Drink Up

As much as I wish this was about my favorite soda (what traveler doesn’t have a story about this official pop of the Third World?), we’re really talking about water. Plain old H20. Because apparently Minneapolis has the best-tasting, cleanest, mouth-watering water in the US of A, as proven in taste tests, and Mayor R.T. Rybak is proud. So proud, word is that he’s going to propose devoting the city’s entire public art program for the next year to creating artist-designed water fountains around the city. It’s just an idea at this point, but basically it’s art with a PR message–we’re the city of water, the best water–as well as a green message: the water’s fine, drink it on in; i.e. stop buying the bottled stuff and clogging our landfills. And he’s got a point–what are we, Eurotrash?

I think the project could be interesting–I’ll buy the city of waters reference (the Father of Waters statue in City Hall, FYI, is perhaps the most underrated piece of public art in Minneapolis). And so it’s art that’s in some way indigenous to the area, speaks to something greater. What do you think?

And speaking of good PR, the second annual North Side art crawl, known as FLOW, is happening next weekend (July 28) from 4 to 9 p.m., largely along West Broadway in Minneapolis. Enjoy a mix of visual and performing arts at various venues while learning more about the neighborhood. There’s hip hop and spoken word at the Cub Foods Stage at Broadway and Lyndale from 4 to 6 p.m., storytelling from 5 to 7 p.m. by Nothando Zulu of the Black Storytellers Alliance at the West Broadway Safety Center, a talent show Apollo-style at the Cub Foods Stage from 7 to 9 p.m., Hmong artwork at Homewood Studios, a variety of music and dance at the renovated Capri Theater. Base yourself at Juxtaposition Arts, the neighborhood’s leading studio arts center for youth, where kids can decorate a backpack to take home.

Next week, July 25 to 30, check out the next generation of top stage actors (think Julliard, Yale School of Drama) who came from around the country for a special summer training here. Called the Guthrie Experience Showpiece, it’s directed by Marcela Lorca in collaboration with playwright Julie Marie Myatt and actor Randy Reyes on the Dowling Stage.

And if you’re young, looking for something to do tonight, and don’t get seasick, consider the second of VimLab’s summer boat parties on the Mississippi, in which DJs spin on the Minneapolis Queen paddleboat leaving from Boom Island at 9 p.m., returning at 1 a.m. A pre-party is at Babalu from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s what Mark Twain would’ve done.

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