Kingfield arts center will double in size

Owner expects to complete expansion in early 2020

Kingfield’s Center for Performing Arts
Kingfield’s Center for Performing Arts will double its footprint within the next year as demand for artist space increases. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

The owner of a performing arts center in Kingfield is planning an expansion that will approximately double the size of her building.

Jackie Hayes, owner and executive director of the Center for Performing Arts, said her center is currently “at capacity and beyond” in terms of serving artists and the community. She said her goal is to determine a final design for the expansion in late spring or early summer and to open the new space early in 2020.

Hayes’ architect presented an iteration of the design to the Kingfield Neighborhood Association on March 25. In an April 1 interview, she stressed that the design for the expansion is evolving as she and her staff consider feedback from artists and the community.

She said she’s hoping to be at the Kingfield Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting on April 27 to collect additional feedback. She also said she will have a brainstorming meeting with the artist community sometime in April.

Hayes opened the Center for Performing Arts 24 years ago after moving to Minneapolis from New York City. She said she intentionally located the center in a neighborhood setting to push against the idea that good art-making can only happen in downtown areas.

“I’m a firm believer that deep and meaningful art-making can happen inside neighborhoods and communities where people live,” she said.

The 96-year-old Center for Performing Arts building, located next to Incarnation Catholic Church at 38th & Pleasant, was once a convent for nuns, Hayes said.

The new four-story building would sit to the west of the existing building, Hayes said. It would include a 99-seat space where people can gather for performances and other community events.

Hayes’ current space has about 25 private studios and is occupied by musicians, writers, performing-arts companies and massage therapists. On a given day, the space hosts everything from guitar and harp lessons to dance and yoga classes to actors rehearsing.

The center also holds the offices of the Kingfield Neighborhood Association and has short-term lodgings that serve visiting artists and people in the neighborhood.

The expansion would include an elevator to allow people access to the second and third floors of the existing space, Hayes said.

Hayes’ proposal to expand the center comes after the shuttering of performance spaces and arts organizations such as Patrick’s Cabaret in LynLake, the Bedlam Theater in St. Paul and Minneapolis Theatre Garage. More recently, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has fallen on hard times and the Soap Factory has faced millions of dollars of debt.

The Center for Performing Arts space is zoned as an OR2/High Density Office Residence District, which restricts most development to four stories. The existing building is 15,851 square feet, according to property records.

The center will post more details about the project as they become available at