CFPA - Center for Performing Arts - Minneapolis


Incarnation Convent (1923)

The Center for Performing Arts was constructed as a convent for Incarnation Catholic Church in 1923 and served as the residence for the nuns who taught at Incarnation School and served at the Church of the Incarnation, all located at the intersection of Pleasant and 38th. After the convent was closed in the late 1980s, the building served as a women’s shelter for a few years.

In 1995, Executive Director Jackie Hayes purchased the building to create an arts center that could house artist’s studios, dance and rehearsal space, offices for creative and support professionals (psychotherapists, massage therapists, and spiritual practitioners), and meeting spaces. With support from community members and artists, the building was carefully renovated towards this use, while retaining the original interior craftsmanship and atmosphere.

Center for Performing Arts (1995)

Since 1995, the Center for Performing Arts has provided hundreds of student and professional dancers, theater artists, movement practitioners, performance companies, dance companies, musicians, bodyworkers, therapists, and teachers with affordable office, rehearsal, teaching, and audition space.

Over the years, CFPA has served the Twin Cities arts community in dynamic and responsive ways, including through the following activities:

  • Curated a community of resident arts organizations;
  • Published Spectator, a quarterly magazine, that investigated issues in performance, culture, and community;
  • Created and ran summer programs and performance opportunities for youth;
  • Ran a bulk mailing service for local arts organizations;
  • Welcomed 1000+ companies and artists who have passed through the building;
  • Hosted the Artist’s Collaborative, a member organization for art professionals providing benefits and discounts in everything from health care to a free library; and
  • Facilitated a seminar series on theory and performance for mid-career artists through the Center for Arts and Research.

In 2018, CFPA inaugurated the ReClaim Series, a monthly free art event designed to connect audiences with creative work and to support the development of individual creative projects. As CFPA approaches it’s 25th anniversary in 2020, we remain committed to supporting artists and practitioners in their creative development, and to providing even more opportunities for all people to engage with creative works.

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