In 2016, the Hennepin Theatre Trust (HTT) spearheaded “5 to 10 on Hennepin”, an initiative to transform the five-block stretch of Hennepin Avenue between Fifth and Tenth Streets, the main artery of the WeDo™ Cultural District, into a place where all Minneapolitans can feel welcome and comfortable. The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant has supported HTT in building a robust network of community and organizational partners, including the Minneapolis MADDADs, Kulture Klub Collaborative, and Harbor Light Center for the homeless. It has been instrumental in developing a platform for marginalized, predominantly homeless communities of Hennepin Avenue to express themselves creatively through arts, culture, and music. Additionally, PPS and HTT worked together to shift the hearts and minds of municipal decision-makers toward more inclusive long-term planning and design strategy for the Hennepin Avenue 2020 reconstruction; HTT is now included as a key community representative and partner in this City-led process.
“As we activate the larger WeDo™ Cultural District initiative, we have an opportunity to create a significant impact in a designated area and build on the success for the future. We’re lucky to partner with national experts of public space planning which will bring tangible benefits to our local community.”
–Tom Hoch, Former President and CEO, Hennepin Theatre Trust
“How do the arts walk the walk, not just talk the talk?... By building the relationships with MADDADs and with Kulture Klub, we can now go to more traditional arts organizations and offer our relationships to them as an asset, as something they can build on. So we start building, in a much truer sense, a cultural community as opposed to a one-time series of events. That’s what placemaking is really all about; placemaking isn’t about the geography, it’s about the relationships… As a performing arts center, we are not defined by our buildings, but by the relationships we make possible.”
–Mark Nerenhausen, President & CEO, HTT