Trust recognized by City of Minneapolis for innovative placemaking work
At a celebration of all good things happening in Minneapolis’ Ward 3, Council Member Steve Fletcher Wednesday awarded Hennepin Theatre Trust a Best in Placemaking award for its 5 to 10 on Hennepin live event series. The events, held once each month May through November, mostly serve individuals experiencing homelessness and create ways for attendees to experience and enjoy art and music.
“I’m thrilled to accept this award on behalf Hennepin Theatre Trust,” said Joan Vorderbruggen, director of Hennepin Theatre District engagement, who leads the organization’s public art initiatives. “Through these events, we’re giving youth and others an opportunity to express themselves creatively in a new and exciting way. Not only are these arts experiences making a huge difference the lives of attendees, they’re also recognized as an important part of public safety in downtown Minneapolis, and I’m proud of that.”
The Trust launched 5 to 10 on Hennepin in 2016 as a summertime event series with support from numerous partners including the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (MDID), The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, MAD DADs Minneapolis, Kulture Klub Collaborative and more. Youth from Kulture Klub lead planning for the events, coordinating musical acts and other activities. Additionally, numerous social services agencies are present to connect attendees with services and basic needs such as housing, health checks and free food.
Fletcher applauded the Trust for taking the initiative to lead in downtown Minneapolis. “The Trust just self-started a wave of positive activity,” he said. “First it set out chessboard on sidewalks for anyone to enjoy, and now we have an amazing live event series that anyone who spends time along Hennepin Avenue has come to experience and enjoy. This is just what we need more people and organizations to do.”
A 2019 grant from the Minneapolis Office for Violence Prevention allowed the Trust to expand the series into the fall, hosting the events inside at the Trust’s event center located at 900 Hennepin Avenue. The series concluded with a community meal on the day before Thanksgiving that served an estimated 200 individuals.
The Best in Placemaking award is one of eight awards that Fletcher announced on Wednesday night. Other “bests” include New Local Business (Marigold Way), Public Realm Initiative (100 Restrooms Project), Leader of the Year (Diane Loeffler), Transportation Initiative (Broadway Street NE), Community Initiative (DID Late Night Ambassadors) and Affordable Housing Project (Stonehouse Square Apartments). Mayor Jacob Frey started the Ward 3 3rd aWards when he served the district prior to being elected mayor.