‘Art, Race and a Nation on Stage’ Sets Scene for New History Center Exhibit

For immediate release

Release dated: 
November 15, 2016
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Minnesota Historical Society 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org
Lauren Peck, Minnesota Historical Society 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org

‘Art, Race and a Nation on Stage’ Sets Scene for New History Center Exhibit

Opening February 2017, Penumbra Theatre exhibit celebrates 40 years of African American artistic expression.

For 40 years, Penumbra Theatre has ignited social change through art grounded in the African American experience. Discover Penumbra with the new exhibit, “Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage,” Feb. 18 to July 30, 2017, at the Minnesota History Center.

Timed to open during Black History Month, this exhibit will help visitors gain a greater understanding of African American artistic expression. Through firsthand accounts, artifacts and immersive settings, visitors will get an introduction to Penumbra Theatre’s efforts to inspire, educate and reflect the pride and perseverance of the communities whose stories it tells.

The exhibit also features artifacts from the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries. These works illustrate the trajectory of African American literature, theatre and thought that Penumbra has embraced and extended.

Related programs include:

  • Family Day: Artists, Activists, Innovators, Saturday, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m., free with admission: Meet costumed History Players, take part in art activities and get to know the History Hound. Plus, enjoy short performances by Penumbra Theatre actors from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Penumbra Performances, second Tuesday of every month, March through July, 6 to 8 p.m., free:  Penumbra Theatre actors perform short scenes and monologues inside the exhibit.
  • A Conversation About Penumbra Theatre, Past & Present, Tuesday, April 25, 7 to 8:30 p.m., free: Join Penumbra founder Lou Bellamy and company members, along with Star Tribune theatre critic Rohan Preston for a conversation about creating theatre about race in America.

Throughout the run of the exhibit additional programs will be offered; check the online calendar of events for the latest program information.

Exhibit and Program Support
“Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage” is produced in partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company, the University of Minnesota Libraries’ Givens Collection of African American Literature and Umbra Search African American History. Funding for this exhibit is made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.

Location, Hours and Admission
The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.

Admission to “Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage” is included with regular History Center admission of $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $6 ages 5 to 17; free age 4 and under and MNHS members.

About the Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center holds the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. The History Center is home to an innovative museum, engaging public programs, a research library, distinctive gift shops and Market House by D’Amico restaurant.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.