MPS Arts in partnership with Target, the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing ArtsChildren’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota Orchestra, Walker Art Center, The Ordway, the Guthrie Theater, and Project Success are providing guaranteed arts and culture experiences for every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade student enrolled in a MPS school during the 2017-18 school year. This year 6th graders will be participating in an expanded 2nd year program with the Walker Art Center and 12th graders will be participating in a pilot program with the Guthrie Theater and Project Success.  Tickets and bussing costs are paid for as part of the program.  With every program participating, these opportunities ensure that all students have shared arts and culture experiences across the district.

Teachers and Site Coordinators:
Register now for Cultural Experiences Partnership programming for fall 2017 and spring 2018. Please follow the appropriate links for your grade/site below each description.

1st grade- The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

Every first grade student in the district will explore creative movement over a 4-day residency in their PE class. Lead by a Cowles Center Professional Teaching Artist, these residencies will offer exposure to quality arts education, enhance current Minnesota Physical Education standards, and empower PE teachers through guided lesson plans and a professional development day. Residencies are scheduled directly with the PE teacher and can take place anytime between September 2017-May 2018.

Click to view FIRST Moves Video!

To Register

2nd Grade - Children's Theater Company

Every second grade student in the district will attend a student matinee performance provided by Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) with additional curriculum support for educators. CTC will host professional development (PD) workshops for all second grade teachers, so educators will connect the powerful experience of live theatre with learning opportunities in the classroom. Live theatre directly supports academic achievement, and through CTC PD workshops, teachers are empowered to facilitate critical connections from text to stage.

Adapted for the stage by Barry Kornhauser from books by Don Freeman - Directed by Peter C. Brosius
March - May 2018 (10:30am matinees)

Join Corduroy on his delightfully destructive chase through every section of the department store in search of his missing button. Will the night watchman find him and return him to his shelf before he can find this important button? Will Lisa ever convince her mother to let her give the bear a home? The tender, enduring story about true friendship stirs up the stage with a bustling rumpus of action!

To Register

3rd Grade - Minneapolis Institute of Art

Every third grade student in the district will visit Mia and select schools will receive a Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) residency. On their tour, Mia staff will lead students in conversation about the artwork they see from 5,000 years ago to today. By exploring the vast collection through actively looking and asking questions, third graders connect to the artwork through creative inquiry. (January - April 2018)

4th Grade - Minnesota Orchestra

Every fourth grade student in the district will visit Orchestra Hall to attend a concert provided by the Minnesota Orchestra.  As part of the Orchestra’s UPbeat program, launched in 2006, the Minnesota Orchestra provides fully subsidized tickets, and free online curriculum materials for teachers.

Music of Olympic Proportions
January 17, 2018 (10:00am and 11:35am)
January 18, 2018 (10:00am and 11:35am)
Just as top athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul will inspire the world with their feats, Orchestra musicians—Minnesota’s top athletes of the concert stage—will draw “wow” responses in this concert of Olympic-themed works, showcasing connections between winter sports and core elements of great music.

Stories in Music
March 7, 2018 (10:00am and 11:35am)
March 8, 2018 (10:00am and 11:35am)
Some composers tell stories in music with fascinating results—painting musical pictures of people, places and whatever they see around them. Orchestra Hall will come alive with the sounds of a bee buzzing and the mighty Mississippi flowing - students will also discover how composers create a new story to go with familiar music.

To Register

6th Grade - Walker Art Center

In the second year of this program, 6th graders from participating MPS schools will create original stop motion animation videos during an artist residency with a Walker Art Center teaching artist. In addition to the residency at their schools, 6th graders will visit the Walker Art Center for an animation screening and gallery tour. (October 2017 - May 2018)

7th Grade - Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Every 7th grade student will attend an hour long matinee school performance at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. 2017-2018 season companies include: Diavolo, Black Violin, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Okee Dokee Brothers, Pilobolus and many more! (September 2017 - May 2018)

To Register

8th Grade - Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts

Every 8th grade student will attend a matinee performance of a local professional dance company in The Cowles Center's historic Goodale Theater. Tickets and bussing are fully covered. During matinees, students are encouraged to be active participants rather than passive observers; students are invited to question dance, engage their curiosity, envision themselves as dancers, and move their bodies either from their seats or on the stage. The hour long matinees take place on Thursday and Friday mornings throughout the year from 10:30-11:30 AM. All performances include a post-show Q&A with the company as well as an interactive study guide which is sent to educators prior to the show. 

The 2017-2018 Cowles Center Student Matinee Season includes:

    • Zenon Dance Company (Jazz/Modern) - November 17, 2017
    • Contempo Physical Dance (Contemporary) - February 15, 2018
    • St. Paul Ballet (Ballet) - March 9, 2018
    • Curio Dance (Hip Hop) - March 16, 2018
    • Flying Foot Forum / Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (Percussive) - April 13, 2018
    • Minnesota Dance Theatre (Ballet) - April 20, 2018
    • Ragamala (Bharatanatyam - Indian) - April 27, 2018
    • MIXTAPE l Side B. (Hip Hop) - May 18, 2018

To Register

9th Grade - Guthrie Theater & Project Success

Every ninth grade student will attend a matinee at the Guthrie Theater. Prior to the performance students will learn about the production of the play directly from the artists. In addition, the Guthrie is hosting a Professional Development workshop for teachers that includes sessions on the creation of the production and how to teach Shakespeare in the classroom. 

Romeo and Juliet
September 9 – October 28, 2017
It’s a story so well-known it scarcely needs an introduction, yet surprisingly the Guthrie has produced it just twice before. Set in Verona, where the rival houses of Capulet and Montague have had a long-standing feud, Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s famous tragedy of star-crossed lovers, filled with all the passion of young love. Underscored by ingenious wit and astonishing beauty, the play pits the bitterness of resentment against the intensity of romance.

To Register

12th Grade - Guthrie Theater & Project Success

In the pilot year of this program every twelth grade student from participating MPS schools will attend a matinee at the Guthrie Theater. 

To Register


Target Red RGB 600x150   


CTC CMYK print-small         MIA LOGO MASTER black   


Cowles blue


ORDWAY-red dk      MNO CMYK V 


GuthrieLogo black          PS-color-tag-TM


At the Target-sponsored performances, there was a particularly electric energy in the air… So many children shared with me in starry-eyed whispers that this was their first time seeing a play.” Joanna Harmon, CTC Actor

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