More events information
VSA Minnesota is at http://vsamn.org The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of its home page. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at email@example.com or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883.
Another web events listing is http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota. Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook.
Polar plunges get underway
The 2015 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota is back and bigger and better than ever. Plungers, many in costumes, jump into frigid waters to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota, helping more than 8,000 athletes. Plunges start Jan. 31 at White Bear Lake. The Mpls Plunge will be held at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Thomas Ave. S and West Calhoun Parkway. This Plunge begins at 11 a.m. Sat, March 7. This year children ages 10 and younger can take the Pee Wee Plunge at the Mpls Polar Plunge. Those wanting to do a 5K on a home treadmill or too “chicken” to plunge also have opportunities to help raise money. FFI: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.plungemn.org
Enjoy an expedition
Five Sundays of exploration await visitors to Landmark Center’s Urban Expedition. These free and family friendly events feature a different country each Sunday, and explore all aspects of its culture including music, dance, art, food, language and live animals. The 2015 Urban Expedition season begins Jan. 18 and closes April 19. Urban Expeditions are held on Sundays from 1-3 p.m. Upon arrival, guests can get their photo taken and placed in an Urban Expedition Passport. Once getting the passport stamped, families are invited to explore the different areas of the event. Each Urban Expedition presents live animals native to the featured country, crafts representative of the culture, traditional music or dance performances, and a language lesson.
Samples of traditional foods are sold by a local restaurant or caterer specializing in the featured county’s cuisine. At the end of the season, guests with passport stamps from each Urban Expedition will be entered into a prize drawing. Landmark Center is located at 75 West 5th St., on St. Paul’s Rice Park and is accessible to persons with disabilities. Call a few days before each performance to request accommodations. Parking is available on street and in nearby Lawson, Science Museum and RiverCentre Ramps. FFI: 651-292-3063, www.landmarkcenter.org
Puppet workshops for families
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) and Z Puppets Rosenschnoz offer free theater workshops for families with autism in February and March. The workshops, which will take place at the Nokomis Community Center in Mpls, Duluth and Rochester, are open to parents, caregivers, siblings ages seven and older and young people with autism. Workshops incorporate basic yoga and mindfulness techniques, singing and puppetry. The Monkey Mind Pirates provide entertainment while helping families navigate the seas of stress. Two workshop sessions are offered on Sundays from Feb. 1-March 29.
Session 1, held from 1-2:30 p.m. is open to individuals of all abilities and their families. Session 2, held from 3:30- 5 p.m. is open to individuals who are group ready and their families. Workshop sessions will culminate in participants performing alongside Z Puppets as the “Sailor Chorus” in a sensory-friendly performance of Monkey Mind Pirates in late March at Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls. This performance is open to the public. Watch for details. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 19, www.ausm.org
Attend Loondi Gras fundraiser
VSA Minnesota hosts the Loondi Gras fundraiser 6-9 p.m. Mon, Feb. 9 at Gaviidae Common, 4th floor, 6th and Nicollet, Mpls. This event, which offers interpretations, is inspired by the New Orleans carnival culture of Mardi Gras (Fat Tue) and Lundi Gras (the Mon before Mardi Gras), with a Minnesota twist. Enjoy delicious food and music with the Jack Brass Band and other performers. Advance tickets are $40; student/low-income $25; day of event $50. FFI: 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, www.vsamn.org
Crosby, Stills & Nash to play
More than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized in southern California, and played their first-ever concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. The award-winning band will be featured at the PACER Center benefit Sat, May 2 at the Mpls Convention Center. Advance tickets are on sale. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org
Serve on state council
The State Advisory Council on Mental Health and the Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health are seeking individuals who are interested in making recommendations to the Governor and legislature on mental health policies, programs, and services. Consumers, family members, service providers and people with specific types of expertise are needed. The council and subcommittee meet at the Department of Human Services Elmer L. Andersen Building in St. Paul on the first Thursday of each month, excluding July and December. Each body has work groups that precede the full meetings.
Members are paid a $55 per diem if not otherwise paid for their time. There also is reimbursement for mileage and other expenses. Terms are four years and members are appointed by the governor. Applications are due Jan. 27. FFI: Bruce.Weinstock@state.mn.us, www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=5, http://mentalhealth.dhs.state.mn.us.
New web address
Those following the formation of Minnesota’sOlmstead Plan will be checking on a new web address. The address was changed and simplified recently. It is now www.mn.gov/olmsteadAs the Olmstead Implementation Office continues toevolve, staff members will update and change the site.The first step of that process was simplifying the address to offer quicker and more direct access. The Olmstead Office urges everyone to visit the site as it grows and changes, and to share suggestions on what information would be most useful.
Poster and video contest deadline extended
Get out the art supplies and the cameras. The Minnesota State Council on Disability has extended the deadline for its poster contest tied to the 2015 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The deadline for the poster and video contest has been extended to Jan. 17. Winning entries will be featured at the Statewide 25th ADA Anniversary Celebration on July 26. The theme is “What does the ADA mean to you?” FFI: 651-361-7803, www.disability.state.mn.us/ada
Share a smile
Brighten the day of a senior citizen in north or southwest Minneapolis and have fun. Visit an elder and do things together: movies, games, crafts or just friendly conversation. Hang out with a senior on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, playing games or friendly conversation. One-time or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, www.neighborhoodinvolve.org
Open the Door to Education
Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, email@example.com, www.mnliteracy.org/volunteers/opportunities/adults
Vision loss group offers activities
Vision Loss Resources offers free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision, card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate. FFI: RSVP hotline 612-843-3439; activity phone 612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org
MCIL offers classes, activities
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living offers many life skills classes as well as fun outings and activities for people with disabilities. MCIL is located at 530 N. Robert St., St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print this calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030
Adult support groups offered
Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers free support support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the web site for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St., St. Paul. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org