MINNEAPOLIS (March 14, 2023) — Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors association, today awarded Hennepin Theatre Trust president and CEO Mark Nerenhausen with the President’s Award in recognition of his distinguished leadership of the Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis. The award honors Nerenhausen’s significant contributions to the visitor experience of Minneapolis.
“This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Hennepin Theatre Trust team of employees and partners to create truly transformative change for our city and our state,” said Nerenhausen. “When I came to the Trust six years ago, we were the fledgling steward of three historic theatres in downtown Minneapolis. Now, we have grown into a nationally recognized performing arts center that boosts our city and state’s tourism industry by providing Minnesotans with the best in live entertainment, an award-winning public art program and the state’s largest theater education program. Of the 600,000 patrons that we bring downtown every year, over 120,000 are from outside the metro area, enhancing the national reputation of the city and creating a cultural and economic impact felt around the state. We are proud to receive this award today, and we look forward to great things ahead.”
“Since his arrival in Minneapolis, Mark has been a driving force for an organization that welcomes more than a half million visitors to Minneapolis each year to enjoy a positive experience downtown. Across its five historic venues in the Hennepin Theatre District, Hennepin Theatre Trust drives the vitality of downtown Minneapolis and the economic growth and prosperity of the state,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis. “Mark has been instrumental in the renovation and revitalization of Hennepin Avenue, building a vibrant, dynamic and welcoming historic Hennepin Theatre District for all. We are pleased to honor him with this well-deserved award.”
During his tenure at Hennepin Theatre Trust, Nerenhausen successfully led the performing arts center through the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, welcomed Brave New Workshop—America’s oldest running sketch comedy troupe—into the Trust as a resident company, expanded the Trust’s statewide impact, honored the legacy of Minnesota’s most legendary comic in the purchasing and renaming of the Dudley Riggs Theatre and achieved the most significant financial accomplishment in the Trust’s history. In October 2022, 13 years ahead of schedule, Hennepin Theatre Trust paid off $14 million in bonds issued by the City of Minneapolis for the historic Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres. Under Nerenhausen’s leadership, Hennepin Theatre Trust completed the lease with the City and is poised to further accelerate its work as a major performing arts center in the heart of Minnesota.
The Meet Minneapolis “President’s Award” is presented to an individual or organization that contributes significantly to the visitor experience of Minneapolis. Past winners include Owamni by the Sioux Chef (2022), First Avenue (2020), and the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves for their work on the WNBC All-Star Game (2019).
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.
This activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.