June 15, 2018

The Trust has been recognized for a public mural at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center

MINNEAPOLIS—Hennepin Theatre Trust has been recognized by Americans for the Arts for a public mural in downtown Minneapolis at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center that was completed in August 2017. The Trust has been honored as one of 49 outstanding public arts projects created in 2017 in the country through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art.

Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled this morning at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Denver. This is the 17th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public art works.

Hennepin Theatre Trust president and CEO Mark Nerenhausen said, “The Harbor Light mural is a great example of creating positive change through the arts. Alongside many talented Minnesota artists and community partners, we’re leading an exciting revitalization in the district between Fifth to Tenth Streets.”

Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Local artists Bianca Pettis and Erin Sayer created the mural which is on the north and west facing walls of the Harbor Light Center. They participated in several visioning sessions with residents to develop the design concepts that were implemented. Youth from Kulture Klub Collaborative contributed to the creative process learning how to set up the work site and assisting the artists. Minneapolis Mad Dads facilitated outreach with residents hosting daily barbeques and clean up sessions at the site. Hennepin Theatre Trust oversaw the process from concept to completion.

“We have many ‘stages’ on Hennepin Avenue where we can create unexpected artful experiences,” said Joan Vorderbruggen, director of public art and placemaking for the Trust. “We recognize the valued role inclusiveness plays in the creative process of such experiences and enjoyed deepening our relationships with our neighbors to manifest this new work of public art for the district. We’re so thankful to the Salvation Army’s for their leadership and participation on this project.”

Trish Thacker, Executive Director of Salvation Army Harbor Light Center said, “It’s been a pleasure working with the Trust,” She said this is the first project of its kind in collaborating with a theater organization. “This inspiring new mural triggered some important lasting effects. Clients’ increased sense of inclusion in the broader community led to increased safety on our block, a demonstrated ownership of the mural by our clients and the formation of new partnerships.”

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed on this page and are on display throughout the Annual Convention. Three independent public art experts—Bryan Lee, Jr., director of design at Colloqate Design in New Orleans; Karen Mack, executive director of LA Commons in Los Angeles; and Denver artist Patrick Marold—discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions in selecting this year’s choices for the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2017.

The complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 49 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.

Funding for the mural was made possible by Southwest Airlines, Project for Public Spaces, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, Mad Dads and the Minneapolis Mayor’s Office.

Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through the arts by bringing together people, businesses and organizations in WeDo™, the West Downtown MPLS Cultural District. We serve the community through our three historic theatres – the Orpheum, State and Pantages – and our unique arts, culture and education programs. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.