No Love Lost

Finding connection when the thing you love doesn’t always love you back.


Living, working, creating, and participating in Minneapolis-St. Paul can often be a bad romance, especially when it comes to the arts & culture scene. First, there’s living in the Cities themselves. Walking, biking? Good luck. Taking the train to and from a show? Nope. Getting a table for a post-show cocktail and late-night snack? Forget it. Don’t even start on the Twin Cities’s terrible politics.

But what about making work? 

There’s no lack of passion about creating artistic products, even with a ton of unpaid behind-the-scenes work. Tons of behind the scenes work? Yep. Support at the opening or performance? Good luck to ya.  

Inspired by our previous features and coverage from the last 18 issues, here’s how the arts & culture scene doesn’t love you back, let DISPATCH count the ways . . .  

As Minneapolis-St.Paul hits peak winter, it’s only a matter of weeks until the market kicks off block party season. While outdoor parties are growing beyond beers and bands on a blacktop parking lot, the Twin Cities could still use much, much more creativity in the outdoor event space. 

Ever see Matt Dillon, Rosie O’Donnell, and Uma Thurman traipsing around Stillwater in Beautiful Girls? What about Arnold going into KQ92 studios with Sinbad in Jingle All The Way? And who could forget Christian Slater telling Marisa Tomei about his monkey heart by Nicollet Island in Untamed Heart? What happened to Hollywood coming to Minneapolis-St.Paul? Was the tax credit to produce movies here really that powerful where local extras and hands could make money helping national movies? Whatever it was, bring it back. 

“Now we can’t have parties/ Like in Spain where they go all night/ Shut down in North America/ Or like Berlin where they go another night, alright” ~’North American Scum,’ LCD Soundsystem. Despite having a handful of signature dance nights like Transmission, GRRRL Scout, Gothess, House Proud, Hipshaker, and others, demographics make regular dance nights difficult to cultivate, despite the need for them. Can dance fans get a few nights as wild as the Shrek Rave? 

There it was, a row of Prince shirts from the ‘80s. One stood out even more than the others—soft, delicately purple—sleeveless, even. A Minneapolis-St.Paul vintage masterpiece! The price? More than a home on the healing waters of Lake Minnetonka. While generations now compete in the thrifting-to-couture-vintage market, buyers can get caught in the pricing crosshairs.  

Now that the show’s over, where are we going? Oh, nothing’s open? Great. Wait, there’s a spot where the kitchen is open until 11 PM? Is there a table for more than four? No? Great. Guess it’s time to go home.

Oh, about going home: You can’t get there from here on the light rail. Later-night shows have left the most citified of us stranded on the corner of First, coughing up  exorbitant surge pricing Uber fees that rival Ticketmaster markups. 

Speaking of shows, for those of us women who don’t mind attending a show alone, it turns out—we sometimes mind attending a show alone. We can run a gauntlet of situations entering and exiting a venue ranging from the awkward and strange to the vaguely threatening to worse. It’s hard to have fun or support your favorite artist when you’re making mental calculations about your safety late at night. We’d gladly pay valet or some muscle when we have to get back to our car or wait for a ride. Also, men: Do better. 

Minneapolis and St. Paul: The lists crow about how, nationally, it’s one of the greatest places to live. That is, ’til you have to afford rent or a mortgage. Or childcare. 

Speaking of the youth: More, and more varied experiences for littles, and also remember, we are bringing up the next generation of artists and patrons. Teach the well and them lead the way…and buy their art. Leave something behind for them to hope for. Now that’s love.