Minnesota Humanities Center

Sketches of Minnesota

A community-inspired civic improv comedy tour

Connecting through Comedy and Community

The Minnesota Humanities Center and Danger Boat Productions are proud to announce Sketches of Minnesota, a traveling series of community-inspired improv shows.

This initiative uses laughter and comedy to celebrate Minnesota communities, promote dialogue, bridge divides, and help find ways to work constructively across differences, particularly in today’s political environment.

What is the Sketches of Minnesota tour?

Sketches of Minnesota will travel to communities across the state to produce a unique event that brings residents together for meaningful conversation about their towns and reflects their thoughts and feelings back to them through improv comedy.

While the shows will be comedic, Sketches of Minnesota will never punch down. The aim is to foster understanding within and across communities, celebrate the state’s diversity, and showcase what residents cherish most about their corner of Minnesota.

Hear more about our hopes for the tour through our conversation with MPR News.

How do these performances work?

Working with local community partners as performance hosts, each event will begin with a meal and a community conversation, led by trained facilitators. We’ll ask audience members to share what makes their town great, what they think people get wrong about it, what local divisions concern them, and what future they imagine.

During these community conversations, the Danger Boat Productions improv troupe will listen in. They’ll then take what they heard on stage and bring it to life through entirely unscripted improv comedy theater. 

Inaugural Tour Stops

Thank you to all who applied to host an inaugural stop of the Sketches of Minnesota tour. We are excited about this year’s performances and look forward to you joining us.

Winona – May 21, 2024 – In partnership with Winona State University.

West St. Paul – June 6, 2024 – In partnership with the City of West St. Paul.

Duluth – July 9, 2024 – In partnership with Zeitgeist Arts.

Glencoe – July 16, 2024 – In partnership with McLeod for Tomorrow.

Waite Park – July 25, 2024 – In partnership with the Paramount Center for the Arts and the GREAT Theatre.

Emily – July 26, 2024 – In partnership with GoNorthMN.

Morris – August 8, 2024 – In partnership with the University of Minnesota Morris and the West Central Initiative Foundation.

Little Falls – August 13, 2024 – In partnership with Great River Arts.

Final Performance

Following the final traveling tour stop and with the help of a sketch writer, the individual performances will be woven together for a scripted sketch comedy tour of Minnesota later in 2024. Stay tuned here for date, time, location and registration details!

Brought To You By

The work of the Minnesota Humanities Center is to create a stronger Minnesota by increasing our understanding of the beauty, wisdom and stories of its people. Only through partnerships can we facilitate spaces, like Sketches of Minnesota, that build our connections and deepen our understanding of ourselves and our communities. In addition to the incredible organizations and individuals organizing these performances, we thank the financial sponsors of this work:

West Central Initiative, Blandin Foundation, Initiative Foundation

The National Endowment for the Humanities
Minnesota's Legacy - Track the Progress

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.