South Minneapolis’ fiercely independent, artist-driven, volunteer-run, non-profit community theater located in the Longfellow neighborhood, The Hook & Ladder… is FIVE!
The Hook proudly celebrated five years of operations with a community celebration on Saturday, September 18, 2021. It featured five exciting MN acts…and was open to all for FREE. Well... a $5.01 donation was suggested! Activities, food trucks and performances by Apollo Cobra, Nicholas David, Siama Matazungidi, Drew Peterson, Bond Does Belly and much more!
These past five years have seen challenges and changes at the historic location, starting from the first week The Hook launched and it was subsequently announced that a number of local music venues were calling it quits, to the completed build-out of their second performance space, The Mission Room, in 2019, to their mandated government shut-down from the covid-19 virus in 2020 and the aftermath following the murder of George Floyd this past year that resulted in $300,000 in facilities damages. (The Hook is located directly next door to the burned out 3rd Precinct.)
With the rigorous presentation schedule The Hook & Ladder keeps, there are far too many artistic highlights to name names, but some memorable events at the repurposed firehouse do come to mind, including recognition in 2019 for Roots, Rock & Deep-Blues Music/Arts Festival being voted City Pages’ readers favorite block-party to the more recent 2021 Minnesota’s Best - Silver Award for Best Charity Event.
The Hook also hosted a capacity Bernie Sanders rally during his presidential run, Grant Hart’s surprise B-Day party just months before his untimely passing, an eclectic variety of HookStream broadcast events in 2020 and a number of sold-out national/MN act under-plays, like; Dumpstaphunk, Doyle Bramhall II, Davina & The Vagabonds and many more!
The Hook & Ladder provides stages for Minnesota artists and a platform for marginalized voices and communities. Engaging with thousands of MN artists annually, the Hook & Ladder mission of serving MN artists by providing revenue generating performance opportunities is met by passing through the majority of net gate revenue to performers.
This mission of The Hook & Ladder has resonated with their neighbors, wider twin-cities residents and visitors alike (whom can number into the 1,000s each week) over these five years, in addition to bringing positive economic impact to the neighborhood with larger events like Roots, Rock & Deep-Blues Music/Arts Festival each summer.
The work of The Hook has manifested in a variety of unique program offerings over the years, including; partnering with numerous community and non-profit organizations for fundraising initiatives, presenting hundreds of ticketedconcerts annually, MN: Mission Possible series, HookStream broadcasts, Under the Canopy series, multi-disciplinary presentations, youth programs, conversation series as well as literary, culinary, dance and theatrical arts presentations, to name just a few.
The Hook’s 2021 Under the Canopy (UTC) series is the organization’s most recent pivot to keep live arts going and audiences best protected by moving presentations safely outside. With the success of the 2021 UTC season, it looks like it will be making a come back in the spring of 2022! In the mean time, The Hook has plans to move inside Nov-April and has recently updated its protocols and safety measures to ensure continued safe operations indoors. #LongfellowStrong