Talk-It Hennepin, City Design and Hennepin Avenue Conversation/Workshop Series Concludes June 7 & 9
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS—Talk-It Hennepin, the free series about city design and the reinvention of Hennepin Avenue pairing talks with some of today’s foremost urban planning visionaries with artist-led workshops, concludes with on June 7 and 9, 2012. The public conversation on Thursday, June 7 brings together Seitu Jones, an award-winning Minnesota environmental artist who creates large scale public artworks and was the City of Minneapolis’ first Artist-in-Residence with Chanchanit Martorell, a Los Angeles’ planning commissioner and urban economic development specialist who formed and leads L.A.’s Thai Town and Don Mitchell, a Syracuse cultural geography professor and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow who researches “contested” urban spaces. Attendance is free, just RSVP (accepted until space is filled). To respond and for more information visit hennepintheatretrust.org/Plan-It.
Talk-It Hennepin began in March by exploring Hennepin Avenue’s history and legacy, continued in April at Walker Art Center with Candy Chang, the dynamic New Orleans-based artist talking about urban interventions and in May, with Charles Landry, considered the world’s leading authority on creative, intercultural cities, envisioning positive change. The corresponding Talk-It Hennepin workshops are led by a local interdisciplinary team including visual artist Ta-coumba Aiken, vocal artist Mankwe Ndosi, dancer/choreographer Leah Nelson and theatre professional Harry Waters Jr. The team works interactively with participants to develop a soul and framework for the plan, delving into values, vision, goals and design concepts. An urban design team of Twin Cities’ landscape architect Bob Close, architect Mic Johnson, both with AECOM, and urban designer Peter Musty is gathering community input and ideas from the workshops to formalize streetscape, infrastructure, transit and development plans. They also crafted a scale model of Hennepin Avenue on display in various Talk-It locations.
The Talk-It series is part of the broader Plan-It Hennepin, a year-long initiative to reimagine Hennepin Avenue as a revitalized cultural corridor from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi River. The project is led by partners Hennepin Theatre Trust, Walker Art Center, Artspace and the City of Minneapolis and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant.
Talk It Hennepin: Owning Public Space—The Power of Place Identity.
Thursday, June 7, 7–9 p.m., New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. (City Center)
The series concludes with Chanchanit Martorell, Don Mitchell and Seitu Jones exploring the challenges and conflicts of creating shared spaces in multi-cultural, urban environments.
Talk-It Hennepin Workshop: Putting It All Together—Naming and Claiming
Saturday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., New Century Theatre
The local artist team explores ways to talk about Hennepin Avenue as a shared cultural experience and helps define how to improve the space and share the responsibility and tasks for moving forward.
Talk-It Hennepin: Owning Public Space—The Power of Place Identity
Chanchanit (Chancee) Martorell was born in Bangkok, Thailand and was raised in Los Angeles where she earned an M.A. in urban planning from UCLA and taught the first Thai American Experience course. She formed and leads Thai Town, a multi-ethnic East Hollywood neighborhood, and as the founder/executive director of the non-profit Thai Community Development Center, she strives to improve the lives of Thai immigrants through programs promoting cultural adjustment and economic self-sufficiency. She is known for her work as an immigrant workers’ rights advocate and has advised in the formation of many other Southern California culturally defined districts. Martorell has also worked as a planner and aide to local, state and federal legislative offices. She is serving her second term as a planning commissioner for the City of Los Angeles and chairs of the Union Bank Community Advisory Board.
Don Mitchell, distinguished cultural geographer from Syracuse University and a 1998 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, has studied “contested” urban public spaces for more than two decades, especially attempts to control the behavior of protesters, the homeless and other marginalized people. An influential and radical scholar, Mitchell looks at the meaning of space within the context of labor struggles, human rights and justice, working to reclaim the importance of workers’ lives in the planning of landscapes. He has researched and will talk about historic as well as contemporary cultural re-generation in Denver, Oakland, Glasgow and Manchester, England. He is also known for initiatives like the People's Geography Project and books including The People’s Property? Power, Politics, and the Public (2008).
Seitu Kenneth Jones, a Minneapolis native, uses environmental art and horticulture as tools for community development, creating more than 30 large-scale public artworks. His many awards include fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush and McKnight Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communication Group. He was also a 2001-02 Loeb Fellow in the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he researched cultural landscapes. Jones recently completed his tenure as the City of Minneapolis’ first Artist-in-Residence and he is currently integrating artwork into the design of three stations for the new Central Corridor Light Rail Transit system. He is a Senior Fellow in Agricultural Systems in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Science Resources at the University of Minnesota, sharing an endowed chair with urban farmer, Will Allen of Milwaukee.
Talk-It Hennepin events are free. RSVPs will be accepted as long as space is available. To RSVP and for more information about Plan-It Hennepin and Talk-It Hennepin please visit www.hennepintheatretrust.org/Plan-It. The June events will be held in the New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave., downtown Mpls. (street level City Center).
HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST, non-profit owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and the newly developed New Century Theatres, is dedicated to enriching the vibrant cultural atmosphere of the Twin Cities. We present a rich array of live performances, create inspiring arts education experiences and advance a thriving cultural destination in downtown Minneapolis. Our programs include Broadway touring productions, the Broadway Confidential series, our SpotLight Musical Theatre Program for high schools, the Critical View student reviewer program, the free ticket Access Program and Kids’ Night and participating in the planning for the cultural corridor that will extend from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi Riverfront.