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Community Center Activities, November 2017

NovemberCalendar Grid of Activities or Listing of Activities

Register, Questions, and Cancellations: Call 612-843-3439 or email

RSVPing for events in November will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, October 30th.

To listen to an audio version of the calendar, call the Activity Line at 612-253-5155.

Please RSVP for all activities every month. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers.

Holiday Hours – VLR offices will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th.


“Even when November’s sun is low

And Winter flaps his fleecy wings,

Thy gold among his silvery snow

A solace in the sadness brings.

~James Rigg, “To the Corn Marigold,” 1897


*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

11/1 (W): 3Fs: Fabric, Fiber, and Friends

1:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Do you enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, or creative hobbies? Then come in and bring your own project to work on as you enjoy the company of others. We donate many of our handmade items to local charities! This group also meets on the 8th, 15th, and 29th. Please note: no 3Fs on the 22nd—enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

11/2 (TH): 500 Cards

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 30th.

11/2 (TH): Yoga

10:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Stretch out your limbs in an introduction to yoga class! This class will focus on proper body alignment, finding your balance in postures, and breathing techniques that will encourage you to be empowered in accessing the inner wisdom of your own body. This class is an hour long and all levels are welcomed. Please arrive 10 minutes early to discuss any needs or questions you may have. Also meets on the 16th. Max: 6.

11/6 (M): Games Extravaganza

1:00-3:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Please note: moved to 1:00 for November only! Come for lively fun with board and trivia games. There’s plenty of time for games, laughter, conversation, and a light snack.

11/6 (M): Demo Day with OrCam

Drop-in 11:00-4:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Aliza Olenick, Area Sales Manager, Sales Consultant and Certified Trainer with OrCam, will be available at VLR Minneapolis from 11am to 4pm to provide one-on-one demos of the OrCam device. Drop in at your convenience. This is a great way for people to get time with the device and learn more about how others are being successful using it. Aliza will be available to answer questions and provide training support to current users, as well.

11/7 (T): Advanced Tech: Navigation Apps

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

In this more advanced tech class, we will be discussing Navigation Apps for your phone, including BlindSquare for both Android and Apple devices. BlindSquare is the World’s Most Popular accessible GPS application developed for the blind and visually impaired that describes the environment around you and announces points of interest and street intersections as you travel. Please have your email/phone password on hand. (All tech classes will meet in Minneapolis this month.)

11/7 (T): DeafBlind Beading

4:00-7:00. In SP. Cost is $5 for the month, plus your kit.

This is an arts and crafts group for DeafBlind consumers. Support staff (SSPs) are provided. Also meets on the 14th, 21st, and 28th.

11/8 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS. No charge.

During the Great Depression, the Joad family leaves Oklahoma for California. They are motivated by drought, economic hardship, and the encroachment of large agricultural interests. This is the plot of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (DB068308).

11/8 (W): BINGO

5:00-7:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Everyone loves BINGO! Bring your friends and family for a night that is sure to be fun.

11/13 (M): Walking Group

9:00-11:30. No charge.

Come join your friends as we walk for an hour, break for coffee and conversation, then walk for another hour at your own pace, paired with your own volunteer. It’s a fun, easy way to get up and moving! Space limited. Address: Door 13, Southdale Mall, Edina

11/13 (M): Hearts

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

11/14 (T): Tech: 101 – BeSpecular/Be My Eyes Apps

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

We will learn the basics of using the BeSpecular and Be My Eyes apps. Both apps work by connecting a visually impaired or blind user to a sighted volunteer who helps them to navigate the world and small tasks–like reading a expiration date on a food item or ingredient lists–either with video, voice message, or text message. This class is in Minneapolis location. Please have your email/phone password on hand.

11/14 (T): Movie Matinee

12:30-2:15. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Join us for a fun movie matinee, with popcorn. We will be playing the audio-described movie “Sully.” On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Despite the accolades, the famed pilot now faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.

11/15 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Lolly Lijewski, a former VLR student, will demonstrate and explain how she uses Aira, a visual interpreter service.  Aira develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects low vision and blind individuals with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind or low vision person sees in real time. Agents, serving as visual interpreters, help users accomplish a wide range of daily tasks and activities – from navigating busy streets to recognizing faces and literally traveling the world.

11/16 (TH): Calendar Assembly

9:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge. Treats served.

Join the many helping hands that work together to assemble the Community Center Calendar mailing.

11/16 (TH): Craft: Painted Pinecone Door Hanging

1:00-3:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Join us to make a festive door hanging out of pinecones. We will be painting pinecones a variety of festive colors and securing them to ribbons to hang them from your door or anywhere in your home. Snacks will be served and no crafting experience is necessary. Space limited.

11/17 (F): Featured Event: Shopping Day

10:00-2:00. No charge; lunch is on your own.

Join us at Southdale Center in Edina for a fun morning and afternoon of shopping so you’re all ready for the holidays! We will have volunteers to assist you with finding the perfect gifts. Lunch is on your own. We will meet inside Door 13, next to Jimmy John’s. Please plan your pick-up rides for 2:00pm-2:15pm. Address: Southdale Center, Edina, Door 13

11/17 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00

Please note: moved to 3rd Friday due to Thanksgiving Holiday. Join us as we work on hand-built clay projects. Come make plates, cups, or create whatever comes to the imagination. No experience necessary.

11/20 (M): Cribbage

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

11/21 (T): Tech: iPad 101 – New iPad Features

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

We will discuss some new iOS system features specific to the iPad device. This is a good beginner class to learn and refresh how to use your iPad or learn if an iPad may be a good fit for you. This class is in Minneapolis location. Please have your Apple password on hand.

11/21 (T): Lunch Bunch


Join us for lunch at Joseph’s Grill in St. Paul. With a wide variety of fresh ingredients and homemade meals, there’s something for every taste at Joseph’s. From comfort food options to their famous fajitas and great burgers and sandwiches, you’ll always receive generous portions. Don’t forget to ask for Joe’s original homemade salsa with your meal! Sandwiches start at $10.45. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will automatically be added to each bill.  Please plan your pick-up rides for 1:30pm-1:45pm. Address: 140 South Wabasha, Saint Paul, MN 55107

11/28 (T): Tech: Open Q&A

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

We will have a completely open class for participants to bring ANY questions concerning their mobile devices. Feel free to stay for the whole time or drop-in. Both iPhone and Android questions can be asked. This class is in the Minneapolis location. Please have your email/phone password on hand.

11/29 (W): Outing – Tour of the American Swedish Institute

12:45pm-2:15pm. Cost: $5.00

Join us for a festive tour of the American Swedish Institute. This will be a one-hour tactile tour of the historic Turnblad Mansion including detailed woodcarvings, sculpted ceilings and the handcrafted Swedish tile stoves. Learn about the fascinating Turnblad family, the architecture of their castle, the history of the American Swedish Institute and immigrant life in early Minneapolis. Please plan your pick-up rides for 2:15pm-2:30pm. Address: 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, 55407

11/29 (W): Dart Demo

1:00-2:00. In MPLS. No charge.

Join us for a demonstration on how to throw darts. Representatives from a local dart league for individuals with low vision will be on hand to demonstrate this fun recreational sport. Come to learn more about this fun activity and try it out! No charge.

11/30 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:30-6:30. In MPLS. No charge.

Get your body moving in our fitness center and stay on track with your fitness goals. Work on the various equipment and get guided instruction and ideas on how to improve your health through exercise. All levels of experience are welcome!


Caregiver Support Groups at VLR

Connect with other caregivers and get resources to support yourself and those you care for! November’s meeting will be in Minneapolis on Wednesday, November 8th from 5:00-6:30pm. Please note: NO December meeting. Contact Megan at 612-843-3416 with questions.

VLR Low Vision Support Groups

VLR offers numerous low vision support groups in the Twin Cities for individuals to meet for support, comradery, and information. Want to get connected? Contact us at 651-224-7662. You may be asked to complete a free in-home assessment before attending so we can get to know you and match you to the right group!

Independent Living Skills Course at VLR-

Need some help learning how to manage your vision loss? Take our 4-week Independent Living Skills course, which covers the Emotional Impact of Vision Loss, Orientation and Mobility, Technology and Communication, Organization & Labeling, Writing, Ways to Enhance Remaining Vision, Food Prep Techniques, and Money Management. Lunch is provided.

November Dates: Thursdays November 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 30th from 10am to 3pm at our St. Paul location.

To register: Call 651-224-7662. Ask about transportation options!


Blind and Low Vision Computer Users Group

This group meets every month at various locations to discuss many relevant technology topics! Contact: Bill Herzog at 612 408-9415 or email for more info and to RSVP!

When: Saturday, November 18

Topic: Apple Accessibility Presentation from Apple Store

Address: Uptown Apple Store, 3018 Hennepin Ave S. Minneapolis

Grants for MN Emerging Artists with Disabilities

VSA Minnesota is awarding six grants of $2,000 each to Minnesota Emerging Artists (unknown, new, or lesser known artists) doing NEW work (not to frame/publish previously completed work.) Any form of art is accepted: visual art, writing, film, video, music, dance, multi-media, etc. Application submissions and art samples are due by December 1, 2017 at midnight.

For more information or to receive the one-page application paperwork and list of other required documents, email Jon Skaalen at or call 612-332-3888. More info available online at

VSA Minnesota has a list of audio-described, ASL-interpreted, and sensory-friendly plays, concerts, exhibits, tours, and special events in the Twin Cities. Contact them at 612-332-3888 or email for more information. The calendar is online at



RSVP and Cancelation Policy: You must RSVP for all activities. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers. Registrants will be notified when classes are canceled due to low enrollment or weather conditions.

RSVP line: 612-843-3439 or

VLR Hours: Please schedule your Metro pickups as close to the activity end time as possible. VLR’s hours are 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday (except when there are evening classes and activities). Please schedule your pick-ups before the building closes. Thank you!

Severe Weather Days: Please call the VLR Weather Hotline at 612-284-8107 to see if VLR offices and activities are open for that day. The hotline will be updated by 6:00 AM if VLR is closing for severe weather. Participants who have RSVPd for a class will also be notified.

Refund Policy: All events that need to be pre-paid are marked on the calendar. To hold your spot for these events, we must receive your money. If you need to cancel when a ticket is purchased in advance, you will be charged for the ticket unless someone on the waiting list can take your place. If you need to cancel please call the RSVP line at 612-843-3439 or email

Scholarships: No one is denied participation due to inability to pay. Full and partial scholarships are available. Please leave your scholarship request on the RSVP line.

Visitor Sign-in: Please sign-in and sign-out at the front desk in MPLS.

Photo Policy: When you attend a VLR activity, your image may be recorded for use by VLR and/or our community partners. This use may include printed media, social media, or online uses. If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact Iris at VLR: 612-843-3425.


Christina Tucker–Program Coordinator, Community Services, 612-843-3419,

Jen Roehl—Volunteer Manager


Minneapolis Office: 1936 Lyndale Ave S. 55403

Main Line: 612-871-2222

St. Paul Office: 216 S Wabasha St., 55107

Phone: 651-224-7662

Please note: For those being dropped off, parking, or needing an accessible ramp at the Saint Paul office, please use the back entrance (215 Starkey St).

Activity Line: 612-253-5155 to listen to an audio version of the calendar.

RSVP: 612-843-3439 or