Walker Art Center

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Midwest? The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota’s Identity

Join us for a conversation about Minnesota’s historical identity as a member of the Midwest—a nether region lying somewhere between the East and West coasts and spanning a broad latitudinal range. Should Minnesota divorce itself from this nebulous affiliation? Is there a better appellation for our state and region? What role does geography play in forming our identity? What does it even mean to brand a state? The panel discussion Midwest? The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota’s Identity features leading design, marketing, and branding minds in Minnesota as we explore the role of identity in helping our state succeed in a competitive national landscape for talent. Copresented by the Walker and Askov Finlayson.


  • Poppy Harlow, moderator, CNN correspondent and Minnesota native
  • Bruce Bildsten, CMO, Faribault Woolen Mills
  • Andrew Blauvelt, Senior Curator, Architecture and Design, Walker Art Center
  • Thomas Fisher, Dean of the College of Design, University of Minnesota
  • Christine Fruechte, CEO, Colle + McVoy


A reception with cash bar will be held prior to the event in the Garden Café from 5 pm.