The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is just a few blocks down Hennepin Avenue from the theater where “Hamilton: The Musical” opens next week — and it’s seizing the moment to celebrate the founder of the nation’s bank.
The Minneapolis Fed on Tuesday announced a free special exhibit on Alexander Hamilton, along with a contest for high school and college students with the prize of an internship at the bank and two tickets to the show.
“The Minneapolis Fed is a direct product of Hamilton’s vision, and while it isn’t showbiz, the work we do here is in service to our community,” Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Fed president, said in a statement.
The bank’s exhibit on Hamilton will open Aug. 29 — the date of the musical’s debut at the Orpheum Theatre — in the lobby of its building at 90 Hennepin Av. It created a section on its website, minneapolisfed.org/hamilton, with more information.
In the contest, students are being asked to share “bold ideas to improve lives and the economy in their own communities” via social media platforms using the hashtag #Hamilton4All. The contest will close on Sept. 25. Along with the internship, the winner will get two tickets to the Oct. 4 performance of “Hamilton.”
At the start of the constitutional government in 1789, President George Washington appointed Hamilton, then 30 years old, to be Secretary of the Treasury.
In 1791, Hamilton formed the First Bank of the United States, the first national bank, to help stabilize the nation’s financial system, which at the time relied on local and state-chartered banks and currencies issued by them. The bank created a federal fiat currency, absorbed the war debts of several states and formed credit for the U.S. government with other nations.
That legacy is lightly explored in the musical but is perhaps the most influential on Americans today. The nation wrestled with the role of a national bank and state banks for more than a century, until the Federal Reserve System, including the Minneapolis Fed, was formed in 1913.