March 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 8, 2020
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

March 2020 Events, Programs & Exhibits

Monday, March 2, 2020

Hill House Chamber Players: The Inspiration of Youth
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
The Hill House Chamber Players return for the 2019-2020 season with concerts selected around the theme "The Inspiration of Youth." Enjoy extraordinary compositions from remarkable teenagers, including Mahler, Beethoven, Suk, and Mendelssohn while also marking Beethoven's 250th birthday in 2020.
On March 2 & 3, attendees can enjoy the following repertoire:

  • Beethoven 7 Variations on a Theme from Mozart's Magic Flute, WoO46, for cello and piano
  • Mozart Trio KV498, Kegelstatt, piano, clarinet and viola
  • Bruch 8 Pieces, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83
  • Beethoven Trio, Op 11, piano, cello, clarinet

The Hill House Chamber Players are Julie Ayer, violin; Tanya Remenikova, cello; Thomas Turner, viola; and Mary Jo Gothmann, piano. This program is co-sponsored by the Schubert Club. Admission includes a 6:45 pm pre-concert conversation with the musicians, intermission refreshments, and a post-performance tour of the Hill House. Concerts begin at 7:30 pm. Valet parking is available.
March 2-3, 2020, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
$23 adults, $12 students, MNHS members save 20%
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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Spark! Tours for People with Memory Loss: Irish Heritage
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Take a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour highlights three rooms in the James J. Hill House. Tours are offered the first Tuesday of each month.
Tue., Mar 3, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Free, reservation required
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First Tuesdays/First Avenue: Women in Music Conversation with PaviElle French
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join an evening conversation with women in the Twin Cities who book, play, and generally make the local musical world go round around. Interdisciplinary artist PaviElle French will moderate the conversation. The first Tuesday of each month during the run of the exhibit First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom, celebrate with DJs, dance nights, micro shows, trivia games, and insider conversations with the musicians who played and the staff that made it all possible.
About PaviElle French: French is an interdisciplinary artist from the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul. She is the recipient of an Upper Midwest Emmy Award as well as a Sage Award for Dance and Choreography. She most recently won an American Composers Forum Grant funded by the Jerome Foundation for her classical composition, A Requiem for Zula (2019) written in celebration of her mother. She is known for her powerhouse vocals and performing with an equally powerful six-piece band.
Tue., Mar 3, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Strike! The Workers' Rights Tour
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Take a guided tour of the historic Washburn A Mill to discover the dramatic story of work and labor in Minneapolis from the 19th century to today. Hear how activists improved the lives of workers in the mills and related industries and how management responded by creating anti-union policies and groups like Citizens' Alliance. Explore how labor was divided across race, class, and gender lines and the role of organized labor today. Learn about the 1903 and 1917 flour milling strikes, the Truckers' Strike of 1934, and the life and career of Nellie Stone Johnson, a union organizer and the first African American elected to citywide office in Minneapolis. This tour includes about 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sat., Mar 7, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission
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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pillsbury A Mill Tour
A-Mill Artist Lofts
315 Main St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55414
The Pillsbury A Mill, constructed in 1881, was once the largest and most advanced flour mill in the world. Go on a guided tour of the former milling complex, including the rooftop deck and the basement waterpower facilities, and discover the story of this National Historic Landmark, now home to the A-Mill Artist Lofts. Highlights include the largest and best-preserved waterpower system in Minneapolis, with views straight down a 50-foot drop shaft through a glass floor. Guests will discover how the building functioned during the flour milling era, see the architectural highlights of the recently completed A-Mill Artist Lofts built within the historic mill buildings, and learn about the new hydroelectric plant that helps power the complex. This tour is presented in partnership with A-Mill Artist Lofts. The tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking indoors and outdoors with some uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
March 8 & 11, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS members save 20%
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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

World War II Round Table: Operation Varsity 75th Anniversary
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
James Fenelon, author of Four Hours of Fury, and veterans of the invasion will discuss the largest airborne operation during WWII, where Allied troops crossed the Rhine River at Wesel, Germany. Starting at 6 pm before the program, students can participate in informal conversations with the author and veterans on the program topic. The Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table brings together authors, historians, and WWII veterans to discuss the history of the conflict and to share the stories of those who lived through it. 
Tue., Mar 10, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Music History Trivia
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join host Ryan Cameron of Let It Be Records and special guests from the Twin Cities music scene for Music History Trivia. Music nerds and novices looking for a challenge can team up for rounds of trivia with clues that include audio, photo, and video clips. Trivia nights will be held once a month in January, February, and March. Each night the top three teams will win prizes, such as tickets to First Avenue shows, and door prizes will go to non-winning teams. Returning teams can compete for a grand prize.

  • Tuesday, January 7: Musical guest Dan Israel
  • Tuesday, February 11: Musical guest Katy Vernon
  • Tuesday, March 10: Musical guest Impaler with Bill Lindsey

Also, appearing via prerecorded video will be First Avenue staff members Nathan Kranz and Dayna Frank, as well as Jake Rudh of Transmission Music and The Current. Seating begins at 6 pm with trivia running from 7-9 pm. Beer, wine, and food will be available for purchase at Market House by D'Amico, including a $5 special on Surly. Support for this program is provided by the Marney and Conley Brooks Fund. This program is offered in conjunction with the exhibit First Avenue: Stories Of Minnesota's Mainroom.
Tue., Mar 10, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Friday, March 13, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Mental Illness & the Victorian Mind
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Mental illness was misunderstood and often feared by Victorian society. Families had to make difficult decisions about how to handle their loved one's illness in an era where health issues were not discussed in public, and treatment options were limited or experimental. Both Alexander Ramsey's brother, Justus, and son-in-law, Charles, suffered from mental illness, which impacted the entire family. In this theme tour, hear excerpts from newspaper accounts, family letters, and journals and discover how an influential family handled a very human reality. This program is intended for age 18 and up.
Fri., Mar 13, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm, 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Irish Heritage Weekend
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Explore the Irish heritage of one of the most influential families of the Gilded Age on a themed tour. Mary Theresa Mehegan, the daughter of Irish immigrants, wed James Jerome Hill, a young Canadian immigrant of Scotch-Irish stock, who went on to achieve incredible success and fortune with the Great Northern Railway. Though proudly American, the Hill family retained their Irish values and culture through their love of traditional Irish music as well as women's needlepoint and lace-making. Tours will include favorite Irish songs and stories of the Hills and their servants, many of them Irish, to explore the history of Irish Americans in Minnesota.
Mar 14-15, 2020, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Sunday
Included with $6-10 site admission/MNHS members free

"Votes for Minnesota Women" Capitol Tour
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155
In 1919, the US Congress passed the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Minnesota ratified the amendment in September, and by August 1920, it had been adopted by all states. On the 100th anniversary, take a special guided tour that focuses on Minnesota women who played significant roles in securing the right to vote. Plus, learn about the first women elected to office in Minnesota, the roles they played in state government, and how women today participate in elected office.
Sat., Mar 14, 2020, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
$10 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $8 ages 5-17, MNHS member save 20%
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Logging & Lumber Family Day
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
The North Woods comes to Minneapolis! Enjoy an afternoon of hands-on activities and guest demonstrations from Forest History Center staff when they visit Mill City Museum. Learn about life in the logging camps and how the lumber industry influenced the development of Minneapolis. Learn about the lumberjack diet and try food samples in the Baking Lab; create a craft inspired by the work of lumberjacks; join a storytime and hear about life in North Woods; get your hands wet at the log sorting table in the museum’s Water Lab; and discover the work of lumberjacks with Forest History Center interpreters.
Sat., Mar 14, 2020, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Included with $6-12 museum admission/MNHS members free

Washburn A Mill Tour
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Take an in-depth look at the historic Washburn A Mill complex and the award-winning Mill City Museum building. A guide will take visitors into the building's many nooks and crannies, highlighting the lives of the men and women who worked there, how the building functioned during its peak flour milling years, and the many changes to the building over time. This is the only opportunity for a guided tour through the entire museum building and the only chance to see some of its nonpublic spaces.
Tour highlights include:

  • The dramatic story of the 1878 Washburn A Mill explosion, and the other dangers that mill workers faced on a daily basis
  • "The Octopus," a large machine that directed wheat into nine storage bins
  • The Humphrey Manlift, a vertical conveyor belt that carried workers from floor to floor
  • The Rail Corridor where hundreds of boxcars arrived each day to unload wheat and carry away flour
  • Millstone plaza, originally paved with retired millstones and the location for lunchtime concerts by the Washburn-Crosby employee band in the 1920s
  • Evidence of the three major fires that have damaged the building in 1878, 1928, and 1991
  • The East Engine House, once home to a two-story steam engine, has been remodeled into two classrooms, while preserving the original railroad car pulling machinery

The tour includes no more than 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
March 14 & 29, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS member save 20%, includes museum admission
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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

History Lounge: Recovering Chippewa City
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Join a conversation with Staci Drouillard, author of "Walking the Old Road: A People's History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe." At the turn of the last century, Chippewa City or Nishkwakwansing, located east of Grand Marais, was home to 200 Ojibwe families. Today, all that remains of this once-thriving off-reservation community is St. Francis Xavier Church. Drouillard, whose family lived in Chippewa City, will share her journey to recover the Ojibwe voices that have been silenced for so long.
Tue., Mar 17, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Free

Saturday, March 21, 2020

History Forum: The Murky Past & Contested Future of the Electoral College with Rosemarie Zagarri
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
How and why did the Electoral College emerge as a compromise solution after the conflicts of the Constitutional Convention of 1787? And what might be done today to remedy its structural flaws and inadequacies? Join Rosemarie Zagarri, history professor at George Mason University, for a presentation on these topics. Rosemarie Zagarri is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. The History Forum series unpacks the history behind today’s headlines. Join six national scholars of American history as they explore the history that helps us understand and unravel the issues we face right now. Attend, engage, and draw your own conclusions. 
Sat., Mar 21, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%
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Maple Syrup Family Day
Forest History Center
2609 County Road 76 Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Learn about the process of making maple syrup from collecting sap to boiling it down. Sample a variety of maple treats, including candies, popcorn, and lemonade. Plus, ride a shuttle to a local sugar bush and tour a commercial syrup production facility.
Sat., Mar 21, 2020, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Included with $6-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

World War II Round Table: The Chief of Staff for Eisenhower
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Dr. Daniel Crosswell, author of Beetle: The Life of General Walter Bedell Smith, will present the contributions of Bedell Smith in guiding the difficult orchestration of the Allied forces to achieve victory in Europe. Starting at 6 pm before the program, students can participate in informal conversations with the author and veterans on the program topic. The Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table brings together authors, historians, and WWII veterans to discuss the history of the conflict and to share the stories of those who lived through it. 
Tue., Mar 24, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Crime & Justice
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
In 1859, newspapers throughout Minnesota were covering the trial of Ann Bilansky, a St. Paul woman accused of murdering her husband. Although Bilansky was convicted and later executed in 1860, doubts remained about whether she was truly guilty. This tour focuses on those involved with the case, from Bilansky and her lawyers to politicians and newspaper reporters. Hear excerpts from records detailing court testimony, see newspaper articles chronicling the timeline of events, and discover the role forensic evidence played in gaining a conviction. This program is intended for age 18 and up.
Fri., Mar 27, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm, 8:30 pm – 9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Maple Sap, Sugar & Syrup Demo
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359
Join museum staff for a demonstration of traditional and contemporary methods of harvesting and processing maple sap. Guests will observe the process of gathering maple sap and boiling it into syrup and sugar. Samples of maple sugar will be available. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of bad weather, this event will be moved indoors.
Sat., Mar 28, 2020, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Included with $6-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Danger & Disaster at the Mill
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Flour milling was a dangerous job with lots of moving machinery, high-powered water turbines, and tall grain elevators where one wrong move could have disastrous consequences. Explore the dangers that workers faced on a guided tour of the Washburn A Mill. Learn about the deadly 1878 mill explosion that led to the rebuilding of the riverfront, see daily hazards like the "Humphrey manlift" that took the life of a millworker in 1936, and hear about the dangers of working in the related railroad and lumber industries. This tour includes no more than 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.
Sat., Mar 28, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$16/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission
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Sunday, March 29, 2020

"My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story" Exhibit Closing
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Explore artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec that tells the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River—known as Owamniyomni in Dakota and St. Anthony Falls in English—and the changes it has witnessed over 12,000 years. Using printmaking with materials collected along the riverbank, Schanilec creates works of art that show the progression of the waterfall over thousands of years from present-day St. Paul to its current location 15 miles upriver in downtown Minneapolis. The exhibit features Schanilec's artwork from the MNHS Press book "My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story" by author John Coy. The exhibit is located in the museum's central Mill Commons, and is free and open to the public during regular museum hours through March 29, 2020.
Sun., Mar 29, 2020, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Free

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian" Film Screening
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
"Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian" is a deeply personal family film that follows Kate Beane, an urban, Dakota scholar and now director of Native American Initiatives at MNHS, and her family as they trace the remarkable life of their celebrated relative, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), an important author, activist, lecturer and one of the first Native American doctors. Along the way, Beane uncovers uncanny parallels between their lives, though they were born more than 100 years apart. Q&A with film producer Syd Beane will follow the screening. Syd Beane is a filmmaker and board chair of the American Indian CDC, a board vice-chair of the Little Earth United Tribes Housing Board, and a committee chair of the Cloudman Village Recognition Committee. He has also written and co-produced "Native Nations: Standing Together for Civil Rights." Expand your visit by exploring the new exhibit Our Home: Native Minnesota before the program. Admission to the museum is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 pm.
Tue., Mar 31, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Free

Ongoing Exhibits

Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Closes May 3, 2020 

First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom
Since 1970, the club now known as First Avenue and 7th Street Entry has been at the heart of the Minnesota music scene. The First Avenue exhibit takes you inside the sights, sounds, and stories of this landmark venue that put Minnesota music on the map. Meet the musicians, the staff, and the regulars—and look back at how the scene has evolved over five decades. The exhibit draws from the MNHS Press book "First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom” by Chris Riemenschneider. Find out more.
This exhibit is made possible in part by our presenting sponsor, Baird. Media sponsorship provided by Star Tribune and The Current.

Closes May 3, 2020 Prince: Before the Rain
Minnesota photographer Allen Beaulieu helped shape the icon we know today as Prince. As Prince’s personal photographer and friend from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, he worked closely with the artist, helping to transform Prince from rising star to super stardom. Through it all, Beaulieu had access to the musician that few photographers have had, before or since.
Based on the new MNHS Press photography book, Prince: Before the Rain by Allen Beaulieu, visitors to this exhibit can view 50 digital prints, including the album covers of Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999, promotional photos of Prince and The Revolution, Morris Day and The Time, and other artists, as well as rare behind-the-scenes candids. 
Ongoing Our Home: Native Minnesota
Learn about Native communities in Minnesota, including stories of survival, resiliency, and adaptation.Native Americans—Dakota, Ojibwe, as well as people from other tribal nations—have dwelled in this area for thousands of years and still live in here today. This exhibit shares their stories, enduring presence, and deep connection to the land.
View historic and contemporary photographs, maps, and artifacts — and learn how Native people have retained cultural practices, teachings and values, and an essential connection to home.
“Our Home: Native Minnesota” is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Major support is also being provided by the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, the George Family Foundation, the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation, the Hardenbergh Foundation, and Lucy Rosenberry Jones and James Johnson with additional support from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, Thomas J. Arneson, the Athwin Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, Alta Marie Oben, and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation.

Ongoing

Then Now Wow
Designed primarily for children, visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring Minnesota’s distinctive places from the prairies and forests to the cities. Along the way, they'll meet the people who have made their homes here. Step inside a prairie sod house; board a Twin Cities streetcar; don a headlamp to venture underground in an Iron Range mine; hitch a ride on a boxcar; sit in a modern tipi; and encounter artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse people and historic events.
“Then Now Wow” is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. Find out more.

Ongoing

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom
Explore interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II and went on to create the postwar “boom.” The exhibition relies substantially on first-person narratives drawn from oral history interviews, published memoirs, reminiscences and letters. Find out more.

Ongoing

Weather Permitting
Minnesotans learn to cope with extreme temperatures, watch for signs of storms and generally enjoy the outdoors, whether boating on a summer’s day, skiing down a hill or snowmobiling across snowdrifts. Visit the multimedia tornado exhibit, “Get to the Basement,” named the best museum exhibit in the Twin Cities by City Pages. Find out more.

James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave., St. Paul

Closes June 21, 2020 

Art From the Edge of the Boreal Forest: Reflecting Biodiversity
The centuries-old tradition of botanical art blends scientific observation with artistic rendering. For the past 10 years, a group of traditionally trained botanical artists has explored the effects of a warming climate on the iconic boreal forest in northern Minnesota.
Working with climatologists, naturalists, and other specialists, they identified 10 Minnesota trees that are most vulnerable to climate change and depicted them through botanical art: balsam poplar, balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce, jack pine, red pine, paper birch, quaking aspen, black ash, and tamarack. 
This exhibit is on view through June 21, 2020.

Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis 

Closes March 29, 2020

My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story
Explore artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec that tells the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River (known as Owanmniyomni in Dakota and St. Anthony Falls in English) and the changes it has witnessed over 12,000 years. 
Making prints with materials collected along the riverbank, Schanilec creates works of art that show the progression of the waterfall over thousand of years from present-day St. Paul to its current location, 15 miles upriver in downtown Minneapolis.
The exhibit features images of Schanilec's artwork from the new MNHS Press book "My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story" by author John Coy.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia 

Closes Oct. 31, 2020

One Hundred Years of Healing: The Ojibwe Jingle Dress Dance Tradition
The global influenza epidemic that killed millions of people worldwide in 1918-19, including thousands of North American Indians and Alaska Natives, was the tragic inspiration behind a revolutionary new tradition of healing that emerged in Ojibwe communities of the United States and Canada, the jingle dress dance. Through photographs, oral tradition, and a display of jingle dresses from the MNHS collections, visitors will learn about the jingle dress dance and how its origin can be traced to the Mille Lacs Ojibwe.
The exhibit commemorates the epidemic and the 100th anniversary of the jingle dress dance. It is being developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota Department of American Studies and the Mille Lacs Ojibwe community.