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Minnesota Theater Alliance
Membership Newsletter
June 15, 2012


Alliance News:
  • Sustainability in Theater 2012 Archive now available online
  • Alliance Member Campaign - Help us reach 100 members!
  • Post or search available rehearsal and event space on SpacemART
  • Opportunities:
  • Cantus is hiring an Audience Development and Operations Associate, deadline June 15
  • MN Shorts offers use of Short Plays on the MN Amendments
  • Learning:
  • Workshop with Live Action Set on June 16
  • Metro-Wide Sustainability Forum with Diane Ragsdale on July 10
  • Registration open for LEAD 2012 National Conference in August
  • Create an Artists' Health Care Program in Your Community
  • Ticketing Systems for the rest of us
  • Represent:
  • Join over 420 organizations in the Minnesotans United for All Families Coalition
  • News:
  • Four Minnesota Projects Receive ArtPlace Grants totaling over $1.3 Million!
  • Results available from NEA Study on Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth
  • Bonus:
  • Online Video Theater Reviews
  • Sustainability in Theater 2012 Archive now available online
    We have archived video, presentations, links, photos, and reference documents related to every session from the Sustainability in Theater Conference! Whether you were there and wanted more, or missed it and wish you could see what you missed, there’s tons of great resources here, including video archive of the entire first day, and several YouTube archives of the Google+ interactive sessions on the second day. Contact information for every presenter, and links to global and local resources, all in one place! Dig in here:

    Alliance Member Campaign - Help us reach 100 members!
    The Alliance has set a goal to reach 100 member theater companies by the end of 2012! We are currently over 50 organizations strong and are growing in numbers, programs and services. If you have considered becoming a member, now is a wonderful time to join! Check out the current programs available and programs in development by visiting our website:

    Performance companies and venues of every kind: large, small, professional, community, academic, for-profit, non-profit, unincorporated, urban, suburban and Greater Minnesota – all are welcome and invited. Our Membership Services Manager, Ashley Hanson, will be personally calling each of you in the coming months to discuss the benefits of becoming a Minnesota Theater Alliance member and answer any questions you may have. Your participation is critical to all of our success - Become a member today! View details and membership signup form at

    Post or search available Rehearsal and Event Space on SpacemART
    SpacemART is a comprehensive, searchable database of cultural facilities and venues available for rent anywhere in the state of Minnesota. Any kind of space for making and sharing art can be found or listed here for FREE — from auditions to rehearsals to performance; from work studios to exhibit space; from meetings to classes to special events. Register now to list your space here:

    Cantus is hiring an Audience Development and Operations Associate, deadline June 15
    Cantus is looking for a FT, benefitted third member for their administrative staff. The position will be responsible for box office, CD management and day to day operations of the organization, including support of artists and home concerts. Customer service skills, attention to detail are critical; some knowledge of concert or theatrical operations a plus. Find out more about Cantus at

    Application : Please submit a cover letter that describes your specific interest and qualifications for the position, resume, and three professional references to by June 15, 2012.

    MN Shorts offers use of Short Plays on the MN Amendments
    For theaters interested in producing short plays on the MN Amendments, Minnesota Shorts has four short plays that are commission-free that they are offering to any theatre troupe that wants to use them. They only ask that the writers be credited. The plays are: "Jesus Needs a Photo I.D.", "Amendments in my Pants," "One Man, One Woman" and "Vote 2012."

    To get a copy of MN Amendment short plays, e-mail request to

    Workshop with Live Action Set on June 16
    In conjunction with their new work "Basic North," Live Action Set is committed to sharing discoveries of their robust rehearsal process with the community, on Saturday, June 16th at the Southern Theater, the directors of "Basic North" will lead a workshop exploring the theatrical techniques and inspiration supporting the production.

    The workshop is $30 to attend and will be held from 3pm to 6pm. Call 612.388.6059 to register.

    Live Action Set will also present a free public showing on Sunday, June 17th at 5pm at the Southern Theater. At this showing audiences can provide feedback on the work. Live Action Set will use this feedback over the following two weeks to finalize "Basic North" leading up to opening night. No reservation needed for public showing.

    Metro-Wide Sustainability Forum with Diane Ragsdale on July 10
    The word sustainability comes from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). One definition of sustainability is “the capacity to endure.” When we aspire to sustain, or hold up, the arts what are we talking about? Sustaining all the historically leading, flagship organizations? Sustaining a canon of great works? Sustaining broad and deep community engagement with the arts? Something else? The “what” is important. Who and what survives in the arts ecosystem is, in part, a matter of choice and priority; moreover, decisions to sustain one organization or level of the ecosystem can come at the expense of another. Come ready to listen and discuss as Diane Ragsdale challenges us to think about what we’re trying to sustain and why, as well as the consequences of our choices.

    Register Now for the July 10 Metro-wide Forum with Diane Ragsdale!
    Date: Tuesday, July 10
    Time: 8:30 - 9:30am – Registration, coffee and light breakfast; 9:30 - 11:30am – Forum
    Place: Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
    Cost: Free, paid parking available at these locations

    Register: Register by July 2, 2012.

    Registration open for LEAD 2012 National Conference in August
    August is right around the corner and so is LEAD 2012, the national conference and training for cultural administrators responsible for ensuring access to patrons and visitors with disabilities. Sessions are tailored to the needs and interests of a broad range of professionals at performing and visual arts centers, museums, parks, stadiums, music halls and other entertainment venues. All sessions are conducted by experts from across the nation. Don't miss out on seeing the latest technological advances and hearing from experts on current legal and regulatory issues.

    Register Now!

    Capacity Building Workshop: August 20-21, 2012
    Pre-Conference Workshops: August 21 & 22, 2012
    Full Conference: August 22-24, 2012

    Session Highlights and Complete Schedule at

    Call or email for more information: 202-416-8727 (voice/relay);

    Create an Artists' Health Care Program in Your Community
    With the individual health insurance mandate on the horizon, it's a great time to start connecting artists in your community to healthcare and health insurance resources. Springboard for the Arts Artists' Access to Healthcare program began six years ago with an Artists' Health Fair. Now, they want to help you do the same in your community!

    A replication toolkit is now available to artists and arts organizations anywhere in the country. The 22-page booklet will walk you step-by-step through the process of creating an Artists' Health Fair and Guide to Healthcare for Artists, complete with logistical pointers and lessons learned from programs in the Twin Cities. The toolkit also includes 30+ electronic documents, including the Artists' Health Fair logo, sponsorship forms and letter templates.

    The replication kit can be downloaded as a PDF with a $45 donation to Springboard for the Arts.

    For more information and to request a toolkit, please contact Nikki Hunt at

    The Artists' Health Fair and Guide to Healthcare replication toolkit is made possible with generous support from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC).

    Ticketing Systems for the rest of us
    Patrons need to be so much more than patrons now, don’t they? They need to be advertisements, they need to be philanthropic support, they need to be consistent attendees. We are exiting the era of the ticketing system. The dawn of the “customer relationship management” system or CRM, is upon us. Check out this useful article “Ticketing Systems for the Rest of Us,” a fantastic article summarizing options for ticketing and patron relationship management software.

    Article available at:

    Join over 420 organizations in the Minnesotans United for All Families Coalition
    In May 2011, the Minnesota State Legislature voted to put a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot in Minnesota that will read: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?”

    Minnesotans United for All Families is a broad coalition of organizations and community and business leaders having conversations with Minnesotans about why this amendment – which seeks to limit the freedom to marry for committed couples in Minnesota – must be defeated. Faith, labor, progressive, and nonpartisan organizations, communities of color, current and former elected officials, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Independents, and Libertarians have all joined with our campaign to defeat this constitutional amendment and encourage Minnesotans to vote NO in November.

    Since May of 2011, the coalition has grown rapidly to include over 420 partner organizations working together to defeat this unnecessary amendment that would limit the freedoms of Minnesotans. Is your organization ready to join our coalition? Click here to join or for more information:

    Four Minnesota Projects Receive ArtPlace Grants totaling over $1.3 Million!
    Four unique, arts-driven projects in Minneapolis and Saint Paul will receive over $1 million in grant funding from ArtPlace. Congratulations to Intermedia Arts, The Pillsbury House + Theater, Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), and Public Art Saint Paul!

    Intermedia Arts will receive a $325,000 grant for a project that will embed artists in the city’s planning process. The program focuses on Minneapolis communities that are undergoing critical change and are ripe for the infusion of artists and diverse perspectives. Possible projects to get artist involvement include the development of the Southwest LRT station areas and the transformation of the industrial Upper Riverfront into a parks and jobs corridor.

    Pillsbury House + Theatre will receive $250,000 to establish a new Chicago Avenue Arts District. Chicago Avenue runs through one of the most diverse and low-income neighborhoods in the Minneapolis metro area, and has seen new investment in the past year by a handful of arts groups. The Chicago Avenue Arts District will help forge these emerging assets into a creative network. The project will engage community residents, artists, youth, businesses, arts nonprofits and others in creating and consuming art.

    The Native American Community Development Institute will receive $435,000 dedicated to create a new front door for the Native American Cultural Corridor. The undeveloped light rail station area at one end of the Corridor has been a barrier to connecting the heart of the Cultural Corridor to transit and the adjacent Seward Neighborhood. This project will develop a unique cultural gateway and arts market at the station to welcome people to the corridor and serves as a unique community gathering space. Public art, festivals and food will make it an inviting entrance to the neighborhood.

    Public Art Saint Paul will reveive $300,000 for a project for the CAIRS (City Artists-In-Residence) project. The artists will work within the public agencies (which also includes the city’s Watersheds District office) to shape a public realm that fosters imagination, explore civic values and the communityʼs evolving history, and strengthens public places as vessels of public life. The artists will also convene as a team to learn from each other and share their experiences.

    A complete list of this year’s ArtPlace awards can be found at:

    Results available from NEA Study on Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth
    A compelling new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts can help you show your constituents the power of the arts to transform lives. The report shows that arts involvement can be a critical factor in whether low-income students graduate from high school, attend college, and become active in community life. It's an essential read for anyone working to secure arts funding or close the academic achievement gap. The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies compares outcomes for a nationally representative sample of nearly 72,000 U.S. children and/or teenagers gathered between 1988 and 2012, with a focus on low-income students. Among the findings:

    • Low-income students who earned few or no arts credits in high school were five times less likely to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits.
    • 39 percent of low-income students who had high arts involvement attended a four-year college after graduation, compared with 17 percent who had little or no arts involvement.
    • Mean GPAs were 2.94 among low-income students with high arts involvement, compared with 2.55 for students with low arts involvement.
    • Eighth-graders who had high levels of arts involvement from kindergarten through elementary school had significantly higher test scores in science and writing than students who had lower levels of arts involvement over the same period.

    This report is a milestone both because of the sheer number of students whose data it includes, as well as its comprehensive analysis of how much, and what kind, of arts involvement correlates with better student outcomes. Once upon a time, the arts were widely accepted in the U.S. as part of a complete education. But high-stakes testing and cuts to education funding have resulted in the disappearance of the arts from schools, particularly those that serve low-income learners. Rather than eliminate the arts, we should harness their power to help students who need it most. The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth will be an important tool in helping move the case for increased school arts funding forward. It's available online at

    Online Video Theater Reviews
    Check out this new video theater review blog that experiments with a new kind of honest, direct and public audience feedback with video blogs from the tops of buses and before bookshelves:

    Funding and support for the Minnesota Theater Alliance provided by

    McKnight Foundation

    Mardag Foundation

    Peace Coffee Hosted by

    This activity is funded, in part, by appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State's general fund, and its arts and cultural heritage fund that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

    © 2011 Minnesota Theater Alliance
    308 Prince St #270, Saint Paul, MN 55101 • (651) 789-0787 •