Interviewing people for Radical Roots, we heard time and again about the incredible energy and creativity taking place on Minneapolis’ West Bank in the late 60s and 70s. Having worked or volunteered at West Bank countercultural institutions created in the 70s like North Country Co-op, the West Bank School of Music and KFAI Community Radio, this was not news to me.
In his interview for the film Dave Gutknecht described it this way:
“The West Bank was full of all kinds of activists in the anti-war years that gave rise to numerous other collective and neighborhood-based enterprises, not only food co-ops, but local publications, and the People's Health Clinic and the Cedar-Riverside Center. Freewheel, which was a worker cooperative and which is no longer. The New Riverside Cafe was a center of a lot of music and cultural activism. North Country Co-op was our first [food co-op] storefront. It was extremely active period of ferment.”
One West Bank regular was Mike Rivard, who made countless hours of videos documenting the West Bank scene and whatever else sparked his interest. He taped this video sometime in the late 1970s. Your support of Radical Roots will allow us to digitize more of this tape, now fragile with age, and thus preserve a record of a fascinating time in Twin Cities history.