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City Pages People Issue 2020: Meet the unsung heroes of the Twin Cities

Colin Michael Simmons

Colin Michael Simmons

In putting together this year’s People Issue — our annual celebration of the unsung folks making Minnesota great — we kept coming back to one word: Community.

There’s the artist who started a community garden and eventually a community-building festival. The rainbow-haired activist standing up for her community of sex workers. The cyclist making space for a community of black riders. All of them bringing folks together, forming those small connections that mean so much in this frigid northern state.

The weather's cold. Who says the people have to be?

Maia Maiden: The Choreographer
A hip-hop dance guru highlighting untapped talent.

Oskar Ly, Christina Vang, and Teeko Yang: The Agriculture Artists
Keeping a tradition alive by fostering creativity.

Rev. Lawrence Richardson: The Keeper of Faith
Minnesota's first black, transgender minister endured a long road of hardships but never lost his faith.

Dan Collison: The Rebel Minister
Kicked out of his church, he founded one of his own.

Tes de Luna and Jason Hughes: The Curators
A love of art, music, and each other under one roof.

Cynthia Quehl: The Music Teacher
Teaching kids the value of taking a risk.

Tony Lopez: The Broadcaster
Helping those without vision connect with the world around them.

Sammy McDowell: The Franchiser
An ambitious food service maven branches out.

Lilly Bernard: The Eco-Clothier
Fighting fast fashion one click at a time.

Zabdiel Luna: The Wrestler
An undocumented American wins a reputation in Trump country.

Dave Cosgrove: The Historian
The creator of Saint Paul Revisited keeps civic history alive on Facebook.

Mukhtar Ibrahim: The Witness
Telling new American communities' stories from the inside out.

Mariah Wilberg: The Testifier
Surviving the system to become a criminal justice advocate.

Audrey Williams: The Mothers’ Helper
Once a single mother herself, now a guardian angel to all.

Louis Moore: The Cyclist
At nearly 80, he’s spent a lifetime making the Twin Cities better for cyclists.

Deborah Ramos: The Community Grower
Celebrating art, music, agriculture, food, and history with just one festival.

Andi Snow: The Advocate
Organizing toward a safer world for sex workers.