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 introduced 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 sq. feet of additional office and studio space, and larger venues for more performances and community gatherings. 

In addition to the physical expansion, CFPA is building a creative ecosystem that supports artists and their work. The Performance Collective is the project actively piloting and shaping this ecosystem, in which artists share investment, resources, risk, and reward. This project 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. The Collective continues the legacy of inventive resilience that’s sustained CFPA’s community for 25 years.