Presented by: Walker Art Center
Gray Plant Mooty has supported more than 90 performances by 30 different artist groups at the Walker, including many new commissions, residencies, and premieres by performers from the U.S. and around the world. The 2011-12 dance season will include at least 25 performances by 10 different artist groups, bringing the total number of performances sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty up to 100 next year!
Gray Plant Mooty’s steadfast support of the dance season has helped position the Walker as an acknowledged leader in the development and presentation of contemporary dance in America. The program serves as a catalytic force in the dance life of the Twin Cities, bringing leading innovators in dance and dance-theater from around the world to the Midwest and offering important commissions and other developmental and presentational opportunities for selected leading choreographers in Minnesota.
In 1927, the Walker Art Center began as the first public art gallery in the Upper Midwest. The new Walker Art Center opened in April 2005 and is nearly double in size of the original. It includes increased indoor and outdoor facilities, which allows the museum to share more of their resources--from objects in the permanent collection to books in the library to an inside view of the artist's own creative process--with their growing audience. Today, the Walker is recognized internationally as a singular model of a multidisciplinary arts organization and as a national leader for its innovative approaches to audience engagement.
As a leading national force since its founding, the Walker Art Center’s Performing Arts Department has been built successfully on a foundation laid by five visionary directors and a level of institutional commitment rare for a contemporary arts center. The Walker began presenting local dance, poetry, and chamber music concerts in 1940. In 1953, the volunteer-staffed Center Arts Council (CAC) was formed to organize a wider range of performances and film screenings. Out of CAC grew the Center Opera Company (later the Minnesota Opera) in 1963, led by John Ludwig and dedicated primarily to contemporary American opera and unique collaborations between opera and visual artists. Throughout the 1970s, the department sponsored events in a range of venues around the Twin Cities, increasing the visibility of contemporary dance, new music, jazz, and experimental theater and hosting an array of pop, rock, and folk concerts. The Walker launched significant program initiatives and established key relationships with a range of artists now considered masters—Cunningham, Mabou Mines, Philip Glass, Twyla Tharp, Meredith Monk, and many others—that continue today.
Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
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