Minnesota Humanities Center

Sketches of Minnesota

Call for Hosting – Deadline March 15

Apply to Host Sketches of Minnesota

Deadline March 15

The Minnesota Humanities Center, in partnership with Danger Boat Productions, is excited to launch the Sketches of Minnesota tour. A team of five of the best improv comedy performers in Minnesota—the Danger Boat troupe—will travel to five different cities and towns, to take the pulse and pull the legs of communities across the state!

Host and Application Details

Who can apply to be a host?

Any town, city, or county government, nonprofit organization, community organization, local business, or organized group of neighbors can apply to represent their host community and facilitate the event.

What is the host responsible for?
  • Host communities will need to provide a venue suitable for both a community conversation over dinner and a performance (e.g., a theater, community or conference center, auditorium, or school).
  • Host communities will be responsible for promoting the event among residents, managing event registrations, and for arranging catering, including setup, service, and cleanup of the event.
What is the Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) responsible for?
  • MHC will cover expenses for a free community meal to draw people to the event, as well as technical rentals required (sound systems, lights, etc.), in amount up to $10,000.
  • MHC will provide a promotional toolkit to hosts, including co-branded templates (flyer, email invite, social media assets, press release, etc.) and will support the purchase of local ads, where feasible and applicable.
  • MHC will create a written framework for facilitating community reflections to be used at each host location, as well as provide necessary collateral to facilitate such reflections (e.g. table tents, worksheets, etc.). A short virtual training will also be provided.
Application Process and Timing

Interested parties should submit their application to host by responding to the following questions via this form. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning January 18, 2024. Our goal is to have all five host locations identified by March 15, 2024. All applicants will be notified by April 1, 2024, whether they have been selected or not.

Local events should take place between April and August 2024. Dates later in 2024 will be considered based on local need or opportunity.

Application Questions
  1. What would your community gain from hosting the Sketches of Minnesota Tour?
  2. What distinctive perspectives might your community bring to the show?
  3. When would you like to host the show, and why? You needn’t have your date confirmed before applying. We’d like to know when works best for your community and why.
  4. Where would you host the show, and why? You needn’t have your location secured before applying. We’d like you to have a realistic idea of where you could accommodate such an event.
  5. How would you promote the show and ensure a sizeable and diverse turnout?
  6. What additional community partners have you consulted, or do you plan to work with?
  7. What additional resources can you bring to the planning and production process?
  8. What else do you need to know, or do you want us to know?

About the Sketches of Minnesota Tour

The Minnesota Humanities Center, in partnership with Danger Boat Productions, is excited to launch the Sketches of Minnesota tour. A team of five of the best improv comedy performers in Minnesota—the Danger Boat troupe—will travel to five different cities and towns, to take the pulse and pull the legs of communities across the state!

In each city/town, Danger Boat will produce a unique event that brings residents together for meaningful conversation about their hometown and reflects their thoughts and feelings back at them through improv comedy. After all, laughter has the power to diffuse tensions and engage audiences, even–maybe especially–when we’re talking about important and sometimes divisive issues. We hope to use laughter and comedy to celebrate Minnesota communities, promote dialogue, bridge divides, and help find ways to work constructively across differences in today’s political environment.

Each event will open with a community conversation led by trained volunteer facilitators. Attendees will gather around small tables and be asked:

  • “What is great about your town/community that people may not realize?”
  • “What do you think people elsewhere get wrong about your community?”
  • “What divisions or conflicts among your neighbors concern you?”
  • “What future do you imagine for your community?”

The Danger Boat team will listen to that discussion, taking what they hear on stage and bringing it to life through entirely unscripted improv comedy theater. They’ll even bring along their keyboard accompanist, so you might even witness the premiere of an original musical about your town!

Five Local Shows. One Minnesota Story.

Danger Boat will produce these shows in five locations across Minnesota. They will then compile what they learned from each community to create a scripted final show that will debut in St. Paul, offering a whirlwind sketch theater tour of Minnesota in 90 minutes or less.

While the shows will be comedic, Danger Boat never punches down. Their objective will be to foster understanding within and across communities, celebrate the state’s diversity, and showcase what residents cherish most about their corner of Minnesota.

This is a unique opportunity to bring people together and get them talking—and listening—about what matters most in your community. It’s a chance to put your town or city’s story on stage. It’s a chance to be part of Minnesota sketch comedy history!

Questions

Questions on the Sketches of Minnesota series or the host city application process should be directed to Trygve Throntveit, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Minnesota Humanities Center: 866-268-7293, ext. 270 or trygve@mnhum.org

Sketches of Minnesota is funded in part with money from the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 and by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

The National Endowment for the Humanities
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