Regionally acclaimed theater and exhibits. Free arts for children and seniors. Artist-led community building. This, and more, is Artistry.

Exciting news for 2017! The Bob & Sally Purvis Challenge will match all new and increased gifts to Artistry.  

Do you know us as the organization where you can see “arguably the region’s top musical theater” (as reviewed by John Townsend, Lavender Magazine)?  

Or maybe you know as the organization that brings you regionally acclaimed exhibitions in two beautiful galleries at the Bloomington Center for the Arts?

Artistry is this and much more. Our mission, and our aspiration, is: In pursuit of artistic excellence, we engage our region’s most talented artists in work that welcomes and develops audiences and opens hearts and minds. 

Here are just a few of the ways that Artistry has advanced our mission in the past year:          

In May we reached more than 2,000 people with our Ivey Award-winning production of Wit, directed by our own Benjamin McGovern and starring Sally Wingert. Wit is the story of a woman who confronts what it means to be alive as she fights and ultimately succumbs to cancer. We heard from countless audience members that it was the most compelling experience they had ever had in a theater.

Our Pay What You Can performances, launched a little over 12 months ago, have put the joy of live theater back into the lives of people who could not otherwise afford it. The average price paid for a ticket is between $7 and $9 dollars, and we regularly hear from PWYC audience members for whom our theater provides an escape from the stress of lost jobs or serious health problems.

Artistry worked closely with the City of Bloomington to establish the nation’s first municipal Creative Placemaking Commission, according to our friends at the National Endowment for the Arts. Together, Artistry and the City will continue developing innovative approaches to leveraging arts and artists for community development in a suburban context.              

In April we installed an Artistry-curated exhibition called “Impact,” featuring the sculptures, installations, and photographs of two talented visual artists who are also recent combat veterans. One gallery wall was set aside for visitors to post their comments about the impact of war on their lives. It was clear from the exhibition, the artist talk, and the visitor comments that this programming made an indelible mark.

We recently hosted the fifth grade class of Hillcrest Community School at a performance of our production of The Music Man, thanks to a grant from the Bloomington Community Foundation. This is our fifth year of providing a free night of theater for the Hillcrest fifth graders. For many students, it is a first-ever theater experience. Research suggests that thanks to this early exposure, it likely won’t be the last.

One of our teaching artists working in a senior living facility in Lakeville inspired a 97 year-old woman to recognize for the first time that she is naturally gifted at drawing and painting. This student just turned 98, and she now spends every scrap of time that she can creating beautiful pencil drawings and watercolors.

Artistic excellence – for us, the place where craft and access meet – can’t be sustained on ticket sales and other earned income alone. Like most nonprofit arts organizations, we depend on charitable contributions to make our mission possible. If you love Artistry and what we do, please make a gift today – and thank you!      

© 2018 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.