CFPA - Center for Performing Arts - Minneapolis


CFPA 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.  

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 meeting spaces, and a living space. With support from community members and artists, the building was carefully renovated towards this use, while retaining the original interior craftsmanship and atmosphere.

Since 1995, CFPA has provided thousands 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:

  • Curated a community of resident arts organizations;
  • Published Spectator, a quarterly magazine investigating issues in performance, culture, and community;
  • Created youth summer programs/performance opportunities;
  • Ran a bulk mailing service for local arts organizations;
  • Hosted 1,000+ artists and organizations;
  • 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 & Research.

In 2018, CFPA inaugurated the ReClaim Series, a monthly art event designed to connect audiences with creative work and to support the development of individual creative projects.  That same year, CFPA began a planning process for a building expansion that will provide 20,000 sf of additional office and studio space, and larger venues for more performances and community gatherings. 

This expansion will house an art and economic incubator space, the Artist Accelerator, which will expand CFPA’s interest in developing a sustainable/affordable economic ecosystem for artists, arts organizations, and small businesses impacted by a critical need for access to work space and models of sustainability. The Accelerator will provide a single location of community resources (programming, networking, mentorship, skill-building) that supports and boosts artists and small arts organizations as business proprietors; and provide quality space and equipment in which performing artists can experiment, research, make, teach, rehearse, and perform.