The Minnesota Theater Alliance is an arts service organization that connects, supports, and advocates for the statewide performing arts community. The Theater Alliance serves organizations of every budget size, all types, and spanning across the broad geography of Minnesota, including urban, rural, suburban, and remote communities, as well as individual practitioners of all vocations in the performing arts.
As part of the values that mold our programming is a value of safety for the people who participate in the performing arts. This extends to our youth, who deserve to learn and grow in safe and secure performing arts communities. As with any industry that serves thousands of youth each year, the performing arts are at risk for those who would do harm to young people. This is why we reached out to Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to partner in provide training for safeguarding our youth.
JWRC brought an initial training to a capacity-building workshop day for performing arts practitioners in southern Minnesota. For the group, some were forming new theaters and wanted to establish best practices from the start. Others had long running programs working with youth, and this workshop gave them the opportunity to consider the vulnerable points of their existing process and ways to improve and build a safe culture.
Beyond the necessary facts about the reality of predators, which can be daunting and scary to consider, the trainer (Alison Feigh) brought us inspiration in lifting up the value that a supportive theater experience can bring to many children’s lives. We are inspired for a future where all theater experiences are safe and rewarding for our state’s youth. The Theater Alliance hopes to continue partnering with JWRC because safeguarding youth is a continual process, and with about 500 performing arts organizations across the state, we know many will need this training and resources.