Penumbra Theatre Company

A nonprofit organization

$14,693 raised by 174 donors

100% complete

$14,000 Goal


Penumbra is a nationally renowned 46-year-old Black theatre company. Founded in 1976 by celebrated scholar and director Lou Bellamy, Penumbra has earned national accolades, producing nearly 200 plays, over 30 premieres, and has cultivated generations of artists of color now working across the nation.

Penumbra’s prowess as a racial equity catalyst is also well established: for over almost 20 years, we have trained people all over the country in our equity practices – from state and federal agencies to businesses, hospitals, and educational institutions, we leverage strategic partnerships to support racial equity.

Photo cred: Caroline Yang Photography

The artists who call Penumbra home are groundbreaking change-makers who bind our community together through their leadership and fellowship. They include:
Peabody-award winning actor Roger Guenveur Smith
MacArthur Genius Dominique Morisseau
Obie-winners Laurie Carlos and Marion McClinton
US Poet Laureate Rita Dove
Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson
Grammy-winner Jamecia Bennett
Academy-award nominee Jevetta Steel
“Empire” star James T. Alfred
McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Seitu Ken Jones
McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Faye Price

Photo cred: Caroline Yang Photography


Under President Sarah Bellamy's leadership, Penumbra is evolving into its next life cycle: a performing arts campus and center for racial healing that nurtures black artists, advances equity, and facilitates wellness for individuals and community.

The Penumbra Center for Racial Healing is a brave space where the community is called in to learn, rejuvenate, and stand up in support of racial equity. The environment we envision is peaceful, inspiring, and gently provocative, providing moments of deep reflection and respite as visitors navigate the campus. 

Photo cred: Caroline Yang Photography


The Penumbra of the future is a dynamic performing arts, retreat, and learning center developing new work, ideas, and sustainable strategies for social change led and generated by artists. 

We will nurture ethical expressions of the human spirit to inspire creativity, enact justice, and illuminate pathways to build more compassionate communities. 

The Arts
(changing narratives)
Racial Equity
(nurturing leadership)
(building power)

Our arts program will continue to produce work from within the traditional Black theatre canon, will foster new work through a robust commissioning program, and will feature opportunities to learn with and from the art through panel discussions, curated galleries, and more. 

Helping individuals build comfort, dexterity, and stamina for racial equity work is essential to our long-term strategy for sustainable social change. Penumbra’s racial equity trainings will be refined to serve established and emerging leaders with culturally mindful curricula. The training and equipment that BIPOC leaders need is different from what white-identified leaders need; our intention is to support everyone through year-round trainings and a leadership development institute. A full fleet of culturally specific healing services will be available for individuals seeking to detoxify their bodies from the stress of racism. Our programming will include embodied learning, integrative therapies, mindfulness practices, meditation, and healing touch.

Photo cred: Caroline Yang Photography

Support the future

Your gift helps us realize something that serves all of us. Whether you are a longtime champion of the work we do or new to our organization, you are part of our success story. Together, we are building upon our 46-year legacy, extending the impact of our mission, and making truly transformational change in Minnesota and beyond.

Organization Data


Organization name

Penumbra Theatre Company

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Community

BIPOC Serving

BIPOC Serving




270 North Kent St
St Paul, MN 55102


651 288 6780

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