The Minneapolis City Council today 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.