Minneapolis facts

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
City
City of Minneapolis
Clockwise from Top Left: Downtown Minneapolis at night, U.S. Bank Stadium, the skyline from Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis skyline and Minnehaha Falls.
Clockwise from Top Left: Downtown Minneapolis at night, U.S. Bank Stadium, the skyline from Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis skyline and Minnehaha Falls.
Flag of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Flag
Official seal of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Seal
Official logo of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Logo
Etymology: Dakota word mni (water) with Greek polis (city)
Nickname(s): "City of Lakes", "Mill City", "Twin Cities" (a nickname shared with Saint Paul), "Mini Apple", "First City of the West"
Motto: En Avant (French: 'Forward')
Location in Hennepin County and the U.S. state of Minnesota
Location in Hennepin County and the U.S. state of Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Hennepin
Incorporated 1867
Founded by John H. Stevens and Franklin Steele
Government
 • Type Weak mayor–council
 • Body Minneapolis City Council
 • Mayor Betsy Hodges (DFL)
Area
 • City 58.4 sq mi (151.3 km2)
 • Land 54.9 sq mi (142.2 km2)
 • Water 3.5 sq mi (9.1 km2)
Elevation 830 ft (264 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 382,578
 • Estimate (2015) 410,939
 • Rank

US: 46th

MN: 1st
 • Density 7,485/sq mi (2,890/km2)
 • Metro 3,524,583 (US: 16th)
 • Demonym Minneapolitan
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
ZIP codes 55401 – 55488 (range includes some zip codes which are for Minneapolis suburbs)
Area code(s) 612
FIPS code 27-43000
GNIS feature ID 0655030
Website www.MinneapolisMN.gov

Minneapolis (Listeni/ˌmɪniˈæpəlɪs/) is the county seat of Hennepin County, and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. As of 2015, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th-largest in the United States with a population of 410,939. Minneapolis and Saint Paul anchor the second-largest economic center in the Midwest, after Chicago.

Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. The city is abundantly rich in water, with thirteen lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber. The city and surrounding region is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle, with Minneapolis proper containing America's fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. As an integral link to the global economy, Minneapolis is categorized as a global city. Noted for its strong music and performing arts scenes, Minneapolis is home to both the award-winning Guthrie Theater and the historic First Avenue nightclub. Reflecting the region's status as an epicenter of folk, funk, and alternative rock music, the city served as the launching pad for several of the 20th century's most influential musicians, including Bob Dylan and Prince.

The name Minneapolis is attributed to Charles Hoag, the city's first schoolteacher, who combined mni, a Dakota Sioux word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city.

History

Sioux natives, city founded

Little Crow-cropped image
Taoyateduta was among the 121 Sioux leaders who from 1837 to 1851 ceded the land where Minneapolis developed.
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Loading flour, Pillsbury, 1939

Dakota Sioux had long been the region's sole residents when French explorers arrived around 1680. For a time relations were based on fur trading. Gradually more European-American settlers arrived, competing for game and other resources with the Dakota.

In the early 19th century, the United States acquired this territory from France. It gradually established posts here. Fort Snelling was built in 1819 by the United States Army, and it attracted traders, settlers and merchants, spurring growth in the area. The United States government pressed the Mdewakanton band of the Dakota to sell their land, allowing people arriving from the East to settle here. The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized present-day Minneapolis as a town in 1856 on the Mississippi's west bank. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867, the year rail service began between Minneapolis and Chicago. It later joined with the east-bank city of St. Anthony in 1872.

Waterpower; lumber and flour milling

Minneapolis developed around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi River and a source of power for its early industry. Forests in northern Minnesota were a valuable resource for the lumber industry, which operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall. By 1871, the west river bank had twenty-three businesses, including flour mills, woolen mills, iron works, a railroad machine shop, and mills for cotton, paper, sashes, and planing wood. Due to the occupational hazards of milling, six local sources of artificial limbs were competing in the prosthetics business by the 1890s. The farmers of the Great Plains grew grain that was shipped by rail to the city's thirty-four flour mills. Millers have used hydropower elsewhere since the 1st century B.C., but the results in Minneapolis between 1880 and 1930 were so remarkable the city has been described as "the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen."

A father of modern milling in America and founder of what became General Mills, Cadwallader C. Washburn converted his business from gristmills to truly revolutionary technology, including "gradual reduction" processing by steel and porcelain roller mills capable of producing premium-quality pure white flour very quickly. Some ideas were developed by William Dixon Gray and some acquired through industrial espionage from the Hungarians by William de la Barre. Charles A. Pillsbury and C.A. Pillsbury Company across the river were barely a step behind, hiring Washburn employees to immediately use the new methods. The hard red spring wheat that grows in Minnesota became valuable ($.50 profit per barrel in 1871 increased to $4.50 in 1874,) and Minnesota "patent" flour was recognized at the time as the best in the world.

Not until later did consumers discover the value in the bran (which contains wheat's vitamins, minerals and fiber) that "Minneapolis... millers routinely dumped" into the Mississippi. Millers cultivated relationships with academic scientists especially at the University of Minnesota. Those scientists backed them politically on many issues, for example during the early 20th century, when health advocates in the nascent field of nutrition criticized the flour "bleaching" process. At peak production, a single mill at Washburn-Crosby made enough flour for 12 million loaves of bread each day, and by 1900, 14.1 percent of America's grain was milled in Minneapolis. Further, by 1895 through the efforts of silent partner William Hood Dunwoody, Washburn-Crosby exported four million barrels of flour a year to the United Kingdom, and when exports reached their peak in 1900, about one third of all flour milled in Minneapolis was shipped overseas.

Corruption, social movements, urban renewal

Known initially as a kindly physician, Doc Ames led the city into corruption during four terms as mayor just before 1900. The gangster Kid Cann was famous for bribery and intimidation during the 1930s and 1940s. The city made dramatic changes to rectify discrimination as early as 1886 when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers.

When the country's fortunes turned during the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers' rights. A lifelong civil rights activist and union supporter, mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and a human relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities by 1946. In the 1950s, about 1.6% of the population of Minneapolis was nonwhite. Minneapolis contended with white supremacy, participated in desegregation and the African-American civil rights movement, and in 1968 was the birthplace of the American Indian Movement.

Minneapolis was a "particularly virulent" site of anti-semitism until 1950. A hate group known as the Silver Legion of America, or Silver Shirts, recruited members in the city and held meetings there around 1936 to 1938. The Jewish Free Employment Bureau tried to help victims of economic discrimination, with limited success. In 1938, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas was established to combat rising anti-semitism, fighting against hate-filled leaflets and anti-Jewish remarks, while also attempting to expose discrimination by real estate agents and employers who attempted to subvert anti-discrimination laws. After years of discrimination towards Jewish doctors, the Jewish community raised funds to create the Mount Sinai Hospital, which opened in 1951. It was the first private non-sectarian hospital in the community to accept members of minority races on its medical staff.

During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of urban renewal, the city razed about 200 buildings across 25 city blocks (roughly 40% of downtown), destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture, including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with sparking interest in (but not always succeeding in) historic preservation in the state.

panoramic view of Saint Anthony Falls and the Mississippi riverfront in 1915
Mississippi riverfront and Saint Anthony Falls in 1915. At left, Pillsbury, power plants and the Stone Arch Bridge. Today the Minnesota Historical Society's Mill City Museum is in the Washburn "A" Mill, across the river just to the left of the falls. At center left are Northwestern Consolidated mills. The tall building is Minneapolis City Hall. In the right foreground are Nicollet Island and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Geography and climate

Lake Calhoun MN
View of downtown Minneapolis across Lake Calhoun (Bde Maka Ska)

The history and economic growth of Minneapolis are tied to water, the city's defining physical characteristic, which was brought to the region during the last ice age ten thousand years ago. Ice blocks deposited in valleys by retreating glaciers created the lakes of Minneapolis. Fed by a receding glacier and Lake Agassiz, torrents of water from a glacial river cut the Mississippi riverbed and created the river's only waterfall, Saint Anthony Falls, important to the early settlers of Minneapolis.

Lying on an artesian aquifer and flat terrain, Minneapolis has a total area of 58.4 square miles (151.3 km2) and of this 6% is water. Water supply is managed by four watershed districts that correspond to the Mississippi and the city's three creeks. Twelve lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands are within Minneapolis.

The city center is located at 45° N latitude. The city's lowest elevation of 686 feet (209 m) is near where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The site of the Prospect Park Water Tower is often cited as the city's highest point and a placard in Deming Heights Park denotes the highest elevation. A spot at 974 feet (297 m) in or near Waite Park in Northeast Minneapolis, however, is corroborated by Google Earth as the highest ground.

Cityscape

The Minneapolis skyline rises to its highest point at the center of the image, with the three tallest buildings standing out against a clear blue sky. Before the skyline are trees, university buildings, and residential complexes.
The Minneapolis skyline seen from the Prospect Park Water Tower in July 2014

Climate

Kites-Lake Harriet-Minneapolis-20070120
Lake Harriet frozen and snow-covered in winter

Minneapolis has a hot-summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa in the Köppen climate classification), typical of southern parts of the Upper Midwest, and is situated in USDA plant hardiness zone 4b, on the border of 5a. As is typical in a continental climate, the difference between average temperatures in the coldest winter month and the warmest summer month is great: 60.1 °F (33.4 °C).

According to the NOAA, Minneapolis's annual average for sunshine duration is 58%.

The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, and fog. The highest recorded temperature was 108 °F (42 °C) in July 1936 while the lowest was −41 °F (−41 °C) in January 1888. The snowiest winter of record was 1983–84, when 8.2 feet or 98.4 inches (250 cm) of snow fell, and the least snowy winter was 1890-91, when only 11.1 inches (28 cm) fell.

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Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 5,809
1870 13,066 124.9%
1880 46,887 258.8%
1890 164,738 251.4%
1900 202,718 23.1%
1910 301,408 48.7%
1920 380,582 26.3%
1930 464,356 22.0%
1940 492,370 6.0%
1950 521,718 6.0%
1960 482,872 −7.4%
1970 434,400 −10.0%
1980 370,951 −14.6%
1990 368,383 −0.7%
2000 382,618 3.9%
2010 382,578 0.0%
Est. 2015 410,939 7.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate
Racial composition 2010 1990 1970 1950
White 63.8% 78.4% 93.6% 98.4%
 —Non-Hispanic 60.3% 77.5% 92.8% n/a
Black or African American 18.6% 13% 4.4% 1.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 10.5% 2.1% 0.9% n/a
Asian 5.6% 4.3% 0.4% 0.2%
Other race 5.6% n/a n/a n/a
Two or more races 4.4% n/a n/a n/a

As of the 2010 U.S. census, the racial composition was as follows:

  • White: 63.8%
  • Black or African American: 18.6%
  • American Indian: 2.0%
  • Asian: 5.6% (1.9% Hmong, 0.9% Chinese, 0.7% Indian, 0.6% Korean, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.3% Thai, 0.3% Laotian, 0.2% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.2% Other Asian)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Other: 5.6%
  • Multiracial: 4.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 10.5% (7.0% Mexican, 1.3% Ecuadorian, 0.4% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Guatemalan, 0.2% Salvadoran, 1.3% Other Latino)
Franz Marc 005
Die grossen blauen Pferde (The Large Blue Horses) by Franz Marc (1911) at the Walker Art Center. Over one-fifth of the population of Minneapolis is of German descent.

White Americans make up about three-fifths of Minneapolis's population. This community is predominantly of German and Scandinavian descent. There are 82,870 German Americans in the city, making up over one-fifth (23.1%) of the population. The Scandinavian-American population is primarily Norwegian and Swedish. There are 39,103 Norwegian Americans, making up 10.9% of the population; there are 30,349 Swedish Americans, making up 8.5% of the city's population. Danish Americans are not nearly as numerous; there are 4,434 Danish Americans, making up only 1.3% of the population. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Americans together make up 20.7% of the population. This means that ethnic Germans and Scandinavians together make up 43.8% of Minneapolis's population, and make up the majority of Minneapolis's non-Hispanic white population. Other significant European groups in the city include those of Irish (11.3%), English (7.0%), Polish (3.9%), French (3.5%) and Italian (2.3%) descent.

American Swedish Institute-2007-03-18
American Swedish Institute. Immigrants from Scandinavia arrived beginning in the 1860s.

There are 10,711 individuals who identify as multiracial in Minneapolis. People of black and white ancestry number at 3,551, and make up 1.0% of the population. People of white and Native American ancestry number at 2,319, and make up 0.6% of the population. Those of white and Asian ancestry number at 1,871, and make up 0.5% of the population. Lastly, people of black and Native American ancestry number at 885, and make up 0.2% of Minneapolis's population.

Dakota tribes, mostly the Mdewakanton, as early as the 16th century were known as permanent settlers near their sacred site of St. Anthony Falls. New settlers arrived during the 1850s and 1860s in Minneapolis from New England, New York, and Canada, and during the mid-1860s, immigrants from Finland and Scandinavians (from Sweden, Norway and Denmark) began to call the city home. Migrant workers from Mexico and Latin America also interspersed. Later, immigrants came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Southern and Eastern Europe. These immigrants tended to settle in the Northeast neighborhood, which still retains an ethnic flavor and is particularly known for its Polish community. Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe began arriving in the 1880s and settled primarily on the north side of the city before moving in large numbers to the western suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s. Asians came from China, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. Two groups came for a short while during U.S. government relocations: Japanese during the 1940s, and Native Americans during the 1950s. From 1970 onward, Asians arrived from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Beginning in the 1990s, a large Latino population arrived, along with immigrants from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. The metropolitan area is an immigrant gateway which had a 127% increase in foreign-born residents between 1990 and 2000.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates in the year 2015 show the population of Minneapolis to be 410,939, a 7.4% increase since the 2010 census. The population grew until 1950 when the census peaked at 521,718, and then declined as people moved to the suburbs until about 1990.

Among U.S. cities as of 2006, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percentage of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5% (behind San Francisco, and slightly behind both Seattle and Atlanta). In 2012, The Advocate named Minneapolis the seventh gayest city in America. In 2013, the city was among 25 U.S. cities to receive the highest possible score from the Human Rights Campaign, signifying its support for LGBT residents.

Racial and ethnic minorities lag behind white counterparts in education, with 15.0% of blacks and 13.0% of Hispanics holding bachelor's degrees compared to 42.0% of the white population. The standard of living is on the rise, with incomes among the highest in the Midwest, but median household income among minorities is below that of whites by over $17,000. Regionally, home ownership among minority residents is half that of whites though Asian home ownership has doubled. In 2000, the poverty rate for whites was 4.2%; for blacks it was 26.2%; for Asians, 19.1%; Native Americans, 23.2%; and Hispanics, 18.1%.

Religion

2008-0705-BasilicaStMary
The Baroque-style Basilica of Saint Mary by Emmanuel Louis Masqueray

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 70% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 46% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, and 21% professing Roman Catholic beliefs while 23% claim no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 5% of the population.

The Dakota people, the original inhabitants of the area where Minneapolis now stands, believed in the Great Spirit and were surprised that not all European settlers were religious. Over fifty denominations and religions and some well known churches have since been established in Minneapolis. Those who arrived from New England were for the most part Christian Protestants, Quakers, and Universalists. The oldest continuously used church in the city, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood, was built in 1856 by Universalists and soon afterward was acquired by a French Catholic congregation. The first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis was formed in 1878 as Shaarai Tov (though it has been known since 1920 as Temple Israel); in 1928, it built the synagogue in East Isles. St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1887, opened a missionary school in 1897 and in 1905 created the first Russian Orthodox seminary in the U.S. Edwin Hawley Hewitt designed both St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church on Hennepin Avenue just south of downtown. The first basilica in the United States, and Co-Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Basilica of Saint Mary near Loring Park was named by Pope Pius XI in 1926.

Christ Church Lutheran Highsmith
Christ Church Lutheran by Eliel and Eero Saarinen is considered an architectural masterpiece.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and World Wide Pictures film and television distribution were headquartered in Minneapolis between the late 1940s into the 2000s. Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye met while attending the Pentecostal North Central University and began a television ministry that by the 1980s reached 13.5 million households. Today, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in southwest Minneapolis with about 6,000 attendees is the nation's second-largest Lutheran congregation. Christ Church Lutheran in the Longfellow neighborhood is among the finest work by architect Eliel Saarinen. The congregation later added an education building designed by his son Eero Saarinen.

Religions outside the Judeo-Christian mainstream also have a home in the city. During the mid-to-late 1950s, members of the Nation of Islam created a temple in north Minneapolis, and the first mosque was built in 1967. In 1972 a relief agency resettled the first Shi'a Muslim family from Uganda. By 2004, between 20,000 and 30,000 Somali Muslims made the city their home. In 1972, Dainin Katagiri was invited from California to Minneapolis—by one account, a place he thought nobody else would want to go—where he founded a lineage which today includes three Sōtō Zen centers among the city's nearly 20 Buddhist and meditation centers. Atheists For Human Rights has its headquarters in the Shingle Creek neighborhood in a geodesic dome. Minneapolis has had a chartered local body of Ordo Templi Orientis since 1994.

Culture

Minneapolis' cultural organizations draw creative people and audiences to the city for theater, visual art, writing and music. The community's diverse population also continues to manage a long tradition of charitable support through progressive public social programs, VOLAGs and volunteering, as well as through private and corporate philanthropy.

Visual arts

Rembrandt lucretia
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is open every day and offers free admission. Rembrandt's Lucretia (1666) is part of its collection of more than 100,000 objects.

The Walker Art Center, one of the five largest modern art museums in the U.S., sits atop Lowry Hill, near the downtown area. The size of the Center was doubled with an addition in 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron, and expanded with the conversion of a 15 acres (6.1 ha) park designed by Michel Desvigne, located across the street from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art, designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1915 in south central Minneapolis, is the largest art museum in the city, with 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection. New wings, designed by Kenzo Tange and Michael Graves, opened in 1974 and 2006, respectively, for contemporary and modern works, as well as more gallery space.

The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry for the University of Minnesota, opened in 1993. An addition which doubled the size of the galleries, also designed by Gehry, opened in 2011. The Museum of Russian Art opened in a restored church in 2005 and exhibits a collection of 20th-century Russian art as well as lecture series, seminars, social functions and other special events.

USA Today voted the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District as the nation's best art district in 2015, citing 400 independent artists, a center at the Northrup King Building, and recurring annual events like Art-A-Whirl every spring, and the Fine Arts Show Art Attack and Casket Arts Quad's Cache open studio events in November.

Theater and performing arts

Minneapolis has been a cultural center for theatrical performances since the mid 1800s. Early theaters included the Pence Opera House, the Academy of Music, the Grand Opera House, the Lyceum, and later the Metropolitan Opera House, which opened in 1894.

The city is second only to New York City in terms of live theater per capita and is the third-largest theater market in the U.S., after New York City and Chicago. Theater companies and troupes such as the Illusion, Jungle, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Mu Performing Arts, Bedlam Theatre, HUGE Improv Theater, the Brave New Workshop, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, Red Eye Theater, Skewed Visions, Theater Latté Da, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts and the Children's Theatre Company are based in Minneapolis.

The Guthrie Theater, the area's largest theater company, occupies a three-stage complex overlooking the Mississippi, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The company was founded in 1963 as a prototype alternative to Broadway, and it produces a wide variety of shows throughout the year. Minneapolis purchased and renovated the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres vaudeville and film houses on Hennepin Avenue, which is now used for concerts and plays. A fourth renovated theater, the former Shubert, joined with the Hennepin Center for the Arts to become the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, home to more than one dozen performing arts groups. The city is home to Minnesota Fringe Festival, the largest nonjuried performing arts festival in the U.S.

Doomtree-First Avenue-2010
Doomtree playing First Avenue in 2010
Prince by jimieye-crop
Recording artist Prince studied at the Minnesota Dance Theatre through the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Music

The son of a jazz musician and a singer, Prince was born in Minneapolis, lived in the area most of his life, and became Rolling Stone's 27th greatest artist of the rock era. With fellow local musicians, many of whom recorded at Twin/Tone Records, he helped make First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry prominent venues for both artists and audiences. Other prominent artists from Minneapolis include Hüsker Dü and The Replacements—who were pivotal in the U.S. alternative rock boom during the 1990s. The Replacements' frontman, Paul Westerberg, developed a successful solo career, as did Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould.

The Minnesota Orchestra plays classical and popular music at Orchestra Hall under music director Osmo Vänskä—a critic writing for The New Yorker in 2010 described it as "the greatest orchestra in the world." In 2013, the orchestra received a Grammy nomination for its recording of "Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5" and it won a Grammy Award in 2014 for "Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 1 & 4". Vänskä departed in 2013 when a labor dispute remained unresolved and forced the cancellation of concerts scheduled for Carnegie Hall. After a 15-month lockout, a contract settlement resulted in the return of the performers, including Vänskä, to Orchestra Hall in January 2014.

Tom Waits released two songs about the city, "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" (Blue Valentine (1978)) and "9th & Hennepin" (Rain Dogs (1985)), while Lucinda Williams recorded "Minneapolis" (World Without Tears (2003)). In 2008, the century-old MacPhail Center for Music opened a new facility designed by James Dayton.

Home to the MN Spoken Word Association and independent hip hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the city has garnered attention for rap, hip hop and its spoken word community. Underground Minnesota hip hop acts like Atmosphere and Manny Phesto frequently comment about the city and Minnesota in song lyrics.

Locally and internationally recognized Minneapolis electronic dance music artists include Woody McBride, Freddy Fresh (who walks a line with hip hop) and DVS1.

Literature

Minneapolis is the third-most literate city in the U.S. A center for printing and publishing, Minneapolis was the city in which Open Book, the largest literary and book arts center in the U.S., was founded. The Center consists of the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions (the latter is sometimes called the country's largest independent nonprofit literary publisher). The Center exhibits and teaches both contemporary art and traditional crafts of writing, papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding.

Charity

ARC office 20170119
Every year, the American Refugee Committee helps people in Asili-Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, and Uganda.

Philanthropy and charitable giving are part of the community. More than 40% of adults in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area give time to volunteer work, the highest such percentage of any large metropolitan area in the United States. Catholic Charities USA is one of the largest providers of social services locally. The American Refugee Committee helps 2.5 million refugees and displaced persons in ten countries in Africa and Asia each year. In 2011, Target Corporation was #42 in a list of the best 100 corporate citizens in CR magazine for corporate responsibility officers. The oldest foundation in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Foundation invests and administers over nine hundred charitable funds and connects donors to nonprofit organizations. The metropolitan area gives 13% of its total charitable donations to the arts and culture. The majority of the estimated $1 billion recent expansion of arts facilities was contributed privately.

Cuisine

See also: Cuisine of Minnesota
Spoon and Stable-kitchen-20150818
Team USA, including Gavin Kaysen (of Spoon and Stable, kitchen pictured), Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, won a silver medal in the 2015 Bocuse d'Or.

Minneapolis is home to award-winning restaurants and chefs. As of 2016, four Minneapolis-based chefs have won James Beard Foundation Awards: Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma; Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery; Paul Bergland, Bachelor Farmer; and Tim McKee, La Belle Vie. In 2014, seven chefs and restaurants in the area were named as semifinalists.

Julia Moskin wrote about New Nordic cuisine, chef Paul Berglund and the Bachelor Farmer, and the restaurants La Loma, Tilia, the Red Stag Supper Club, Fika and Haute Dish in The New York Times in 2012. She said Minneapolis chefs served trendy Nordic ingredients like root vegetables, fish roe, wild greens, venison, dried mushrooms, seaweed and cow's milk. Two months later, Bon Appétit featured the Bachelor Farmer, Piccolo, Saffron, Salty Tart, and Smack Shack/1029 Bar, writing about New Nordic cuisine and the Scandinavian heritage of Minneapolis. In 2012 Food & Wine magazine named Minneapolis the nation's best and best-priced new food city. In 2015, profiling chef Gavin Kaysen and Spoon and Stable, Saveur named Minneapolis "the next great American food city." Then, Food & Wine voted Spoon and Stable one of five 2015 restaurants of the year.

In 2015, Bon Appétit named Spoon and Stable, along with Hola Arepa and Heyday, three of the 50 best places in the U.S. for a meal. In 2015, Spoon and Stable was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and Shea, Inc., who designed the Spoon and Stable renovation, was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant Design. Jason DeRusha of WCCO-TV was nominated for his television segment, DeRusha Eats.

USA Today's reader's choice 10 Best decided that Minneapolis–Saint Paul was the Best Local Food Scene in 2015. Four fine dining restaurants closed during 2015 and 2016: La Belle Vie, Vincent, Brasserie Zentral, and Saffron. Food & Wine named Brewer's Table at Surly Brewing one of its ten 2016 restaurants of the year. Also in 2016, Food & Wine named Eat Street Social, Constantine, and Coup d'État three of the best cocktail bars in the U.S.

Parks and recreation

Minnehaha Falls is part of a 193-acre (78 ha) city park rather than an urban area, because its waterpower was overshadowed by that of St. Anthony Falls a few miles farther north.

The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America. Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create his finest landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways. The city's Chain of Lakes, consisting of seven lakes and Minnehaha Creek, is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians runs parallel along the 52 miles (84 km) route of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

Theodore Wirth is credited with the development of the parks system. Today, 16.6% of the city is parks and there are 770 square feet (72 m2) of parkland for each resident, ranked in 2008 as the most parkland per resident within cities of similar population densities. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that Minneapolis had the best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities.

Twin-Cities-Marathon-2006-Minneapolis
The 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Parks are interlinked in many places and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area connects regional parks and visitor centers. The country's oldest public wildflower garden, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, is located within Theodore Wirth Park. Wirth Park is shared with Golden Valley and is about 60% the size of Central Park in New York City. Site of the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Park is one of the city's oldest and most popular parks, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named Hiawatha's wife Minnehaha for the Minneapolis waterfall in The Song of Hiawatha, a bestselling and often-parodied 19th century poem.

Runner's World ranks the Twin Cities as America's sixth best city for runners. Team Ortho sponsors the Minneapolis Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K which began in 2009 with more than 1,500 starters. The Twin Cities Marathon run in Minneapolis and Saint Paul every October draws 250,000 spectators. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race is a Boston and USA Olympic Trials qualifier. The organizers sponsor three more races: a Kids Marathon, a 1-mile (1.6 km), and a 10-mile (16 km).

The American College of Sports Medicine ranked Minneapolis and its metropolitan area the nation's first, second, or third "fittest city" every year from 2008 to 2016, ranking it first from 2011 to 2013. In other sports, five golf courses are located within the city, with the nationally ranked Hazeltine National Golf Club and Interlachen Country Club in nearby suburbs. Minneapolis is home to more golfers per capita than any other major U.S. city. The state of Minnesota has the nation's highest number of bicyclists, sport fishermen, and snow skiers per capita. Hennepin County has the second-highest number of horses per capita in the U.S. While living in Minneapolis, Scott and Brennan Olson founded (and later sold) Rollerblade, the company that popularized the sport of inline skating.

Sister cities

Minneapolis has 12 sister cities, as per Sister Cities International:

  • Somalia Bosaso (Somalia) since 2014
  • Iraq Najaf (Iraq) since 2009
  • Mexico Cuernavaca (Mexico) since 2008
  • Sweden Uppsala (Sweden) since 2000
  • Kenya Eldoret (Kenya) since 2000
  • People's Republic of China Harbin (PR China) since 1992
  • France Tours (France) since 1991
  • Russia Novosibirsk (Russia) since 1988
  • Japan Ibaraki (Japan) since 1980
  • Finland Kuopio (Finland) since 1972
  • Chile Santiago (Chile) since 1961

On the city's website, Winnipeg, Canada is listed as a sister city since 1973, but the two are not listed as sister cities in the organization's 2014 membership directory.

The city also has an informal connection with:

Images


Minneapolis Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.