MPS Arts in partnership with Target, MacPhail Center for Music, Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts, Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Institue of Art, Minnesota Orchestra, Walker Art Center, The Ordway, Guthrie Theater, Project Success, and Northrop are providing guaranteed arts and culture experiences for every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade students enrolled in a MPS school during the 2018-19 school year. Also, this year Kindergarten students from three schools will pilot a program with MacPhail Center for Music and we will be sending all 10th grade students to a student matinee at Northrop. 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 2018 and spring 2019. Please follow the appropriate links for your grade/site below each description.


Kindergarten - MacPhail Center for Music

In its pilot year, Kindergarten students from three pre-selected schools will participate in music learning residencies during the school year with the curricular focus aligning with literacy goals. Musical goals for the residency include: Internalization of steady beat, singing alone and in a group, pitch recognition/identification and instrument identification/timbre awareness. MacPhail will provide a professional (PD) workshop at each of the participating schools to reinforce and encourage adoption of musical concepts into the classroom.


Pilot schools have already been chosen.

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

Every first-grade homeroom 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 at The Davis Center. Residencies are scheduled directly with the PE teacher and can take place anytime between September 2018-May 2019.

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.


Last Stop on Market Street

Adapted for the stage by Cheryl L. West
Music and lyrics by Lamont Dozier and Paris Ray Dozier
Directed by Henry Godinez

Six-year-old CJ is (reluctantly) staying with his (extremely over-the-top) Nana, in a world considerably different from the one he’s used to (his phone and tablet). The disagreeable (and let’s just admit it, whiny) child is dragged on a bus ride that’s loud and gritty and weird. Guided by his veritable force-of-nature Nana, CJ travels a little closer to his roots and sees that things are not always what they seem. This is one hip-hop, eclectic, heart-thumpin’, toe-tappin’ joy ride. Based on the Newbery Award-winning book.


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.


To Register

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 ongoing partnership with the Minneapolis School District, fourth grade teams receive fully subsidized tickets, free bus transportation and free online curriculum materials for teachers.

Rhythm Moves Me | November 28-29, 2018

No doubt about it: music makes us want to move—and music’s rhythm is at the core of our urge to march, swing and sway. Strauss’ exuberant Radetsky March gives an example of the way 2/4-time calls us to march, while the swirling Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker shows the very different power of 3/4-time in pulling us toward movement. Additional highlights include the famous rhythmic motif of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Steve Reich’s unique Clapping Music, performed here by two Minnesota Orchestra percussionists with claves, and the show-stopping Danzon No. 2 by Marquez.   

The Planets | February 13-14, 2019

On this concert, the Orchestra will explore unique characteristics, moods and musical elements of each movement of Gustav Holst's The Planets.

To Register

6th Grade - Walker Art Center

Every 6th grader in the district will write a screenplay and create original stop motion animation shorts during a 5-day residency in their ELA class. After the completion of the residency, students will visit the Walker Art Center to view their animations on the big screen in the Walker Cinema. Teachers will have the option to follow up the screening with a 1-hour guided tour experience of the Walker galleries or the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (weather permitting). Bus transportation and visit costs to the Walker are fully covered for schools participating in this program.
Residencies and visits to the Walker are scheduled directly with the ELA teacher and can take place anytime between September-November 2018 or January-June 2019.


To Register

7th Grade - Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Every 7th grade student will attend an hour long Music and Movement Series school performance at the Ordway.  Artists featured in the 18/19 school year include:  local leaders in contemporary dance TU Dance (October 26th), world renown Jazz pianist Nachito Herrera (November 29-30) and activist dance company Contra Tiempo (March 7-8).  Visit for a full list of performances!


To Register

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

8th Grade - The 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 busing for this field trip are completely funded. 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 2018-2019 Cowles Center Student Matinee Season includes:

Zenon Dance Company (Modern/Jazz) - November 9, 2018

Kaleena Miller Dance / BRKFST Dance Company (Tap/Hip Hop) - March 7, 2019

Contempo Physical Dance (Afro-Brazilian/Capoeira/Contemporary) - April 12, 2019

Mixtape (Hip Hop) - May 9, 2019

Mixtape (Hip Hop) - May 10, 2019


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.


To Register

10th Grade - Northrop

Every tenth grade student will attend a matinee of Ailvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Northrop on the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus. As a vital American cultural ambassador to the world, this beloved company celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience, pushing dance into fascinating new territory, while honoring tradition with the Alvin Ailey classic, Revelations, an inspiring masterpiece of hope and redemption.


March 12-March 13, 10:30 am

Carlson Family Stage



To Register


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