Impact Report

Jul 2021 - Jun 2022

Northrop in the heart of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus

A Controlled Burn

Kari Schloner

As I look back over the challenges of the last few years and the resulting evolution of Northrop, I can’t help but draw parallels to a forest that has endured through a wildfire. A wildfire can happen accidentally through forces of nature, such as a lightning strike. Or it can happen intentionally as a way to maintain and restore the health of the forest. In either case, over time the result can be rejuvenation. 

The “lightning bolt” that started the wildfire that ravaged live performing arts worldwide came in the form of a global pandemic. We knew very quickly that change would be inevitable, and we had two choices. We could sit back, let the wildfire run its course, and sift through the ashes when the time came to rebuild. Or – we could roll up our sleeves, get a little sooty, and turn that wildfire into a controlled burn.

We rolled up our sleeves. 

During that first year, we thought about what the Northrop of the future should look like. We shaped the direction of our fire, intentionally letting go of what was no longer useful, and feeding the things we wanted to thrive. By the 2021-22 season, our forest was starting to regrow in new and beautiful ways. The story that follows is one of regeneration, renewal, and rebirth.

Beauty from ashes.

—Kari Schloner, Executive Director


Photo by Tim Rummelhoff

Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience

Northop is committed to cultivating intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Mission, Vision & Values

At a Glance

Jul 2021-Jun 2022

A light blue background sits behind four circles outlined in dark blue. Each circle has a different color. From left to right they are: orange, light gray, red, and blue. Within each circle is a number, from left to right they read: 9, 5, 4, 25.

Northrop Presented

Northrop’s Season included 9 dance events, 5 films, 4 concerts, and 25 engagement events

A light blue background contrasts a large, maroon “5” on the left side of the image. On the right reads “Dance companies premiered Northrop Centennial Commissions”

Created New Work

5 dance companies premiered Northrop Centennial Commissions

A light blue background sits behind three circles  outlined in dark blue. Each circle contains a different graphic. From left to right they are: the state of Minnesota, the United States, and the world.

Audiences Found Northrop

Audiences from 362 Minnesota towns/cities, 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 12 countries experienced Northrop’s programs

A light blue background sits behind maroon numbers and dark blue text. The number at the top reads “40,806” and has an orange circle that says “in-person” next to it. The number below reads “3,826” and has a blue circle next to it that says “online.”

Connecting In-person & Online

40,806 enjoyed in-person and 3,826 participants enjoyed online offerings

A light blue background sits behind a large number “117,302” in maroon with the text “visitors” below it in dark blue.A light blue background sits behind a large number “117,302” in maroon with the text “visitors” below it in dark blue.

Visitors Welcomed

117,302 people passed through Northrop’s doors

A light blue background sits behind a large number “122” in dark blue with the text “scheduled events” below it in maroon. Next to that, it reads “714” in dark blue and the word “artists” in maroon below it.

Events at Northrop

122 scheduled events took place in various spaces including on the Carlson Family Stage where 714 artists performed 



A group of nine dancers all wearing an assortment of shades of blue and orange, are huddled together center stage, each posing with their torso bent towards the audience, and their hands on their hips.

Martha Graham Dance Company in Canticle for Innocent Comedians. Photo by Jayme Halbritter.

Preeminent Programming

Opening the Doors for Dance

Northrop’s 2021-22 Dance Series was packed with in-person events, showcasing new works born out of Northrop’s Centennial Commissions Program, and powered by an extraordinary level of audience and donor support.

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“It did my heart such good to connect with the performers and their grace, skill, and joy!”

—SW!NG OUT! audience member
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“The programming was remarkable, something I will remember for many years to come!"

—Martha Graham Dance Company audience member

A New Perspective: Dance on Film

Every artist featured in Northrop’s 2021-22 Film Series explored the theme of dance for the camera and each film was available for on-demand viewing at a pay-what-you-can ticket price, to be accessed by anyone, anywhere.

Transformative Music and Milestone Moments

Northrop’s 2021-22 Music Series celebrated historic occasions, traveled down memory lane, blended rhythm and color with movement, and created original soundscapes by taking music of the past and making it new again.

Commissions Come to Life

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northrop fast-tracked its Centennial Commissions Program. Artists found support as they created new dance pieces and participated in meaningful residencies, and the campus and community found ways to engage with the artists as the work was being created. Northrop’s incredible community made this happen; all ticket donations during this time went directly to support the commissions. During the 2021-22 season, audiences witnessed their support in action when five newly-commissioned projects made their debut on the Carlson Family Stage.

The First of Many ENCORES 

With a flourish of breathtaking talent, Northrop’s Centennial Commissions Project was celebrated by supporters at the ENCORE fundraising event held Jun 2, 2022. Awash in vibrant light, attendees seated on the stage were enveloped in intimate performances by Limón Dance Company and GALLIM, as well as enthusiastic guest speakers including University of Minnesota’s illustrious Provost Rachel Croson. This sparkling event also featured drinks, food, dancing to live music, a silent auction, and a memorable VIP reception and Artist Meet and Greet—a glorious launch to Northrop’s creative new ENCORE fundraising celebrations.

Photos by Jayme Halbritter Photography, Tony Nelson Photography, V. Paul Virtucio. Drone footage by Michael Welsh, Sky Candy Studios.

Creating a Landscape of Breathtaking Beauty

In Jul 2021, American Ballet Theatre took to the road to share a mixed repertory program in outdoor spaces across the country, including the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Over the course of four performances on a custom-built outdoor stage that folded out of a semi-truck, 4,000 Northrop audience members were able to witness live dance for the first time in many months. The joy and emotion that rippled through the crowd was undeniable during what MinnPost called a "beautiful and magical" experience.

From the view of being on stage, the seats of a large, four level auditorium are lit with blue, purple, yellow, and green colored lights.

Northrop photo by Rebecca Slater Studios.

Event Services Beyond the Building

Northrop is truly a center for events—reaching far beyond those that take place in its stately home at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. In 2021-22, U of M Tickets and Events at Northrop provided ticketing support for the entire UMN system statewide, offered ticketing services for the Twin Cities cultural community, managed the online calendar for thousands of events taking place on the UMN Twin Cities campus, and more.

U of M Tickets & Events

Provided ticketing services

for four U of M campuses & community organizations

Processed 165,957

tickets, registrations, & memberships, donations, and miscellaneous transactions

Supported 58 U of M departments

&  community organizations

Configured 2,684 events

for the U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar

Connection Through Collaboration

The boundless power of arts and education ignites transformation and inspires positive change—this belief is at the heart of Northop’s vision. With partners across the campus and beyond, individuals participated in events that focused on our cultural diversity, honored changemakers, and shined a light on our shared responsibilities to each other now and into the future.

Two women with medium length grey hair, sit in wooden chairs facing eachother with a table between them, on a stage with a black backdrop.

New York Times-bestselling author Robin Wall Kimmerer and Dakota author Diane Wilson. Photo by Rebecca Slater Studios.

Inspirational Partnership Events

Audiences experienced one-of-a-kind opportunities thanks to Northrop’s partnerships with UMN departments, community colleagues, and other major arts and educational organizations around the world. Events in 2021-22 included a co-presentation with Milkweed Editions, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Department of American Indian Studies of New York Times-bestselling author Robin Wall Kimmerer and Dakota author Diane Wilson, the UMN Marching Band’s 60th Annual Indoor Concert (a community favorite!), special guests who brought their acts to the Carlson Family Stage (such as Grammy-winning Jason Mraz and comedians Iliza Schlesinger and Hasan Minhaj), and a free, outdoor film screening of The State Ballet of Georgia Today—a Northrop Centennial Commissions initiative.

Honoring a Minnesota Leader and Legend

On May 1, 2022, Northrop had the honor of hosting the memorial service for former Vice President Walter Mondale whose longstanding ties to UMN began when he earned his law degree, and continued with his significant role in the life of the Humphrey School where he also co-taught a class on the U.S. Constitution and national security for 15 years. Prominent speakers reflected on Mondale's life and legacy including President Joseph R. Biden, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, Governor Tim Walz, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, and Mondale's sons, Ted and William. "Just imagine what our Nation could achieve, if we followed Fritz's example of honor, decency, integrity, literally justice the service to the common good. There would be nothing ... beyond our reach." —President Biden

“Even with the presence of national figures like Biden, Sunday’s ceremony had a hometown flavor … On a gray day in Minneapolis, the lobby of Northrop … at the University of Minnesota, where the service was held, was covered with photos of Mondale fishing, hunting and flashing a smile.”
The Washington Post

A crowd of people are outside at night with their backs facing the camera. A person close to the camera is holding a flag pole with an American Flag.

Image from The American Flag as a Cultural Symbol, a Spotlight Series event.

Spotlight Series

The Institute for Advanced Study, University Honors Program, and Northrop collaborated once again in the 2021-22 academic year to present the Spotlight Series of six, free discussions both online and in-person at Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. Hosted in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center and moderated by their CEO, Kevin Lindsey, the series centered around the theme of patriotism, public service, and civic engagement with topics such as Policing and Public/Community Safety, Art as Protest and Patriotism, and The American Flag as a Cultural Symbol.

Why Canoes? Capacious Vessels and Indigenous Futures of Minnesota's Peoples and Places.

Northrop Gallery Exhibit

Northrop—in conjunction with the UMN Heritage Studies & Public History Program, Institute for Advanced Study, University Honors Program, and student curators—showcased the Fourth Floor Gallery exhibit Why Canoes? Capacious Vessels and Indigenous Futures of Minnesota's Peoples and Places. The exhibit celebrates the relationships with Dakota, Ojibwe, and Micronesian communities who share a common passion for water traditions while showing UMN students and Northrop visitors how the waters that surround us are honored and revitalized by canoe communities. Co-created with the Native Canoe Program, UMN students, faculty, staff, and members of three Indigenous communities around Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota), Why Canoes? is part of the collaborative relationship between Northrop and the UMN with the sovereign tribal nations of Minnesota. As part of this partnership, Northrop continues to include a public land acknowledgment in each curtain speech—making audiences aware that the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is built within the traditional, ancestral and contemporary homelands of Dakota people.

The side profiles of four children of varying races are shown as they are intently viewing something in front of them.

Students enjoying a Northrop matinee performance.

Opening Doors for Students

Partnering with Schools & Community Organizations

Northrop is dedicated to providing as many students as possible opportunities to experience the joy and power of the performing arts—and its specially-designed matinees aim to elevate the student experience. 

With the return of in-person matinees, teachers and homeschool instructors brought students—with their curious minds and contagious enthusiasm—to the majestic UMN campus where they were greeted by the smiles of volunteer Ambassadors and helpful staff. Schools participated in Northrop’s bus subsidies program, as well as the livestream and on-demand matinee offerings—sharing these performances with thousands of students. When teachers and students were affected by the Minneapolis School District strike in Jun 2022, Northrop reopened the viewing windows of these matinees at no additional cost.

Project Success once again partnered with Northrop to offer free tickets and childcare services at events, and the Minneapolis Public School Arts, Cultural Experience Program made both in-person and online music and dance performances available to students and their instructors.

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “7,547 k-12 students.” 7,547 is maroon and the other text is dark blue.

K-12 Students

7,547 K-12 students experienced the wonder of performing arts at Northrop

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “4 student matinees.” The 4 is dark blue and the rest of the text is maroon.

Student Matinees

Artists performed four matinee programs created specifically for students

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “108 schools participated in matinee offerings.” Schools is written in maroon and the rest of the text is dark blue.There is light blue circle to the left of the text with a school house icon inside.

School Participation

108 schools participated in school matinee offerings of world-class dance and music performances

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “20 schools received $10,973 in subsidized fees for 50 buses.” The numbers are maroon and the rest of the text is dark blue. There is an light blue circle to the left of the text with a bus icon inside.

Subsidized Buses

20 schools received a total of $10,973 in subsidies to help cover the cost of 50 buses bringing students to four matinee events 

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “3,831 students.” The text is to the right of a orange icon that reads “in-person” in white.

Students In-person

3,831 students saw professional dancers and musicians perform in person on the Carlson Family Stage.

A light blue background sits behind text that reads “361 students 53 schools 31 from greater MN.” The text is to the right of a circular blue icon that says “online” in white.

Students Online

361 students from 53 schools—including 31 schools from Greater Minnesota—viewed free and low-cost on-demand performances filmed on the Northrop stage

 A large auditorium that has detailed molding outlining the stage, shows a projected screen with an image of the hand symbol for The Hastas and a small orange circle with a graphic of mountains in it. The screen has text on the left side that reas, “Tirupatakam can be used to show a crown, a temple, the branch of a tree, or a mountain.”

Image from the student matinee educational video for Ragamala Dance Company's Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim.

How Stage and School Become One

To increase accessibility and educational opportunities, Northrop provided a series of lesson plans and dynamic, informational video slideshows to accompany each of the season’s matinee performances for students. These additional materials shared insight and fun facts about the performers, choreographers, composers, and companies, while introducing students to the history and significance of the performances they would witness. Detailed, colorful lesson plans made it possible for educators to prepare students for each event, and to continue the lessons afterward with group discussion questions and additional resources.

In-person and Online Student Matinees

60th Annual Marching Band Indoor Concert

Grades 3-12 experienced the energy and dedication of one of UMN’s most exciting and most visible organizations. “The Pride of Minnesota” also shared insights about the roles in a marching band, and talked about the wide variety of instruments used—like a sousaphone!

Student Matinee Educational Video

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Ballet belongs to everyone! DTH brought their inclusive vision of dance to thousands of students with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s rousing Balamouk and Claudia Schreirer’s Passage—created in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to Virginia in 1619.

Student Matinee Educational Video

Ragamala Dance Company

Rooted in the South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, the Minnesota-based Ragamala Dance Company invited students to experience Indian traditions and rituals through dance and physical storytelling with Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim.

Student Matinee Educational Video

Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is

Through a fusion of dance (interpreted and performed by Cameron Murphy and Quentin Robinson) and music, Metamorphosis encouraged students to reflect on questions such as, “what does the world look like to you?” and “how is that shaped by where you come from?”

Student Matinee Educational Video

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“WOW! The slideshow is fantastic, and the story map [Pop-Up Library] is incredible … Thanks to all who have put together these fantastic resources to provide context and spark curiosity about the concepts in Metamorphosis.”

—Rebecca McDaniel, Marketing and Development Manager, Third Coast Percussion
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“[The students] talked about wanting to learn to dance like the performers, how the different musical instruments sounded, [and] how we should do more dance at school”

—Teacher attending Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is
A screenshot from a zoom call shows a male dancer from Paul Taylor Dance Company on the left, and on the right is a classroom full of dancers following his instruction.

A member of Paul Taylor Dance Company leads a dance class for Perpich Arts High School.

One-of-a-kind Student Experiences

Inside or outside of the classroom, the most valuable learning experiences are often the most unexpected ones. In partnership with Twin Cities schools and UMN academic departments, Northrop offered several extraordinary opportunities for students this year—a dance class for Perpich Arts High School led by Paul Taylor Dance Company, a celebratory young artist showcase in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools Cultural Experiences program, and a spectacular display of physics wonders created by members of the College of Science and Engineering.

A Hub of Arts, Culture, and Education for UMN Students

UMN students make Northrop their own. You will find them at performances, lectures, concerts, film screenings, and other arts-related events—as well as taking part in study-ins, convocations, graduations (graduation photos!), student ceremonies, or simply meeting up between classes. Whether lounging on its towering steps on a warm day, meeting before an event under the iconic lobby chandeliers, or grabbing a coffee at The Bistro, students continue to make Northrop an integral part of their campus life and UMN experience.

UMN Students

1,814 free & discounted tickets

issued to UMN students for Northrop events

15,080 students

participated in a graduation ceremony

81 students employed

at Northrop

$21,803 in ticket value

was issued to UMN students and faculty as part of the Northrop Across Campus program

9,300 students

rehearsed, studied, and lounged at Northrop

Extension of Campus Life

Northrop is home not only to world-renowned dance companies and phenomenal guest artists, it is also where students spend time honing their own creative skills in an inspiring setting or where they bring their own student association event to share with a larger audience. In 2021-22, thousands of students from across campus came together for their own gatherings including the Spring Organ Showcase hosted by the School of Music, Somali Student Night, the Midwest Kpop Festival, Jazba—a Bollywood-fusion dance competition, Deewana—an annual celebration of South Asian cultures, Welcome Week events, and the many commencement celebrations including the Golden Goldys celebrating the academic success of student-athletes—making it a living, energized center for student expression and activity.

Ananya Dance Theatre

Northrop in the Classroom

Northrop Across Campus encourages UMN faculty and staff to incorporate Northrop Season online and in-person events into the classroom by providing complimentary tickets for entire UMN classes and by connecting various departments and courses with a customized guide of performance information, links to resources, and discussion topics. Featured events included dancer-choreographer Alanna Morris’ Black Light a re:Search performance, exploring the divine feminine; Ananya Dance Theatre's presentation of Dastak - The Film, tracing traces global injustices; and Grammy-nominated organist Cameron Carpenter’s live and livestream performance on the Northrop pipe organ. Students taking courses in subjects such as Psychology, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Spirituality and Healing, Early Childhood Education, and Design & Technology/Engineering were able to enhance their classroom curriculum with events like these from Northrop's performing arts series.

A screenshot from a zoom call shows four quadrants of call participants, three  are males, and one is female.

UMN Director of Dance Carl Flink with Michael Novak from Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, Janet Eilber from Martha Graham Dance Company, and Dante Puleio from José Limón Dance Foundation.


Partnering with The Institute for Advanced Study and the Office for Public Engagement

Housed at Northrop, UMN’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) works to bring innovative ideas, critical conversations, and myriad viewpoints to the heart of campus. Northrop partners with IAS to promote IAS Thursdays, a series of interdisciplinary events that are free and open to the public and designed for scholars from all walks of life. In 2022, as a co-presenter, Northrop brought leaders from three American legacy dance companies together for an engrossing conversation about the future of modern dance and its connections to diversity, access, education, and climate change.

Unparalleled Opportunities for UMN Students 

Throughout the school year, artists and students intersected in inspiring and unique ways. Performance artists led a free discussion about how their work (featuring an ice cello dyed black and embedded with electronics) is a metaphor for the mental health crisis among communities of color, in partnership with The Great Northern and Weisman Art Museum. Students in Northrop’s Director of Programming, Kristen Brogdon’s class were immersed in a variety of cultural experiences. Visiting artists from world-renowned organizations including Paul Taylor Dance Company and Third Coast Percussion worked one-on-one with students in the classroom. Dancemakers turned filmmakers saw their films on the big screen at Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. And as the semester came to a close, Northrop—already a study destination with its many naturally-lit, cozy spaces—offered free snacks, drinks, a treasure hunt, and musical study breaks during its annual Study-In!

Click-4-Art: A Student Showcase

Click-4-Art is a Northrop student intern-run initiative created to increase appreciation and awareness of student art on the UMN campus, while also providing students with a fun and free way to de-stress. In 2022, Click-4-Art received 144 submissions of original artwork and nearly 2,000 people submitted votes for their favorite pieces. All submissions are published in the Northrop Student Newsletter, the Northrop Email Club, and on Northrop's website, and the seven winning works were displayed in the Northrop’s Best Buy Theater during Study-In.

Pop-Up Libraries

In another innovative partnership highlighting UMN experts and assets, the University Libraries created two virtual Pop-Up Libraries of curated resources connecting Northrop programming with intersectional related content to make deeper connections and expand learning. These resources expanded performances presented by Dance Theatre of Harlem in Jan 2022 and Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is in Apr 2022. Northrop’s Pop-Up Libraries are available free online to anyone who is interested in the content. They have also been shared with a wide network of library colleagues, magnifying the impact of this work on a national scale.

"I shared the Story Map that your team created with City Center. They were very impressed! You set a pretty high bar!" —Anna Glass, Dance Theatre of Harlem's Executive Director

volcano erupting

Outreach Through Science and Art

What do a pipe organ and a volcano have in common? Outreach through Science and Art (OSA), a University student-led group, was inspired by virtuoso organist Cameron Carpenter’s visit to the Northrop stage and went in search of an answer to that unusual question. This led to a blog and the development of The Science of Sound: Pipe Organs, Volcanoes, and Stars, an interactive exhibit in the lobby where audience members could visualize the shapes and sizes of sounds of familiar instruments, the planet we call home, and even the stars in the sky.

A large group of dancers participating in a dance class, stand on a stage that is lit with purple lights. All dancers are wearing masks while striking a standing pose with both arms out to either side.

Coming together to dance during the Lindy Hop workshop at The Southern Theater led by guest dancers from SW!NG OUT.

Northrop Strengthens Community

Community Engagement & Offerings

Artists found new ways to connect with communities as part of Northrop’s engagement offerings—many of which were free for participants. Collaborations with grassroots organizations including Tickets for Kids, Hope Kids, Vet Tix, Project Success and smART pass connected youth and adult audiences from a variety of backgrounds with a number of 2021-22 events including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is, and a concert played by virtuoso organist Hector Olivera—all at no cost. As part of its community offerings, free childcare was also provided to Project Success attendees at key events.

2,959 people participated in 25 engagement events with artists

Engagement Events

2,959 people participated in 25 engagement events with artists

376.5 volunteer hours


Volunteers gave 376.5 hours of their time to Northrop

Text that reads "3,784 tickets provided through free ticket programs" with a icon of a ticket to the left.

Free Tickets

3,784 people received tickets to Northrop performances through free ticket programs

21 community partners collaborated with Northrop 


21 community partners collaborated with Northrop 

Amplifying Solidarity

Through a series of summer events—and in partnership with Northrop, Radio K, Welcome Week, Multicultural Student Engagement, and the School of MusicAmplifying Solidarity used the arts to lift the voices of people who have been marginalized and underrepresented; to welcome the community, students, faculty, and staff back to campus; and to celebrate the campus community. During these free outdoor events, audiences gathered on Northrop Mall (and on Northrop’s iconic steps) to engage with these notable local BIPOC artists who brought their stirring talent to the Northrop Plaza Stage.

A class of participants wearing masks learning to swing dance on the Northrop stage. In the foreground are two women holding hands and practicing the movement.

Dancing at the SW!NG OUT Lindy Hop workshop.

Returning to Live Residencies

Due to COVID-19, Artist Residency programs in recent seasons shifted to a variety of alternative formats until artists could add in-person participation back into their mix of offerings. That time finally came when the community participated in the culmination of two meaningful residencies and the beginning of a new one. In Oct, local Lindy legends Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama led a Lindy Hop workshop at The Southern Theater with guest dancers from SW!NG OUT—who also taught a livestream Vernacular jazz class introducing the style innovated at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in the 1930s to 1950s. In Feb, Twin Cities’ Ragamala Dance Company led an An Introduction to Bharatanatyam Technique with Artist Q&A in conjunction with their performance. The summer of 2021 brought Limón Dance Company for a three-week residency where they began work on their Northrop Centennial Commission, Migrant Mother.

Hector Olivera sitting at the Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 on the Northrop stage facing the audience. Olivera wears black pants and a gray shirt.

Organist Hector Olivera discussed the Art of Transcription. Photo by Greg Helgeson.

Behind the Scenes Access

Northrop community events go beyond mainstage performances. Throughout the season, workshops, classes, and activities were open to the public where audiences joined artists in studios, backstage, and in the rehearsal room. Special engagement events included a first glimpse at a rehearsal for The Joffrey Ballet’s Of Mice and Men, followed by a Q&A with the artists; classes led by Dance Theatre of Harlem and Martha Graham Dance Company (in partnership with The ARENA); a storytelling and movement workshop with dancer and teacher Quentin Robinson; and a delightful free event with Twin Cities American Guild of Organists about the Art of Transcription with organist Hector Olivera.

A photograph of a Zoom call with a woman in glasses and a purple and black blouse on the left side. On the right side sit four artists from the dance company SW!NG OUT. From left to right they are wearing gray pants and a blue button-down, a purple tank top and black shorts, yellow pants and a jean jacket, and yellow leggings and a white blouse.

Kristen Brogdon, Director of Programming, in a performance preview with members of the SW!NG OUT Braintrust: Eyal Vilner, Macy Sullivan, LaTasha Barnes, and Evita Arce.

Performance Previews

For those who want to take a deeper dive, Northrop curated Performance Previews for mainstage dance events throughout the season, sharing artist interviews and supplementary content with ticket holders in advance of their performance. These 20 to 40-minute videos—hosted by Director of Programming Kristen Brogdon—provided unique insight into the choreography, music, and rehearsal processes that go into each production audiences see onstage. 2021-22 previews included: SW!NG OUT, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is. Viewers were also treated to an insightful conversation with Walker Art Center's Curator, Philip Bither, and choreographer Bill T. Jones about Afterwardsness—creating art in the COVID era and within the shadow of George Floyd's murder.

Four people engage in a cheery conversation at a cocktail party. From left to right there is a women with short blonde hair, glasses, and a blue blouse, a man in an orange button down shirt holding a champagne glass, a women in a slicked-back bun and green tank top holding a champagne glass, and another women with slick black hair and a white blouse.

Dancers, supporters, and staff came together at the ENCORE fundraising event in support of Northrop's Centennial Commissions program. Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Growing Together

It is the individuals—found in the Box Office and backstage, from the conference rooms to the classrooms, and from the donor's lounge to the rehearsal room—who truly power Northrop. Their involvement is fueled in part by a commitment to ongoing change as active, contributing members of UMN and the Twin Cities cultural community. Guided by its strategic plan, Northrop’s growth in 2021-22 included the creation of a new staff position, and the welcoming of nine new staff members plus two new Northrop Advisory Board members—who brought their ideas, outside experiences, and enthusiastic energy to this vibrant community.

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“Everyone who supports us, big or small … the biggest thing I can say is thank you.”

—Anthony Santos, dancer, Dance Theatre of Harlem
A light blue background sits behind two pie charts. The chart on the right says “Total Season presentations” and shows over half met the 10/20/30 standard by showing a larger orange section than blue section. The chart on the right shows “Total Season Expenses” and also demonstrates that over half met the 10/20/30 standard.

10/20/30 Pledge

Important growth was also noted in Northrop’s role as one of more than 100 national arts organizations to sign the Association of Performing Arts Professionals 10/20/30 Pledge—a long-term commitment to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) for the performing arts. 

In 2021-22, Northrop exceeded its 10/20/30 commitment pledges in every category with 63.5% of all presentations and 64.2% of all programming expenses meeting the 10/20/30 standard.

5 numbers are emphasized on the screen with accompanying text. The text reads “36 Live Captions,” “1 ASL Interpreter,” “6 Auto Captions,” and “9 Large Print Programs."

Accessibility for All

Northrop invites, welcomes, and honors people of all abilities to engage with and enjoy its programs and spaces in an inclusive, accessible environment. Our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility Squad (IDEAS) is a very active inter-departmental group whose mission is to research, test, make recommendations, then facilitate change with the goal of meeting the evolving needs and intersections of the diverse communities which we serve. In addition to its many ongoing initiatives, IDEAS developed a Sensory Friendly Lounge in partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota—trained staff on understanding Autism and Sensory Friendly events, provided staff with Gender Inclusivity Training, and secured an onsite dedicated Lactation Space.

ENCORE Centennial Commissions Video

Your Support Inspires Change

When the future was shrouded, when artists were trying to find their way, and students were wondering what was next, you stepped up. This year, we witnessed the results of your commitment—new growth from the ashes. With each new dance on the stage, with each new face in the theater, and new viewer in the classroom, Northrop glowed with new life in its connection with you—our patrons, partners, artists, students, faculty, staff, and supporters. Each world-class performance, transformative educational experience, and deeply-rooted partnership would not be possible if not for our loyal, generous, and committed supporters. Today, we ask you to help keep this connection vital by supporting our upcoming work onstage, on campus, online, and in our communities. 

Thank you—we are profoundly grateful for your continued support of Northrop and its commitment to the arts, keeping it aflame and vibrant for many years to come.

Your donations and support matter—you make all the difference.

To learn more about making an impact with your donation, sponsorship, or other financial support of Northrop, please contact Director of Development Cynthia Betz at 612-626-7554 or