The Minneapolis City Council this week unanimously endorsed a comprehensive plan recognizing the Hennepin Cultural District in downtown Minneapolis.
The District is centered around a vibrant and lively arts-driven stretch of Hennepin Avenue and adjacent streets that encompasses cultural institutions, educational organizations and businesses, punctuated by historic theatres, the Central Library, Walker Art Center and the incredible natural spaces at the either end—the Mississippi Riverfront and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The Cultural District is the culmination of the year-long Plan-It Hennepin initiative led by project partners Hennepin Theatre Trust,Walker Art Center, Artspace and the City of Minneapolis, who will be part of a “Cultural District Alliance” charged with overseeing implementation of the Plan. Funded largely by a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” grant supporting creative placemaking, the plan dovetails directly with elements of the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s 2025 Plan.
The Cultural District planning process drew input from more than 1500 stakeholders concerned with the future of Minneapolis, who participated in a series of free public conversations and workshops led by local and nationally known visionaries in urban and city planning.
Over the next three to ten years, the Plan envisions a seamless downtown “campus” with 24/7 activities serving the area’s increasingly diverse residents and visitors. The Plan contemplates a green, creative, safe and pedestrian friendly space and would focus special attention on target segments of Hennepin Avenue by creating flexible outdoor courtyards, mixed-use living and work places, pop-up galleries in vacant store fronts and distinctive public art to mark iconic intersections at the River Gateway and improve the transitional appeal of the I-94 Hennepin-Lyndale underpass. For more information and to download complete copies of the Cultural District Plan, Executive Summary and appendices, visit hennepintheatretrust.org/Plan-It.
Hennepin Theater Trust, owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century Theatres, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to arts-inspired community cultural development. We achieve our mission by presenting a rich mix of live performances, creating inspiring arts education experiences and advancing a thriving Hennepin Avenue cultural district in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Trust’s activities include presenting Broadway touring productions and the related Broadway Confidential series, concerts, comedy, speakers and other variety entertainment plus educational initiatives including our SpotLight Musical Theatre and SpotLight Critical Reviewer programs for high schools, Teen Ushers, the Access Program and Family Day events.
ArtSpace is America’s leader in arts-driven community transformation, with headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington DC. To date Artspace has completed 32 projects nationwide, creating more than 1,100 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as a million square feet of non-residential space for artists, arts organizations and creative enterprises. Additional information is available at www.artspace.org.
Walker Art Center is one of the most celebrated art museums in the country, the Walker Art Center is known for presenting today’s most compelling artists, as well as modern masters, including Andy Warhol, Matthew Barney, Jasper Johns, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, and Kara Walker. In addition to traveling exhibitions and its world-renowned collection, the Walker presents a broad array of contemporary music, dance, and theater, and the best in film from around the world and down the block. The Walker’s 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the country’s largest urban sculpture parks. At its center is the beloved Twin Cities landmark-the playful fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry. The Garden features more than 40 works of art and the Cowles Conservatory.