MINNEAPOLIS—WeDo™ (pronounced wee-doo) is the newly named West Downtown Cultural District in Minneapolis that resulted from a collaborative, long-term planning process. This place, brand and destination defines a unique arts and culture district. Spanning 1.7 miles with Hennepin Avenue at its center, WeDo runs from the Walker Art Center to the Mississippi River, and between First Avenue and Nicollet Mall.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, the unveiling of WeDo begins with the launch of the WeDo website, wedompls.org. Volunteers in colorful WeDo attire will be handing out free coffee, merchandise and gift certificates for events in the district, during the morning, noon hour and at the end of the day. Look for them in locations including downtown streets, City Center, the IDS Center and LaSalle Plaza.
Other Activities Include:
- Free 30-minute MovementWise Classes: at Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, starting at 11:30 a.m.
- Brave New Workshop Improvisation Games: Look for the rolling whiteboards along Hennepin Avenue between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Free Historic Theatre Tours: Noon and 2 p.m. Meet at the State Theatre on 8th and Hennepin
The WeDo website highlights public and ticketed activities, entertainment and sports venues, self-guided tours, restaurants, art galleries, businesses and historic points of interest—all carefully selected to encourage the exploration of downtown’s attributes on foot, by bike, car, bus or rail.
WeDo is the fulfillment of a long-term vision to establish a downtown cultural district that was initiated by Hennepin Theatre Trust in partnership with Walker Art Center, Artspace (developer of The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts) and the City of Minneapolis. The WeDo name and branding was developed with expertise donated by Target Creative.
The WeDo journey began in 2011, when Hennepin Theatre Trust was awarded an “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to reimagine Hennepin Avenue as an arts corridor and year-round cultural destination. Dubbed “Plan-It Hennepin,” this extensive process gathered opinions and ideas from more than 1,500 downtown stakeholders. The resulting plan recommended, among other things, establishing a cultural district brand and developing integrated activities to draw people from one end of downtown Minneapolis to the other.
Successful downtown projects already include new murals such as the five-story, Eduardo Kobra work depicting Bob Dylan and Greg Gossel’s pop-art nod to Hennepin Avenue history. The Trust’s ongoing Made Here initiative also places local art in underused spaces including vacant storefronts.
WeDo is both an ongoing collaboration and an extension of the Trust’s long association with downtown Minneapolis and the Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century theatres. Hennepin Avenue began as a Native American footpath, evolved into a vital transit corridor of streetcars and buses, and remains a celebrated entertainment destination.
The organizers behind WeDo seek to create a more consistent and positive block-to-block experience that, in time, will foster a vibrant, welcoming and walkable arts-inspired community for visitors and residents alike.
Karen R. Nelson, 612.455.9526
WeDo™ (pronounced wee-doo) is the West Downtown Cultural District in Minneapolis. It’s a place to celebrate arts, culture and everything that makes our city unique. When you visit WeDo, you’ll find an urban setting steeped in contrasts. Gilded theaters rub elbows with modern architecture. Sports fans and ballet enthusiasts share rooftop views and sidewalk patios. Mini golf mixes with performance art. There’s something for everyone. Go ahead. Explore the district at wedompls.org.
Karen R. Nelson | Communications Director | Hennepin Theatre Trust
612.455.9526 | 612.455.9502 fx
615 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 140 | Minneapolis, MN | 55403