Think you have an idea for how a COMPAS artist might be able to touch an organization, group, or community you love? It’s probably a really good idea. COMPAS works with libraries, after school programs, youth organizations, community centers, shelters, summer camps, parks, festivals and that thing you were just thinking about, too.

You can select from the many programs listed in our Artists' gallery, or we can customize a program to your specific needs. We love to get creative with how we teach creativity.

Regardless of what we come up with together, you can expect a wide range of art forms, expertise, guidance and inspiration from high-caliber teaching artists, community building, and skills building for participants. Click here for details on the building blocks of our programs: performances, workshops and residencies.

Types of Communities

Our programs meet people where they are, teach them an artistic skill, give them a voice, and sometimes help them communicate things that might be too difficult to put into words. Check out this moving story of one woman who was able to find justice through her interactions with one of our artists during an arts residency in a domestic abuse shelter.

We bring the arts into communities across the State and make creators out of everyone in the room, or library, or fair ground, or wherever your community gathers. For example:

Making art with dad and compas during the ordway's re-opening celebration

Making art with dad and compas during the ordway's re-opening celebration

  • Libraries:  COMPAS artists perform for children's story time, create with older adults during weekly art-making sessions, lead hands-on workshops for kids during out-of-school days, and put on some killer celebrations of literature, arts and culture in libraries across the state.  With libraries becoming prime community gathering and media centers, they are an exceptional place to engage in the arts.
  • Festivals and Parks: COMPAS' diverse group of artists present workshops, lead art activity booths, and perform main stage shows for festivals and parks.
  • Summer School or After School Programs: Any of our Creative Classroom programs can be modified for out-of-school time programs. Kids make new connections, grow a mastery of skills, and have way more fun than they ever expected.
  • Community and Recreation Centers: From Boys and Girls Club to YMCAs to Park and Recreation programs, COMPAS artists teach photography groups, lead kids in creating murals, guide youth as they grow their skills in songwriting, spoken word, hip hop, and more.

Creative Youth Programs

Check out this video about COMPAS' out of school programs, including ArtsWork!

COMPAS brings back the concept of apprenticeship as small cohorts of teens learn from and create with professional artists in a work environment. Apprenticeship projects take place during the summer in the visual, literary or performing arts. 

You've probably enjoyed one of the many public art projects COMPAS apprentices have created around the Twin Cities and may not even know it. Look for our work on the outside of buildings like Juxtaposition Arts, the Hancock Recreation Center, Stepping Stone Theater or East Side Food Co-op.

Contact us to explore ways of bringing these programs to your youth!

COMPAS is always seeking partners to help us offer youth arts programs to a broader range of participants. We can create programs to align with your organizational goals and the needs of your youth participants. Through experienced program management, high quality artists and a proven track record with teens, art and employment programs, we will work with you to help activate the ambitions of the teens you are serving.

Here are a few examples of public art pieces created by COMPAS Creative Youth programs:

  • This video by the Minnesota Department of Education highlights COMPAS apprentices creating a mosaic for Lyngblomsten Care Center.
  • This video by idream.tv documented COMPAS apprentices as they created a large-scale mosaic that is displayed on the outside of Eastside Food Coop.
  • This article on Twin Cities Daily Planet showcases the public art now on display outside the Hancock Recreation Center.

Contact Betsy Mowry Voss at 651-292-3259 or by e-mail.