History

The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts permanently connects two of downtown Minneapolis' most historic structures, the massive eight-story Masonic Temple, which originally opened in 1888, and the 1910 Schubert Theatre, the oldest operating theater in downtown Minneapolis. Artspace Projects, Inc. (The Cowles Center's developer) acquired the Masonic Temple (known then as the Hennepin Center for the Arts) in 1997, and the long-vacant theater the following year. Over 12 memorable days in February 1999, the theater was moved to its new home on Hennepin Avenue; at 5.8 million pounds, it was the heaviest building ever moved on rubber tires - a feat duly recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Since opening in 2011, The Cowles Center has welcomed more than 1,000,000 audience members, students, and artists through its doors. The historic campus has become a dynamic hub of creativity, innovation, education, and diversity—resulting in a vibrant arts community for us to live, work, and play.

As the Midwest’s largest nonprofit dance complex, The Cowles Center offers the local arts community the dance-centric facility it needs to flourish. By providing nine rehearsal studios, three theaters, and administrative office space for small-to-midsize arts organizations, including two of Minnesota's premier dance schools, The Cowles Center ensures that local artists can thrive and still call Minnesota home. The Cowles Center is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis’ theater district, making it easily accessible by bus, light rail, or private transportation.

  

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