At COMPAS it's our mission to help people stay that way.


We are working to inspire people, both one-on-one and as a community, through the hands-on act of creating art.

Why do we do it? Because, when we nurture the creative part of our minds we are  better suited to not only survive in this world, but thrive.

COMPAS impacts people of all ages with innovative, art-filled learning. We open the door for people to take risks, try something new, and to learn and grow as they work side-by-side with Minnesota's most talented artists.

From classroom residencies to public art projects, this is what COMPAS offers:


Cheryl Strayed, former COMPAS student and New York Times Best-Selling author of Wild, now an Academy Award-nominated movie, narrates our 40th Anniversary video. She recalls her inspiring experiences with COMPAS writers in her McGregor, Minnesota classroom:

"They were always incredibly powerful experiences for me... the poets and writers who came through COMPAS offered me essentially my first role models as writers and they also gave me opportunities to do the thing I love to do the most."