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PAHRTS: Taking Responsibility for Health, Safety, and Wellness

January 21 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Performing Arts Human Resources Toolkit Series: Creating holistically healthy cultures in our performing arts communities

Join the Minnesota Theater Alliance, with presenting sponsor Kaplan Insurance, for six half-day sessions focused on the health, safety, and well-being of our performing arts individuals and organizations. This series will feature content applicable to both individual practitioners and representatives of performing arts organizations!

Attendees will come away with resources, information, skills, critical thinking on real world scenarios, and connections with fellow practitioners to help build healthy, safe, and stronger cultures within organizations and production processes.



Session 4 | Taking Responsibility for Health, Safety, and Wellness

January 21, 2020 — 9:30am – 12:00pm

Wellstone Center, Rm 272 (179 Robie St E, St Paul, MN 55107)

Presenters: Rebecca Burton, Tara Smith, Katy Vernon, Brian Zirngible



  • Conversation about creating safe and healthy workplaces (from the office to the rehearsal room and beyond)
  • Understanding the legal and ethical responsibilities regarding health and safety at all levels of our organizations and teams
  • Wellness pitfalls in our field — mental health, stress, substance abuse, pushing beyond our limits — and what resources are available to support us.
  • How do we meet the accessibility needs of our teams? (Beyond legal obligations.)
  • How do we support the most vulnerable in our community with support and proactive practices?

Click here to register!



Tara Smith has spent well over a decade in the occupational health and safety field striving to improve the safety culture and overall wellness of organizations throughout New England and now in the Midwest. She has aided businesses of all kinds in building and executing compliance programs to drive continuous improvement initiatives. As an American Heart Association BLS instructor and an authorized OSHA 10 & 30 Hour trainer in both general industry and construction, she has brought a fresh, high- energy blend of positivity and encouragement to hundreds of workplaces and thousands of individuals. It is her mission to not only improve the safety culture, but the overall company culture of the groups and organizations she works with. For the past two years Tara has been a Workplace Safety Professional at the University of Minnesota. When not spreading her positive safety and wellness message, she enjoys taking Barre classes and spending time with her husband and 4 year-old son.


Rebecca M. Burton is a Certified Industrial Hygienist at 3M’s research and development laboratories, where she works with scientists to identify nonhazardous ways to conduct scientific research and develop new products. She is currently working toward a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota. Rebecca’s research focuses on occupational exposures during 3D printing operations, total worker exposure, and psychosocial exposures in the workplace. Prior to earning her Master of Public Health degree at the University of Minnesota, she attended the Florida State University School of Theatre, and worked professionally for ten years as a scenic artist, props artist, electrician, stagehand, and carpenter. She has worked on plays and operas for Syracuse Stage, Shakespeare & Company, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Centennial Theatre Festival prior to relocating to the Twin Cities. Locally her work has been seen at the Mixed Blood Theater, the Jungle Theater, the Walker Art Center, and the Lab Theater. Most recently, Rebecca’s writing on theater health and safety has been featured in blogs and newsletters for Technical Tools of the Trade, Technicians for Change, and the Scenic Artists’ Guild.


Katy Vernon was born and raised in London, UK but in the past dozen or so years has established herself as one of the busiest musicians in Minnesota. Combining melodic pop/folk songwriting with her twangy Americana band. She has won the Eric Stokes songwriting award and was also a finalist in the New song contest at Kerrville Folk Festival. She has appeared at Festivals in the Midwest and UK, such as the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, The Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, Taste Of Minnesota, Stars of the North, Big Turn Fest, and Hazelfest. Her newest record ‘Suit Of hearts’ was just named as a top ten record of the year by the Star Tribune. Uke Magazine together with Uke Planet website call ‘Suit Of hearts’ The best ukulele album of the year She has just returned from her third UK tour. Katy is “[o]ne of the Twin Cities most beloved folky singer/songwriters.” (Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune)


Brian Zirngible is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a professional musician and a board member for Dissonance. His solo private practice is located in Burnsville, Minnesota and his specialties are supporting creative and artistic males so they can show up more authentically in relationships and in their performing arts career. Brian also guides the entrepreneur, freelancer, service industry workers and those in the gig economy find a balance between career and time for relaxation. Brian is currently active in three different music projects and recently released his own EP called The Elephant of Surprise. He also loves spending time outdoors in nature practicing the art of self care. brianzirngible.com



  • Members: $25 per session or $100 for six session package (2 free!)
  • Non-Members: $40 per session or $200 for six session package (1 free!)

Thanks to IATSE Local 13, we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships for independent contractors. To request a scholarship, please select “I am an independent contractor requesting a scholarship” on the registration form. Scholarships will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

* Funds are available through the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) to help offset the costs of valuable trainings like these! The Management Training Fund program provides grants of up to $600 for the staff and volunteers of nonprofit and fiscally sponsored arts groups to attend management-related workshops, seminars, or conferences in the state of Minnesota. Application deadline is minimum 2 weeks before proposed training. More information at https://mrac.org/grants/management-training-fund/


Click here to register!



1.   Preventing Sexual Misconduct
October 15, 2019 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Wellstone Center, St. Paul

2.   Hiring People: Classification, Onboarding, Compensation, and Equity
November 19, 2019 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Wellstone Center, St. Paul

3.   Insurance and Workers Comp Basics
December 17, 2019 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Nautilus Music-Theater Studio, St. Paul
(Please note location change.)

4.   Taking Responsibility for Health, Safety, and Wellness
January 21, 2020 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Wellstone Center, St. Paul

5.   Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: The Continued Journey
February 18, 2020 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Wellstone Center, St. Paul

6.   Liability Questions, Obligations, and Ethics
March 17, 2020 — 9:30am – 12:00pm
Wellstone Center, St. Paul



The Minnesota Theater Alliance connects, supports, and advocates for the statewide performing arts community. We envision a vibrant and complex Minnesota performing arts ecosystem in which practitioners’ flourish in companies that are stable, accessible, safe, and healthy; achieving their missions through enthusiastic engagement with their communities and audiences.


January 21
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Minnesota Theater Alliance


Wellstone Center
179 Robie St E
Saint Paul, 55107 United States
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