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Tending Our Performing Arts Gardens: Duluth, MN

February 1 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tending Our Performing Arts Gardens

One-day, capacity-building workshops and conversations for organizations and individuals in Minnesota’s performing arts community.


Performing arts organizations — including the artists, administrators, board members, and volunteers — must be tended in order to thrive, build capacity, and take care of the holistic well-being of the people involved. Please join the Minnesota Theater Alliance and a dynamic group of presenters for useful workshops and conversations around the themes of establishing strong roots for capacity building and positive community impact. (Hence the catchy garden metaphor…!) 

We’ll dig into some of the essential elements that help our organizations, people, and community flourish. Each workshop will have a unique group of presenters, and will include a wide range of topics, such as marketing, fundraising, audience services, stage management, human resources, health, safety, wellness, and equity. Time will be available for conversations about topics you bring forward, or to connect with others in your areas of interest. Lunch is included.

These workshops will take place in five locations across Minnesota. Because the content will vary slightly in each location, you are welcome to attend as many as you would like. Consider exploring some new parts of Minnesota, and meeting the local performing arts movers and shakers in those areas!


Click here to register!


(You, probably!) Anyone who is involved with the creation or administration of the performing arts — including theater, dance, opera, improv, and music. These workshops will be applicable to individual contributors and those who represent organizations/companies.



9:00am – 9:45am

  • Opening words: A Statewide View of our Performing Arts

9:45am – 11:00am (Choose 1)

  • Stage and Production Management with Megan West
  • Insurance and Workers Comp Basics with Jeff Danovsky

11:15am – 12:30pm (Choose 1)

  • Program Evaluation 101: Crafting a Plan to Get Data You Can Actually Use with Rachel Brown
  • Accessible and Inclusive Improv Toolkit with Heather Meyer

12:30pm – 1:30pm | Lunch provided

1:30pm – 2:45pm (Choose 1)

  • Work of Art for Individuals with Hannah K. Holman
  • Performing Arts Administration: Wearing all the Hats with Joanna Schnedler

3:00pm – 4:15pm (You bring the topics!)

  • Open Space Conversations: What does your community need to discuss right now?

4:15pm – 4:30pm

  • Reflection & Next Steps



(Click here for presenter bios.)


♦  Stage and Production Management with Megan West

Learn the basics of stage and production management along with developing a healthy and efficient template to collaborate. Take away some tricks and tips to running a smooth rehearsal, leading an efficient technical rehearsal and calling a smooth show. Learn strategies for managing conflict and leading a team. Great for beginners and early professional stage managers and production managers.


♦  Insurance and Workers Comp Basics with Jeff Danovsky

An overview of the types of insurance, including what coverage is appropriate for various organizations
Who needs workers comp? How can they get it? What is the organization’s responsibility? What are the individual’s rights or responsibilities? What is the cost of a premium versus cost of an incident without coverage. Why is it worth it? We’ll also discuss a Board’s role in the liabilities of an organization.


♦  Program Evaluation 101: Crafting a Plan to Get Data You Can Actually Use with Rachel Brown

When you get to the Evaluation section of a grant proposal, do you groan a bit or maybe even panic? Do you ever feel like program evaluation is just a reporting hoop to jump through? When writing an evaluation plan do you ever feel like you are making stuff up or just putting in what you think the funders want to hear? If you answered yes to any (or all!) of these questions, come for a fresh look at the power of program evaluation to get you information that you can use to reflect on your art, connect with your communities, and help explain your work to funders. 

We’ll cover topics such as how to build an evaluation team, collect and use data, write reports, and more. This session includes handouts designed to have participants become more confident and effective program evaluators for their art and/or arts organization.


♦  Accessible and Inclusive Improv Toolkit with Heather Meyer

This workshop will share tools for greater accessibility and inclusivity in improv classes, rehearsals, performances and communities. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll practice ways build a more welcoming improv space on and off stage with the goal of continuing the “yes and” spirit of improv for all individuals.


  Work of Art for Individuals with Hannah K. Holman

Dig into some career planning! Where do you want to be both artistically and professionally? Learn how to define your values, identify key choices, and develop a plan to achieve your goals.


♦  Performing Arts Administration: Wearing all the Hats with Joanna Schnedler

We often wear all the hats in our theaters, both artistic and administrative. What are the most important parts of an arts organization that you need to keep moving forward? What are the steps to take for expanding the capacity of your company? And how do you do it all with limited resources of time and money? How are you setting up and providing support for the emerging leaders in your community? The workshop will address these questions, touching on all of the administrative functions in an organization. Hot topics that emerge can get a deeper dive at the Open Source session that follows.



  • November 2, 2019 — 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Castle Community
    121 N Broadway Ave, Rochester, MN 55906
  • January 4, 2020 — 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Mankato State University
    320 Maywood Ave, Mankato, MN 56001
  • February 1, 2020 — 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Zeitgeist Arts
    222 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802
  • February 29, 2020 — 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Walker Bay Theater
    609 Minnesota Ave, Walker, Minnesota 56484
  • March 14, 2020 — 9:00am – 5:00pm
    GREAT Theater
    710 Sundial Dr, Waite Park, MN 56387



  • Members: $40 per day-long session
  • Non-Members: $60 per day-long session 

Click here to register!



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.


February 1
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Minnesota Theater Alliance


Zeitgeist Arts
222 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802 United States
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