Impact Report

Jul 2022 - Jun 2023

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

Video by Melissa Bartz.

A Bountiful Harvest

Kari Schloner

"Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience," so begins Northrop’s mission statement. This belief is the cornerstone of our foundation and everything we do is built in relation to it. It is the soil into which everything is planted and out of which everything grows. 

The arts are full of nutrients that provide fertile ground, allowing the human experience to flourish without constraint. Universal language and expression create the ideal conditions for the arts to intersect with social justice and community, as explored during Ballet Hispánico’s Diálogos (Dialogues), a series devoted to examining issues centered on dance, race, and culture. Experiential learning produces student success and career readiness, as experienced when University of Minnesota dance majors rehearsed and performed alongside the Limón Dance Company in the modern dance classic Psalm. And central to the human experience is the practice of shared experience, which is a common thread across not only the 96 events that Northrop presented, but also the 606 events throughout our building and the 2,481 events and activities we supported across the University system. These shared experiences allow us to transcend barriers, reach across differences, and form an interconnectedness that strengthens our communities and gives our lives meaning and purpose.

When given time, necessary resources, and careful tending, the arts produce a bountiful harvest, a human experience full of beauty, new thought and ways of knowing, common understanding, deep connection, and a sense of belonging. As I look back across 2022-23, I am continually reminded of the rituals surrounding the annual harvest. Harvest is a communal time, filled with shared reflection, celebration, and hope; an opportunity to look back on the work we have done together, share in the rewards, and look to the future. The stories throughout this impact report are the fruits of our shared labor over the past year. So come, sit at the table, and see everything we have done together. We have saved a place for you!

—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 2022-Jun 2023

Infographic with light blue background and seven different colored text boxes with the words 10 Dance Events, 4 Films, 8 Music Events, 10 Amplifyiing Solidarity Events, 49 Engagement Events, 6 Spotlight Series Events, 15 Events with Partners.

Northrop Presents

Northrop’s Season included 10 dance events, four films, eight music events, 10 outdoor Amplifying Solidarity events, 49 engagement events, six Spotlight Series events, and 15 events with partners.

Infographic with light blue background and darker blue box with text 3 Dance companies premiered Northrop Centennial Commissions.

Northrop Creates

Three dance companies premiered Northrop Centennial Commissions.

Light blue box with 4 circles and different colored boxes below them with text 250 MN towns / cities, 58 MN counties, 49 states, and 15 countries.

Northrop Hosts

Audiences from 250 Minnesota towns/cities, 58 Minnesota counties, 49 states and the District of Columbia, and 15 countries experienced Northrop’s programs.

Light blue box with two circles and rectangles to the right of them with text 69,131 attended in-person and 6,040 online participants

Northrop Connects

69,131 attended in-person and 6,040 participants enjoyed online offerings.

Light blue box with darker blue icon of a person entering a door and text 133,314 visitors.

Northrop Welcomes

133,314 people passed through Northrop’s doors.

Light blue box with text 606 scheduled events, including 96 Northrop Presents events, featuring 786 artists on stage.

Northrop Stages

606 scheduled events took place in our spaces, including on the Carlson Family Stage, where about 786 artists shared their creative voices during 96 Northrop Presents events.

Northrop’s 2022-23 Season sizzle reel.

Photo by Paula Lobo.

Programming That Captivates and Transforms

“Dance Season Features Big Name Line-Up”

(Star Tribune)

Northrop’s 2022-23 Dance Series wowed audiences! There was classical ballet, theatrical evening-length events, three original Northrop Centennial Commissions, and five dance with live music presentations—all on Northrop's Carlson Family Stage or with our presenting partners at Walker Art Center and The Cowles Center.

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Audience Quote

Costumes, set design, music, choreography, the storylines, the metaphors, but especially the dancers—my eyes could hardly behold it all. I can't say enough about how fabulous it was."

—Ballet Hispánico audience member
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Artist Quote

"The space, hospitality, attention to detail, and overall caring energy at Northrop made the experience so inspiring and memorable…Overall, Northrop is such a special space that I can’t wait to return!"

—Limón Dance Company performing artist

Not-So-Silent Film Series

For the first time, Northrop's Film Series was centered around silent films with live music accompaniment—including Northrop’s historic pipe organ. From rarely seen films of hypnotic charms and feminist protest curated by UMN’s Maggie Hennefeld to classic horror and sci-fi with improvised flair, all film screenings were offered in-person, via livestream, and on-demand.

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Audience Quote

“I'm in Cincinnati, OH, and am very grateful for the streaming of organ and film presentations, because it's not possible for me to be there in person.”

—Audience member for all four films
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“Fantastic organist! And I've wanted to see that great film forever! I really appreciated the organist's pre-concert talk about the organ, the music, and his own approach.”

—Audience member at "Metropolis"
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Audience Quote

“The film and music were excellent. Bravo! The seating, sight lines and acoustics were superb.”

—Audience member

Magical Music and a Celebratory Send-off

From soloists making their Northrop debut, choral concerts with accompaniment, and a very meaningful symphonic celebration, every event in the Northrop Music Series featured our historic Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892 pipe organ—one of the largest remaining concert hall pipe organs in the United States.

Commissions Continue to Bloom

During the 2022-23 season, three extraordinary Centennial Commissions grew from seeds of imagination to full-blown beauties, debuting on the Carlson Family Stage and at The Cowles Center, our valued partner. Northrop’s dedicated community, through ticket sales, donations, and other giving, supported varied artists to nurture stunning and inspired new dance works. They experienced meaningful and collaborative residencies with campus and community, and they explored ways that art connects us all. Northrop’s Centennial Commissions program started as a way to support artists whose Northrop performances were postponed and canceled due to Covid-19. Its culmination will occur during Northrop’s 2029 centennial.

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Artist Quote

"We loved getting connected to a variety of generations and demographics in the community."

—Artist with Limón Dance Company
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“The Northrop-commissioned ballet of "Of Mice and Men" was outstanding. Like the novel, it was emotionally deeply moving. I wondered how a dance adaptation would work and it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous to watch. I was entranced.”

—Audience member

ENCORE Gala Events

Three behind-the-curtain celebrations brought attendees up close and personal with some of the world’s best dance artists. Proceeds from these fundraising events helped support Northrop Centennial Commissions.

Limón Dance Company Cast Party

A meet and greet with dancers, plus remarks from Limón Dance Company’s Artistic Director Dante Puleio, made this post-show event a memorable one.

Joffrey Ballet Cast Party

Joffrey Ballet mingled with ticket-holders and enjoyed drinks and appetizers, live music, and remarks from the company’s Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater MBE.

State Ballet of Georgia ENCORE Dinner

This intimate dinner celebration included a social hour, silent auction, and live music. Before the show, guests mingled and heard from State Ballet of Georgia’s Artistic Director, Nina Ananiashvili.

Friends of Northrop

A special thank you to our patrons whose generous support makes Northrop's transformative arts experiences possible. Make your mark on Northrop's future by becoming a Friend today.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Anna M. Heilmaier Foundation, Curtis L Carlson Family Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, project support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts and RBC Wealth Management. We extend a special thank you to our event sponsors the Graduate Hotel Minneapolis, PNC Bank, and RBC Wealth Management.

A performer in a red dress outstretches their arms and bevels their leg in front of two other performers in white shirts, bow ties, and black pants. The two performers standing behind outstretch their arms above and beside the performer in front. All performers smile while posing in front of a couch and desk.

Jake Lieder, Emily Bolles, and Trevor Hendrix star in University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Theatre's Spring 2023 production of Singin' in the Rain at the Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Photo by Thressa Schultz.

Sharing the Stage

Supporting Events Across the State

Though the iconic building sits at the heart of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, Northrop U of M Tickets and Events provided event ticketing, membership, donation, registration, and other services to the five-campus UMN System and greater communities. Additionally, Northrop staff managed the online calendar for thousands of events taking place on the UMN Twin Cities campus, and more.

UMN Tickets & Events

Provided ticketing services

for five UMN campuses & 18 community organizations.

Processed 67,607

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

Supported 109 U of M departments

&  community organizations.

Listed more than 10,300 events

on the UMN Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar since its inception.

Nurturing Connection and Community

Northrop's vision aligns with the teaching, research, and service mission of the University. To achieve it, we serve and work with our partners, students, faculty, staff, and supporters. In 2022-23, we collaborated across the campus and beyond. We offered events to engage people, broaden minds, elicit compassion, make them laugh and sing, and inspire positive change in our world.

Campus Collaborations

Our setting at a world-class university provides us unique opportunities and obligations. We join forces with UMN departments in all disciplines, community organizations, and renowned arts and educational institutions around the world. Events in 2022-23 included:

Audience members sit in theater seats watching the stage. Everyone is washed in a teal light emanating from the performance onstage.

Audience members watch Aaron David Miller improvise a score for a screening of The Phantom of the Opera.

Photo by Tony Nelson Photography.

Enrichment for Everyone

With our central location on campus, our iconic building, state-of-the-art facilities, robust ticketing services, and devoted staff, Northrop serves as host for a wide variety of arts, entertainment, and educational events that are touring the state, region, or country. Internationally known comedians such as Amy Schumer graced our stage, the DFL held a “get out the vote” rally, and Teach for America - Twin Cities and The Minneapolis Foundation brought New York Times best-selling author Isabel Wilkerson and local MPR Radio host Angela Davis together for an event that, according to an attendee “was powerful, informative and helped [them] feel connected to [their] community.” When composer, songwriter, and singer A.R. Rahman performed, The Star Tribune wrote, “It was listed like any other concert on the schedule at Northrop .... But A.R. Rahman's performance Sunday night was a cultural event, make that a MAJOR cultural event for the Twin Cities Indian community.”

Engaging Minds

The Institute for Advanced Study, University Honors Program, and Northrop once again copresented the Spotlight Series of six free discussions online and in-person at Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. The 2022-23 series focused on how data connect to individual people and to the human condition. Researchers and scientists gave insights into global food insecurity, nursing methods, and brain development. Topics included the Land-Grab University project as outlined by a Citizen Potawatomi tribal member; the role and meaning of public art in society; and a unique partnership between professors in the UMN dance and biomedical engineering departments that has led to a compassionate modeling tool called Bodystorming.

Three students sit in the Carlson Family Stage seats, smiling. The person in the middle has their arms wrapped around the other two students’ shoulders. Other audience members sit behind them, talking with one another.

Students attend the Pilobulus Rules @ Play Student Matinee.

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Spreading the Joy and Power of the Arts to All Students

K-12 Student Matinees Educate and Engage

During the 2022-23 school year, about 6,400 K-12 students experienced the wonder and inspiration of the performing arts, in-person, online, and through school visits during Northrop programs. To expand our reach and serve as many students as possible throughout the Metro and Greater Minnesota, Northrop created a new dedicated role of Education Coordinator. This new staff member helped expand opportunities and bring customized educational programming into the schools and coordinated visits to our specially designed matinees for students. 

With five Student Matinees held at the heart of the bustling UMN campus to choose from, teachers and homeschool instructors brought curious students by the busload. Northrop Ambassadors and helpful staff welcomed them. Northrop’s bus subsidies program and its livestream and on-demand matinee offerings all broaden Northrop's reach to the state's youngest residents.

In-person and Online Student Matinees

61st Annual Marching Band Indoor Concert

Students were treated to the “Pride of Minnesota,” at the lively, joyful, and participatory indoor concert of the award-winning UMN Marching Band. Goldy Gopher and the talented student performers brought the energy and enthusiasm of a pep rally and left many of the students in the audience believing they could be on stage one day!

Limón Dance Company

Students in grades 5-12 learned how legendary Mexican-American dancer and choreographer José Limón impacted the modern dance world, saw excerpts from the Northrop Centennial Commission Migrant Mother by Raúl Tamez, and, in an inspirational vignette, saw student dancers from UMN’s dance program perform with the professional dance company.

Ballet Hispánico

In a fun-filled guided journey through Latinx dance and culture, students heard personal stories of belonging, participated in a Q&A with trained teaching artists, got up on their feet to learn some dance moves, and viewed excerpts from the Ballet Hispánico repertoire. They came away with a deepened experience of dance.


Fun, engaging, and accessible, Pilobolus performed two high-energy, Rules @ Play matinees that explored how rules actually provide ways to solve problems and overcome challenges. Through discussion and performance, Pilobolus entertained and encouraged students to think creatively and kindly.

Light blue box with text 168 schools participated in matinee offerings.

School Participation

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

Light blue box with text 15 schools received $13,500 in subsidized fees for cost of buses.

Subsidized Buses

15 schools received over $13,500 in subsidies to help cover the cost of buses bringing students to five matinee events.

A box with a light blue background contains a circle and a dark blue box with text 5,132 in-person students.

Students In-person

5,132 students saw professional dancers and musicians perform in person on the Carlson Family Stage.

A light blue box contains two circle icons and a red rectangle with the text 1,210 students and a blue box with the text “from 33 schools.”

Students Online

1,210 students from 33 schools—including eight schools from Greater Minnesota—viewed free and low-cost on-demand performances filmed on the Northrop stage.

Five Pilobolus dancers wearing light blue-green t-shirts and black bottoms stand on-stage smiling, while a dancer wearing a black t-shirt and black pants walks in front of them holding one arm out pointing. A pink projection behind them says, Rules at Play. Caption: Matt Kent, artistic director of Pilobolus, leads an interactive discussion with the audience at the Student Matinee: Rules @ Play.

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

A First for Northrop and Ordway

For the presentation of Rules @ Play with Pilobolus, Northrop copresented a student matinee for the first time with our crosstown partners at Ordway. By leveraging our collective relationships with schools from grades 3-12, we were able to reach out to more students and include a greater number of partner organizations that serve historically excluded students.

School’s in Session On Stage–But Make it Fun!

Fact one: Pilobolus is named for a fungus! Fact two: If Quincy, a dancer, could choose a superpower, they would definitely want to be able to fly. These are among the fun facts students learned about the performers they were about to see. With the help of the Northrop education coordinator, design team, volunteers, staff, and others, and guided by Minnesota State Educational Standards, Northrop delivered lesson plans, related reading, eye-catching, informational video slideshows, and talking points for discussion for each Student Matinee. Through these materials, students learned about the performers, choreographers, composers, and companies, as well as the history and context of the performances they would witness.

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Teacher Quote

"The BEST part of the performance for me was hearing my students' laughter, 'Oohs' and 'Aahs,' watching their faces and their engagement (and) their bodies leaned forward.”

—Teacher attendee, Pilobolus Rules @ Play Student Matinee
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Teacher Quote

“As a dance teacher I really enjoyed when the artistic director came out and explained the pieces. It helped contextualize the work for my students. My students loved seeing the costumes and the performance overall.”

—Teacher attendee, Ballet Hispánico Student Matinee

Valued School and Community Organization Partnerships

Offstage, our institutional values of inspiration, excellence, connectivity, inclusivity, and collaboration drive efforts to make it easy and affordable to bring K-12 students to Northrop, and also reach out to more students where they are. With the help of local performing arts partners, visiting dance companies, and area community groups, we implemented numerous activities to enhance performing arts appreciation through up-close-and-personal arts experiences.

Inspire MSP

In a new initiative to create interest in arts jobs for students of color, twelve Northrop employees volunteered their time to engage with a group of Inspire MSP students and give them hands-on activities in Northrop departments. They learned what a career in the arts might look like. They practiced asking donors for contributions, designed show posters, floor plans, “lighting looks” for the stage, and more. These students came away being able to “see themselves in the arts.”


Through the Minneapolis Public School Arts Cultural Experience Program partnership, a Limón4Kids workshop brought second and third grade students at Bethune Community School four days of fun and engagement with the arts. They learned the ingredients of modern dance, facilitated by Limón Dance Company’s artistic director, and attended the student matinee.

Two people wearing Project Success clothing sit smiling behind a red table on a balcony in Northrop. A Project Success banner stands next to them.

Project Success volunteers staff the table where families pick-up performance tickets.

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Project Success

In a continued effort to expand opportunities to experience the performing arts to all, Northrop again combined efforts with Project Success to offer free tickets and child care services at events, serving close to 1,200 students.

Students sit in rows in a classroom beside Pilobulus dancers in a workshop.

Dancers from Pilobolus teach a movement-based class with students at Franklin Middle School.

Photo by Cristina Castro.

Visiting Artists Bring Incredible Access to the K-12 Classrooms

In addition to the Limón4Kids workshop, the generosity and enthusiasm of the Limón artists made impactful visits to K-12 students in their schools. Dancers from A.I.M visited Patrick Henry High School for a hands-on, informative, and fun demonstration of their creative process. Project Success facilitated a movement-based class at Franklin Middle School for students and their teachers, followed by a “Learning Lab” with dancers and teaching artists from Pilobolus. InspireMSP also worked with Pilobolus and Northrop at Kipp North Star School.

Gathering UMN Students for Arts, Culture, & Education

With its central location in the bustling main quad of the UMN Twin Cities campus, students find their way to the iconic Northrop building for outdoor concerts, on-stage performances, lectures, film screenings, and other arts-related events—as well as taking part in study-ins, convocations, graduations, and ceremonies. Meeting up in the Student Lounges before a show, grabbing a meal at The Bistro, finding a quiet window ledge to hit the books, or planning a club event, UMN students gather here for memorable occasions and daily activities throughout their time on campus.

UMN Students

3,035 free & discounted tickets

issued to UMN students for Northrop events

14,168 students

took part in a graduation ceremony

104 students worked at Northrop

over the course of the year

7,618 students

rehearsed, studied, and lounged at Northrop

A Home for Student Events

In addition to world-class dance companies, concerts, comedians, and other guest artists, Northrop hosts students’ creative endeavors. Thousands of students from across campus flocked to The Indian Student Association Presents: Shakti, the Vietnamese Student Association of Minnesota Presents VSAM’s 2023 Tet Show: Beyond the Starry Night, Somali Night 2023 presented by The Somali Student Association, Jazba—a Bollywood-fusion dance competition, UMN A Cappella Presents: Battle for the Vox, Welcome Week events, and many commencement celebrations. From state-of-the-art facilities, comfortable, inviting spaces, and dedication to serving student needs, Northrop is a welcoming spot for student expression.

Northrop Across Campus

We are committed to giving UMN students opportunities to explore the performing arts in meaningful ways. Northrop Across Campus encourages UMN faculty and staff to incorporate Northrop Season online and in-person events into their classrooms and curriculum. Northrop provides faculty complimentary tickets for entire UMN classes, resources and discussion topics, and invitations to dress rehearsals. A Student Lounge has refreshments and space for students to gather. Immersive and personal encounters and engagement with visiting artists were a highlight. Last season, featured events with the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance included a technique workshop with A.I.M, a lecture for Dance History Class with Ballet Hispánico, a Limón Dance Company workshop and a dance class with Pilobolus. School of Music students received a class visit from “force of nature” on the organ, Isabelle Demers, and Joffrey Ballet treated classes to both in-person and virtual visits.

A group of dancers stands illuminated on a black stage, pointing their right arms up on a diagonal and looking in the same direction. Another dancer stands to the left with both arms above their head in the dark.

Limón Dance Company performing Psalm.

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Intersection: Northrop, Limón Dance Company, and UMN Dance Program

A core of the Northrop mission is a commitment to cultivate intersections between arts and education, and a University of Minnesota theme is Driven to Discover. These two factors aligned perfectly in a collaboration among Northrop, the UMN dance program, and Limón Dance Company. This residency and immersive learning opportunity is a shining example of how students, in partnership with the excellence and experience of faculty and professional performing artists, can learn and work together. On Nov 18, 2022, five UMN dancers appeared in Limón's solemn, moving piece Psalm. Through an unparalleled opportunity in experiential learning, UMN dancers learned the choreography and appeared on stage with the professional dancers. These dancers were able to meet career readiness goals, experience new art, and realize their dreams of dancing with a company. Northrop design team members captured the process on film and created a documentary to showcase the project’s journey and culmination.

Study-In & Click-4-Art: Student Art Showcase

Click-4-Art is a Northrop student intern-run initiative that raises appreciation and awareness of student art on the UMN Twin Cities campus. It gives students a fun and free way to de-stress. In 2022, Click-4-Art received 25 student artist submissions of original artwork and nearly 750 people voted for their favorite pieces. All submissions were published in the Northrop Email Club and on Northrop's website. The five winning works were displayed in Northrop’s Best Buy Theater during Study-In.

150 students participated in Study-In–a time to recharge with friends, then hunker down to study for finals. Free snacks, hot cocoa, Northrop swag, and a Coloring Corner to unwind all provided a boost to charge though the end of the semester.

Participants take part in the Ballet Hispánico Latin Social Dance, spread out in couples along the floor, dancing together.

Participants take part in Ballet Hispánico's Latin Social Dance.

Photo by Melissa Bartz.

Northrop’s Commitment to Community Access & Involvement

Our Broad Reach

In addition to serving UMN and K-12 students and groups, Northrop is committed to expanding access to all of our events. To do this, we work with community partners including Tickets for Kids, Hope Kids, Vet Tix, Project Success, and smARTpass. We helped bring youth and adult audiences from a variety of backgrounds to 2022-23 events at no cost. Project Success offered free child care to their Northrop attendees at key events. At the Invisible Cities/Story Stitch by Green Card Voices, immigrants and their neighbors exchanged stories and shared a meal together. With the aid of the Ukrainian American Community Center, Northrop distributed 300 free tickets to recent arrivals from Ukraine affected by the war in their home country. Transportation, a warm welcome, and tickets to the Kyiv City Ballet performance gave participants a break and a taste of home.

Light blue box with text reading 1616 people participated in 49 engagement events.

Engagement Events

1616 people participated in 49 engagement events with artists.

Text in box reading 94 volunteers alongside an  icon of a hand with a heart.


94 volunteers shared their time with Northrop.

Light blue box with text reading 19,850 free tickets provided through ticket programs.

Free Tickets

19,850 people received tickets to Northrop performances through free ticket programs.

Light blue box with text reading 15 community partners collaborated with Northrop.

Community Partners

15 community partners collaborated with Northrop.

Inspired and Engaged

Building Community By Lifting Voices

A collaboration between the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Northrop, Welcome Week, Multicultural Student Engagement, and the School of Music, Amplifying Solidarity is a program of free outdoor events with the intent to use the arts to lift the voices of people who have been marginalized, to welcome the community, students, faculty, and staff back to campus, and to celebrate our campus community. This series of 10 free, weekday events held throughout the summer and fall of 2022 outdoors on the Northrop Plaza Stage featured BIPOC, Queer, and Womxn+ artists. Nearly 900 people stayed to watch, listen, or dance to the music. Featured artists were Annie Mack, Suzy Plays Guitar, LA Buckner & BiG HOMiE, Funktion Junction, Tango Society of Minnesota, DeTrell Melodies, Nur-D, Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue, Socaholix, and PaviElle.

Several people sit in a row onstage and speak in front of an audience.

Performers from A.I.M by Kyle Abraham engage in a panel discussion.

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

Off-Stage Extras

Northrop community activities offer a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts and provide ways for people to interact with the artists and be a part of their creative processes. Dance and music workshops, classes, rehearsals and other events open to the public broadened participants' horizons, revealed hidden talents, and fostered connection. A free Ballet Hispánico Latin Social Dance class brought patrons in on the fun with a high-energy workshop to learn popular Latin social dances from tango to salsa. Online conversations with Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Ashwini Ramaswamy and co-founder and author of Final Bow for Yellowface Phil Chan about adapting stories for the stage, and Diálogos with Ballet Hispánico and community partners discussed the Intersection of Art, Social Justice and Community. For film and organ buffs, Isabelle Demers offered an Organ Repertoire Class and Peter Richard Conte held a lively Silent Film Accompaniment Workshop. Pipe Organ Discovery Day was a hit with attendees and organist Isabelle Demers. Demers remarked, "The organ discovery day gave me ideas as I've been willing to do something similar at my university. It was also interesting to see the way the university and the auditorium staff interacted, and how they complemented each other's activities."

Performance Previews

Before mainstage dance events, Performance Previews give audiences an exclusive sneak peek. These 20- to 40-minute video interviews with the featured artists—hosted by Director of Artistic & Community Programs Kristen Brogdon—provide a backstage pass to gain insights into the creative process and artistic vision behind each performance. Conversations delve into the choreography, inspirations, history, music, and rehearsal tactics that bring these mesmerizing performances to life. Previews this season included: A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Limón Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispánico, Pilobolus, and The State Ballet of Georgia.

A crowd of people mingle in the Northrop lobby before a show.

Photo by Tony Nelson Photography.

A Season of Transformation & Growth

A Season’s rewards don’t come to fruition without careful tending, growth, and the thoughtful effort of all stakeholders. Northrop’s incredibly generous donors, valued advisory boards, dedicated long-time and newly welcomed, engaged partners, and enthusiastic patrons make it possible.

Holly Radis-McCluskey.

Holly Radis-McCluskey.

Photo by Glen R. McCluskey.

A Staff Retirement & A Reorganization

Guided by the strategic plan and its mission, Northrop undertook a reorganization plan kickstarted by the retirement of beloved Director of Ticketing Holly Radis-McCluskey after 30 years with the University. A steadfast colleague, Radis-McClusky always remembered that fun and joy are at the heart of what we do. With that change, careful consideration went into how to be strategic and intentional in a staffing structure that would best serve all constituencies. From this plan, the programming, education, and engagement teams merged into Artistic & Community Programs, the marketing and ticketing teams combined into Business Development & Customer Support, and the accounting team moved out of ticketing and joined Administration. The goal was to create operational efficiencies to better accomplish our strategic commitments in support of our mission and vision. A revised Education Coordinator role and new Communications Associate and Business Development Manager positions emerged from this restructuring to provide support for these revised teams. During the 2022-23 fiscal year, five new staff members joined the team, 104 paid student interns and ushers ably assisted, and all staff brought their innovative ideas, varied outside experiences, and invigorating energy to this dynamic community.

Image icons in front of a light-blue background with the text 10-year commitment, 20 percent of programming, and 30 percent of total programming budget.

Continued Commitment: 10/20/30 Pledge

The 10/20/30 Pledge is a commitment to racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) for the performing arts. The Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) 10/20/30 Pledge is a 10-year commitment to empower, represent, and engage the work of artists and organizations who identify as and whose primary focus is from Black, Native/Indigenous, People of Color, women, individuals with Disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+ persons. As an organization, Northrop recognizes the importance of this initiative and during the 2022-23 Season, surpassed its 10/20/30 commitment pledges in every category with 84.8% of all presentations and 40.5% of all programming expenses meeting the 10/20/30 standard.

Image icons read 1 Sensory Friendly Matinee, 19 Performances made available online, 7 Sensory Friendly Lounges, 28 Captioned Events, and 19  Large Print Programs

Removing Barriers to Access

An important value of Northrop, in fact a tenet of its strategic plan, is a dedication to removing barriers to access to all of its programming. This includes continuing livestream and on-demand performances for those who have difficulty traveling to the building, captioning events for those with hearing difficulties, striving to maintain the latest accessibility standards for our website, circulating large-print programs for those who need them, and expanding services to provide attendees the opportunity to enjoy live performance in a welcoming and supportive environment that accommodates specific needs. Northrop was proud to present in Apr 2023, our first Sensory Friendly Performance with Pilobolus and help from our partner, AuSM. In addition, during seven events, a sensory friendly lounge, equipped with sensory supports and trained staff, was available for guests seeking a safe and soothing atmosphere.


IDEAS Committee

A staff initiative, the IDEAS committee’s 2022-23 charge was to continue to identify and dismantle barriers to patron access at Northrop. The committee wanted to understand who is missing from Northrop audiences and why. IDEAS reached out to community members unfamiliar with Northrop, conducted a formal survey and in-person facilitated discussions, identified existing and perceived barriers, and made recommendations to Northrop leadership. There is still work to do, but by investigating, listening, investing in resources, partnering with community organizations and individuals, we have begun removing barriers and drawing a roadmap for better access to Northrop.

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Audience Quote

"This is the best show ever!"

— A child enjoying the Pilobolus Sensory Friendly Matinee
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Audience Quote

"It was mind-blowing! I didn't know people could move like that, or emote so incredibly. I was inspired. I feel very fortunate to have seen this production."

— A.I.M by Kyle Abraham audience member
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Artist Quote

"I immensely enjoyed my time performing at Northrop and meeting students for the class leading up to the performance. There was a clear sense of pride from the educational community for the events at Northrop and the shared artistic vision."

— Organist Aaron David Miller
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Audience Quote

“I [took] part in the A.I.M Cultivate Your Superhero Workshop with TU Dance Center, and those four days were a spiritual exchange I never anticipated having a chance to share with others … I loved each and every moment of this experience!”

— A CULTIVATE student attendee

Intersection: Limõn Dance Company and University of Minnesota Dance Students

Photo by Jayme Halbritter Photography.

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

Inspire. Grow. Nurture. Bring joy. Transcend and move. Northrop mission: “Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience, Northrop is committed to cultivating intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.” Nothing from the 2022-23 Northrop season summarizes the essential core of this statement better than the words, movement, dance, instruction, and transcendental beauty of Limón dancers working in concert with UMN dance students, at Northrop, on a piece with a complex narrative and diverse background. Please enjoy this documentary overview of the experience.

None of our world-class performances, transformative educational experiences, and deeply-rooted partnerships would be possible if not for our loyal, generous, and committed supporters. Today, we ask you to help keep this connection strong by supporting our upcoming work onstage, on campus, online, and in our communities. 

Experiences like the Limón residency and commissioned work depend on this generous support to allow the Northrop Centennial Commissions project to continue to create new works, elevate artists, and bring extraordinary presentations to the stage. As we excitedly prepare for Northrop’s 100th Anniversary in 2029, we honor this rich history, and look forward to a vibrant future.

Thank you—we are profoundly grateful for your continued support of Northrop and its commitment to the arts, planting the seeds, nurturing the arts, and ensuring the world-class experiences spread and grow, encompassing a larger and larger share of our communities 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