Your Impact

Have you ever had a time where you realized that you were capable of so much more than you ever thought?  

Your support this year can give people across Minnesota a moment like that.

Let me tell you about Blake*. Blake is a student at the Minnesota Academy for the Blind in Faribault, MN.

Most February school days in Minnesota are about the same – cold! But last year, Blake’s school had something a little bit different. Coming into class Blake could hear the sounds of drumming – and when he sat down, he realized that he had his very own drum to use.

A student at the Minnesota Academy for the Blind Practices his drumming

A student at the Minnesota Academy for the Blind Practices his drumming

Thanks to generous supporters like you, COMPAS teaching artist Christian Adeti had come to the school to teach a week-long residency on West African Dance & Drumming. Christian taught the students the basics of drumming, and filled them in on some of the history and culture of West Africa – but then the creative reigns were turned over to the students. “My goal is to help students transform traditional music and movement into contemporary statements of change and hope,” said Christian.

Blake worked with Christian each day of the residency, growing more and more familiar with the drum and learning new music pieces. Soon Christian told him that it was time to make his own music!

Christian worked with each student to meet them where they were, and help them unleash the creativity that was inside them – not with the goal of creating a perfect musical composition, but with the goal of believing in their own ability to create something extraordinary.

Your gift can help students like Blake believe in and value their creativity, and develop the confidence to try something new.    

This year, we have the opportunity to go back into schools like Blake’s and reach even more students with the power of creativity. But we can’t do it without you.

Every day students, patients, and older adults lose access to art-making and creative education.

Our residents would gain so much from a COMPAS artist residency – but we simply don’t have the funds to bring one in,” is something we hear every day. Our goal is to never have to turn away someone wanting to learn and grow with a COMPAS artist, but with site fees and other funding covering only 50% of the average artist residency, we rely on your support to make that happen.

Your support makes all the difference in making sure that we can continue to place artists where they are needed the most. 

Because of you, teaching artists are able to reach communities in need.

This is what your gift can do:

•             $100 provides creative education for 6 elementary school students

•             $250 would give five older adults in a Minnesota care center the opportunity to create a visual memoir to share their memories and experiences with family and friends

Growing together: Christian Adeti and a student at the Minnesota Academy of the Blind practice their drumming technique

Growing together: Christian Adeti and a student at the Minnesota Academy of the Blind practice their drumming technique

•             $500 would enable us to maintain a full-length residency at a school like the Minnesota School for the Blind this Spring

•             $1,000 purchases the supplies needed for 20 women to participate in an artist residency at a local women’s shelter, helping them to begin to envision a brighter future

•             $2,400 provides a month-long spoken word residency at a Minnesota high school, helping student develop speaking and performance skills that they will take with them into adulthood

With your gift, you are giving students from all walks of life a chance to grow and realize what they can accomplish.

Together, we can show people that creativity is a vital part of being engaged and productive citizens.

Support for artists and arts education is in constant peril. Will you stand with me and ensure that every Minnesotan has the opportunity to experience creativity?

Thank you in advance for making a generous gift today. It will make an incredible difference.


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Dawne Brown White
Executive Director, COMPAS

*We've used an alias for Blake to protect his privacy