Help ARENA continue to be a force in this dance community, providing strong instruction to new and veteran moving bodies, a voice for local dance artists to share their work, and an experience-creator for those who want to be moved, inspired and motivated by live performance.

Let’s talk a look at this amazing 25th year we are embarking on –

HOLD MY HAND Hits the Road
In the spring and fall, ARENA DANCES will bring hold my hand to the communities of Brainard, Duluth, and Detroit Lakes. The performances will feature local choirs and the lush music of “Requiem,” an original score by Minnesota composer Joshua Clausen. One of my favorite shows, hold my hand explores gun violence in America, and seeks to create awareness and dialogue around this pressing issue.

5th Annual CANDY BOX Dance Festival
Promoting other Twin Cities Artists, ARENA curates the annual CANDY BOX Dance Festival,  an eclectic annual week-long array of performances, workshops, and public sharings featuring a range of local dance-makers. Through shared performances, intimate workshops, question-and-answer sessions and the rare sneak peek at works-in-progress, both artists and audience members make new connections, gain deeper understanding of the creation process, and develop stronger knowledge and appreciation of the field of dance. Like all the delightful surprises to be found in a box full of chocolates, CANDY BOX Dance Festival features the best sweets in town!

THERMAL in the Works
Our newest creation, Thermal, will begin to take shape this summer at a Tofte Lake Artist Residency with four of our  dancers. Centered around the issue of climate change, Thermal will connect individuals concerned about the future of our planet with environmental experts and actionable resources. During the course of its creation, we will share in-progress showings outdoors along Lake Superior in Duluth and Grand Marais, and subsequently, along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The culminating event will be a month-long premiere in the February of 2022 at the American Swedish Institute.

DanceON – Virtual Learning Arrives at South High School
DanceON, an on-going outreach program that brings ARENA DANCES to various Twin Cities’ public schools. For the past 2 years, ARENA DANCES has been in partnership with Creative Arts Secondary School, Rosevelt High School and Highland Park Senior High School. The overall program consists of bi-yearly, week-long, deeply immersive residencies in which the company teaches students how to talk about and make dances, rehearses on-site in an open setting and enjoys sociable time over lunch with students and faculty. The hope is to continue to fold both new schools and new dance companies into the programming to reach more students and expose youth to a multitude of dance aesthetics, cultures and forms. This year will we add South High School and Red Wing to the cohort.

MOVING PRACTICE: Making Space for a New Cast of Teachers, Performers, and Choreographers
Formed in response to the dance community’s desire for a more diverse offering of techniques taught in the Twin Cities, Moving Practice gives each of its professional dancers the chance to teach, regardless of their age or experience. Aiming to give rise to new teachers and choreographers, this cohort-led class series prioritizes rigor, diversity of aesthetics and commitment.

Floor Work Round Table Discussions
Floor Work 
is a triannual series of discussions on all things dance. Open to all as a space for conversation and sharing of ideas, knowledge and resources, each Floor Work focuses on a different topic relevant to life as an artist – from taxes as a freelancer to creative tools for choreographic processes. This series often invites experts on the topic to assist in facilitating conversation and offer their wealth of knowledge on the topic.

Studio Stories: Reminiscing on Twin Cities Dance History
One of our newest programs, this podcast series aims to collect and share the stories of Twin Cities artists who have made an impact on the legacy of this big dance town. Hosted Mathew Janczewski sits down with a different artist each week to learn about their past, present and future. Studio Stories airs weekly at noon on Thursdays – listen on our website in the Education tab, or wherever you get your podcasts!

As you can see, ARENA is making an effort to increase accessibility and engagement with dance, but there are many costs to funding a season. Here is what your contribution will support:

Artist salaries
Rehearsal costs
Composer and Music Rights
Lighting and Set Design
On-going Operational Support
Outreach Programs

ARENA DANCES is a non-profit organization with tax-exempt, 501(c)3 status and as such, all contributions are tax-deductible.

Every gift, in any amount makes a difference to ARENA!
We truly appreciate your support.

Annual Giving of $1000+

Annual Giving of $500 – $999

Annual Giving of $200 – $499

Annual Giving of $50 – $199


By Check:
Make payable to ‘ARENA DANCES’ and mail to ARENA DANCES, P.O. BOX 50261, Minneapolis, MN 55405.

By Phone:
Contact Mathew Janczewski, Artistic Director, at 612-804-0238.

Recurring Pledges:
Pace the generosity of your gift! Donate online and make a monthly pledge.

Employer Matching Gift:
Asking your employer to match your donation is an easy way to increase your impact on ARENA DANCES.


Based on Calendar Year. Updated Quarterly – Last Updated December 1, 2020

SUSTAINER ($1000+):
Mark Addicks & Tom Hoch, Heather & Kent Pilakowski, Milo Pinkerton & Virgil Taus

LEADER ($500-999):
Tom Nordyke & Tom Hines, Rick Schaefer, Cynthia & Trent Lunder

PROMOTER ($250-499):
Leigh Dillard, Dennis Yelkin, Caryn & Ron Miles, David Wells Jr., Emily Maltz – Dale Schatzlein and Emily Maltz Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Catherine & Jason Malmberg Dannenbring, Emmy Carter, Ron Lotz & Randy Hartten, Kerry Keen & Nina Ebbighausen, Kathleen & Paul Campbell

SUPPORTER ($100-249):
Erin & David Cragg, Randy Reinke & Kevin Hanstad, Neal Jahren, Sandy Simmons & Kevin Kunz, Rebecca Heist, Laura Whisney, Connie Jo & Ed Blome, Randy Gilbertson, Jerome & Judith Ingber, Anna Growcott, Aseem Kaul, Natalia & Alex Berglund, Steve & Jenni Norlin Weaver, William and Betsy Maloney Leaf, Jessica Fett, Mary Hansmeyer, Tyler & Amy Thomson, Carter Averbeck, Mary Jo Peloquin, Kelley Lindquist

A unique thanks to our 25th Kickoff Season Sponsors…
Bill & Connie Cameron, Kathleen & Paul Campbell, Erin & David Cragg, Leigh Dillard, Caroline Glawe, Denise Gustafson, Tom Hoch & Mark Addicks, Wendy Holmes & David Frank, Neal Jahren, Amy Hero Jones, Paul Kaminski & Richard Bonnin, Jerald Lee & Don Ofstedal, Caryn & Ron Miles, Steve & Jennifer Norlin-Weaver, Framk Rhame & Beverly Anne Christie, Sandy Simmons & Kevin Kunz


ARENA DANCES would like to thank our corporate sponsors and the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.