MINNEAPOLIS - From the Walker Art Center and stretching into downtown Minneapolis, Tom Hoch sees nothing but possibilities along Hennepin Avenue.
"It can be even better than it is right now," says Hoch, the president and CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust. "Culture and arts can help make it happen."
The Minneapolis City Council approved a plan Friday to create a more pedestrian-friendly 'cultural coridoor' along Hennepin Avenue. Leaders in the arts community have listened to residents and say the street needs more consistency.
"It's good on one block and the next they didn't feel so good about," says Hoch. "They didn't move freely up and down the street and tended to cluster."
The big picture plan is to include more green space, courtyards, event space, restaurants, and street-level shops. In the short-term, changes can already be seen. Empty storefronts are being converted into pop-up art galleries and utility boxes that scatter the sidewalks are painted by local artists.
"Imagine walking out of the Walker Art Center, through the sculpture garden, down Hennepin and have two miles of seamless and interesting activities," says Hoch.
More improvements will be made in the next three to 10 years. Federal grant money was used to kickoff the planning stage. City and private funds will be used throughout the project.
For more information on the plan click here.
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