Forecast consultant Hawona Sullivan Janzen engaged stakeholders as a member of the Forecast team that managed a strategic assessment project for Hennepin Theater Trust.
Hawona Sullivan Janzen is a multi-disciplinary artist who seeks ways to bring people together through the arts, in positions as diverse as gallery curator at University of Minnesota, coordinator of the Literary Witnesses poetry reading series, and improvisational jazz singer with the Sonoglyph Collective. She is currently at work on two public art projects: the Dale Street Bridge Project over I-94 and the Rondo Family Reunion, a public art lawn sign installation. An alum of Forecast’s GroundWork training program for emerging public art consultants, she joined Forecast’s consulting team this year.
The Forecast consulting team recently concluded six months of work with Hennepin Theatre Trust (HTT), which, over the past five years, has expanded programming outside the walls of its renown theaters in downtown Minneapolis—the State, Orpheum and Pantages—to create a more vibrant and dynamic arts district. Forecast founder and lead consultant Jack Becker and Sullivan Janzen conducted an analysis of HTT’s district development efforts, and gauged stakeholder perceptions of and interest in HTT’s recent efforts to enhance, improve and address the needs of the district.
Forecast’s work centered on identifying perceptions, challenges, and opportunities, and then making recommendations to help HTT move forward. HTT president Mark Nerenhausen said, “Working with Forecast’s talented team came at the perfect time for Hennepin Theatre Trust, and we were thrilled it could be part of the GroundWork training program. Hawona and Jack helped us to better understand some critical information that’s needed to advance the development of the theatre district, and how we could take it to the next level.”
According to Becker, “It’s been a really interesting process, and also quite different from past gigs. It was great to have Hawona on the team, and watch her put her amazing people skills to work, gaining the trust of diverse stakeholders, and obtaining candid remarks and insights.”
Sullivan Janzen, who interviewed many of HTT’s internal and external stakeholders, reflected on the process: “Consulting for Hennepin Theatre Trust gave me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the field of public art and see firsthand the delicate dance involved in doing this work well. I found consulting to be a way to learn, to grow, and to break new personal and professional ground.”
Sullivan Janzen is one of five Forecast consulting associates who were participants of GroundWork and joined Forecast in January 2019 to work intensively on a variety of public art initiatives through six-month-long paid positions.