The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts is closing its 500-seat Goodale Theater in downtown Minneapolis’ theater district at the end of March.

The Cowles Center cited recent “financial challenges … exacerbated by the economic impact of a global pandemic,” which has led to lower ticket sales and less funding, in its Wednesday announcement.

The closure effectively ends The Cowles Center’s 2023-2024 season two months early and impacts three dance productions slated for April and May. Four other performances will take place as scheduled in February and March.

Those performances are:

  • Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre: The Conference of the Birds on Feb. 10 and 11
  • 2nd Chance Outreach: The Sound of Gospel (community rental) on Feb. 16-18
  • Crash Dance Productions: Domino on March 2 and 3
  • MERGE in March: Mathew Janczewski's Arena Dance & Taja Will on March 23-24

All staff departing the organization by April “are extremely committed to supporting the final performances and making them a positive experience,” according to the press release.

The Cowles Center still plans to pay out artist fees and box office splits as if the three affected performances had happened.

"This is a heartbreaking convergence of all circumstances, but our goal is to support these artists as equitably as possible,” directors Joseph Bingham and Jessi Fett of The Cowles Center said in a joint statement. “Nothing replaces their ability to showcase their live performance, but we hope that lessening the financial burden will help them look towards the future." 

The Cowles Center opened its doors at 528 Hennepin Ave. as a hub for dance in 2011. It’s owned and operated by Artspace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit real estate developer for the arts.

In recent years, the Goodale Theater has hosted between 11 and 14 dance productions annually, according to The Cowles Center.

The Cowles Center’s intimate 100-seat TEK BOX Theater will remain open as a rental theater as it has since 1978, and Artspace's adjacent Hennepin Center for the Arts will continue to house dance studio rentals, the announcement said.