Illusion Theater and School, Inc.

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $12,000

Located in Minneapolis, serves statewide. Founded in 1974 and based in downtown Minneapolis, Illusion’s mission is to create theater that illuminates the illusions, myths, and realities of our times and to catalyze personal and social change. Illusion has turned to creating specific work that addresses issues important to children and families. In 1978, Illusion pioneered the concept of prevention/education plays with “Touch,” addressing sexual abuse of children. Since then, Illusion continues to center educational programming in everything it does.

Grant supports the performance residency “Keepin’ It Real,” about issues such as bullying, sexting, peer pressure, drug use, and more. It focuses on 5th and 6th graders at Humboldt and Highland schools in St. Paul, Hiawatha Prep in Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Center Middle School. Topics of performances will be chosen by students and their advisors based on relevance to their lives and their communities. The process begins with the creation of a Student Advisory Committee at each school that helps to identify the most critical issues facing its youth.