Theatre B is one of 16 organizations from across Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota selected to participate in the Bush Foundation’s Community Creativity Cohort. The Cohort is a one-time program designed by the Foundation to both recognize and learn from exemplary organizations that meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life.
The organizations selected to participate in the Cohort will each receive an unrestricted grant of $100,000. In addition, the Cohort will work with the Bush Foundation over the next six months to articulate the challenges and opportunities associated with their work, particularly around efforts to engage the community, build and support leadership, and advance racial and economic equity. The insights from this effort will help inform the Foundation’s future work in the arts.
“This is such an honor for Theatre B,” said Theatre B Executive Director Carrie Wintersteen. “It’s a testament to the passion and craft of our Ensemble and guest artists, as well as to the mission that Theatre B has been advancing for almost thirteen years.”
The Community Creativity Cohort will meet twice over the next six months. Each meeting will feature guest presenters who will inspire and inform the Cohort on issues related to community engagement, leadership development and equity. The organizations that participate in the Cohort will also share lessons learned from their experience working on these issues in their own communities. The Foundation worked with Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts and a 2014 Bush Fellow, to design the Cohort experience.
“The arts can inspire communities to think bigger and differently about how to address tough challenges. But organizations that work in the arts wrestle with tough challenges of their own,” said Bush Foundation Strategy and Learning Vice President Allison Barmann. “The Community Creativity Cohort will help us better understand both the challenges and opportunities these organizations face. This knowledge will strengthen our ability to support efforts to engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life.”
“Our vision is to elevate artists and celebrate the theatrical art form,” said Wintersteen. “Through advanced training for artists, greater emphasis on local stories and local storytellers, development of new work, and lasting collaborations to serve our neighbors, Theatre B will mature as a professional theatre company woven tightly into the fabric of our community.
“We are so grateful for the support from our audiences, our donors, business partners, government agencies, and foundations. If I have learned anything in my 13 years with Theatre B, it is this: Do good work. Serve the community. Tell your story. Support will come. This award from the Bush Foundation invites us to step forward boldly and trust in our vision.”
For more information on the Creative Community Cohort and a full list of selected organizations, visit www.bushfoundation.org.