East Range, MN

Strong Towns is leading a series of in-depth, community-centered conversations in the Minnesota Iron Range. On Wednesday, May 18th, we'll focus on telling the story of the East Range.


Time: 9:30a.m.  

Location: Meet at Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce (211 East Howard Street)

Join Strong Towns President, Chuck Marohn, for a walking tour of downtown Hibbing. We'll observe things that are working well and how small, incremental, low-cost improvements could make a big difference for people and businesses downtown. 

Panel Discussion: Collaboration is Crucial

Location: Noon-1pm,  Lyric Center for the Arts (514 Chestnut St, Virginia) *Please RSVP

Time: 12pm-1pm

When Range communities collaborate, their voice is amplified and services are provided more efficiently. This panel will feature representatives from the East Range sharing some of the successes they have had in partnering together. 

Creating partnerships that function well and deliver is not easy. It takes a lot of work and trust-building. But, it's work that pays off. Our panelists will talk about the challenges and opportunities that have come about through collaboration.


  • Curt Antilla, Director, East Range Joint Powers Board
  • Mary Hess, Mayor of Aurora
  • Ed Kippley, Board Chair of Town of White
  • Mark Skelton, Mayor of Hoyt Lakes
  • Jim Weikum, Mayor of Biwabik

Curbside Chat

Location: Mesabi East School – Auditorium (601 N 1st St W, Aurora)

Time: 6pm-8pm

Strong Towns staff, including President, Charles Marohn (a lifelong resident of northern Minnesota), will lead a discussion about why our communities are struggling financially and how to fix that. The answers lie in the way we have developed; the financial productivity of our places. The standard approach to economic growth—which often involves injecting outside funds in the hopes of catalyzing development—is not working and has left the Iron Range with financial challenges and unemployment.

Strong Towns will highlight creative ways to build better places and create more job opportunities, all while utilizing the assets that already exist in the community. This is a model that has proven to be successful in other towns throughout the country.

All members of the community are invited to attend this free, public event to participate in discussions about the alternative economy and the Strong Towns approach. 

(Top photo by Roy Luck)