Since 1996, Interact has been creating art that challenges perceptions of disability.
We were the first – and remain the only – combined visual and performing arts organization nationally or internationally to offer the full-time, daily practice of professional level theater and visual arts to support the creative growth of artists with disabilities.
Yet even earlier than that, Founder/Artistic Director Jeanne Calvit was conjuring up her dream. In the early 1980s she was invited to create plays with people with disabilities at Camp New Hope in McGregor, MN, and this early work inspired a whole new understanding of how people with disabilities could ignite the creative process.
Fast forward to 1992, when Calvit founded Interact Theater. The very first production, Bubba Nielsen: Endangered Species played to a sold-out run at Minneapolis’ Southern Theater. And right there, Interact’s signature blend of nothing-sacred humor, satire, and straight-on look at the human condition set the stage for what was to become Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in 1996.
Today, Interact’s vision of radical inclusion blurs the boundaries between who “can” and who “cannot.” Our work blends a wide spectrum of talents and abilities by artists with and without disabilities, and artists from a vibrant multiplicity of cultural communities.
Our work is acclaimed for being challenging as well as entertaining, and we are the go-to place for theater and gallery audiences who come for our mission, and come back again for the quality of our work. We have been critically acclaimed with two Ivey Awards (Minnesota’s Tony Awards), and with a MN Department of Human Services Innovation Award for our sustained impact in creating opportunities for visual artists with disabilities to flourish.