Skip to main content
We will be closed July 4-8 Details
Hennepin Theatre Trust

It's the People 2024-2025: Portrait Photography Open Call

Location: MN — Twin Cities Metro
Type: Call for Submissions

Deadline: 01/01/2024

Other Criteria:
Open to artists statewide
Paid opportunity ($2,500)



Hennepin Theatre Trust is seeking Minnesota based photographers for the 2024-2025 edition of It’s the People, a public art project which features large-scale photo banners along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. This initiative is inspired by the exceptional, everyday people whose experiences, contributions and stories create the unique vibrancy of our shared communities. This year, It’s the People will feature “Photographers Choice” portraits, where photographers submitting for the open call will nominate their own subjects. Submissions will be judged on the quality of past work as well as a compelling case for your choice of subject(s). Please consider why you chose your subject(s); what is the story you wish to tell through your portrait? Why is now the time to put the spotlight on them? The run of show for the banner project is August 2023 – July 2024. See complete timeline below for details of dates you must be available to complete the work if your proposal is selected. If you have any questions, please direct them to or register for the Open Call information session on November 21, 2023, at 7 p.m. CST. Click on the link below for more information and to register for info session.

Eligibility: Minnesota based photographers who work in portraiture and fine art photography are encouraged to apply. It is the expectation of Hennepin Theatre Trust that artists applying for this opportunity will have their own professional photography equipment or access to such equipment, including lighting and all necessary elements to accomplish the photo shoot and process the images for submission.

Project scope: Minnesota-based photographers who wish to apply are asked to select a subject or subjects from the Twin Cities they feel have made a positive contribution to the community through their work. Photographers are encouraged to approach this commission through a creative lens using their own unique style. The portraits will be featured on large-scale building banners in the Hennepin Theatre District and on Clear Channel digital billboards around the metro area from August 2024 through July 2025. Artists and subjects will be asked to participate in a short video interview the day of their photo shoot to help us highlight the work of the photographers and tell the stories of their subjects. Click here to learn more about the project, past artists and subjects, and to view selected videos.
Stipend: Each photographer selected for the program will receive $2500.00. This amount is intended to cover the cost of the artist’s time to plan, photograph and edit the portraits they will submit as their final selections to be displayed as banners. All other production and administration costs will be covered by Hennepin Theatre Trust. Artists will retain rights to their work. Hennepin Theatre Trust maintains rights to reproduce, make available and use images of the work for educational, promotional and other non-commercial purposes in print and digital media of any form.

Application process

Please have the following documents and work samples prepared to complete the application:
• A statement of interest. Please tell us why this project sparks your interest and how it aligns with your work as an artist (150 words or less).
• An artist statement (150 words or less).
• Proposed subject statement. Identify the subject(s) to be portrayed on a single banner that you are interested in photographing for your portrait. Please talk about your connection to your subject(s) and why you are choosing to highlight them in this portrait. This description should convey evidence of your passion for them and their work (150 words or less).
• Five or six professional work samples that are representative of how you will approach this portrait project.
• Image list with the following information: 1) artist name, 2) phone number, 3) email address and 4) a list detailing each image with titles formatted as: ArtistName_01.jpg as well as a brief (50 words or less) description of that image. After the application period closes on January 1, 2024, the selection committee will choose 10 finalists to advance to the next round. Each of the 10 finalists will be awarded a stipend of $250 to submit a full proposal (RFP) due on January 29, 2024 that will elaborate on the details of their intended photoshoot, vision and timeline, along with letters of intent, contact information for their subject(s), and other associated materials that will be the basis of the story we tell through the portraits and supporting collateral such as presence on the Trust’s web pages, social media posts, print materials and our annual VIP event. Please note, if you are selected for the finalist round, your chosen subject(s) will be asked to sign a letter of intent to participate. Your subject(s) will also receive a small stipend for their participation, the amount of which will be determined after the selection process is complete and all artists and subjects have been determined.

Selection process: This project based on the following criteria:
• Proven artistic merit and strong professional qualifications as demonstrated through previous work.
• Relevance of the subject(s) you choose to represent and the story they tell.
• Ability to execute high-quality digital work in a conceptually, aesthetically and technically compelling way.
• Capacity to complete the project described in this open call within the time frame provided.

• November 7, 2023 – Open Call launch
• November 21 – information session 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. RSVP required
• January 1, 2024 – Open call submissions due at 11:59 p.m.
• January 8 – Round one panel reviews
• January 11 – Invitations to finalists go out
• January 29 – Finalist’s RFP submissions due at 11:59 p.m.
• February 5 – RFP panel review
• February 8 – Selected Photographers notified
• February 12 – Signed contracts, W9’s and photo release forms due
• February 12 to 23 – Photoshoot scheduling
• February 26 to March 24 – Photoshoots
• March 25 to April 7 – Artist’s image processing time
• April 8, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. – Print ready final images due