Walker Art Center

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Introducing… Anita and Robert Tabb

We are celebrating the 25th year of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden this summer. How far back do your memories go?

When we came to Minneapolis in 2004 from Portland, Oregon, it was one of the highlights that drew us to the neighborhood. We’ve been visiting the Garden and the Walker ever since.

What do you think the Garden has brought to the community?

Few communities have “outdoor museums”: in addition to enjoying the sculpture and beautiful arbor garden, we love it as a summer reading room, as a backdrop for our daughter’s prom pictures, as a unique playground for our grandchildren.

Anita, you’ve been a Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board commissioner since 2010. What does this place add to the city’s already-renowned park system?

It adds an element of surprise to the park collection—it’s an outlet for our constituents whose interests lean toward the visual. And in these times when schools have fewer opportunities to offer arts to our youth, free places like the Garden can provide a way to help fill that gap.

What are some of your favorite Garden experiences?

Well, Rock the Garden has to be one of the summer highlights, right? It is one of the hottest tickets in town! Frankly, the Walker throws wonderful parties, and we highly recommend attending its openings and artist events—we always feel as if we’re one of the cool kids!

It’s likely that the Park Board will pursue state bonding next year to help fund a restoration of the Garden and the Cowles Conservatory. Anita, how do you talk to Garden fans and other parks people about this effort?

The Garden is very popular and well-loved, with more than 350,000 visitors annually. That kind of “love” begins to take a toll on its infrastructure and it is time to make many updates for energy efficiency and handicap accessibility, among many other much-needed repairs. The citizens of Minneapolis generously share this statewide iconic asset with many regional, national, and international visitors. We hope the legislature will recognize this contribution made over the past 25 years, and join with us to share it for the next 25 years!

The Garden is very popular and well-loved, with more than 350,000 visitors annually. That kind of “love” begins to take a toll on its infrastructure and it is time to make many updates for energy efficiency and handicap accessibility, among many other much-needed repairs. The citizens of Minneapolis generously share this statewide iconic asset with many regional, national, and international visitors. We hope the legislature will recognize this contribution made over the past 25 years, and join with us to share it for the next 25 years!

Anita and Robert Tabb

City of residence: Minneapolis
Membership level: Sponsor
Members since: 2006

Photo: ©Walker Art Center