Business Spotlight: Martha Bird--Artist


Martha Bird’s world is expanding exponentially.   Just a couple of years ago, Martha would have thought herself the average person who likes to create, but things are moving and shaking for her now.   As a multidisciplinary artist and basketweaver, Martha is humble about her skills but is beginning to accept her place as an artist. She’s actually embracing it, every inch of it.   In fact, just last year she converted her artisanship to a professional focus and it’s really refreshing to see her excitement and dismay at all she is achieving so quickly.

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Our City's Housing Apartheid


The Star Tribune, on March 8,  wrote an article regarding the department of Regulatory Services of the city of Minneapolis and their three grade tier system to grade the living conditions of rental apartment buildings across the city. Tier 1 reflects a building with no code violations which means license is cheaper and inspections are less needed, and tier 3 refers to poorer conditions where rental licensing is more expensive along with more frequent city inspections.

Sounds great right? Depends who you ask. From a bifocal perspective, tenants and organizers that work in housing issues say this system is failing whereas landlords and the head of Regulatory Services, Noah Schuchman, simply state that, “We make adjustments as they are appropriate”.

I suggest to our readers new to this issue to see this under a new light...

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COPA Artcrawl


On Saturday, May 6th, COPA or Corcoran/Powderhorn Artists will be having an Art Crawl! 

This Crawl, coinciding with the 15th Anniversary of the Farmer's Market, marks the debut of our new neighborhood event! It's the beginning of May, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the sun is shining: why not take a stroll down our lovely, friendly streets and, with accompanying maps, go visit your neighbors' homes/studios to learn about their talents and hobbies. If you're already on your way to the Farmer's Market, make it a family funday and make our Crawl part of your new yearly tradition. Pop into a neighbor's home to see what they're making and how they create it. You'll be surprised as to what they can do! So help support these local artists and crafters by participating in our first Art Crawl. Regardless of whether you buy their work or not, remember that compliments are free and always welcome!

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CNO Staff Transitions


 After 12 years on staff at Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, Eric Gustafson has resigned to pursue a new opportunity at the Family Housing Fund, continuing his work on affordable housing. Stay tuned for an event to celebrate Eric's dozen years of service to CNO!  



The CNO Board of Directors is excited to announce that Heidi Johnson McAllister, CNO's Associate Director for the last two years, has been selected as the new Executive Director.  Heidi is currently on maternity leave, and will return June 15.  [email protected]




 In addition, Vanessa Haight has joined the CNO staff as the part-time Interim Director during Heidi's leave, and will transition into a new full-time role as Community Development Manager over the next few months.  Please join us in welcoming Vanessa to the CNO staff! [email protected]

Save the Date: Midtown Farmers Market Opening Day Food Truck Fest May 6th!


Opening Day at the Midtown Farmers Market is right around the corner, so save the date: May 6th is Opening Day at the Midtown Farmers Market! The Market will return for its 15th Anniversary season at 2225 E. Lake Street in our same interim location as last year, near the corner of E. Lake St. and Hiawatha Ave that will eventually become the permanent home of the Market. See the image below for exact location details. This season we will be operating with the new Hennepin County Human Services Center as our neighbor, and we have lots of exciting activities, entertainment, events and vendors lined up for a monumental 15th season of bringing fresh, local flavor to all!

A few exciting events we have planned for this upcoming season include an Opening Day Food Truck Fest on May 6th, which will include some of our regular food truck vendors like Kabomelette and the Moral Omnivore, and MidNord Empanada Truck along with some new and exciting trucks as well!

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Community Garden Applications Due May 8th


Applications are now open for plots at Corcoran’s two community gardens! Garden plots range from 4’x12’ to 10’x12’ in size, and several accessible raised bed plots are available at the Corcoran Community Garden. Cost for plots varies from $35-$60 for the year, depending on plot size. Scholarships are available for those with financial need. Check out updates from our garden coordinators and information on how to apply below.

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Eric Gustafson says goodbye after 12 years on CNO staff

I bought a distressed old house on 22nd Avenue in 2003, in the heart of the Corcoran neighborhood. Over the 13 years I lived in it, I put untold hundreds of hours of sweat and tears into the home's repair and restoration. While pounding nails on my front porch one day, shortly after I moved in, some neighbors stopped by to thank me, and to recruit me. "We're working to improve housing throughout the neighborhood, and we need you to get involved." So I got involved, and in March 2005 I began working full time for CNO as staff. Over these last 12 years I've knocked on almost every door in the neighborhood and I've gotten to know hundreds of Corcoran residents and their stories.


It has been a joy and an honor to fight alongside so many of you for a neighborhood that's great for everyone. It is hard to leave, but I will be moving on to a new job at the Family Housing Fund, where I'll continue to fight for safe, decent, affordable housing. I leave CNO in the hands of a very capable and passionate board of directors and a talented and experienced staff team. My family and I remain ardent supporters and patrons of the Midtown Farmers Market, which will keep us coming back to the neighborhood that gave us a home and so much more over the years.


The CNO Board of Directors has named current staff member Heidi Johnson McAllister to be Executive Director. Heidi has been the Associate Director at CNO for over the past 2 years, supporting the overall work of the organization as well as staffing the Economic Development Committee and the Newspaper Committee. She is excited to take on this new role as the Executive Director. She looks forward to continuing to move the work of uniting the Corcoran neighborhood forward with you, the CNO board, and staff. Heidi will be on maternity leave soon as she is expecting her second child, but will be back in mid-June.

With Heidi's maternity leave, Vanessa Haight will be filling in on a part time basis as the Interim Director. Vanessa has also accepted the role of Community Development Manager and will be phasing into that role over the next few months. Vanessa brings a unique combination of neighborhood and city planning experience, having worked for Beltrami Neighborhood Council most recently and city government in the past.  She is excited to utilize her planning background as Community Development Manager and looking forward to learning more about CNO and the Corcoran neighborhood during her interim position.

2017 Corcoran Community Awards Dinner


We here in Corcoran are lucky. We have an amazing number of volunteer leaders who are involved in making our community vibrant, united, and diverse. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Corcoran Community Awards Dinner on February 22nd at Corcoran Park. With over 70 people in attendance, everyone enjoyed the company, food prepared by the chef and owners of the new Corcoran deli called Vittles, and music. Congrats to our Lifetime Achievement winner Gerry Tyrrell and our Leader of the Year Mike Novak. 

We are grateful to our neighborhood businesses for their donations to our taco bar dinner and desserts: Vittles, La Alborada, Salty Tart, Taco Taxi, Seward Co-op, and Cub Foods. Also to Acanthus Floral for the beautiful flower donations!

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Community Meeting regarding 35th Street and 23rd Street Intersection


The Corcoran Economic Development Committee is hosting community meeting on
business development at the 23rd Ave/35th Street intersection.  We will
discuss how business owners have been partnering with the neighborhood to
improve the intersection as well as potential zoning changes.  More info
regarding the event here and here!

*Monday, 2/27 at 6:00 pm *
*2222 1/2 35th Street (HAIR and NAILS Gallery) *

Contact Heidi Johnson McAllister at [email protected] or 612-724-7457 if you have questions. 

CNO is Hiring a Community Development Manager


Community Development Manager, Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO)

Job Posted February 2017. Open until filled.

DOWNLOAD the full Job Posting including informational links and How to Apply.

Organization Overview:

Mission: We unite neighbors to strengthen our community. We envision Corcoran as a place that fosters leadership, engagement, and a sense of belonging.

Who we serve: Learn more about our diverse, mixed-income neighborhood at MN Compass.

History and role: CNO was established in 1975 around a grassroots effort to establish Corcoran Park on the site of a closed school. Building on this victory, CNO has continued to unite and equip neighbors to improve and protect the neighborhood. CNO is a non-partisan information source and convener of community deliberation, leadership development, and citizen action on issues that impact our geography, residents, businesses, and community assets. As a matter of Board policy, we strive for Board membership and overall participation that reflects the gender, age, housing tenure and location in the neighborhood, income, and racial and ethnic diversity of the Corcoran neighborhood. Learn more about CNO and our Mission, Vision, and Values here.

Job Description and Background:

The Community Development Manager works with CNO leadership, residents, business and property owners, and other neighborhood stakeholders to improve and protect the physical neighborhood and small business environment. The Community
Development Manager helps the CNO Board identify relevant issues of concern to the community, and coordinates the creation of community capacity, plans, strategy, partnerships, political will, and other resources to realize CNO’s desired outcomes, which are often accomplished by CNO’s partners or other parties.

This is a new position that responds to the CNO Board’s desire to build on the community’s recent successes and CNO’s innovative grassroots approach -- highlighted below -- to helping residents influence significant built environment outcomes. The Community Development Manager is a permanent, senior staff position that reports to the executive director and works closely with CNO’s organizer and other staff. The workplan for this position will evolve along with community needs; an initial draft workplan is outlined below.


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