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HomeTheatreAMERICAN THEATRE | New Management Seals Penumbra’s Evolution Into Racial Therapeutic Middle

AMERICAN THEATRE | New Management Seals Penumbra’s Evolution Into Racial Therapeutic Middle


SAINT PAUL, MINN.: In 2020, Penumbra Theatre introduced its title change to Penumbra Middle for Racial Therapeutic, and now a brand new management workforce is in place to information the humanities group’s growth of progressive programming in arts, fairness, and wellness. The workforce’s latest members are Chris Berry, who will function the brand new arts director; Christine Smith who will function the fairness director; and Camille Cyprian, who will function the wellness director.  

The theatre is revising their mission assertion to incorporate their purpose to deepen their impression from their area people to turn out to be a nationwide chief in racial therapeutic. 

“Penumbra is within the strategy of changing into,” mentioned Penumbra president Sarah Bellamy in an announcement. “There’s onerous work forward to comprehend our ambitions, and the trail opening up at our toes is thrilling but uncharted. With the addition of those three leaders, we have now an amazing workforce in place to innovate our means ahead. Every step takes us additional right into a future that’s very important for our group and hopefully vitalizing for the folks we serve.” 

Newly appointed arts director Chris Berry plans to uphold and proceed to broaden his imaginative and prescient of frightening change inside audiences for Black theatre. Previous to Penumbra, Berry served because the president of the Black Theatre Community, as director of schooling and humanities for the Billie Vacation Theatre, and as a choose for the August Wilson Monologue Competitors.

“What introduced me to Penumbra was the group’s lengthy historical past of centering, celebrating, and preserving Black tales,” mentioned Berry in an announcement. “I’m excited to hitch this workforce, and to construct upon Penumbra’s sturdy basis to assist rethink what a creative establishment might be.” Berry holds a BFA in performing from North Carolina A&T State College and an MFA in performing from Brown/Trinity College.  

Christine Smith, Penumbra’s new fairness director, plans to design an intensive plan for fairness programming that expands on the theatre’s present fairness coaching, talking engagements, workshops, and curated experiences. “At Penumbra, we intention to create values-driven programming that facilities the Black expertise and helps therapeutic for all,” mentioned Smith in an announcement. “I’m thrilled to broaden on the great sources that exist already to develop a trauma-informed and healing-centered strategy to our fairness work.” Smith beforehand labored for the Minnesota Division of Human Companies as a coverage advisor and tribal liaison for the Minesota Household Funding Program. She holds a B.A. in organizational communication and an M.A. in household life schooling, and is at present working towards her second M.A. in holistic well being science.

Camille Cyprian will launch the theatre’s first complete wellness program as its new wellness director. The wellness program goals to help people and communities heal from the destructive penalties that BIPOC communities face from racism. “Therapeutic isn’t a product, it’s a apply—and apply is one thing that occurs repeatedly and deepens,” mentioned Cyprian in an announcement. “Wellness has at all times been an intuitive a part of Penumbra’s work, however it’s a new space of focus for us, so we’re being considerate and deliberate about what and the way we start to deliver that work ahead with group.”  Cyprian is a graduate teacher for the social justice minor on the College of Minnesota and serves on the on the advisory board of the Funders Community P.L.A.C.E.S. Fellowship, in addition to the governing boards of Headwaters Basis for Justice and Maji ya Chai Land Sanctuary. She holds a masters in nonprofit administration from Hamline College.  

Penumbra Theatre was based in 1976 by inventive director emeritus Lou Bellamy as a middle for Black arts. Its mission stays to nurture Black artists, promote racial equality, encourage artistic resiliency. Lately, their mission has expanded to be a middle for racial therapeutic notably within the traditionally Black neighborhood of Rondo in Saint Paul, Minn. As of 2020, the group had an annual finances of roughly $1.9 million.

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