When the Minneapolis Institute of Arts first opened its doors in 1915, it was the product of several decades of arts advocacy. A group of 25 citizens formed the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts in 1883 with the goal of giving their community access to creative arts. More than a century later, this commitment to the community has taken the permanent collections from 800 works to close to 80,000 objects and has made the institute Minnesota's largest art educator.
The collections, divided into seven curatorial areas, encompass a period of 5,000 years and hail from every corner of the world. The Asian Art collection represents 17 different Asian cultures, and Arts of Africa and the Americas holds more than 3,000 pieces of sculpture, basketry, painting, and beadwork. Temporary exhibitions bring collections of artwork from other institutions and tattoos from vending machines. The institute's interactive learning stations supplement understanding of topics such as modernism or 17th-century European painting with animation, video, and audio recordings.
Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.
Current and former military and law enforcement officers comprise the staff of instructors at Blue Line Defense, who aim to increase firearm awareness and the training level of the general public with each class they teach. The course list runs the gamut from introductory defensive handgun lessons to women's self defense and advanced group training classes. The site also provides firearm-related resources for the community, such as familiarization with use-of-force laws, firearm-sales intricacies, and gun-naming dos and don’ts. Blue Line also regularly participates in fundraisers and charities to help give back to the community.
In the olden days, racetracks employed ladies on roller skates to deliver axle grease to steam-powered racecars so that they could maintain their blistering pace of 9 miles per hour. When a scuffle between two such ladies proved more entertaining than the race itself, roller derby was born. Today’s Groupon gets the Twin Cities its daily recommended dosage of kinetic estrogen. For $6, you get a general-admission ticket (a $12 value on the day of the game) to see the North Star Roller Girls battle it out in a flat-track roller-derby bout. During the Wild Wild Midwest double-header on Saturday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m., the Banger Sisters take on Delta Delta Di, while the Violent Femmes face off against the Kilmore Girls. This will be the final grudge match before the championship bout on April 10. Customers may purchase up to four Groupons. General admission tickets are good for chair and bleacher seating or standing, but not trackside seating.
Melding a flurry of powerful forehand chops, pinpoint pivoting, and sneaky backhand lobs, tennis is second only to competitive chainsaw sculpting as America’s favorite sport at which to grunt. Sponsored by the United States Tennis Association Northern Section, the Tennis Festival of the North features three days of events that include demos, clinics, an exhibition match, and jet-engine–powered tennis-ball launchers. Tennis fans and fanatics alike will enjoy an all-inclusive pass that includes access to Friday-evening demos and drills, Saturday and Sunday clinics, and general-admission seating to Saturday's exhibition. Tennis pros and experienced instructors lead informative sessions on topics such as Boomers and Beyond, Playing Tennis After 50, and Nutrition Hints for Winning Tennis, while attendees can also browse a vendor fair and an interactive fan zone. Additionally, Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Davenport and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova will be present to talk tennis and cut up the court during an exhibition match.