The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

A nonprofit organization

$2,918 Raised by 33 Donors

29% complete

$10,000 Goal


The Cowles Center is a dance and performing arts hub that promotes movement and growth for artists through supportive programs and spaces; engages audiences through dynamic performances; and educates learners of all ages through robust and inclusive education initiatives.

We program an exciting season annually, representing local artists and companies that showcase the breadth of the Twin Cities' professional dance scene.

We partner with artists and companies in our season by providing subsidized marketing and production support, letting the artists focus on their performances. 

We educate through high-quality arts learning programs serving students of all ages statewide, via residencies, workshops, and student matinees.

We support the growth and life cycle of dancers and companies through our below-market-rate offices, studios, and stages; and through community engagement programs, McKnight Fellowships, and our MERGE program.


The global pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of The Cowles Center. In mid-March, the Cowles canceled the rest of our 9th season, including shows with eight local dance companies featuring some 200 artists. As a result, 10,000 individuals could not experience the magic of dance or performing arts live on the Goodale Stage this past spring. When Minnesota public schools and The Cowles Center needed to shutter, hundreds of our dance education residency sessions were canceled, and thousands of students missed out on performance opportunities.

We quickly pivoted. The Cowles decided to work closely with our season companies to find a way to bring their performances to life when it was safe to do so; our upcoming 10th season reflects this commitment. Our 10th season demonstrates a shift to new content built specifically for a virtual format. Our Education and Community Engagement programs, already with a long practice of distance learning strategies, were responsive to the rapidly changing virtual world while maintaining the integrity of our high-quality programs. As a result of working with our Teaching Artists through existing and new virtual formats, we've reached more families than ever before. Through a new open proposal program, the Cowles created 6 FEET / 6 SOLOS in response to how this year has created an environment for isolation and necessitated connection in ways we've never experienced before. The program had more than 60 applicants, and six were selected to develop and showcase a new performance in September.

The Cowles Center needs your support more than ever before. The loss of revenue from ticket sales, studio rentals, tenant rent, and the uncertainty of returning to "normal" is still weighing on us. We're proud of the ways we've been nimble already, and we know that there are ways to continue to be innovative, provide access to dance education, and support the dance community.

Support is crucial and appreciated at any level. Consider the following amounts:

  • • $500 allows us to equitably pay Teaching Artists to create new online lessons

    • $250 grows our commissioning fund, which supports diverse artists

    • $100 helps us invest in new technology to bring our virtual programs to light

    • $50 provides essential rehearsal space to artists

    • $25 impacts our ability to engage youth in new ways of thinking and learning

    • $10 directly contributes to our building's health - heating, lighting, etc.

Help us keep up the momentum for virtual channels for movement and connection by making a gift today!  

Organization Information


The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

Employer id number (ein)



528 Hennepin Ave Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55403


612 206 3600

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