Supported in 2018 by SEMAC, the Performing Artist Engagement Program provides a platform for visiting performers to deepen relationships beyond a single performance at the St. Mane Theatre through community engagement activities in a variety of accessible spaces, such as artmaking workshops, educational classes, group discussions and informal performances.
Since 2001, Lanesboro Arts has facilitated an Artist Residency Program for early career artists, which has successfully served dozens of artists and hundreds of community members. The organization is applying the collaborative, place-based approach of its Residency Program to the Performing Artist Engagement Program for established Minnesota performers visiting the St. Mane Theatre, especially musicians, who are under represented in Lanesboro area programming.
The Performing Artist Engagement Program develops knowledge, critical thinking skills, understanding, and appreciation of the arts through artist-driven, interactive community events. By supporting highly-qualified artists in furthering their own artwork while educating and invigorating community members in accessible spaces, the project also increases access for diverse audiences and advances Lanesboro Arts’ mission.
The Performing Artist Engagement Program was developed specifically to address the challenges inherent in making conventional performing events in a sit-down theatre more accessible and relevant to area residents and visitors. By bringing performing artists to community spaces and nontraditional venues such as the library, museum, school, and outdoor venues, in addition to designing relevant programs around the natural or cultural environment or everyday challenges, Lanesboro Arts strives to meet audiences where they are at and build relationships with members of groups that have historically been under-served by the arts (such as seniors, low-income families and rural youth).
Communities in the Lanesboro area and throughout Greater Minnesota need opportunities to engage with artists and arts activities on a deeper level. With a dual commitment to serving our community and artists, the Performing Artist Engagement Program provides an opportunity to expose the creative process to the community while engaging them in a meaningful, personal experience.
Please contact Adam Wiltgen, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the program, future project ideas, the community engagement component, etc.
Chris Koza – July 10 – 14, 2018
Nationally recognized singer/songwriter Chris Koza is a previous recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour, Arts Learning, and Artist Initiative grants that engaged youth audiences. Chris kicked off his mini-residency with the kids at Surprise Sculpture and Open Studio. He got to know them by writing a song about them and helping them with their art projects. He gave a mini-performance at SEMCAC Senior Dining. He led a Poetry and Songwriting Workshop, followed by a performance at the High Court Pub’s Open Mic. He served as musical guest for the ‘Over the Back Fence’ Community Variety Show, and he sang one of his songs alongside community members. Chris’s mini-residency culminated in a capstone concert on Saturday, July 14, featuring a backing band. Click here for more information on Chris’ residency in Lanesboro and how the community participated.
Ben Weaver – January 14 – 20, 2018
Ben Weaver is a songwriter, musician, poet, letterpress printer, and adventure advocate whose experiences touring long distances by bicycle provide a unique starting point for connecting Lanesboro area residents with natural spaces. Ben kicked off his mini-residency by visiting the classroom of Lanesboro Public Schools’ Art Teacher Stena Lieb. He helped with students’ art projects and shared his experience as a full-time working artist. He visited P.L.A.Y.Y., Lanesboro’s intergenerational playgroup. He participated in multiple Story Circles around Lanesboro, and he led an Outdoor Trail Walk. Ben’s mini-residency culminated in a capstone performance, during a concert with Charlie Parr, at the St. Mane Theatre on Saturday, January 20. Click here for more information on Ben’s residency in Lanesboro and how the community participated.
The Performing Artist Engagement Program is made possible by a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.