Neighbor of the Year '22 Valerie Blomberg (right) with neighbors Catherine (left) and Rachel (center), at National Night Out at Mueller Park, 2021.
In 2018 LHENA began issuing neighborhood awards at its annual meeting to recognize the good work and dedicated individuals in our community. Wedge neighbors submit nominations to the board of directors, who then select the recipients. Winners of the 2022 awards were recognized at the April 20th Annual Meeting and received a $50 gift card to a neighborhood business of their choice.
Neighbor of the Year Award 2022 Winner: Valerie Blomberg
To honor a Wedge resident who has gone above and beyond to have a positive impact on our neighborhood. To qualify, a nominee must be a resident of Lowry Hill East.
In 2020, Valerie coordinated a concert series on the front yards and porches throughout the neighborhood. Having been extremely well received by neighbors, she received a grant to fund another series in May 2021. Four concerts in total were hosted throughout the neighborhood, hundreds came out to listen, and 12 bands/artists performed.
Lawn concert at 24th and Bryant Ave, May 2021.
"Not only did (Valerie) organize an outstanding program last spring, she has jumped in at other times (like National Night Out) and provided neighborhood music. She is always a joy to interact with and has a true love and passion for the neighborhood."
"I wanted to thank you for the lovely concert series. My dad who's 75 just moved (permanently) to Minneapolis to be close to me and going to one of the concerts you organized was one of the first things we did together. Our favorite was the Red Hot Django Peppers. We both really enjoyed it and what a way to welcome my dad to his new home city."
"Thanks much for all of your work putting together the lawn concert series. It was really cool to see so many people enjoying live music together. Thanks again for all of your work, and congrats on what was a really cool and impactful thing for our neighborhood!"
Project of the Year Award 2022 Winner: Wedge Live! Podcast
To recognize a project or an initiative that has improved or made the neighborhood a better place to live.
The 2022 Project of the Year Award was issued to John Edwards, creator of the Wedge Live! Podcast. Wedge resident and LHENA board member Jordan Peacock shared why the podcast deserved this merit:
"I nominated the WedgeLIVE podcast for its 'substantive long-form discussions with people in all areas of local government and policy as well as activists and educators.'
"There’s something to be said for idiosyncratic media. It used to be blogs where one would find people diving deep into niche beats, but today it’s more often on podcasts and Twitter where you will find subject-matter experts going deep into their areas of focus and interest. Over the past year, the Wedge LIVE! podcast has been this for hyper-local politics, interviewing candidates for the Park Board, the Board of Estimate and Taxation, the City Council, mayor, and the upcoming Hennepin County Attorney race. It has hosted conversations about proposed changes to Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues, redistricting, and the openings for city commission seats.
"Some mistake recognition for endorsement. One does not have to agree with the podcast’s approaches or conclusions to recognize that Wedge LIVE! has raised awareness and engagement by going deep and improving the quality of our discussions and debates around issues relevant to our neighborhood and city. I hope it serves as an example for others to provide their own perspectives on the topics that they are passionate about, to all of our benefit."
John Edwards (right), creator of the Wedge Live! podcast, receives an "unofficial award certificate" from Jordan Peacock (left), April 2022. Photo courtesy of Wedge Live!