Art for Life's Sake!

What we do

COMPAS has been putting creativity into the hands of Minnesotans for over 40 years. We’re not just a non-profit arts organization; we’re a non-profit education organization that teaches through art. Our professional artists work alongside students, teachers, senior citizens, hospital patients, teens, and just about any other community member to spark their imaginations and infuse their lives with creativity.

How we do it

Our artist tool kit includes visual artists, performing artists, musicians and writers, all committed to touching people by exposing them to hands-on creative expression. That creative expression can take the form of residencies, workshops, performances, community impact projects/public art or anything else you can imagine.

Why we do it

Creativity isn’t a matter of the haves and have-nots. It isn’t the privilege of the young or a luxury of the old. It is an essential piece of humanity. Through art, we aim to empower everyone to change their lives and change the world.

Why you should do it with us

Our teaching model, artists, and 40+ years of successes make us the most effective and trusted arts education program in the state. Over 2 million children, countless adults, and hundreds of teachers can vouch for that.

Through COMPAS programs, students, teens, older adults and other community members of all backgrounds and abilities come together to build confidence and creativity - and often realize they have more in common than they think. Thanks to support from donors, COMPAS reaches more than 600 young people each week with the power of creativity.

Click on the video to check out just one example of the power of a COMPAS residency. Students from Rochester STEM Academy perform their powerful spoken word piece, We Are Not Those People, created under the guidance of COMPAS artist, Frank Sentwali.


Students perform during the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg College on March 6, 2015.