July Newsletter: "How to Feel Awesome"


Overflowing with gratitude for supporters and partners.


Letter from the Executive Director

Dear MOI supporter,

Earlier this year, our After-School Homework Help students offered advice on "How to Feel Awesome." They told us things like "meet your idol," and "challenge yourself." And now we're taking their advice to challenge you. Over 50 MOI supporters have already contributed to MOI’s Voyage Fund, and the buildout of our new center—will you join them? We promise it'll make you feel awesome.

And this month, a long-time friend of MOI has offered us a $10,000 challenge grant to support our young authors and finish construction on our new youth writing center. We’re hoping that you’re willing to join him and help us raise $10,000 by August 1. Can you contribute a gift today?

On behalf of MOI’s crew and students, we want to express our deep gratitude to all of those who have already donated, and to the Maggie Foundation, which was generous enough to support the buildout of our new space with a $30,000 match last month.

Our students deserve an inspiring space to write, learn, and have fun. We have started to build it for them, but to be able to finish strong with all the finishing touches—like a beautiful store to showcase student creations, and a stage to hold student readings, and a writing lab that inspires the next generation of Twin Cities authors—we still need your help.

Will you join us in building a youth writing center in South Minneapolis by donating today?

Your support will allow us to:

  • Finish construction on our new youth writing center and oceanographic storefront
  • Serve over 2,000 Twin Cities students next year
  • Create at least 50 publications every year

And, most importantly, your support, as always, will help us amplify youth voice for years to come!

To finishing strong,

Porthole into Programming


MOI has been plying the warm summer programming seas in partnership with Pillsbury United Communities. This historic organization has several centers in South Minneapolis, including the Brian Coyle and Waite House Community Centers, where the MOI crew has been working with youth on creative writing this summer. Students in the Phillips and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods have crafted magical elixirs, described previously unknown sea creatures, and are drafting impactful poetry for the upcoming Waite House Family Carnival on July 27.

Know a 10–18 year old who loves graphic novels? As we sail toward August, MOI is excited to partner with another great organization, courageous heARTS, to herald the next generation of graphic novelists. The Graphic Novel Camp will be an action-packed two weeks, running from July 30 to August 9.

The first week, students will focus on creating adventure-filled narratives. The second week, artist  Breanna Goudeau will guide students in creating their own illustrations and imagery. There are still spots open, including two scholarship spots for MOI students, so be in touch if you have any 10–18 year olds eager for this one-two creative punch! Find more information about the camp—and the many other exciting opportunities offered by courageous heARTS—here.

Dive Deep


MOI would like to say thank you to the partners who have supported us as we sail toward our new space. We would like to thank Seward Redesign and Gensler for helping us design our center, West Monroe Partners for helping us develop our store, and Fueled Collective for giving our staff a space to work during our transition. Thank you!

Join Us!


This Saturday, MOI will be participating in the Greenway Glow, a nighttime arts festival and bike ride. Join us from 6 p.m. to midnight for bioluminescent writing prompts and activities. If you can't join us Saturday, we'll also be at Open Streets MPLS: Franklin on August 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out the pictures of Open Streets MPLS: Lake + Minnehaha this weekend below! Email us if you're interested in volunteering!

Student Spotlight

This weekend, we participated in Open Streets MPLS: Lake + Minnehaha. We offered quick, fun writing prompts for the whole family. From spoken word poems for bike spokes to giant story dice to poems about what summer smells like, we had a whale of a time interacting with you all! Check out these photos of future oceanographers, and join us in August at Open Streets MPLS: Franklin.

Supporter Spotlight


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts (and the Lost Ocean of Minnesota) to this month's super supporters. Donate today to help us meet our match, and to feel awesome.