Who We Are
Bloomington Theatre and Art Center (BTAC) emerged from the merger of the Bloomington Civic Theatre (BCT) and Bloomington Art Center (BAC) on July 1, 2009. Drawing on BCT’s and BAC’s combined legacy of more than 87 years of arts excellence, BTAC aims to expand and further strengthen the offerings of its founding organizations in the performing, visual, and literary arts, as well as arts education.
BTAC’s mission is to enrich the cultural fabric of the communities we serve by producing high quality theater and arts programs, welcoming and nurturing talent and providing educational opportunities for our community.
BTAC delivers the majority of its programming in the Bloomington Center for the Arts, a state-of-the-art complex owned by the City of Bloomington. Among other facilities, the Center includes the 366-seat Schneider Theater, a 120-seat Black Box Theater, numerous classrooms designed for visual arts instruction, the Inez Greenberg and Atrium art galleries, and the Rose Schneider Gift Shop.
What We Do
Performing Arts: BTAC will produce eight theatrical productions in 2010, including four musicals in the Schneider Theater and four productions representing other genres in the Black Box Theater. Our performances are widely recognized for their top quality production values (including live orchestras, Kennedy Center award-winning costuming, and stunning lighting, sound, and set design), and for allowing actors of diverse backgrounds and experience levels to reach their full potential as they grow and develop artistically. Periodic “talk back” sessions following our performances provide an opportunity for audiences to interact with actors, directors, and technical staff, reflecting the educational component of BTAC’s mission. More than 33,200 tickets were sold for our 2009-2010 season, including more than 29,900 for musicals in the Schneider Theater and 3,275 for productions in the Black Box Theater.
Visual Arts: BTAC provides an opportunity for professional and emerging artists residing in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin to exhibit their work in spacious, expertly lighted spaces. The goal of the visual arts exhibitions program with respect to artists is to present their work in a respectful, creative, and thoughtful setting; to promote their work in a manner that encourages audience appreciation; and to serve as a resource. With respect to our audiences, BTAC seeks to create a forum that is open, welcoming, and challenging; to entice them to return often; and to develop their appreciation for art. In 2010, BTAC will mount eight exhibitions in our Inez Greenberg Gallery and seven in our Atrium Gallery. Some exhibitions feature the work of single artists; others are group shows including more than 50 exhibitors. Extensive gallery hours allow approximately 43,000 visitors to experience these exhibits throughout the year. In addition to viewing the artwork in the galleries, visitors may purchase one-of-a-kind, handmade items in the Rose Schneider Gift Shop.
Education: BTAC’s educational offerings range from single-day workshops to six-session courses in drawing and painting, glass and jewelry, ceramics, creative writing, theater arts, creative process, and the “business of art.” We serve children aged three and up as well as adults with diverse backgrounds: while some of our students have never put a paintbrush to canvas, others are experienced artists. Reflecting this spectrum of experience, courses recently offered ranged from “Beginning Oil and Acrylic Painting” and “Creative Writing Sampler” to “Metal Jewelry Fabrication: Open Studio” and “Moving Into Metaphor: Writing About Needs in Times of Want.” We served approximately 1,130 adult registrants and 305 youth registrants in our workshops and courses in 2009. An additional 162 adult and 283 youth registrants participated in outreach activities including focused workshops for charter schools, small group instruction for Girl and Boy Scout troops, artist-led activities at parties for children, and the hosting of art groups such as the Minnesota Artists Association, Minnesota Tile Makers Association, and the Minnesota Watercolor Society.
Bloomington Box Office: BTAC’s operations include the Bloomington Box Office, which serves BTAC’s patrons by selling season and single-performance tickets for all of our productions. The Bloomington Box Office also provides a valuable service to other Bloomington arts organizations by selling tickets for the Medalist Band, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and Bloomington Chorale, as well as arts events sponsored by the City of Bloomington.
How We Operate
BTAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation governed by a 14-member board of directors. Five full-time and eight part-time staff work in partnership with hundreds of talented independent contactors and volunteers to deliver the programs and services described above. BTAC’s 2010 operating budget is approximately $1.2 million, comprising roughly 80% earned income and 20% contributed income.