Hennepin Theatre Trust COVID-19 Updates

Hennepin Theatre Trust and Clear Channel Outdoor present Art Connects Us artists for September on metro billboards

September 1, 2020

The digital artwork project that offers messages of hope and gratitude during COVID-19 will also feature designs addressing social injustice

MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2020) — Hennepin Theatre Trust today announced the September artists for Art Connects Us, a digital public art project in partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor. The project features original artwork by Minnesota-based artists presenting images and messages of hope to those affected by COVID-19 and gratitude for the people working on the front lines.

Art Connects Us launched in April as a pilot project originally scheduled to run for six weeks. Following its initial success, the Trust was among 44 nonprofit organizations to receive a OneMPLS Pandemic Response Grant from the Minneapolis Foundation which enabled the Trust to extend the project throughout the summer by featuring additional paid artists.

Many of the artists come from diverse backgrounds from the Trust’s broad network of visual artists who have participated in previous Trust public art projects. Both emerging and internationally renowned artists are represented in Art Connects Us with 50% from communities of color, LGBTQ, disabled, seniors and students. Collectively, the digital artwork will showcase a sense of hope and motivation during these uncertain times.

Art Connects Us had featured original works ten artists each month beginning in April running through through September. The final lineup includes:

  • Ta-Coumba T. Aiken, revered artist who believes in community-building and beautification by evoking a positive spirt to hear the hearts of the people and their communities
  • Kprecia Ambers, an illustrator to inspire others like her to build their own door and pursue their dream, celebrate her culture and empower others
  • Daniel Brevick, an artist, photographer and peacemaker combining commercial art and fine art to create a unique voice of personal exploration and expression
  • Camille Gage, Jim Dryden and Scott Stremble, Camille is a Minneapolis artist and writer inspired by the intersection of art and political expression; Jim is an artist, photographer and peacemaker combining commercial art and fine art to create a unique voice of personal exploration and expression; Scott is a photographer best known for his documentary photographs of people, using an approach that portrays his subjects with honesty and dignity
  • Andrew K. Hammond, artist with expressive collages that provoke thought while expressing the people in the African American diaspora
  • Christopher Harrison, a Minneapolis visual artist, illustrator, graphic designer and Museum Arts Educator at Walker Art Center who has created public art for North Minneapolis
  • Keren Kroul, a multi-year recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, her work has been featured in MN Original and print publications
  • Jayda Joy Mc, a 13-year-old African-American artist who loves to paint, draw and develop cartoon character, she hopes to publish a diverse cartoon series in the future
  • Steven Premo, a self-taught illustrator, muralist and graphic designer; reservation and inner-city raised, he is a strong indigenous advocate
  • Connor Rice, a mixed-media artist from Minneapolis who takes visual inspiration from hieroglyphs and graffiti mixing ancient symbols with a modern sensibility

Art Connects Us is just one of the ways that the Trust is responding to the changing cultural landscape brought about by the COVID-19 situation. For example, the Trust’s education department has transformed its programs to virtual spaces by presenting the annual Spotlight Showcase in a video tribute entitled Virtually Together. Just recently, in collaboration with Downtown Improvement District, the “Street Show” summer concert series of street buskers on Nicollet Mall and Hennepin Avenue has been rebooted to online streaming performances.

Hennepin Theatre Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and relies on both ticket sales and contributed revenue for all operational needs related to its community mission. Annually, the Trust serves more than 8,000 high school students statewide and brings nearly 600,000 people to the Hennepin Theatre District to experience art on the street and stage. Ticket holders who can no longer use their tickets to for canceled or rescheduled events are encouraged to consider donating the value of their tickets to the Trust. These donations will further support Trust programs which promote the community and introduce new audiences to the arts.


To learn more about the artists, and to see their digital artwork, please visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org/ArtConnectsUs. #ArtConnectsUs



Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and event center at 900 Hennepin Avenue light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.