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Avivo and Hennepin Theatre Trust partner for downtown art exhibit

Avivo’s partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust continues to grow, creating innovative, safe ways to share art with the community amidst a pandemic. Avivo teamed up with the Hennepin Theatre Trust in January for a show called “Avivo ArtWorks Collective” — a pop-up art exhibit on display in storefront windows along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

“We wanted to create a display that highlights the work of these amazing artists,” shares Jes Reyes, Avivo ArtWorks program supervisor. “We couldn’t have an in-person reception because of the pandemic, so this pop-up display on one of the busiest streets in Minneapolis was the next best thing.”

“We couldn’t have an in-person reception because of the pandemic, so this pop-up display on one of the busiest streets in Minneapolis was the next best thing.”

The display featured artwork by members of Avivo’s ArtWorks Collective, a group of dedicated artists supported by Avivo, organized to create art in the community and challenge stigma related to mental illness.

Artist Tommie L. Blackwell was excited to have his artwork featured by Hennepin Theatre Trust, saying, “It gave me a glimmer of hope. It gave me something to hold on to.”

Artists not only featured their artwork within the display, but four of the artists chose to participate in a video project featuring their work, as well as their thoughts related to subjects like hope, motivation, and spirituality.

“It’s so uplifting to be in this display … It made downtown more beautiful. It’s where I go shopping, so I get to see the display quite a bit.”

“It’s so uplifting to be in this display,” shares T.L. Reeves, another ArtWorks artist featured in the display. “It made downtown more beautiful. It’s where I go shopping, so I get to see the display quite a bit.”

You can watch the whole video series on YouTube:

Artists appreciate Hennepin Theatre Trust’s support, and also how they connect local artists and provide platforms for artists to share their voice.

According to staff at Hennepin Theatre Trust, the raw honesty and vulnerability the artists  were willing to share through their work was bold and courageous:

“The commitment of Jes and her team to champion their talent and advocate on their behalf was delivered with confidence and heartfelt passion. The experience has lifted up and enriched our lives. The artists were especially delightful. The excitement, joy and appreciation they expressed to us for having the opportunity to share their work really touched our hearts. We look forward to sharing another year of possibilities with you in 2021.”