Street art fest makes a return to downtown Minneapolis

Photo credit Tony Nelson Amanda Harris-Gibbs sketches at last year’s event as festival-goers gaze at her work.

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) and Hennepin Theatre Trust (HTT) are hosting the third annual Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival on Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues in downtown Minneapolis. The event takes place August 12-14.

“This past year has helped us all recognize how much art helps us connect, experience community with our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, and ultimately move toward healing,” said Lisa Middag, director of Nicollet Activation for the Minneapolis DID.

“We are thrilled to once again be working with Hennepin Theatre Trust on the return of this signature downtown art event that gives people the chance to experience street art of all kinds,” continued Middag. “Artists have really held us up this past year and sustained us. It will be great to celebrate our return to the street with them and the rest of the downtown community.”

Highlights of this year’s street art festival

Nicollet Farmers Market Preview

The activities begin during the Nicollet Farmers Market and Nicollet Makers Market preview on Thursday midday when chalk artists Shawn McCann and Lydia Anderson demonstrate their unique techniques of chalk as an art form near 6th and Nicollet.

X-Games Mural Celebration and Skate Deck Exhibition on First Avenue

Take in the unveiling of new large-scale work on the NRG Clearway Building at 730 1st Avenue South by artist Reggie LeFlore, presented in collaboration with HTT, ESPN, and Meet Mpls. The festivities also include a skate deck exhibition by youth from the MN African American Heritage Museum and Gallery. Light refreshments will be on deck, as will DJ Mickey Breeze on the turntables (you may even catch some breakdancing and skate demos). Remarks begin at 12:30 pm.

Live Mural Painting with Kulture Klub Collaborative and City Mischief Murals

A new work-in-progress created in partnership with downtown youth takes place on 9th Street between Hennepin and First avenues. This event is part of Hennepin Theatre Trust’s 5 to 10 on Hennepin initiative.

Downtown Street Art Festival Kick-off Concert featuring NUR-D

The festival officially kicks off Thursday evening at 5 pm between 9th and 10th streets on Nicollet Avenue with a free performance by NUR-D who calls himself your “7th favorite hip-hop artist.”

Submitted photo Street art by Brigid Higgins

Nicollet Chalk Art Festival

The centerpiece of the Downtown Street Art Festival is a two-block-long series of chalk installations by 14 local and national chalk artists. Beginning at 10 am, amateur and professional artists will transform the sidewalks of the Nicollet mall between 6th and 8th streets with their unique artistic visions in vibrant chalk.

3D Chalk Installation at IDS Center

World-renowned, local chalk artist Shawn McCann will perform his artistry at the IDS Center outdoor plaza with a special 3D chalk installation.

Live Spray Painting on Nicollet mall

Witness a live mural painting by national and local spray paint artists Danya Aletebi, Tom Janssen, Sig Natur, and Briauna Williams.

Street Eats on Nicollet

A wide selection of food trucks and street vendors will be available on Nicollet  Avenue between 6th and 8th streets.

Street Show Performances on Nicollet

Enjoy live street performances from a variety of local artists and musicians presented in conjunction with Street Show Produced by DID and HTT and curated by The Warming House and Street Show, there will be local musicians, artists, dancers, poets, painters, and others. DID will match all tips for Street Show performers and donate toward local social justice organizations. For a full Street Show schedule, visit

Nicollet Makers Market Street Art Festival Edition

There will be a special weekend appearance of the Nicollet Makers Market (, the weekly downtown craft and art market that features locally made and designed goods. More than 15 artists and makers will bring their wares to the street, including live screen printing and artist demos.

Street Dance Party with DJ Mickey Breeze

DJ Mickey Breeze’s second set of the festival will be broadcast from the Bell Bank balcony on the corner of 7th and Nicollet.

Street Art Festival Virtual Tour

Throughout the festival, QR codes will be available with scan-able links to the Downtown Street Art Festival online tour with more information on the participating visual artists and artworks. A virtual tour will be available during the festival from the festival website at

To learn more about the Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival, visit or follow along @MplsStreetArtFest on Facebook and Instagram, or @MplsStArtFest on Twitter.