“Made Here”
Friday, September 4th, 2013

“Made Here” opens Friday, September 4th with public walking tours, live busking from Dreamland Faces and Danny Viper, and refreshments in the skyway.

Our Region Hums With Creative Energy — Even If it’s Not Always Visible at Street Level

What might happen if we fill the vacant storefronts on Hennepin Avenue with installations that showcase our creative energy for all to see?

Made Here showcases the work of Minnesota artists through temporary visual art displays in vacant downtown storefronts.

Visual Artist for the Block E displays include: Ta-coumba Aiken, Rachel Breen, Jaime Carrera, Tim Carroll, Gina Dabrowski, Jim Denomie, Aaron Dysart, Erik Farseth, Pamela and Frank Gaard, Camille Gage, Patti Gale, Mary Gibney, Kara Faye Gregory, Noah Harmon, Brian Hart, Hennepin History Museum, Ann Klefstad, Keren Kroul, Steven Lang, The Loft Literary Center: River Urke and Tami Mohamed Brown, Lunalux, Mary Jane Mansfield, Minneapolis Art Lending Library, Sharol Nau, Erik Pearson, Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre, Erin Sayer, Springboard for the Arts & mnartists.org, Textile Center, Jill VanSickle and George Wurtzel.

Made Here, a new initiative launched as part of the Hennepin Cultural District with partners Hennepin Theatre Trust, Artspace, Walker Art Center and the City of Minneapolis, features the work of local artists who have created visual art displays filling 40 vacant storefronts on Block E in downtown Minneapolis. The public launch on Hennepin Avenue celebrates Made Here with walking tours, conversations with the artists and live music by Dreamland Faces, Howlin' Andy Hound and Danny Viper.

Poetry on the Block E Marquee!

Presented by The Loft Literary Center and Hennepin Theatre Trust

As part of Made Here in Block E, The Loft invited submissions for poems or short stories about Hennepin Avenue. The winning entries will be displayed on the Block E marquees.

The artists have been selected for the storefront displays that will fill the street level windows of Block E on Hennepin Avenue, with an opening date of September 27, 2013. Block E, first envisioned as a new entertainment destination, has been the subject of many conversations regarding development in Minneapolis. Made Here offers an opportunity to work positively with artists and various organizations who seek to revitalize the property. Made Here is an initial initiative launched as part of the Hennepin Cultural District and in conjunction with the Downtown 2025 plan to benefit residents, property owners, artists and visitors alike.

Hennepin Theater Trust

September, 2013

Made Here, our Cultural District's new initiative to energize the Hennepin Cultural District on Hennepin Avenue, launched on Friday, Sept. 27 with a public unveiling of nearly 40 storefront window displays on Block E. Hundreds of people attended the event to celebrate the work of local artists and arts organizations. By highlighting the talent of Minnesota’s pool of visual artists, the Trust hopes to promote leasable space in a unique way while also engaging the community.

The new window displays are now up on Block E, Hennepin Avenue between 6th and 7th streets. We contracted local artist Joan Vorderbruggen to organize the project and coordinate the creation of the displays. We had a chance to get the inside scoop from her.

Q: What is in these windows?
You will see the incredible creativity of Minnesota artists whose works include grand, vibrant paintings, black and white photography, textiles and metallic sculptures. There's even a giant egg! Many artists created multi-media displays. Some depicted Hennepin Avenue's rich history through photographic essays and others offered wearable art. We're thrilled to showcase such a large and diverse show.

Q: How will the installation impact Hennepin Avenue
Illuminating windows that have been vacant and dark for many years will be positively arresting to pedestrians in a stimulating way.  Bringing fine art and creativity to the Avenue is a special gift for the community. I think they will be delighted to encounter this pleasant surprise during their commute!   I'm hoping that thrusting creativity in a previously bleak area will brighten everyone’s day.

Q: What goes into creating these visual displays?
A: Magnificent talent is the first ingredient required and our Minnesota arts communities have boundless amounts of that and most of the artists brought exhibition experience to the table. I've been obsessed with many details, agressive timelines and tricky installations. The planning and hard work has transformed Block E into an incredible urban walking gallery.

Q: How does art impact a community?
A: It's been demonstrated over and over that artists are a revitalizing force in a community.  So finding ways to connect them with spaces that need a facelift attracts the public’s attention in a new and inspiring way. It also gives a talented person a stage for their work and gives the community something intriguing and visually stimulating.

Joan Vorderbruggen was hired by Hennepin Theater Trust to coordinate Made Here and work with the artists involved. She is the founder of Artists in Storefronts, a public art project. Her work in the “Eat Street” commercial district of South Minneapolis helped create more than 120 artist storefronts resulting in lease agreements for seven commercial properties.

Made Here is part of our ongoing collaborative work with the Walker Art Center, Artspace and the City of Minneaoplis - and others - to activate the Hennepin Cultural District, which stretches from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi Riverfront.