Category Archives: Workshop

Free Virtual Workshops: Arts in Digital Spaces. Sign Up Now

Ready to take your art online, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help!

Whether you’re starting from scratch or ready to build on your existing digital engagement, this FREE virtual workshop series will provide the tools you need. Get the training, capacity building, and support you need to take your art to digital spaces in this series of facilitated workshops–all based on your feedback. 

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to gather and learn! Sign up by Friday, October 16th and you’ll get the training, capacity building, and support you need to take your art to digital spaces. The FREE Arts in Digital Spaces virtual workshop series is built by, and for, you, so you won’t want to miss it!

How It Works

Provide feedback on what you need and want when it comes to taking your art online. 

Listen and learn about tools for key elements of digital engagement.

Dive deeper into the topics you choose and elevate your digital toolkit.

Make your digital plan a reality through facilitated cohort discussions with arts professionals.

The best part? It’s FREE thanks to the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota! 

Sign Up Now!

Online Writing Classes offered by North Beach Writers’ Retreat

Advanced Memoir Writing 
Have you started a memoir, but you just don’t know where to go? Do you want to take your memoir writing skills to the next level? This class will go into more than just the basics of memoir writing. Topics will include: using an objective correlative, building characterizations, using sensory imagery, creating a narrative arc, revising, and more. If you have already started writing and are looking for some direction, then this is the class for you! You do not have to be working on a book-length memoir. All you need are some interesting stories to tell that you are ready to shape into a literary format that others can appreciate. The best memoirs are not necessarily great because of the interesting experience that you are relating, but because they are written so that others can see and participate in the experience along with you. 

Advanced Memoir Writing (6 weeks)–$210 September 14 – October 26, 2020:   Registration Deadline: September 4. Ten spots available, first-come, first served.It is not required to take Memoir Basics I to take this class, but some writing experience is recommended.

Click Here for more info or to register. 

Tanya Stafsholt Miller has an MFA in memoir and poetry from Minnesota State University, Moorheadand MA in English from Bemidji State University.  Her poems and memoir essays have appeared in The Talking Stick, Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront, Red Weather, The Minnesota English Journal and others. She won a scholarship to the Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Bemidji, MN. Most recently, she was one of twelve writers chosen to attend the Pelee Island Book House writers’ retreat with Margaret Atwood and Wayne Grady. She currently teaches writing classes in Park Rapids, MN, and is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Creative Boost 1:  Grow your Creativity
So many adults want to start or continue a creative practice, but are stuck. The writing and sketching prompts in this class help you identify what inspires you, and how to grow your creative confidence and purpose. We all have something to say; those seeds are within us. Look no further than your own curiosities and convictions. You already have the seeds; push through fears to create again!

Creativity Boost 1 (5weeks)–$175 October 4-November 8, 2020—$175:  Registration Deadline: September 20, 2020
Ten spots available, first-come, first served.

Click Here for more info or to register. 

Tiffany Besonen is a practicing artist of sculpture, painting, and mixed-media. She has taught Art in Minnesotapublic schools for 26 years, and has exhibited throughout the U.S. for 20 years. Tiffany is also a co-owner of Studio 176 Gallery in Park Rapids, MN She loves to write and talk about the creative process and encourages others to do something, anything, creative!
The Art of Voice in Poetry
In this brand-new class, we will be working our way, week by week, through Tony Hoagland’s excellent new book, The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice. Each week, we will read a chapter (or occasionally two) of the book, discuss, and then write a poem draft from a prompt based on the ideas of that week’s chapter(s). It will be necessary for participants to have a copy of the book, either print or electronic. Participants will come out of the class with at least 10 new poem drafts with feedback from both class members and LouAnn Muhm, as well as a raft of new ideas both from the book and from lively class discussions of the ideas presented in it.
 The Art of Voice in Poetry (10 weeks)–$350 September 21-December 1, 2020 (with a break for Thanksgiving): Registration Deadline: September 10Ten spots available, first-come, first served.
Click Here  for more info or to register

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota.  Her poems have appeared in Antiphon, AlbaRed River ReviewEclecticaPirene’s Fountain, and CALYX, among other journals and anthologies, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and the Late Blooms Postcard Series. Muhm is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and was chosen as one of two Artist Fellows by Region 2 Arts Council of Minnesota in 2016.   Her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry. Muhm was awarded an MFA in poetry from Sierra Nevada College in 2016.  She also serves as an associate instructor of English for Lake TahoeCommunity College in South Lake Tahoe, California, and taught poetry writing online for The Loft Literary Center 2011-2018.

To learn more visit their website here.

FAST*FEST 2020 Minnesota Assn of Community Theatres offers workshops

FAST*Fest 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bad Mystery Suspense Science Fiction Theater 2
Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction Theater (NKBProductions)
Stephen Greenhalgh as Pemberton the Butler

On Saturday, August 22, the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT) will offer energizing workshops, ten short plays in a virtual setting with live guided discussion after each performance, and an evening social hour.

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus, FAST*Fest had to be reinvented for a “live online” experience in just a few short weeks. Players who never dreamed of filming their work for a festival learned how and did it successfully. The back of the house this year is entirely virtual and is being accomplished with aplomb on a shoestring budget.

You can participate in this amazing effort of your fellow community theatre artists by attending the virtual workshops and watching the plays in a new way for just $25 for the entire day. Individual workshop and play session pricing is also available.

Tickets can be found online at

The entire FAST*Fest schedule is listed below:

MACT FAST*Fest 2020 – Program
Saturday, August 22, 2020   

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“Virtual FAST*Fest 2020” participants & attendees will convene using Zoom.  Details for connectivity testing and joining the festival will be provided to all prior to the event.

Festival Staff:

Co-chairs: Amy Hunter and Jon Terrill
Technician: Darren Beecher
MACT Board of Directors
Discussion Moderators: Mary Beth King and Julianna Skluzacek

9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Hannah Holman, Director of MN Theater Alliance – “Ensemble Based Creative Process”

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – Joanna Schnedler, Executive Director MN Music Coalition – “Front of the House/Box Office Management”

11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. – Greg Abbott, Director of the Minnesota Shorts Festival, Mankato, MN – “Writing a One Minute Play”


Afternoon Session of Short Plays

1:30-1:40 – Welcome and Introduction

1:40 – Intro to first play

1:42 A Minnesotan Soap Opera

(or The Cold and the Uff-da-ful)

County Seat Theater Company

Written and Directed by Greg Anderson

Matt: Sean Biskey
Amanda: Mimi Effinger
Mom: Sam Lorenz
Trevor: Jason Vandervort
Mysterious Stranger: Josh Effinger
Support Staff: Ruthie Breur, Joel Soukkala
Setting: Someplace in Minnesota You’ve Probably Been.
Time: Oh, Round Suppertime I S’pose.
Performing at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet, MN

1:52 – Discussion of first play

2:00 – Intro to second play

2:02 Will(ful)(ly)

Ole Olson Onstage

Written and Directed by Jon Skaalen
Narrator: Kip Shane
Miltie: Dan Reiva
Mourner: Don Cosgrove
Setting: A murder was, or may have been, or will be, committed. Was it, or will it be, willful? Will the resolution be willfully accepted by the victim, the perpetrator and we, the virtual jurors? Find out on OOPS, 2020 on your radio dial or online at OOPS. argh.
Theatre Info:
Based in Stillwater, Ole Olson Onstage explores stories, issues and opportunities facing people of all abilities in their communities.

2:22 – Discussion of second play

2:32 – Intro to third play

2:34 Bonnie and Clod

Marshall Area Stage Company

Directors: Bob Schwoch and Maureen Keimig
Camera and Video editing: Cory Klamper
Bonnie: Maureen Keimig
Clod: Bob Schwoch
Time and Place: Suppertime in a low rent apartment, 1930’s.

2:40 – Discussion of third play

2:50 – Ten minute break

3:00 – Intro to fourth play

3:02 The Wild

Merlin Players, Faribault, MN

The Wild is an adaptation from Jack London’s novel White Fang.
Adapted by Caleb Wagner
Directed by Caleb Wagner
Videographer: Caleb Wagner

Henry: Grant Fitzgerald
Bill: Tristen Sima

3:22 – Discussion of fourth play

3:32 – Intro to fifth play

3:34 The Aunt and the Sluggard

Little Theatre of Owatonna

The Aunt and the Sluggard is a dramatic interpretation of a P.G. Wodehouse short story.

Characters: Bertie Wooster, Rocky, Ms. Rockmetteller, and Jeeves
All characters performed by Jon Terrill
Camera Technician: Zackery Knapton

3:52 – Discussion of fifth play

4:02 – Afternoon session wrap-up

Meal Break on your own

Evening Session of Short Plays

6:30-6:40 p.m. – Welcome and Introduction

6:40 – Intro to sixth play

6:42 Match Dot Bomb

Taken For Granite Players, Richmond, MN

Written and co-directed by James H. Leinen
Co-directed by Amy L. Hunter
Camera operator: Andrew Libbesmeier
Continuity: Anissa Wilke
Sound Effects, Editing, Graphics: Brad Busse

Veronica: Karla Reichel
Barista: Jennifer Wirz
William (Bill): Brad Busse

Time and Place: 2019 in a suburban coffee shop.

6:57 – Discussion of sixth play

7:07 – Intro to seventh play
7:09 In A Time of Masks

Pargeter Players

Written and directed by Greg Bastien
Corey Allred, Greg Bastien, Coral Bastien, Connor Burell, Helen Collins, Selma Petterson
(Cast members play multiple roles)
Theater Info:
Pargeter Players theater group is based in Minneapolis and they also have performed in St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Cloquet.

7:21 – Discussion of seventh play

7:31 – 10-minute break

7:41 – Intro to eighth play

7:43 Slimm, Jim, And The VI…

Mindless Mirth Productions

Written and Co-Directed by Lawrence Ripp
Co-Directed by John Gottskalkson
Filming: Hamil Cassidy
Slimm: Lawrence Ripp
Jim: John Gottskalkson
Setting: In the conversational style of Mamet, two friends cope with the pandemic of this time.
Theatre info:
Both John and Larry are Twin City acting veterans who have many years of acting and many shows under their collective belts. They have also produced and directed shows here and elsewhere and have done a number of shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

8:00 – Discussion of eighth play

8:10 – Intro to ninth play

8:12 Scenes from Twelfth Night

Classics Lost N Found Theater

Director: Greg Bastien
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
A performance of two scenes (back-to-back) from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
First scene cast:
Viola (disguised as Cesario): Helen Collins
Olivia: Selma Petterson
Second Scene cast:
Malvolio: Corey Allred
Feste: Don Larsson
Theater Info:
Classics Lost N Found Theater’s performance space is Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis.

8:30 – Discussion of ninth play

8:40 – Intro to tenth play

8:42 Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction



Director: Noreen K. Brandt
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
Bad Mystery Suspense:
Narrator / Pemberton, the Butler: Stephen Greenhalgh*
Inspector Gidget: Daniel L. Dyke 
Mrs. Oodlesbottom / Percival / Hastings: Candy Dyke*
Fifi / Miss Stenophono / Lola: Selma Petterson*
(*plays multiple roles)
Bad Science Fiction Theater:
Sci-Fi  Narrator: Don Larsson
The Evil Emperor: Corey Allred 
Space Princess Zena: Katie Holmes
Space Princess Zooma: Matt Amenda  
Space Inspector Terry: Helen Collins
Theater Info:
NKBProductions is an offshoot of our old theater company, Corcoran Park Players, and is based in South Minneapolis.

9:01 – Discussion of tenth play

9:11 – Wrap up, Thank Yous

9:15-10:00 p.m. – Guided community theater social networking


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Webinar –> Re-Opening the performing arts

Webinar → Sharing the Process: Re-Opening the Performing Arts in Ireland

Wednesday, July 29, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 am → Register Here

Registration is required, and limited to 100 attendees. A recording will be made available for later viewing. Please only register if you plan to join us live.

The re-opening of live performing arts across the State of Minnesota in the COVID-19 world will depend to a large degree on ensuring the safety of the back of the house, the front of the house, the actors, and the audience. Minnesotans have begun that discussion on live opening guidelines and the dialogue is continuing.

The Minnesota Theater Alliance, with Springboard for the Arts, Lake Region Arts Council, Central MN Arts Board, Region 2 Arts Council, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, will host a webinar with Dr. James Gambone, Professor of Public Health at Capella University and a Minnesota theater producer and director; and Peter Jordan from SLUA, an Irish safety consultancy group working with Irish theater companies on safe opening guidelines. The purpose of the webinar will be to present the “Irish Model” for live theater reopening which will happen throughout Ireland on August 10th of this year.

This educational forum will be an opportunity to learn what our colleagues in Ireland are doing to ensure safe re-openings for their performing arts. The webinar will also allow Minnesota participants to ask questions and share their particular theater opening obstacles.

More information available at

Teaching Artist Roster Program Training in August

The NWMAC will be holding a Teaching Artist Roster Program (TARP) training series in August 2020 

Apply now to be part of this cohort and join our TARP Roster online 

What are the TARP training dates?  Thursdays and Mondays in August 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, and 24, 2020 from 6:30 to 9pm.

What is the location?  All trainings are virtual/remote due to the pandemic. Computer connection and internet are essential to participate.  

Who is the trainer for TARP?  Jane Anderson of Thief River Falls has experience leading our previous cohorts and will be leading participants through engaging materials and interesting discussions about the value of artists residencies. She is a fun, engaging trainer with a background in performing arts and teaching. NWMAC is excited that she has agreed to teach this condensed series of six sessions. Guests will also attend and share interesting information.  

Am I eligible?  Qualified individuals live within our seven county service area of Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Pennington, Red Lake, and Roseau counties in Minnesota and can live within 60 miles of our regional boundaries extending into North Dakota and Canada.   

Who should apply and attend?  This session is geared towards teachers in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing who are interested in artist residency activity during summer months and leading festival workshops. It is also geared towards people who have a history with already doing artist residency and festival workshop activities and would like to be listed on our roster after attending our training series.      

How can I apply to be in TARP?  You can go on-line and complete the application in our NWMAC online grants system here. Or go to and click login in the upper right corner to enter our online system.  If you have not already done so, you will need to set yourself up as a user with your email and a password.  Help is available from our office at if you have any problems.  Please apply by July 31!

What is the cost?  This is free to attend. The value of the training series is equivalent to receiving a $500 grant. 

Can I get the guidelines and application sent to my email or mailed to me?  Absolutely!  Just email your request to and include your email or mailing address.      

How many people will participate? NWMAC needs a group of 6 participants to hold the training.  The group can be as large as 20 before qualified candidates are turned away.  

What if I miss a session?  Since it is all on-line, you can miss a session and catch up by watching the recording.  However, you will be dropped from the program if you have too many misses and fall behind in watching the recordings and completing the assignments.  

Can I get CEUs for this course?  Yes, all participants will receive documentation for CEU credits.  

What if I attended a previous TARP training series, can I attend again to complete my TARP profile?  Yes, previous attendees can attend again to refresh and work on their materials.  Please contact our office to be added to the attendee list and go through a process to check your Internet connection. This session will be faster paced and geared for people who have either been or are an arts school teacher or have previous experience doing residencies.   

Hopefully it will work for you to sign up and join this group of creative people! Thanks for your interest.