Explore the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities = Twice the Art

Annual Convention is bringing you not one, but two innovative arts communities: Minneapolis and St. Paul! A bubble of creativity and innovation, the Twin Cities are the birthplace of countless unique artists and art forms. Prince’s eclectic brand of R&B and funk, Bob Dylan powerful songwriting, the American Craft Council, communities of photographers, book artists, and printmakers all call the Twin Cities home.

This June 13-16 fully soak in the Twin Cities experience with a visit to Prince’s favorite record store and music venue, two art festivals, delicious Hmong, Somali, Indigenous, and New Nordic cuisine, and much more.

Explore the Twin Cities – Things to Do

Check out Minneapolis.org and VisitSaintPaul.com to see a full list of things to do in the area!


Photo Credit: Northern Spark 2015; Projection by Luke Savisky; Photo by Ian Plant.

FESTIVALS

  • Northern Spark Festival (June 15-16):
    Tens of thousands of people gather after sunset to wonder at giant video projections, play in temporary installations and enjoy experimental performances during this annual festival. And Annual Convention is going to be right in the center of it! This year’s Opening Reception features a community gathering to start the first night of the Northern Spark Festival.
  • Stonebridge Art Festival (June 14-16):
    A weekend of art and music right on the Minneapolis riverfront. Check out outdoor concerts, local artists selling their work, beer samples, and much more.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Walker Art Center; Photo by Galen Fletcher.

Museums

  • Walker Art Center:
    Featuring Hahn/Cock, Spoonbridge and Cherry and many more iconic pieces, this world-renowned sculpture garden is nestled in the heart of Minneapolis.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts:
    A free fine arts museum located in the Whittier neighborhood. Don’t miss the brand-new exhibition on Native Women Artists, celebrating 115 artists over 1,000 years.
  • Weisman Art Museum:
    Housed in a striking stainless steel and brick building designed by Frank Gehry, Weisman Art Museum offers engaging art exhibitions.  Check out The Wonderful World Before Disney exhibition’s look at fairy tales pre-Disney.


Photo Credit: Paisley Park; Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Music

  • First Ave:
    The heart of the Twin Cities vibrant music scene, where Prince filmed the music video for Purple Rain and countless local celebrities made their mark. Check out a show or the hundreds of famous silver stars of artists, who made their mark on First Ave.
  • Electric Fetus:
    Singled out as the worst-named business by National Lampoon, this record shop has been a gathering ground for music enthusiasts and counter-culturalists since 1968. Even Prince considered Electric Fetus his favorite record shop in the Twin Cities.
  • Paisley Park:
    Prince’s production studio and home that he built just outside of Minneapolis, was a place of unity and art in its purest form. Tours range from $45 to $170, with four ticketing options available for the public.

Public Art

  • Times They Are A’Changin:
    A can’t-miss kaleidoscopic celebration of Bob Dylan’s early, mid and current career. Created by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, the mural towers over Minneapolis at five stories tall and 160 feet wide
  • Prince Mural:
    Artist Rock “Cyfi” Martinez created this portrait as a gift to Minneapolis to help with the grieving process, right after the city and world lost Prince’s unique talent and vision.
  • Western Sculpture Park
    In the midst of a densely populated neighborhood just west of the Minnesota State Capitol, find internationally-renowned and whimsical sculptures.


Photo credit: Courtesy of Guthrie Theater; Photo by JD Hudson.

Theatre

  • Guthrie Theatre:
    Known for its groundbreaking plays. You must pay to see a show but the building itself is open to the public. And even if you’re not able to catch a show, it’s worth stopping by the club to check out the venue’s hundreds of famous painted silver stars with the names of artists who have made a mark on the club’s history.
  • 20% Theater Company:
    In 2002, the NY Council on the Arts revealed the alarming statistic that only 20% of professional theatre artists were women. In 2006, the 20% Theatre was formed to change all of this and has gone further by including transgender and nonbinary artists in all they do and producing groundbreaking, queer theatre.
  • Minnesota Jewish Theater:
    An intimate theatre with provocative plays rooted in Jewish tradition.

Restaurants

  • Hmongtown Marketplace:
    Get a taste of Southeast Asia at this outdoor market with everything from pho and curry shops, meat barbeques and bakeries.  Try familiar classics like stuffed chicken wings or unique Hmong staples like Mok pa, steamed catfish nestled in a banana leaf.
  • HopCat:
    Home to 30 Minneapolis-made craft beers and the beloved crack fries, beer-battered fries seasoned with HopCat’s signature cracked pepper.
  • The Bulldog Restaurant & Bar:
    Several locations of expansive local beer selections, the tater tot hotdish, and many more classic Twin Cities favorites.
  • Firelake Restaurant:
    In the land of 10,000 lakes, you can’t go wrong with one of the many delicious varieties of fish. Try the Walleye Fritters and the Smoked Whitefish Dip at this locally-source restaurant.
  • Fika:
    Sleek, kid-friendly cafe serving Nordic-inspired fare & cocktails in the American Swedish Institute.
  • Matt's Bar and Grill:
    Circa-1954, cash-only beer & burger joint celebrated for its cheese-stuffed patty, the Jucy Lucy.
  • Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery:
    Trendy gastropub offers diverse comfort fare, craft cocktails & a front espresso counter.
  • Qoraxlow Restaurant:
    Located at Karmell Mall, this family style Somali restaurant offers beef samusa, rice, chicken sukar (shredded chicken in marinated sauce), lentil soup and mango juice.
  • Tullibe:
    Locally sourced, upscale Nordic cuisine & cocktails served in hip, rustic-chic surrounds.