Graduate Research Intern

Hennepin Theatre Trust, owner of the historic Orpheum, State and Pantages Theatres, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to creating positive change through the arts. We present a rich mix of live performances, create inspiring arts education experiences and advance a thriving downtown Minneapolis. Our activities include presenting Broadway touring productions, concerts, comedy, speakers and other varieties of entertainment. We inspire high school students across the state of Minnesota with our Spotlight Education program. We also create and operate unique projects like the iconic Bob Dylan mural, 5 to 10 on Hennepin, and Made Here, which puts art in vacant storefront windows.

Our new home at 900 Hennepin will further the Trust’s revitalization of downtown Minneapolis. At 900 Hennepin, which is adjacent to our Orpheum Theatre, lovers of theatre and the arts will connect, engage and be inspired in a multi-use facility featuring performances, educational opportunities, hospitality and innovative programming for artists, students and theatre patrons of all ages.

Hennepin Theatre Trust is positioned to lead activation of the Theatre District along Hennepin Avenue between 5th and 10th streets with public art and placemaking initiatives before, during and after the reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue in 2020.

The Graduate Research Intern is responsible for researching special assessments and other business models that support special arts districts via policy and civic positioning. This position conducts research locally and nationally to identify obstacles, challenges, and lessons learned to generate several case studies with statistics that result in arts activation of urban ecologies, and as mitigation to infrastructure transformation.

This is a paid internship.


Research Objectives

  • Identify examples of best practices in which creative placemaking has been successfully supported financially by special assessment and public policy in a US city.
  • Investigate policy at the city level that relates to placemaking, what is in place currently, and what projects have been piloted in the past.
  • Develop three case studies that demonstrate arts activation in an urban center. Discuss the challenges they faced and the lessons learned to produce positive outcomes, how they were sustained over time, and processes they used.
  • Recommend how the learnings from these case studies may be applied to issues and opportunities presented by the reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue.
  • Create a presentation of the case studies that can be shared with leadership and campus partners



  • MA student with a focus on public policy or arts administration
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Self-motivated and resourceful
  • Research skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of people
  • Experience in making formal and informal presentations in a variety of settings

 Desired Skills

  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Project management skills

 Physical and Schedule Requirements

  • May require some evening and weekend work
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the assigned and essential functions

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications.  Management reserves the right to change or modify such duties as required. All employees are responsible for following applicable Hennepin Theatre Trust policies and procedures as defined by their manager or Employee Handbook.

 Hennepin Theatre Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetics.