Urban Visionary

Joan Vorderbruggen joined Hennepin Theatre Trust in 2013 and serves as Director of Placemaking and Public Art. She is a nationally recognized leader in the field of placemaking and a sought-after speaker and advisor. She launched the Made Here storefront initiative, the largest of its kind in the nation. She oversaw creation of three large scale murals in the theatre district of downtown Minneapolis, including the iconic Bob Dylan mural by internationally renowned street artists Eduardo Kobra. In 2016 the Trust was awarded a “Heart of the Community” grant from Southwest Airlines to launch 5 to 10 on Hennepin, a live music series which activates surface parking lots and sidewalks between 5th and 10th streets along Hennepin Avenue. Her intentional work with and for youth and adults experiencing homelessness in the area to produce 5 to 10 has evolved to become a national model of inclusionary program design. She is a 2018-2019 Humphrey Policy Fellow at the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota and was one of 23 people selected as a 2017-2018 Creative Community Fellow by National Arts Strategies. She is also a member of the Ethical Redevelopment Salon at the University of Chicago and a founding member of the Placemaking Leadership Council (Project for Public Spaces). Locally, Joan serves on the board of directors of Forecast Public Art, Minneapolis Mad Dads and the Salvation Army Harbor Light. She is a Minneapolis Arts Commissioner and serves on the Public Art Advisory Committee for the City of Minneapolis. Joan also participates in a wide range of Downtown planning groups.


Artist Connector and Urban Innovator