- To build community through the arts by fostering creative expression, and providing artistic and educational opportunities for people of all ages.
- To be an important focal point for community activity, pride and involvement.
Our vision is to become the place of choice by residents of the west metro for creative expression and for seeking artistic opportunities, and to grow in stature to become a regional destination point. It is our ongoing commitment to partner with artists in their artistic/professional development, respecting and appreciating the contributions they make to our lives and community.
The Beginning – A Shared Dream
After outgrowing their former facility, Stages Theatre Company (then Child’s Play Theatre Company) approached the City of Hopkins about building a live performance theater in 1991. The timing was fortuitous as a progressive city council in Hopkins was exploring ways of reenergizing Mainstreet and market analysis revealed the healthiest redevelopment option would consist of destination businesses, entertainment options and a restaurant. The former site of Suburban Chevrolet between 12 and 11 Avenues on Mainstreet seemed the spot and planning began for what would become an art center inhabiting the north side of Mainstreet, and a second run movie theater and restaurants completing the south side of the block.
Although spearheaded by Stages Theatre Company and the City of Hopkins, from the beginning the project involved community partnerships. A grassroots fundraising effort and community support was critical in making the art center a reality. In 1997 construction began on the 36,000 square foot facility with the major partners in place:
- City of Hopkins, owner and operator of the Center
- Stages Theatre Company, anchor tenant
- Hopkins School District, long-term tenant and partner
- Hopkins Area Arts Association — an association of local artists and art lovers which over time morphed into the nonprofit arm of the Center, the Friends of Hopkins Center of the Arts
In November 1997 the Center opened.
The Center Today – An Integral Part of the Community
Today the Center is a well-used community resource. The Hopkins Center for the Arts presents a series of concerts and exhibitions as well as other events during the year. Stages Theatre Company entertains thousands of children and families through their plays and runs an extensive educational program. The Hopkins School District holds adult community education classes in arts and wellness as well as special events/exhibitions/performances at the Center. Any remaining time is rented to outside groups –arts groups, businesses, civic organizations and families. People come to the Center for performances and exhibitions, but also for birthdays, weddings, networking and learning. The Center truly is an arts-based community gathering place and over the course of a year welcomes over a quarter million visitors.