Under the helm of current Executive Director Lynn Von Eschen, The Cowles Center has a rich history. Today, The Center represents what the Hennepin Center for the Arts was for Minneapolis in the 1950s as well as what the Shubert Theatre, moved brick by brick, was in the early to mid-1900s: a center for performing arts creation, performance, education, and celebration.
When we think of three words that describe The Cowles Center we think of bold, resourceful, and engaging.
We are bold because we embrace bold ideas—literally moving buildings and transforming dance communities.
We are resourceful because we provide a welcoming, vibrant environment for artists and audiences. We operate an outstanding education program that is accessible to all. We enable our Arts Partners to grow and prosper. We are a trusted community asset and a connected, engaged institution.
We are engaging because we provide ticket prices at an affordable cost to encourage and increase performance attendance. We provide a multitude of opportunities in which the community can engage, such as, Groundbreaker Battle, Student Matinees, Open Door Dance adult classes, and Talk Back discussions.
What inspires us at The Cowles Center is the community we serve; the dancers, companies, and volunteers all inspire our organization. Minnesota has a very rich population of dance companies all within a small to mid-size budget range. Smaller companies are able to rely on The Cowles Center’s support system and network for any assistance or needs they come across.
Our most significant accomplishment is that we opened our doors in September 2011. We just completed our inaugural season in which we presented more than 24 various dance companies from across the U.S. to more than 30,000 patrons.
The future of dance is why The Cowles Center was built, and we hope to continue helping to build a stable dance community. We aim to create a cohesive dance community in Minnesota; a community that supports all types of dance. We look forward to seeing many new and exciting partnerships fostered through our existence.
With our dance legacy we want to leave behind a successful and replicable support system model for other organizations in other communities.