Hmong American Farmers Association

The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) was co-founded by siblings Janssen and Pakou Hang in November 2011. Since then, the St. Paul-based organization has helped Hmong American farmers develop profitable, sustainable businesses in the Twin Cities.

Harmony Amish

On the streets of the small town of Harmony, in Fillmore County, cars and trucks share road space with horse-drawn black buggies and wagons. Drivers in modern dress travel alongside people dressed in dark, plain clothing resembling mid-nineteenth-century attire—members of a local Amish enclave. Since its founding in 1974, the Harmony-area Amish community has grown to become the largest Amish population in Minnesota.

Ragamala Dance Company

Founded in 1992 by Ranee Ramaswamy and David Whetstone, Ragamala Dance Company is a leading dance ensemble of the Indian diasporaIndian diaspora in the United States. Through original works like Sacred Earth and Song of the Jasmine, the Minneapolis-based institution has made a global impact while maintaining its Minnesota roots.

Scandinavian Woman Suffrage Association

The Scandinavian Woman Suffrage Association used its unique ethnic affiliation to promote suffrage within Minnesota’s substantial Scandinavian community. By weaving celebrations of culture with targeted suffrage campaigns, the club contributed to Minnesota’s larger fight for women’s voting rights and even raised enough money to build a suffrage movement headquarters on the state fairgrounds.

Sons of Norway in Cottonwood County

Cottonwood County citizens have participated in local chapters of the national Sons of Norway organization, called lodges, since 1938. Since 1974, Stavanger Lodge 538 has brought members together to participate in cultural, artistic, and community events that celebrate Norwegian American traditions.

Romansh in Minnesota

Between 1820 and 1910, it is estimated that at least 30,000 people emigrated from the Swiss canton of Graubünden to the United States. Included in this number were Romansh people—members of an ethnically distinct Swiss population—headed for Minnesota. Beginning in 1854, they settled in Stillwater, St. Paul, the St. Henry Colony (Le Sueur County), the Stillwater-sponsored Badus Colony (South Dakota), and other communities throughout the region.

Theater Mu

Theater Mu is Minnesota’s first professional Asian American theater company. Since its founding in 1992, it has impacted both local and national theater landscapes, helping to create a pan-Asian community of artists and presenting world-premiere productions that illuminate Asian American experiences.

Dakota, Ho-Chunk, and French Indigenous Communities Between St. Paul and Prairie du Chien, ca. 1300–1865

The stretch of land between present-day St. Paul, Minnesota, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, served as a highway for Native and mixed-ancestry fur traders—especially those with French heritage or kinship ties—during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Building on Native trade networks, they created new communities, adapted to cultural change, and contributed to Minnesota’s recognition as a state in 1858.

Northwestern National Bank, Minneapolis

The Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis opened its doors in 1872. During its long history, it survived locust plagues, economic panics, a major milling disaster, the turbulent times of the Great Depression, and a devastating fire. Acquisition of smaller banks and a growing list of services made it one of the top banking companies in the region. In 1929 it became a bank holding company organized as Northwestern Bancorporation (later Norwest Corporation). Norwest merged with Wells Fargo in 1998.

Minnesota Opera

Since its founding in 1963 as the Center Opera Company of the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Opera has maintained a reputation as a highly regarded opera company. In the twenty-first century it produces standard classics while also commissioning and creating compelling new works.


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