Who We Support
Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts is a non-profit arts organization offering full-time creative practice at the professional level to adults with disabilities.
“My daughter Naa has Down syndrome. Her first job was cleaning a local mall in the early mornings before the stores opened – before anyone would see her. I was told she was lucky to have this job, but I knew that she had more to offer the world. And then I found Interact. My daughter is now recognized as a talented artist, bowing along side her colleagues to standing ovations from audiences who watch her dance in Interact Theater productions.”
NaaAbashie Moreaux, Proud mother of an Interact performing artist
Since 1996, Interact’s mission to create art that challenges perceptions of disability has opened up new horizons for artists with disabilities from whom very little may have been expected, but whose lives have now been transformed as talented, creative, contributing members of our communities. Audiences who experience our work are also enriched by exciting creative accomplishments that celebrate our shared humanity.
“I began to feel an empowerment and solidarity with the performers and it felt like I was entering a home I didn’t know I had.”
Actor, storyteller and humorist, Kevin Kling
Describing his first experience as an actor with Interact
WHO THEY ARE
Interact is the only organization of its kind nationally or internationally – a place where over 125 artists create ground-breaking original theater and extraordinary visual arts each and every day. Interact is multi-cultural and intergenerational,
and we embrace the entire spectrum of disability labels. New artists seek us out as the only place they can fully develop their creative lives. Experienced artists take on new challenges and raise the bar of their own self-expectations.
Everyone who participates in Interact’s work – artists and audiences alike – expands their ideas of what is possible through the transformative power of the arts.
“Art has become central to my life, providing a vehicle for self expression, confidence, focus and healing. Painting and drawing has helped me to negotiate the tentacles of mental illness and has given me a connection to life that my illness often thwarts.”
Gail Harbeck, Interact studio artist since 2003
To actively work as change agents through the arts, Interact’s infrastructure includes a visionary partnership with Minnesota’s social services system, through which we operate as an arts-specific day program for creative adults with disabilities, and receive service fees for the members of our company.
With an annual budget of $1.7 million, income from service fees represents approximately 80% of total revenue. It is only with the support from our community that artists are able to truly realize their dreams and share their work and passion through visual art exhibits and theater productions. Contributions provide high quality art supplies, make-up, costumes, workshops led by visiting artists, and more, but most importantly, a creative, forward-looking life for artists with disabilities.
Director of Operations
Director of Communications and Donor Development
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sally Hebson – President
Linda Myers Shelton