Creating a thriving urban destination with unique, positive and welcoming experiences for everyone

Photography by Ray J. Wallin

Downtown Minneapolis, also known as the WeDo™ MPLS Cultural District, has a vastly rich and colorful history with its most vibrant days still ahead of it.

Hennepin Theatre Trust is working to drive urban transformation in WeDo and how millions of people experience the city’s businesses, art, entertainment, restaurants, hotels and more.

We currently have a significant footprint along Hennepin Avenue with our three historic theatres — the Orpheum, State and Pantages. These playhouses help drive economic activity and enliven WeDo by bringing more than 500,000 people downtown each year to experience some of the best in live entertainment.

Our new home at 900 Hennepin, formally known as Solera, adds to our cultural platforms and gives us the ability to broaden our reach and drive vitality in downtown. The space — located in the heart of the city next to our largest theatre, the Orpheum — enables us to bring more high-quality international, national and local arts and cultural experience to more Minnesotans, as well visitors from across the globe.

Strong partnerships are central to making positive change a reality in WeDo. We’re taking a truly innovative approach by bringing together and collaborating with businesses, community organizations and local leaders to revitalize the city. Specifically, we’re partnering closely with the Walker Art Center, Artspace (developer of the Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts) and the City of Minneapolis.

Together, we’re turning big dreams for downtown into reality — and making it a premiere destination for all.

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Happening Now in the Cultural District

Large-scale murals are a can’t-miss attraction and can be found throughout WeDo. Five murals have been created in WeDo by artists like Greg Gossel and Eduardo Kobra.  Learn more.

Made Here, a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust, is a walkable urban art experience that connects people to local art and artists in WeDo.

Twice per year, Made Here fills windows and other underused spaces throughout the district with art made by local artists. The project has grown from visual displays in windows to live performances, artist markets, pop-up galleries and more.

Since it launched in 2013, Made Here has produced 336 window displays in commercial spaces, making it the largest initiative of its kind in the country. And that presence has mattered. Seven downtown commercial spaces that had a combined vacancy rate of more than 35 years were leased within 12 months of participating in Made Here.

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Photo by Mark Vancleave

Through our public art efforts, Hennepin Theatre Trust works with local and international artists to create arts and cultural experiences for anyone who works, plays, lives or visits downtown Minneapolis. Our work to date includes the now-iconic Bob Dylan mural by Eduardo Kobra; the pop art mural by local artist Greg Gossel; and our Made Here program, which features Minnesota-made artwork and pop-up art activities in underused public spaces.

Our placemaking projects aim to transform how people experience public spaces in WeDo. We take a glass half-full approach to this work. An alley can become a pop-up market; a sidewalk can be a gathering space with some chairs; and a blank wall can become the perfect kaleidoscope of colors for a selfie.

We know it takes a village to make downtown a destination for everyone – and the work is better and more fun when there is a diversity of voices and experiences at the table. We collaborate with arts organizations, nonprofit service providers, city officials, business leaders, artists, residents and others to uncover opportunities for more people to experience all that the WeDo™ MPLS Cultural District has to offer.