask ahead – just show up.
Open work hours this week include:
Monday 7/4 from 2-4pm
Tuesday 7/5 from 2-7pm
Wednesday 7/6 from 2-7pm
Thursday 7/7 from 2-7pm
Friday 7/8 from 2-7pm
Saturday 7/9 from 1-4pm
If you have a specific project in mind that you’d like to volunteer with (Mural painting? Library organizing? Computer constructing? Patio prepping…?), please email Hanna at hanna.c.backman(at)gmail(dot)com to coordinate.
2) Donate furniture and supplies. The Minnehaha Free Space needs free (or cheap) stuff! If you have unwanted items in good condition or have the ability to find things from our wish list, you can help make the space more useful more quickly.
Please view our wishlist (a work in progress) here: https://radspacetc.wordpress.com/wish-list/
3) Help provide programming. The space has a large room for events of up to about 50 people or meetings of 5-25; a smaller childcare room (which could also potentially be used for private meetings); a storage area; a small kitchen and prep space area (see our wish list!), a basement (which needs some fixing up before we can use it for more than storage), and a small future back patio area (see our work days!).
This means the Minnehaha Free Space can be a venue for classes, reading groups, film screenings, skillshares, events, meetings and meals in addition to a home for a variety of related projects. Excited about bike maintenance, gardening, health care, education, childcare, food sharing, free stores, or other creative DIY endeavors? We like your ideas, but we love people who can help lead a weekly or monthly event, skill share or fill-in-the-blank-night. This is why we exist. Contact us!
BECOME A SUSTAINING MEMBER
The MARS Collective has chosen a fundraising model fueled by those who have a stake in the new space so that we can have an active and self-determined community. We seek to avoid as much as possible funding sources that come with “strings attached,” as foundation funding and many grants do. We hope our two biggest sources of income will be from programming and membership dues — that’s where you come in!
Rent plus utilities at the Minnehaha Free Space will total $1,200–$1,500 per month. The more of this total we can count on receiving each month from community supporters, the more we can concentrate on providing engaging programming, meeting community needs, and offering substantive solidarity to other political projects.
As someone with a stake in the Minnehaha Free Space, your commitment to contributing whatever amount you can afford on a monthly basis will help ensure the space and its resources are free and open to everyone.
How do you become a member? Three options:
- Contact your bank to set up automatic bill pay through your checking or savings account
- Fill out an ACH (automatic checking withdrawal) form, available at the Minnehaha Free Space or online at https://radspacetc.wordpress.com/donate/, and submit it to the collective.
- Mail (MARS, PO Box 8222, MPLS MN 55408) or bring a check or cash to the space (3458 Minnehaha) – we’ll take your information and assign a “delegate” to remind you of your dues each month.
For more information on these options, visit https://radspacetc.wordpress.com/donate/ , or just ask with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve been waiting, the time to become a member is now.
Thank you to all who have made the opening of the Minnehaha Free Space possible. Everyone who has organized with MARS, performed at benefits, presented at or attended events, shared ideas, and donated money — we could not have gotten this far without you! The more collective action we all take, the more another world comes to life.
The building is just a building. The space is what you make of it! Excited? We are!
We hope to see you at our work days and the grand opening on Sunday, July 17!
Love and rage,
the MARS Collective