Children’s Theater design meetings set

Responding to criticism of its Minneapolis Institute of Arts expansion review, the Whittier Alliance is circulating a list of all meetings where neighborhood and city leaders will discuss and vote on the planned $24 million Children's Theater Company expansion.

Some residents complained last year the Alliance had not done enough to publicize neighborhood meetings on the Art Institute's expansion. They said the Alliance and the Institute failed to engage those neighbors most affected by the project.

The Alliance is working with the Children's Theater to improve public information on the review process, said Jeff Langaard, Alliance executive director.

"I don't know of any other Minneapolis development that is coordinating the meetings of community groups and city agencies to publicize them all at the same time," he said.

The remaining meetings are:

Monday, Feb. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Whittier Alliance Transportation and Land Use Committee, Whittier School, West 26th Street and Grand Avenue.

Thursday, Feb. 27, 6:30-9 p.m., Whittier Alliance Board meeting, Whittier School. (871-7756).

Wednesday, March 5, 5 p.m., Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, 400 S. 4th Street, Room 200 (661-4800).

Tuesday, March 11, 5 p.m., Historic Preservation Commission, City Hall, Room 317 (673-2422).

Monday, March 31, 4:30 p.m. Minneapolis Planning Commission, City Hall, Room 317 (673-2597).

Meetings are subject to change. To confirm times, call ahead.

The Children's Theater announced a new design in January. The addition would allow the theater to expand its education and community partnerships, extend programming options to teens and young children and maintain its commitment to statewide touring, a news release said.

The addition will expand the theater's space by more than 50 percent, from 80,000 square feet to 125,000 square feet, the release said. It will include a 288-seat flexible theater.