First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom

Exhibit and Communication Media
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – 2019

First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom celebrated five decades of this iconic Minnesota music venue. From the inaugural performance with Joe Cocker when it was called The Depot, to the disco days of Sam’s and Uncle Sam’s, to the club it is now, the exhibit highlighted the musicians, staff, and fans who have called First Avenue & 7th Street Entry their rock ’n’ roll home.

Multimedia highlights included Joe Cocker’s performance in 1970, a lighted disco floor featuring music from Mind and Matter, a behind-the-scenes tour with a long-time staffer and photographer Dan Corrigan, highlights from the hip-hop collective Doomtree presented in their tour van Mountain, and, of course, an homage to Prince projected on a larger-than-life scrim. At the center of the exhibit was an eight video channel multimedia story theater featuring musicians, staff, and fans sharing stories of emotional connection to the place on a replica of the main room stage – complete with an electric projection screen stage reveal, just like the real club.

In addition to the exhibit media, stories for social media were planned in conjunction with the exhibit development to expand the storytelling and engagement beyond the walls of the museum. The social media stories feature musicians describing the venue in one word as well as telling their most fond First Ave memory. The exhibit ran from May 2019 to December 2020. Unfortunately, museum closure due to COVID-19 interrupted the run. Some of the media content was able to be repurposed on the website during this downtime while social media continued to play a role in keeping the story alive.

Creative and technical direction, media and system design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)

Communication Media