Welcome to our CSP Newsletter!

Click here for the June Calendar

Art-A-Whirl 2024: Poetry Readings, Community Artist Demos, and Our Largest Studio Show Yet!

Faye (right) poses with the new owner of her painting, sold during the opening reception

Johanna (left) teaches community members (and CSP member T, right) how to make UV resin keychains.

The diverse, stunning selection of hand-built ceramics made in our pottery studio

Looking back on Art-A-Whirl 2024, all we can say is "Wow!" Avivo ArtWorks showed over 140 works by 27 members, sold lots of artwork and crafts, spoke to the public at length about our program and what we do, and supported members in serving as Member Ambassadors to the public and leading seven different arts demonstrations and workshops! We also released Creative Minds, our recently published poster zine featuring original artwork by thirteen members who led workshops during our Minnesota State Arts Board member-led workshop series.

On Friday, May 17, ArtWorks hosted a public reading at our Art-A-Whirl opening reception. Seven ArtWorks members read works to an audience of their peers, Avivo staff, and the general public. Many of these works were written during the weekly Creative Writing sessions in the studio. This was the first time reading in public for about half of the members. Reading in front of a crowd and sharing one's work is nerve-wracking, but the members did an incredible job and read like seasoned public speakers! Check out Gary's piece from the reading, published below. Thank you to all of our writers, artists, and the other members who made Art-A-Whirl weekend such an incredible success!

Peace and Love. Love of Life.

by Gary Melquist


To love ones self is to love others brings love of life

Not vanity

But feelings of peace

A minute particle

Loving acceptance of oneself

Brings joy

Love of life

Everyone's temptations 

Always near

Envy, greed, loathing, 

Anger, criticism

A loving person

Lets them go

Harnesses the dark side

Appreciates being human

Flows with the flaws

Possesses humility and kindness

Love is much more than an attitude

The best in us

Kindness instead of tribalism

Learning from our differences

Enriching one's soul

Love is the place 

We go in our dreams

A very nice place

Never dreamed possible

Love is peace

Love is soaring in the heavens

Love is God's angelic 

Unknown paradise.

Victoria reads her poetry at the reception.

Left: Members of the public enjoy Victoria's notebook-making workshop (especially the kids!)

Above: Sasha, Helen, and Gary staff the front table and welcome visitors into our studio

CSP Staff Directory

Rena, Director



Tovah, Manager



Laura, Team Lead



Audrey, Peer Specialist



Sasha, Studio & Resource Coordinator



Miatta, Therapy Intern




June Studio Closures

Please note that the Grain Belt Studio will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 20.

Reminder to Take Home AAW Works

If you haven't already, please pick up your Art-A-Whirl submissions and bring them home. We only have limited storage space in the Studio, so we really appreciate your timely help with this!

Member Art-A-Whirl Feedback Meeting (Lunch Provided)

Please join us at noon on June 4 for a conversation about Art-A-Whirl 2024. We'd love to hear what you thought about how this year's event went, as well as any ideas you have for our future open-to-the-public events.

ArtWorks at HCMC Inspire Arts

ArtWorks member art will be displayed at Hennepin Healthcare Inspire Arts through July 25. The show is available to the public and located in the skyway gallery on Level Two of the HCMC Red Building, 730 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415. The show is called "So I See Things a Little Differently..." and celebrates Mental Health Awareness. (Check out the photo below for a sneak peak!)

Coming in July: the Creative Writing group travels to the MN History Center for a special researching opportunity! Learn more below under "June Programming."

Our ArtWorks Website Is Live!

ArtWorks has launched its new website! Click here to check it out. We hope the website will facilitate greater awareness of and access to information about our program, including our current shows, past and present newsletters, and, most importantly, our artists’ work.

We will continue to have an open call for member art on the new website. CSP members interested in having a digital home for their works on our site can call or email Sasha to get started.

Community Resource Highlight: Park Passes and Outdoor Activities

The benefits to spending time outside in parks or forests are well-known, especially after a day in the woods. In Minnesota, we are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful parks and forests. Now that the weather is finally beautiful outside, it’s a great time to explore the variety of parks and forests we have access to. Minneapolis parks offer a variety of activities and events in the summer including movies in the park and opportunities to learn about native plants and animals. Oftentimes these are free, but when there is a fee, these can be waived if you cannot afford the price. Visit the Minneapolis Parks website or visit a park building in person to learn more about what’s being offered near you.

If you want to venture a little further out, the state parks offer an annual discount for drivers with disabilities and the federal parks Access Pass waives all fees for federal parks and forests for individuals with a permanent disability of any kind that “that severely limits one or more major life activities.” Learn more on the National Park Service's website. If you would like more information about how to access these programs, talk to a CSP staff member.

Changes to Ceramics Programming

Starting in June, members will be able to work on ceramics projects only on Wednesdays, as designated by the CSP calendar. We are also requiring that all ceramics work take place in the ceramics studio only, not in other areas throughout the studio. These guidelines will also apply to glazing. Staff will be monitoring studio cleanliness more closely, and they might ask participants to increase their cleaning efforts after working in the ceramics studio, too.

These changes are due to increased staff awareness of the risks of working with clay, specifically the dust that's created when clay dries. Please talk with Laura or Tovah if you have any questions. Thanks for helping to keep us all safe!

Avivo's Mental Health Clinic Taking New Therapy Clients

The Avivo Mental Health Clinic is up and running again, and it's ready to accept new therapy clients! Visit the Clinic's website to learn more about available services and/or sign up for an intake.

Is it your first time visiting our Grain Belt Studio? The studio is located in the Grain Belt Bottling Building. The address is 79 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis MN 55413. Our studio is #105, up a short flight of stairs (or an elevator ride). When you arrive, buzz ArtWorks on the keypad outside the door, and a CSP staff member will let you into the building. We can't wait to see you!

Please join the Avivo CSP as we table at this year's Stone Arch Bridge Festival: Saturday, June 15 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, June 16 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. We will be displaying and selling member artwork and crafts, as well as promoting and answering questions about our program. Aside from submitting works for the show (see the above call for art), CSP members are encouraged to sign up for hour-long Member Ambassador volunteer shifts during the Festival. Please stop by the studio to sign up and submit your work! All art is due Monday, June 10.


Please RSVP to attend CSP programming. Call 612-752-8332 or email community.support@avivomn.org

Project supplies, tickets, or food may be limited to RSVPed members only. In cases of programming changes or cancellation due to inclement weather, CSP staff will call or email all RSVPed members. Members who are not RSVPed will not receive notice of cancellations.


June Programming

Special Event

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

W. River Parkway from 11th Ave S to N. 4th Avenue

Saturday, June 15, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday, June 16, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Please join the Avivo CSP as we table at this year's Stone Arch Bridge Festival. This community art festival celebrates the historic Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge, the mighty Mississippi River, and the vibrant people who thrive along its shores! Festival highlights incluce artist vendors, live art demonstrations, live music, and a culinary arts market. The Avivo CSP will be displaying and selling member artwork and crafts, as well as promoting and answering questions about our program. The festival grounds will span the riverfront area on W. River Parkway from 11th Ave S to N. 4th Avenue. Please stop by to check it out -- or sign up for a Member Ambassador shift to sit in the tent and represent our great program!

Grain Belt Studio

79 13th Ave NE, #105, Minneapolis, MN 55413

BIPOC Support

Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 10:00 - 11:00 am

The Black, Indigenous and people of Color (BIPOC) Group works to build authentic (original) and long-lasting solidarity (unity/togetherness) among Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Other aims of the BIPOC group are to prevent the changes of Black and Indigenous stories by sharing and affirming the unique histories of BIPOC communities; considering how each community is differently affected by issues due to their position in the societal racial hierarchy; uplifting Native and Black communities and bringing communities together to create a deeper empathy and understanding for all BIPOC communities by committing to personal and community healing through practicing care; creating connections; and focusing on healing and transformative justice. 

Open Studio  

Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesdays, June 4, 11, 18, 25, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesdays, June 5, 12, 26, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (Closed June 19)

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 27, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (Closed June 20)

Please join us in our studio space in the Grain Belt Bottling House for Open Studio! Art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Scheduled activities start at 1:00 pm unless noted otherwise. Independent creative work and general socializing are always also encouraged! Please RSVP: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Workshop/Event Schedule

  • Monday, June 3: Cyanotype prints in the garden
  • Tuesday, June 4: Member Art-A-Whirl feedback meeting (starts at noon)
  • Wednesday, June 5: Clay: Garden projects (bird baths, bird houses, garden tiles, etc.)
  • Thursday, June 6: Image transfer with Sam
  • Monday, June 10: Plein air painting in the garden
  • Tuesday, June 11: Hypertufa planters with T in the garden (starts at noon)
  • Wednesday, June 12: Clay: Garden projects, continued
  • Thursday, June 13: Image transfer with Sam
  • Monday, June 17: Plein air painting
  • Tuesday, June 18: Bingo + Watson the dog
  • Wednesday, June 19: CLOSED
  • Thursday, June 20: CLOSED
  • Monday, June 24: Plein air painting in the garden
  • Tuesday, June 25: Shatterproof snow globes with Johanna
  • Wednesday, June 26: Clay: glazing
  • Thursday, June 27: Image transfer with Sam

Peer Check-In

Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The Peer Check-In is a weekly support group led by our CSP Peer Specialist – staff who work in the field with lived experience of either mental illness, substance-use disorders, or both. Discussion will be based on challenges, successes, coping strategies, and relating based on similar experiences. We will focus on fostering a community of mutual support between both CSP staff and members.

Walking Club

Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Tuesdays, June 4, 11, 18, 25, 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Wednesdays, June 5, 12, 26, 12:30 - 1:30 pm (Closed June 19)

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 27, 2:30 - 3:30 pm (Closed June 20)

Join the CSP for fun walks for all accessibility levels! Become a Walking Club Member on your first walk and earn your way to a new pair of shoes with each additional walk. Punch cards will be given to keep track of your progress. Please RSVP so we know to wait for you before heading out: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org. 

Pyschoeducation with Miatta

Mondays, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Psychoeducation is a therapeutic intervention that combines psychotherapy (talk therapy) and education, providing information and support to individuals with mental health issues. Psychoeducation can help members understand and cope with their conditions, improve their wellbeing, and enhance their treatment outcomes. This therapy group is intended to help people manage mental health conditions or cope with negative experiences and behaviors. Topics include DBT skills and mindfulness. All are welcome!

Creative Writing

Tuesdays, June 4, 11, 18, 25, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

In June, the writing group will be focusing on how to do research and how to use research in your writing. Research is not just central to writing history; it's equally necessary for all types of writing: in poetry, you may need to learn about unfamiliar plants or animals, linguistics, or history; in memoir or autobiography, you might want to place your personal history in the context of contemporary events; in genre writing (like horror, fantasy, or sci-fi), you might need to know the scientific names for things, the history of folklore, or local geography. All of this research will make your writing feel more grounded, textured, and powerful. 


On July 17, we will have the opportunity to meet with a professional historian at the Historical Society to do research and have a free lunch together. Before we go, they have asked us to send them a list of topics of interest so they can prepare materials for us. To keep the research more focused, we will also discuss and plan for two related projects: a collective studio podcast and individual zines. We will spend the first half of each writing session learning research methods and demonstrating how to do so using topics of interest to members, and the second half working on writing prompts incorporating it. If you want to be a part of this unique experience and opportunity, please come to one or more writing sessions in June to learn basic research methods and discuss topics of interest!

Artistic Development & Opportunities 

Wednesdays, June 5, 12, 26, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Closed June 19)

Please join us in our studio space in the Grain Belt Bottling House for dedicated time to work with staff on professional goals within the arts: dream up what you want to focus on within your arts career! One-on-one support is available too. RSVPs are required to reserve 1:1 time with staff: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.  

Tech Support

Wednesdays, June 5, 12, 26, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Closed June 19)

Computers and smartphones and tablets, oh my! Tech literacy is increasingly important to functioning in today's world. Do you have questions about how to use your devices? Are you looking for help accessing online accounts, using communication platforms such as Zoom or Skype, or even just learning to store and send photos on your smartphone? Drop by the CSP's new Tech Support hours for dedicated assistance from CSP staff. Bring your devices if possible -- Chromebooks are available if you don't already have one. Please RSVP to reserve 1:1 time: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Community Gardening

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 27, 10:00 - 11:00 am (Closed June 20)

Join us weekly for light gardening work, including planting, weeding, and watering! No gardening experience necessary. Members are also welcome to come and just hang out in the garden. Please RSVP: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org.

Coffee & Board Games

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 27, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Closed June 20)

So, you want to hang out at the Grain Belt Studio, but you're not interested in art? Join the CSP midday on Thursdays for coffee and board games, instead! Popular games so far have included cribbage, Bananagrams, chess, and Sorry! All are welcome.

Audio with Sasha

Thursdays, June 6 & 27, 1:00 - 4:00 pm (Sasha Out June 13, Closed June 20)

Thursday afternoon audio sessions are now available with Sasha! Audio sessions can be booked for recording existing music, but sessions can also include jamming/brainstorming ideas, practicing an instrument (bass, guitar, banjo, and keyboards are available upon request), or writing. Additionally, sessions can be booked for working on or recording audio unrelated to music. Possible examples include recording a fictional story or poem, podcasting, recording a message for a friend or loved one, or recording an audio memoir. RSVP to schedule a session: 612-752-8332 or community.support@avivomn.org. 

May with the CSP

Brian became the third CSP Walking Club member to reach the goal

of 20 walks, earning himself a new pair of sneakers!

Our CSP herb garden is growing quickly! Pictured: thyme, chives, sage, rosemary, mint, parsley, cilantro, borage, and member-made pipe cleaner flowers.

The HCMC Inspire Arts show is on display through July 25. Members and staff enjoyed celebrating at the show's opening reception.

COVID-19 Protocol Reminder

The Avivo CSP wants to provide everyone with safe in-person programming! Currently, masks are not required at indoor programming. Members and staff who would like to mask are encouraged to do so. Staff will provide a mask if you need one.

The health and safety of our members and our staff is of the utmost importance to us. Please stay home if you are feeling sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. Thank you!

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