Cretin-Derham Hall High School

      Cretin-Derham Hall is a high school of about 1,000 students in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A private, Catholic school in a residential neighborhood, Cretin-Derham Hall competes in the Suburban East Conference. A quick glance at their website reveals some of the school’s priorities: faith, education, service, and athletics.

      In terms of extracurriculars, athletics appears to play one of the most influential roles. There are 27 varsity sports, with the school reporting that about 76% of the student body participates. So many students participate that there are junior varsity, B team, and 9th grade squads as well for many of the more popular sports. Cretin-Derham emphasizes athletics because they view sports as promoting “their mission and values,” as their sleek website puts it.

      Many of Cretin-Derham Hall’s famous alums are professional athletes, including NFL, NHL, and MLB players. Alums have won awards at the highest level of their sports. Behind this must be a system to fundraise and manage a large athletics program at a private school. Looking at the development office at Cretin-Derham Hall should reveal a staff adept at getting people to support an educational institution largely because of sports.

Art Rolnick – University of Minnesota Senior Fellow

I can’t wait to meet Dr. Art Rolnick!

He is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School for Public Affairs and is conducting research on child development and social policy. His current findings inspired his criticisms of Minnesota investing taxpayers’ money into sports stadiums instead of early education programs and other projects that could directly benefit Minnesotans. His vocal stance on allocation of finances sparked a movement across the state.


Sara Shives

Sara Shives (Grinnell College class of ‘97) is one of the premier event producers in the United States. She has done event producing for many different types of performances, athletic and otherwise. Her top gig has an international flair; she was instrumental in the working of the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014. An event of that level has so many factors to consider, it must have been a true challenge, but based on my recollections the Sochi Games went extremely smoothly, and thanks are likely due to Shives.
Shives also has produced events in Minnesota, notably the 10-day Super Bowl Live show preceding Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. This proves that an event producer has to be very versatile, to be able to cover a wide range of sports and venues. I’m Minnesota born and raised, so I am interested to hear about Shive’s other jobs, in particular, the Walker Art Center. I’m interested to hear how the jobs she does that are sports-based differ from those that are more focused on the arts. I think that Shive’s will depart some serious wisdom on organization and planning in sports, an area that a casual fan might not usually give a second thought.

Minnesota United FC

This is a soccer club which has existed for many years, at different levels of competition and with different names. In 2015, it was announced that Minnesota United FC would become the 22nd professional team in the Major League Soccer (MLS). Prior to this, the club had been playing at lower levels but still professional soccer leagues. Along with the transition to the MLS, a new stadium has also been built. The stadium was completed in 2018. The club began its MLS journey in 2017. They played in the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank stadium while they waited the completion of the new stadium. The club does not have any rivalries in the MLS, due to the fact that it has not been involved in as much competition. The club does have a number of official and unofficial supporter groups. The roster includes a number of key players, one being Darwin Quintero, who has had a successful career in one of Mexico’s most recognized teams, prior to his transfer.

Mayor Jacob Frey

Jacob Frey is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party who just won Minneapolis’s mayoral election in 2017. Since being sworn into office Mayor Jacob Frey has put great emphasis on affordable housing policies that are more inclusive to low-income residents. The proposed budget for Minneapolis in 2019 includes 40 million dollars for this affordable housing initiative and will likely remain a fundamental concern to Frey’s platform.

Howard Sinker

Howard Sinker is the Digital Sports Editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and a fellow graduate of a liberal arts college, Macalester. During his time as digital head, the Star Tribune’s sports site has been named one of the top 10 in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors in addition to winning several APSE multimedia awards, along with the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. In addition to his writing duties, he is a faculty member at his alma mater, teaching news reporting. He frequently guests on Minnesota Public Radio to discuss sports topics of the day, and according to his Twitter bio, is a Minnesota Twins and Lynx season ticket holder. 

True to his twitter handle (@afansview), Sinker’s writing offers a fans perspective of Minnesota sports, combining the romantic element of sports with an insider’s knowledge. A quick scan through his Twitter feed also reveals a dry sense of sports humor complimented by political wit, with Minnesota political figures often serving as the punchline to express whatever disappointment his beloved teams have given him. He also goes beyond the traditional big 4 men’s sports of football (both college and NFL), baseball, basketball, and hockey, to shed light on the WNBA. There is also an acknowledgement of the cross section of sports and society, most evident in his discussion of DIII athletics. Whether its a product of his status as a faculty member at one of these institutions or his genuine fandom of sport, Sinker demonstrates commitment to the ideals of sport and an understanding of its communal power. 

The Walker Arts Center

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The Walker Arts Center began in 1879 as a single, painting filled room in the private estate of T. B. Walker. It now a publicly owned institution spanning over 17 acres, including one of the nation’s largest sculpture gardens. The center houses a diverse range of contemporary exhibits containing visual arts, performing arts, and film. They also host a variety of educational programs encouraging youth involvement in the arts and community development. The Walker Art Center’s central goal is to promote both self and cultural expression. To learn more visit: