Accessible Events – May 2018

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of […]

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More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. 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 protected] 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 (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.



The 2018 Art Show & Sale runs through ay 19, 2018; weekdays, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. All artwork will be available for sale during the show. The show is free and the public is welcome. Your gift will help create a broader opportunity for artists to sell their work and contribute to the longevity of the Art of Possibility. Show sponsorships and donations are meaningful ways to help people with disabilities reach for their full potential through art. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the show. Your support makes a difference. Donate here.



To honor the life of the Craigslist personals section, artist Alison Bergblom Johnson hosts an event in her loft during the Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl studio crawl, 5-10 p.m. Fri, May 18, noon-8 p.m. Sat, May 19 and noon-5 p.m. Sun, May 20, at A-Mill Artist Lofts , 315 SE Main St., Mpls, on the sixth floor of the Clean House section of the building. Use the blue or green elevators, and take a right from either elevator to midway down the hall to reach the event.

Craigslist’s personals section has been dark since March 2018 due to new federal anti-trafficking legislation. This memorial builds on a several years-long project Bergblom Johnson has created documenting links between bipolar disorder, hypersexuality and hookup culture, specifically on Craigslist. “The stories I record for audio installations explore gender roles as relates to casual sex, and tells stories that are sometimes joyful, sometimes difficult, and sometimes in between,” Bergblom Johnson said. “I also approach this work with awareness of disability, particularly the manic side of bipolar disorder.”

This work features audio installations, pamphlets, artist books, photographs of the past installation and mp3 downloads for audio of the stories for sale, and a free participatory space to create one’s own letter to Craigslist on the occasion of its death.

Bergblom Johnson is a multi-media artist whose work often approaches uncomfortable, difficult subjects. Her work connects to larger political movements, particularly women’s and disability rights, as well as explorations of sexuality. Some of the venues she’s performed at include Patrick’s Cabaret, the Northfield Artists Guild, and The New Sh!t Show, in addition to the Minnesota Fringe Festival. She is a published essayist and has been an artist in
residence. FFI, please go here.



Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Partners in Policymaking, a nationally recognized free leadership training program. Eight sessions are held over nine months, starting in September 2018. Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities created the program to increase advocacy skill levels. Sessions cover the history of disabilities and parent, self-advocacy and independent living movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment, and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes. Sessions held at Crowne Plaza Aire, Bloomington. Application deadline is July 9. FFI: Brenton Rice, 612-242-6589, or here.



The Emerging Civic leaders program wants to increase the number of well-prepared people with disabilities who are involved in their communities. Want to be on a local board or commission, or even run for office? Seeking help in developing leadership skills? Training offered by Independent lifestyles Inc. Center for Independent Living and District 742 Community Education offer four two-hour leadership sessions at ILICIL, 215 N. Benton Drive, Sauk Rapids. Register by June 5. Classes start June 7. FFI: Val Young, 320-281-2012, [email protected]



A nationwide organization that provides year-round personal care, special events, in-home respite care and fellowship opportunities for mothers, spouses and other caregivers of extra needs children and adults. The group is building a network of bed and breakfast inns to help support needed respite retreats. A retreat is set for the Waller House Inn in Little Falls for Mother’s Day weekend. The organization looks for host sites and sponsors. FFI:


Attend Super Saturday for Children’s Mental Health Awareness. NAMI Minnesota offers a series of free classes on children’s mental health 9:30-11:30 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. Sat, May 12 at Mpls School District Office, 1250 W Broadway Ave. Classes include recognizing early warning signs, understanding early episode psychosis, mental health crisis planning for families, helping students succeed, mental health 101, and transitions. Classes also offered in Spanish. FFI: 651-645-2948,



Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. Volunteers are needed to provide this important service. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423



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 Council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, [email protected], or at their website.



Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, in partnership with Sholom Home East and the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitates a caregiver support group for people who are providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. Designed to provide proven resources and methods for caregivers who are caring for someone at home or considering in-home services or a transition to assisted living or long-term care. Meets 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Mon of each month in the Community Room at Sholom Home East, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul. Free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903, [email protected], or Cassandra, 651-328-2014, [email protected]



Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) announces a new free resource for caregivers and parents. The Caregivers of Kids with Autism Support Group provides a space for parents and caregivers of children with autism ages 4-21 to come together, discuss challenges, share solutions and form relationships with families in similar situations. Many families report feeling alone or isolated, and support groups allow caregivers to make meaningful connections. Meeting at 10:30 a.m.-noon on the second Sat of each month at AuSM, 2380 Wycliff Street #102, St. Paul, and led by a therapist. FFI:



The St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000



Vision Loss Resources provides 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, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155,



The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030



ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts, other groups. One group it hosts is the St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month. The center has a full schedule of its own activities including support groups, classes and more. FFI: 320-267-7717



AuSM offers free 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 website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,



May is Mental Health Month. NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and dozens of other organizations are involved in community education about mental illnesses, including creating awareness that effective treatments are available, and that people can and do recover. NAMI Minnesota offers over 500 free educational classes and presentations statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. Groups include family support groups, support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support.

  • Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness. Meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109.
  • Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. Meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599.
  • Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul.
  • A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. Meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612-920-3925, 651-645-2948.
  • Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Hwy 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery.


A calendar of events is online. FFI: 651-645-2948,


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