Final Talk-It Hennepin events are June 7 and 9

Talk-It Hennepin, an initiative that brings together the foremost thinkers and professionals in city planning and urban design with folks interested in Hennepin Avenue’s future, wraps up with two events this month. The Talk-It Hennepin series about city design and the re-invention of Hennepin Avenue began in March and is part of an effort to develop plans to revitalize Hennepin Avenue into a cultural corridor.

June Talk It Hennepin events

Conversation: Owning Public Space—The Power of Place Identity
Thursday, June 7
7 – 9 p.m.
New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave. (street level City Center)

The Power of Place Identity, the last conversation in the series will feature Chanchanit Martorell, Don Mitchell and Seitu Jones exploring the challenges of creating shared spaces in multi-cultural, urban environments.

Workshop: Putting It All Together—Naming and Claiming
Saturday, June 9
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave. (street level City Center)

The local artist team will lead this “naming and claiming” workshop and participants will explore different ways to talk about the Avenue as a shared cultural experience. The workshop will identify work to be done to improve the space and how various tasks to move Hennepin Avenue forward might be shared.

Speaker biographies

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.

To obtain free tickets

Tickets for the Talk-It Hennepin events are free. RSVPs will be accepted as long as space is available. To RSVP or get more information about Plan-It Hennepin and Talk-It Hennepin, visit

About Hennepin Theatre Trust

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. It presents a rich array of live performances, creates inspiring arts education experiences and advances a thriving cultural destination in downtown Minneapolis. 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.

About Plan-It-Hennepin

The Talk-It series is part of the broader Plan-It Hennepin, a year-long initiative led by partners Hennepin Theatre Trust, Walker Art Center, Artspace and the City of Minneapolis. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the plan will re-imagine a stretch of this storied avenue as a revitalized cultural corridor from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi River.



Published May 23, 2012



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