MINNEAPOLIS — Ari Koehne-Sweeney is the Director of Creative Arts partnerships at Hennepin Theatre Trust located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.
“Life is definitely coming back to Hennepin Avenue, shows are back, restaurants are filling up," she said.
One of the ways they're working to bring vitality and positive change to downtown is through 5 to 10 on Hennepin, which is now in its seventh year. The program is a community-focused, youth-based summer entertainment program and empowerment platform.
"We have teaching artists coming in, and they teach a bunch of different skills and a lot of different ways of art, and we use that art as self expression," said Siddeeqah Shabazz, Kulture Club Collaborative Executive Director.
Kulture Klub is an arts organization helping kids experiencing homelessness. Shabazz says the summer event is a way for kids and teens to express themselves.
"There's a lot that they come in with, and this is a population, that is often unseen, unheard, unthought of and all of our youth are experiencing homelessness in one way or another," said Shabazz.
While the program also offers resources to teens in need — providing outreach and support services at the events — they’re lifting the voices of those most often unheard.
"A lot of people come and go for the most part everybody has a positive vibe, and positive energy," said intern, Douglas Brown.
Giving them the space to be themselves. "Not a single day did someone feel like a three, because we ask them how they feel on a scale of 1 to 10, and not a single day did they come in feeling worse than when they stepped through our doors," said Shabazz.
5 to 10 on Hennepin is sponsored in part by Ameriprise and the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of Minneapolis.
Events for 5 to 10 on Hennepin will place in the alley at FAIR School from 1-3 p.m., and run bi-weekly through Thursday, August 11.
For more information on Hennepin Theatre Trust and the program, visit the link here.
For more information on Kulture Klub, visit the link here.
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