Arts Tour Minnesota
ACHF Arts Access
Minnesota professional artists and arts organizations have more opportunities to tour their work throughout the state. Minnesota professional artists and arts organizations tour to communities and regions they haven’t previously visited. More community and nonprofit organizations become involved in presenting touring artists and arts organizations. We tallied tickets and attendance. In addition, we created a questionnaire about the experience that local performers, venue operators, and audience members completed.
A total of six performers and one production manager toured a site-specific production of The Cherry Orchard to five rural communities in the state of Minnesota. Our goal was to perform six shows in each of the five communities (for a total of thirty shows) with an 80% attendance rate. Due to the popularity of the production, we ended up performing thirty-five shows and surpassed our ticket sale goals by 116 tickets. Many shows were performed for standing room audiences. In addition, we surpassed our workshop participant numbers by twenty-three. Finally, because of the strong caliber of performers that attended the auditions, we increased the number of local performers used in the production from twenty to thirty-one. The five communities chosen were Blue Earth, Worthington, Taylors Falls, Little Falls and Kenyon. These communities were chosen because each contained a publically owned historical home that was built around the time The Cherry Orchard was written and performed. These communities were also chosen because of their high rate of house and farm foreclosures in recent years, a central theme of the play. 2: Our goal was to introduce site-specific work to areas of the state that lack access to unique programming and tend to offer traditional theater productions such as musicals and popular comedies. Our greatest challenge was to fill the venues with audiences, who might be intimidated by productions they were unfamiliar with. By reaching out to community members through newspapers, radio advertisements and interviews, and simply conversing with locals while dining at area restaurants and shopping at stores, we were able to perform our shows and exceed the target audience numbers that we estimated, often times performing to standing-room-only houses. We performed for people who attended from seventy-nine different cities; many drove a long distance to see the show. The community leaders were instrumental to the success of this project. Members in the cast were great resources for providing access to materials to make the production happen. If we were in need of a truck, a prop, publicity assistance, ticket promoters, or costume assistance, the community performers were extremely generous in helping us. We were in constant contact with the chamber leaders and they were generous with their time and advice. The local press provided articles that brought in audiences from the community.
Other, local or private