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Minnesota Theater Alliance
Membership Newsletter
June 29, 2012


Alliance News:
  • Conversation with Peter Howard of Cornerstone Theater, July 1
  • Save the Date: USITT Fall Workshops, September 7-8 at U of M - Duluth
  • Join the Sustainability in Theater Action Committee
  • Free Trainings for the Cultural Data Project
  • Opportunities:
  • Travel Scholarships to 2012 National Arts Marketing Conference Available
  • Arts Midwest Leadership Idea Exchange
  • Ashoka Summer Series with InCommons
  • Free Arts Minnesota seeks volunteer mentors
  • Philanthropy:
  • Emergency funds: available for artists affected by Northeast Minnesota flooding
  • Vote for Emergency Clown Nose Grant
  • Represent:
  • House Recommends 10% Cut to NEA Funding Next Year
  • Keep the Arts Safe! Become a Member of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
  • Bonus:
  • Check out Theatre Geeks, podcasts focused on Community Theatre
  • Conversation with Peter Howard of Cornerstone Theater, July 1
    How do you engage with your audience and your community? Whether your mission and values lean more toward social justice, joyous entertainment, inspiring education, or community development, increasing participation by your community can build the depth of engagement that strengthens your work and your sustainability.

    For over 25 years, Cornerstone Theatre has brought together an ensemble of professional artists of the highest caliber with people who would never think of themselves as artists to produce works of excellence based on the stories, concerns and issues of a given community. Their plays celebrate many voices, and are staged in theaters and in parking lots, in factories, schools and subway stations. They strive to include people who have not been on stage or even seen theater. They’ve taken up residence in small towns and urban neighborhoods, collaborating with locals from start to finish to tell their unique stories through theater.

    Join us for an informal conversation with Peter Howard, founding member of Cornerstone Theatre, about community-based theatre-making and their methodology.

    Sunday, July 1, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
    Minnesota Theater Alliance (at the offices of Springboard for the Arts)
    308 Prince St. #270, St. Paul, MN 55101
    Directions at

    This event is free, but please RSVP at so we can have enough snacks.

    Save the Date: USITT Fall Workshops, September 7-8 at U of M - Duluth
    Save the date! USITT Northern Boundary ( will be hosting their Fall Workshops in technical theatre September 7-8 at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Update your skills, learn the newest tools, network with fellow practitioners, all at a ridiculously affordable price ($15-20)! The MN Theater Alliance is partnering with USITT this year to expand the reach and deepen the content of the event. We are also checking into the possibility of chartering a bus to carpool there from the Cities. Watch for a survey coming soon to ask for your input on content and gauge interest in carpooling.

    Join the Sustainability in Theater Action Committee
    The Sustainability in Theater Task Force would like to schedule the next meeting of the Minnesota Sustainable Theaters Group, and are inviting any of you interested to join! With so many conversations just begun at the Sustainability in Theater Conference, we’d like to use this group to start forming learning/action committees to dig deeper into topics and start working collaboratively. You may participate even if you’re not a theater-maker. You may participate even if you’re not in the Twin Cities (we’ll Google+ or Skype or phone you in!)

    If you are interested, please visit the following link and complete a brief survey to let us know that you would like to be added to the mailing list and which date(s) work best for our next meeting:

    Free Trainings for the Cultural Data Project
    The Cultural Data Project (CDP) is a unique system that enables arts and cultural organizations to enter financial, programmatic and operational data into astandardized online form. Organizations can then use the CDP to produce a variety of reports designed to help increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges and inform decision-making. They can also generate reports to be included as part of the application processes to participating grantmakers. In each participating state, the CDP is the result of a collaborative partnership of public and private funders and advocacy agencies.

    The Cultural Data Project has come to Minnesota and free trainings are available across the state!
    The CDP’s orientation sessions will provide you with an overview of the history and goals of the project, an introduction to the types of data collected, and tips for how to get started completing your Data Profile or using the CDP’s reporting features.

    These sessions are a great way to get the most from the CDP, so please feel free to attend with more than one representative of your organization, including your executive director, your finance manager/bookkeeper, your development director, or a board member.

    For dates, times and more info, visit:

    Register for the New User Webinar on July 12th at 11:00am by visiting:

    Travel Scholarships to 2012 National Arts Marketing Conference Available
    Hotel and Airfare covered, too!
    Available for the third and final year, Arts Learning Xchange is proud to sponsor the participation costs for up to 30 local arts professionals by making the Arts Learning Xchange NAMP Conference Travel Scholarships. Area arts marketers and professionals will attend the 2012 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 9-12.

    Gain invaluable knowledge at this year's conference focused on providing the business and marketing tools you need to plant you and your organization firmly on the ground while you set your sights high and seek new ventures. Connect with over 600 national arts leaders and innovative thinkers on site. Network with those from the Twin Cities who are already deepening their audience's experiences by putting into practice tips and tools learned at previous conferences.

    Interested? The Travel Scholarships include:
    • Round-trip coach airfare to Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Hotel guest room and tax the nights of November 9, 10, 11
    • Registration to the NAMP conference
    • Access to gatherings pre-conference, on-site, and post-conference

    The online application opened at 1:30 CDT Thursday, July 26, 2012. This is a "first-come, first-served" scholarship opportunity. Check out the Guidelines & Eligibility Criteria and other details on the Arts Learning Xchange Web site today. Notification will be made mid-August.

    Contact Emily at 612.238.8006 or email with questions.

    Arts Midwest Leadership Idea Exchange
    Living in an Uncertain World: What stories do we weave to sustain us?

    Arts Midwest’s Leadership Idea Exchange recognizes that these times of complex, rapid societal and economic change require breaking away from old patterns of thinking and considering new ways of working. Join artists, innovators, and leaders across sectors and across the region for a lively conversation inviting fresh perspectives on the role of creativity in building resiliency in our communities and in designing our future. This series explores significant questions facing our region and provides a forum for critically needed dialogue engaging the creative voice of the artist.

    Please join us for one or more of the following dates:
    July 24: Como Zoo, St. Paul, Minnesota
    Sept. 7: Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    Oct. 12: Como Zoo, St. Paul, Minnesota
    Nov. 17: Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, Spicer, Minnesota
    Dec. 13: Como Zoo, St. Paul, Minnesota
    All events 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Who’s invited?
    Artists, arts and civic leaders, educators, arts sector advisers and anyone interested in discussing the role of creativity in strengthening communities. Participants should reside in Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota.

    Participation is free, but space is limited.
    To register, visit
    A limited number of travel scholarships are available for participants traveling more than 100 miles to attend.

    Ashoka Summer Series with InCommons
    For four nights this summer, a collection of the Twin Cities’ most energetic and innovative thinkers will speak and engage participants in interactive activities, storytelling and practical approaches for understanding changemaking within the context of four critical spheres: Self, Family & Friends, Neighborhood and Institutions.

    Through evenings fueled by food, drinks and conversation, participants will leave with new insights, actionable resources and concrete tools to help them catalyze changemaking within their own circles of influence. Heavy appetizers and two drink tickets per person are included with registration.

    To register or for more information, visit:

    One session: $10.00
    Bundle price for all 4 sessions: $30.00(Bonus: You will be entered to win a copy of Ashoka's new book Rippling!)

    Want to attend for free? We're open to a swap, skillshare or volunteer arrangement. Email

    Free Arts Minnesota seeks volunteer mentors
    Free Arts Minnesota brings the healing powers of artistic expression into the lives of abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families.

    Volunteers serve as mentors on a mentor team with 4 to 6 other volunteers. Sign up individually, or with your own team of friends, family, and/or co-workers! Mentors make a weekly 2 hour commitment for 32 weeks from September to May. (Accomodations for schedule changes available mid-year.)

    The program offers children opportunities to develop healthy relationships with adults, increase their sense of self-worth and help them learn new ways to communicate via the arts, and helps adults connect with their community. Training and ongoing workshops are provided.

    If you’re interested, check out Free Arts website or call 612.824.2787 with specific questions. Click here if you’re ready to apply!

    Emergency funds: available for artists affected by Northeast Minnesota flooding
    Please help us spread the word about emergency funds to help artists expedite recovery from the recent flooding in Duluth and Northeast Minnesota:

    Springboard's Emergency Relief Fund will help pay up to $500 of an unpaid bill that has directly resulted from the flooding (i.e. professional cleaning; replacement of damaged items). A copy of the unpaid bill must be provided; payment is made directly to the business that the artist owes money. The fund does not cover rent/fees to landlords, utilities, home mortgage, and dues to credit cards, banks, and other financial institutions. For more information and to apply, please visit:

    The Artist Fund Emergency Grant program serves artists residing in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake or St. Louis counties in Minnesota, or in Douglas or Bayfield counties in Wisconsin. Emergency Grant requests are intended to address a one-time emergency need and are not meant to replace regular or "day job" income. Grant payments are typically written either directly to the artist or to a third party, as befits a given situation. For more information and to apply, please visit:

    Vote for Emergency Clown Nose Grant
    Emergency Clown Nose Co. has applied for a $250,000 “Mission: Small Business” grant from Chase Bank & to launch their Emergency Clown Nose® Co. to the next level. Let’s help them out!

    The Emergency Clown Nose® is Lloyd Brant and Rosie Cole’s way of distilling their philosophy of healing through laughter into a bottle.

    To qualify for this grant award, they need 250 votes from their community and friends. They are not asking for financial support just simply your vote. Please follow the simple instructions below to vote for the Emergency Clown Nose® Co. and help them bring healing through laughter.

    To vote for Emergency Clown Nose® Co.:
    1. Go to, click 'Log In & Support' and log in using Facebook.
    2. Search for business by name: EMERGENCY CLOWN NOSE CO.
    3. Click on the blue Vote button next to business name to show your support!

    For more information on EMERGENCY CLOWN NOSE CO., visit

    House Recommends 10% Cut to NEA Funding Next Year
    On June 20th, the U.S House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee passed its initial FY 2013 funding legislation and proposed a cut of $14 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This budget proposal is disappointing. The arts community recognizes the challenges our elected leaders face in prioritizing federal resources, but funding for the NEA has already been cut by more than $20 million over the past two years, and this additional reduction is counterintuitive to the national call to help grow jobs and fuel the country's recovery. Americans for the Arts recently released the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV economic impact report, which provides overwhelming proof that the nonprofit arts industry generates $135.2 billion in economic activity every year and supports 4.13 million FTE jobs annually.<.p>

    Please take two minutes to send a customizable message to your members of Congress to restore full NEA funding. Visit:

    Thank you for your support of the arts! Please help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, you can play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today -- it's free and easy to join. Visit:

    Keep the Arts Safe! Become a Member of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
    The legislature has adjourned and your legislators are heading home to campaign for re-election in November. You can be assured that Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) will be working to make sure that every candidate, regardless of party, knows how important the arts are to our economy and quality of life. MCA will be an important, helpful resource, keeping you updated about where candidates for the Legislature and Congress stand on the arts. That is why it is important for you to become a member of MCA today, so that we can continue to give you the most up-to-date news on which legislators will be kind to the arts, and which ones will not.

    This election will be important for the arts and we need your help. The state will soon be facing another deficit, and you can bet there will be other attempts to divert arts funding away from the artists and arts organizations that need this support in every corner of the state. We know that you are an arts supporter and care deeply for the arts in your community. Your donation to MCA will enable us to make the case for the arts on the campaign trail. Also, as a member you will receive the results of our user-friendly Candidate Survey in October that will inform you where your candidates stand on arts issues so you can be a more informed voter. And when you become a member today you can be sure that MCA will be protecting the arts this year and for years to come.

    Please become a member today and help our efforts to advocate for the best arts community in the country. You can join online at

    Check out Theatre Geeks, podcasts focused on Community Theatre
    Theatre Geeks is podcast of lively conversation about community theatre, theatre in general and the performing arts, with John Shoup, Dave Dufour and Marcia Fulmer, featuring episodes and articles on acting, directing, technical and business issues, as well as other news and feature topics. Whether you call it community theatre, amateur theatre, or amdram, they've got it covered.

    Listen to their entertaining archived podcasts at:

    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 •