It was a cold winter weekend in January and the staff, board and stakeholders of Public Art St. Paul, a non-profit arts organization that has been in operation since 1987, gathered at The Gymnasium’s Studio to envision what the organization’s vision for the next 10 years might be.
Led by the four artists who co-founded The Gymnasium, the workshop brought the various stakeholders in the organization together in one space with PASP’s new artistic director, Colleen Sheehy. Exercises, physical, imaginative and hands-on, along with plenty of play time allowed this disparate group to generate hopeful, forward-thinking and generous statements that allowed the organization to think above and beyond its history and present day operations.
Our workshop with The Gymnasium was the perfect way to rethink our organization with staff, board, artists, and scientists brought together in their creative space. We loosened up and improvised and laughed together over our inventive game projects. We danced together in Shawn’s energizing movement sessions. We played ping pong during our breaks. And, importantly, we came out of the weekend not only with solid ideas about what we want to achieve—a real vision—but also energized to get on with the work. Their careful planning of the workshop gave us the framework and structure we needed to free our creative thinking and get to the nub of what we want to do now. I recommend it for any organization that is looking for a recharge and new vision.
President & Executive Director
Public Art St. Paul