Talk-It Hennepin, the free series about city design and the re-invention of Hennepin Avenue that pairs public conversations with follow-up workshops, continues May 7–12 and June 7 and 9, 2012. The talks feature some of today's foremost visionaries in urban planning including Charles Landry in May, considered the world's leading authority on creative, intercultural cities. June brings Chanchanit Martorell, a City of Los Angeles' planning commissioner who formed and leads Thai Town and specializes in urban economic development, Don Mitchell, cultural geography professor and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow who researches "contested" urban spaces and Minnesota native Seitu Jones, an award winning environmental artist who creates large scale public artworks and was the City of Minneapolis' first Artist-in-Residence. Attendance is free, please RSVP (accepted until space is filled). To respond and for more information, visit hennepintheatretrust.org/Plan-It.
Talk-It Hennepin began in March by exploring Hennepin Avenue's history and continues April 26 and 28 at Walker Art Center with New Orleans-based artist Candy Chang addressing creative urban intervention. The corresponding Talk-It Hennepin workshops are led by a local interdisciplinary team including visual artist Ta-coumba Aiken, vocal artist Mankwe Ndosi, dancer/choreographer Leah Nelson and theatre professional Harry Waters Jr. The team works interactively with participants to develop the framework and soul of the plan delving into values, vision, goals and design concepts. An urban design team, led by Twin Cities' landscape architect Bob Close and architect Mic Johnson of AECOM, with urban designer Peter Musty is gathering community input and ideas from the workshops to formalize streetscape, infrastructure, transit and development plans. They also crafted a scale model of Hennepin Avenue on display in various Talk-It locations.
The Talk-It series is part of the broader Plan-It Hennepin, a year-long initiative to re-imagine Hennepin Avenue as a revitalized cultural corridor from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi River. The project is led by partners Hennepin Theatre Trust, Walker Art Center, Artspace and the City of Minneapolis and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant.
A Week-Long Visit from Charles Landry - As part of Talk-It Hennepin
Monday, May 7, 10 a.m.–Noon, Connecting Cities, Connecting Cultures, Cowles Center, Goodale Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave. Landry begins his Twin Cities visit to inspire new thinking and start a dialogue with the neighborhoods along the Central Corridor Light Rail Line from Hennepin Avenue to Lowertown, St. Paul. Partners include Metropolitan Council, Twin Cities LISC, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation and Ethnic Cultural Tourism Destinations Collaborative/CultureBrokers Foundation. Limited space available. RSVPs taken until event is full.
Thursday, May 10, 5–8:30 p.m. Talk-It Hennepin is encouraging participants to hear Charles Landry, keynote speaker for the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation's 18th Annual Great River Gathering, Saint Paul's RiverCentre Grand Ballroom. There is a charge for this event. For ticket information, visit www.riverfrontcorporation.com
Saturday, May 12, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Talk It Workshop: Coming, Going and Staying on Hennepin, FAIR School, Downtown, 10 S. 10th St., Mpls.; With Hennepin Avenue as the central point, local artists and urban designers will ask workshop participants to walk up and down the Avenue, lead them to visualize challenges and suggest problem-solving ideas.
Speaker Bio: Charles Landry is an internationally renowned authority on urban futures and the use of creative approaches to achieve farsighted aims. Landry helps cities transform their thinking to assess their potential afresh, working as a 'critical friend' to inspire, stimulate, challenge and facilitate. He combines a global perspective with an acute sense of what matters locally and grounds ideas in practical projects. His highly acclaimed book, The Art of City Making (2006), focuses on how cities can be more creative for the world, so that the energies of individuals and companies can be aligned with global responsibilities, building on his original ideas in The Creative City: A Toolkit for urban innovators. The creative city is now a global movement to rethink the planning, development and management of cities. Landry founded the think tank Comedia in 1978, which pioneered the connection between culture, creativity and city transformation.