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Minnesota Shubert Center receives $11 million from Legislature

The Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center took a giant leap forward Sunday, May 22 when the Minnesota Legislature approved $11 million in bonding to help Artspace Projects build the new arts center in downtown Minneapolis.

The Legislature’s action means that the capital campaign for the Minnesota Shubert Center has now raised $24.5 million, slightly more than two-thirds of its $37 million goal.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Kim Motes, the Minnesota Shubert Center’s Director. “We have long needed a significant investment from the state, not only for bricks and mortar but also to help people see that this project is real. Now it’s time for the philanthropic community ? corporations, foundations, and individuals ? to step up and make the same commitment so that we can complete the fundraising phase and get on with the important task of creating this important new cultural institution that will benefit so many.”

When completed in the Fall of 2008, the Minnesota Shubert Center will be the flagship for dance in Minnesota and the Minneapolis venue for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. It will also be a statewide resource for arts education and technology. In addition, it will be a home to some 20 arts organizations, including Ballet Arts Minnesota, Illusion Theater, James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Crafts Council, Minnesota Dance Theatre and School, VSA Arts Minnesota, and Zenon Dance Company and School.

Motes praised Rep. Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) and Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Minneapolis), the House and Senate authors, respectively, of the legislation that put the Minnesota Shubert Center into the bonding bill.

“It never would have happened without them,” Motes said. “They worked hard, and they worked effectively. They were wonderful.” Because of Zellers, she noted, the Minnesota Shubert Center was the first arts project ever included in a House bonding bill.”
“We were fortunate to have bipartisan support from legislators all across the state,” noted Stacey Mickelson, Artspace’s Director of Government Relations. “Both Democratic and Republican legislators recognized that the Minnesota Shubert Center will benefit students throughout Greater Minnesota. They wanted to help make it happen.”

Zellers said he led the fight for bonding in part because of the Minnesota Shubert Center’s acclaimed arts education program, now in its third season, which uses interactive Internet technology to link artists in the Twin Cities with students throughout Minnesota.

“I was delighted to lead this effort in the House,” Zellers said. “As a boy growing up on a farm in North Dakota, I didn’t have access to the arts. The Minnesota Shubert Center’s program for delivering arts education across the state is critically important to kids. The fact that the program is already reaching 25 communities made it a lot easier for me to convince my colleagues that this project is real.”

Although the Legislature’s action won’t become law until the bonding bill is signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has the power to veto specific line items, his approval of the Minnesota Shubert appropriation is expected. It was Pawlenty, Mickelson pointed out, who secured $1 million in planning money for the project a year ago after a conference committee eliminated all funding for arts projects.

“That planning grant allowed us to fire up the design process as we move toward making the Minnesota Shubert Center a reality,” Motes said.

Located at Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, the Center will be a three-building complex consisting of two historic structures, the 1910 Shubert Theater and the 1888 Hennepin Center for the Arts, and a new addition that will connect the two older buildings and serve as the nerve center of the entire complex. Although it will embrace all the performing arts, the Center’s primary points of focus will be dance and music.

The Center is a project of Artspace Projects, a Minneapolis-based national nonprofit real estate developer whose mission is to create and manage space for artists and arts organizations. The project architect is Miller Dunwiddie Architecture, a Minneapolis firm that specializes in historic preservation projects.

Release Date:  May 22, 2006
For additional information, contact:
Kim Motes at 612.465.0242 


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