“It’s the People” Public Art Project 2019

Inspired by the people whose experiences and stories create the unique vibrancy of Hennepin Avenue, this major public art project captured the heart and soul of Minneapolis’ most famous street. It featured nine large-scale portraits displayed on five buildings between 5th and 10th Streets in downtown Minneapolis. The portraits were created by renowned Minnesota artists and featured the avenue’s regulars, from business owners to transit workers to theatregoers.

“We are excited about what this project brings to the Hennepin Theatre District, which is one of Minneapolis’ most historic and vibrant neighborhoods,” says Mark Nerenhausen, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. “Public art projects like this help transform the places and spaces outside our historic theatres by creating an outdoor gallery for everyone to enjoy. Our goal is to provide downtown visitors with a wide variety of art and cultural projects and events so that they return time and time again.”

It’s the People” joined existing murals and public art projects that make the Hennepin Theatre District a vibrant and welcoming place. The new artwork centered on five themes: workforce, transportation, LGBT+, theatre and youth.

This first installment of an ongoing project is just one way Hennepin Theatre Trust plans to add vitality to the Hennepin Theatre District during the Hennepin Avenue construction project happening during the next four years.

“We’ve made a promise to our stakeholders, partners and the businesses along Hennepin Avenue that we would lead visible, vibrant public art activities and other activations that are going to help us to get through the disruption of Hennepin reconstruction,” says Joan Vorderbruggen, Hennepin Theatre Trust’s director of placemaking and public art. “I want everyone to come down to Hennepin Avenue, and I want everybody to celebrate and enjoy this work.”

Participating artists in 2019’s installment included:

Thanks to our supporters, we are able to instill confidence and community connection in more than 6,000 students statewide through our arts education programs, elevate and financially support the creative works of local artists and provide meaningful arts and cultural experiences to the more than 600,000 people we bring to the Hennepin Theatre District annually. When you make a gift to Hennepin Theatre Trust, you are enabling cultural and economic vitality to flourish statewide. Please support the arts by giving a donation.