CFPA - Center for Performing Arts - Minneapolis




In spring 2019, CFPA announced the planning process for a building expansion that will provide two 100-seat performance spaces, tenant and studio spaces, and better accessibility. The goal of the expansion is to add space for more performances and community gatherings, serving audiences, artists, and the neighborhood.

“Amid a local arts landscape that has recently seen at least eight long-standing performance organizations and venues close or reduce operations, we saw a critical opportunity to fill a need,” said CFPA founder and executive director Jackie Hayes. “Our artist and neighborhood communities are looking for more space to gather around arts activity and programs, and for new models to achieve business success at the same time. We are creating a shared space and programming where artists and audiences both benefit—a place that is a sustaining ecosystem for everyone.”

Construction is expected to be complete in early 2021. CFPA continually engages with artists, neighbors and consultants, which is informing the expansion’s physical structure and its programming. With gathering limitations in place due to COVID-19, CFPA began a series of Expansion [Virtual] Open Houses and an ongoing e-newsletter, to keep our community updated as expansion develops.

Expansion will broaden not just our physical space, but our mission, programming, and support services—including the Performance Collective, a pilot project creating sustainability for performance-based artists, led by artists.

Space for Artists & Community

The Center has a vibrant history of supporting and activating artist-led performance, using art to stimulate thought, discussion, and on social justice and personal/cultural growth.

How? We provide artists sustainable access to the resources necessary to make and perform art—space, materials, compensation, and more—and bring community together to experience and be inspired by this art.

Vision for the Future

CFPA seeks to fully realize our vision by building a sustainable creative ecosystem that supports artists and artist-led works.

The Performance Collective is the pilot project actively testing and informing this ecosystem, in which artists share investment, resources, and risk. The Collective will help re-invigorate the Twin Cities performing arts community through a new financial model and expanded creativity, and will create opportunities for art-based dialogue, engagement, and empathy.

Current Challenges

Performance-based artists are uniquely skilled in evoking empathy, dialogue, and action, grounded in lived experience. This is a vital function in communities and culture, now more than ever. Yet artists face limited access to resources, collaborators, audiences, and—most critically—space in the current performing arts landscape.

In the U.S., the predominant financial model for artists is patronage, which influences what art gets made, for whom, and by whom. Artists need opportunities to explore without expectation of outcomes, to experiment not knowing where their process will take them. This is how artists grow their practice and advance the field—and this is the need our community faces now.

How You Can Help

We are opening new revenue streams to support the Performance Collective and expand our shared space, with a goal to raise $1.5M between 2020–2022. We are currently seeking $250,000 to support the Collective’s work, and an additional $250,000 for physical assets necessary to make and perform art.

Interested in giving? Contact Executive Director Jackie Hayes.


Week of Oct. 19 / 7:00 am – 3:30 pm

  • Geopiers will be completed midday Monday – noise levels will then reduce to standard equipment noise
  • Work on the exterior landing and stairs
  • Prep work for the new building


Open Houses


Has the stay at home order delayed the work on the project? Do you expect it will slow the work down?

We understand that the Governor’s orders have not impacted timeline on the project, as construction is considered an essential service.

Who will be using the spaces? Do you have new artists moving in?

The spaces are open to any artists! Current members of our community—or new ones!

What lighting, audio, and video projection capabilities will the new space contain? How fixed/flexible will the performing and audience be?

The two spaces on the first floor will have a grid with LED instruments. Audio system includes wall controlled blue-tooth speakers, mixer and ports for mics and ethernet. We plan to have a projector with movable screens to be used in either space. The idea is to create flexible, shared resources in these spaces so they can be used in a variety of configurations. The audio controls will be on a moveable cart and the “lighting booth” will be mobile.

Will anything be done to block sound from traveling to neighboring buildings and houses? If so, how loud can we get?

We have had acousticians consult us on the construction materials and extra acoustical support in the addition with special focus on the two first floor spaces. Please let us know if you have specific needs!

When might our downstairs garden space be handicapped-accessible? Can you please recap what kitchen facilities we can access?

The lower level of the existing building will be accessible with a lift off the main lobby of the addition. The catering kitchen plan includes refrigerators, dishwasher, sinks, and ways to keep food heated.

Please share the bird safety features that have been incorporated into the design, in particular the type of glass or treatment you chose and the lighting scheme that will meet the Center's needs while ensuring birds are safe. We would also like to hear about the landscaping plan; ideally it should exclusively use native plants, to help pollinators and birds.

We can connect you to the design team for further information on bird safety. And you’ll be happy to know we’ve always prioritized native plants with special focus on pollinators. We have had bees on our site on and off for many years.

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