Secret City events highlight Minneapolis creativity

The art festival runs 6 p.m.–midnight Saturday at locations around Minneapolis

MIMMI, the interactive art project installed on Convention Center Plaza. Credit: Sarah McKenzie

Art, music, theater and dance will light up the night during Saturday’s Secret City festival.

The festival starts at 6 p.m. and runs until midnight. Performances and attractions at four different sites spread across Minneapolis are designed to highlight some of the most unique and creative aspects of the city.

Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza

6 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

The Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, 1301 2nd Ave. S., will host a number of events on all centered around the new Minneapolis Interactive Macro-Mood Installation (MIMMI), a large, cloud shaped structure that changes color, shape and climatic behavior based on the moods of city residents as determined through social media.

Around MIMMI, the Convention Center Plaza will be filled with different performances, artwork and music. The MacPhail Community Youth Choir, a youth choir of high school students led by local artist J.D. Steele, will perform pop, jazz, gospel and East African music. Sound artist Philip Blackburn will present several of his works, including “Sewer Pipe Organ,” an art piece that amplifies the sounds of city sewers and turns them in to melodies.

The Ananya Dance Theater will present an interactive performance about water, and Fringe Festival actors will perform an exclusive piece for Secret City. Festival attendees will have the chance to make their own fun with ten ping pong tables set up for use in front of the convention center or to sit back and relax at the public space outside Westminster Presbyterian Church on Nicollet Mall.

Family fun is also on the schedule at the Convention Center, with two different puppet shows and a “Mosaic on a Stick” arts and crafts session with Lori Greene. Local DJ and MC team UP ROCK will be performing, and guests will have a chance to see a bicycle ballet.


Hennepin Avenue

6 p.m.–10 p.m. (10 Thousand Sounds begins at 4 p.m.)

Hennepin Avenue between 5th and 9th streets will be filled with theater and art. Starting at 4 p.m. City Pages will host its first annual 10 Thousand Sounds music festival. The free, ticketed event on 8th Street and Hennepin Avenue will feature The Walkmen and local musicians like Greg Grease.

The Cowles Center will host dance classes in its Target Education Studio, with a Latin Ballroom class at 6 p.m. and a Dance Hall Days Social Dance Class at 6:45 p.m. In addition, festival attendees can take free improv comedy classes at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The Hennepin Theater Trust will be displaying the work of Minnesota artists in vacant Hennepin Avenue storefronts to kick off its new Hennepin Cultural District initiative, dubbed Made Here. Animation projects made by students and recent alumni of Minneapolis College of Art and Design will also be played on Hennepin Avenue billboards

In addition to being on the Convention Center plaza, Minnesota Fringe Festival actors will also be on Hennepin rehearsing acts, giving Secret City goers a chance to catch a sneak peak of the Fringe Festival.


The Walker Art Center/ The Basilica of Saint Mary

6 p.m.–9:30 p.m. (Mini golf until midnight)

At The Walker and the Basilica of Saint Mary, guests can take a guided tour of the Basilica or play a round on the artist-designed mini golf course in the Walker Sculpture Garden, featuring mazes, gopher holes and a French chateau.

In the parking lot next to the Basilica, New York artist Ben Fain will use film, sculpture, performance, music and light to transform the lot into a site-specific project inspired by Wisconsin outsider artist Fred Smith. The Ketzal Coatlicue Aztec Dance Troupe will perform to music from drums, conch shells, seeds and other natural instruments on Basilica plaza.

Festival goers will also have a chance to chat about the future Green Line light-rail transit project in a comment and conversation session hosted by Creative City Making and Diane Willow.


Midtown Greenway

6 p.m.–midnight

The Midtown Greenway will host the Greenway Glow, a night bike ride with more than 40 art installations and performances. The Greenway will feature a giant LED catapult and a lantern parade on the Sabo Bridge, along with live music, theater, dance and arts and crafts activities for children.