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.
TU Dance completed touring activities in Bigfork (April, 2012), Red Wing (October, 2012) and Worthington (March, 2013). Each tour included a public performance and community education, outreach and engagement activities. In Bigfork (The Edge Center for the Arts), activities included a public performance, a performance for students, two master classes at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids, and an open community class for all ages. In Red Wing (Sheldon Theatre), activities included a public performance for adults and youth, a master class at Shoreline Dance Studio, a community class for all ages at the YMCA, and a lecture/demonstration at Tower View Alternative High School. In Worthington (Memorial Auditorium), activities included a public performance and two student performances. We measured our success in achieving our intended outcomes by tracking participation and attendance in each tour community, obtaining feedback from service constituents, and collecting evaluation forms. TU Dance toured to Bigfork, Red Wing, and Worthington. We returned to Bigfork for a second year based on the enthusiastic response to our first visit the prior year, and the community's expressed interest in an expanded residency that involved more community engagement. Our strategies included outreach to adults, engaging all local students and area homeschoolers, and classes for students from the nearby community of Grand Rapids at the Reif Performing Arts Center. The Blandin Foundation was a partner for the public performance. The touring project represented TU Dance's first visits to Red Wing and Worthington. Red Wing was selected based on mutual interest, and the Sheldon Theatre's establishment of a new annual dance series. The activities were promoted to the nearby community of Rochester as well, from which the Sheldon Theatre draws some audience. Our strategies to engage the local community included collaboration with the local YMCA, local dance schools such as Shoreline Dance Studio, and Dance Dana and Co. located in nearby Lake City, and Tower View Alternative High School. TU Dance chose to collaborate with Worthington based on the diversity of its population (over 50% people of color) and its initial enthusiasm for hosting our company. Our visit included community outreach through the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, master classes for local students through Katy Williams Prunty's Dance Academy and Prairie Elementary School (among others). Educational activities and outreach efforts coordinated with our host venues/contacts proved to be effective strategies for engaging a broader and more diverse population in these communities beyond public performances. 2: The project introduced TU Dance to the communities of Red Wing and Worthington for the first time, while building on successful engagement of populations in and around Bigfork from the prior year. Most basically, we evaluated the success of achieving this outcome by completing the tours as proposed in the new communities of Red Wing and Worthington. We collected attendance and participation information, and conducted evaluations in each community (including a partner evaluation form and discussions). A total of 1,331 people attended TU Dance public and student performances. (350 in Bigfork, 117 in Red Wing, and 864 in Worthington). More specifically, in Red Wing, we engaged 27 teens in a master class, 14 high school students in a lecture/demonstration, and nine people ages 10-60 in a community class. In Worthington, TU Dance held a public performance engaging 199 audience members, and a student performance with lecture/demonstration for 665 k-12 students and teachers. TU Dance is among ten national roster artists represented by Pentacle Danceworks agency, and Pentacle worked in collaboration with us and the project venue partners to develop the touring activities. Having previously worked with the Edge Center in Bigfork, we were able to develop a solid plan for broader and deeper engagement with that community and populations in nearby Grand Rapids. It is part of the Edge Center's strategic plan to explore touring opportunities with Minnesota performing groups, and specifically to explore reciprocity with other participants from the first round of the ArtsLab program (both Edge Center and TU Dance were among participants). The strategic plan and its priorities were developed by Edge Center staff and board, conveying input gathered from the local community. Edge Center staff leveraged their connections and networks to develop the other community collaborations around TU Dance's visit. The Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing sought TU Dance, among others, to launch a new dance series at their facility. The vision for this series was developed by the Sheldon Theatre's staff and supported by its board. They also were able to leverage their many community connections to develop the activities in and around Red Wing that TU Dance participated in during our visit. The Memorial Auditorium in Worthington was recently renovated, and they sought to bring arts groups representing artists of diverse backgrounds to engage their highly diverse local population. They are working to develop a local audience for dance, but are in the very early stages of doing so. The community and venue face considerable economic challenges that make the effort difficult. However, efforts to engage local youth through schools was successful.
Other, local or private