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Penumbra Theatre, a 44-year-old legacy black arts organization that was once home to playwright August Wilson, is evolving into the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing. Based in the historically black neighborhood of Rondo in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Penumbra’s mission has long been to nurture black artists, promote racial equity, and inspire creative resiliency. Building upon this history, the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing will offer new artistic offerings, robust equity training services, a wellness center, and expanded staff to support the fresh areas of focus.

The vision for the Penumbra Center for Racial Healing has been in development since 2015, guided by Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy. An artist, scholar, and leading facilitator around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, Bellamy has been testing programs that spark empathy and invite active participation with public conversations, screenings, community meals, and educational programming that engage patrons across Minnesota. Through her leadership, Penumbra brings vibrant communities together to shift the ground under some of the most deeply entrenched issues of equity and justice.

Penumbra In the News

July 4, 2021 – A $1.5 MILLION ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION GRANT has been awarded to Five-Theater Partnership to create ‘Generation Now’ (Broadway to Vegas)
July 2, 2021 – 2 Twin Cities companies are part of $1.5M effort to address gaps in plays for youngsters of color (Star Tribune)
June 30, 2021 – Mellon Announces $1.5 Million ‘Generation Now’ Partnership for BIPOC Playwrights (American Theatre)
June 30, 2021 – Five-Theater Partnership Receives $1.5 Million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant To Create GENERATION NOW (Broadway World)
June 29, 2021 – Penumbra, Children’s Theatre selected as part of five-theater, $1.5M grant partnership (MN Spokesman Recorder)
June 29, 2021 – Children’s Theatre, Penumbra to share in $1.5 million Mellon Foundation grant (MinnPost)
June 28, 2021 – Five-Theatre Partnership Receives $1.5 Million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant To Create GENERATION NOW (Broadway World)
June 28, 2021 – Twin Cities theatres team up to bring more diversity to the stage (Fox 9)
June 18, 2021 – Penumbra’s Sarah Bellamy on MacKenzie Scott’s $5 million grant: ‘This is just a huge green light’ (MinnPost)
June 17, 2021 – Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott surprises Penumbra Theatre with $5 million, along with donations to two other Minnesota nonprofits (StarTribune)
June 17, 2021 – MacKenzie Scott’s $5 million gift a springboard for Penumbra Theatre’s new mission (Pioneer Press)
June 17, 2021 – Penumbra receives $5M donation from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott (Kare 11)
April 15, 2021 – Day After Day, Racism Killed George Floyd (Washington Post)
December 18, 2020 – Penumbra launches campaign urging employers to help their workers vote (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal)
October 30, 2020 – Sarah Bellamy: Remember how powerful and vital BIPOC voices — and votes! — are (Pioneer Press)
October 14, 2020 – Penumbra Theatre’s Sarah Bellamy on motherhood, theater and racial healing (Minnesota Public Radio)
September 25, 2020 – Penumbra Theatre declared one of Ford Foundation’s ‘cultural treasures’ (StarTribune)
September 24, 2020 – Ford Foundation grants $2.5 million to St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre (Pioneer Press)
September 21, 2020 – Reimagine Everything (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
September 9, 2020 – Why Penumbra Theatre Is Becoming a Center for Racial Healing (Minnesota Monthly)
August 19, 2020 – At Theaters, Push for Racial Equity Leads to Resignations and Restructuring (New York Times)
August 11, 2020 – 3M Foundation awards $1M to four local organizations in support of racial equity (3M News Center)
August 10, 2020 – Penumbra Theatre to Become Penumbra Center for Racial Healing (American Theatre)
July 9, 2020 – Change Starts Here: Sarah Bellamy (MplsStPaul)
June 8, 2020 – Performing Whiteness (Paris Review)
August 6, 2020 – Penumbra to broaden its focus (MinnPost)
August 6, 2020 – St. Paul’s Penumbra gets a new name and a new mission (StarTribune)
August 6, 2020 – Penumbra Theatre will become Penumbra Center for Racial Healing, adding community resources (Pioneer Press)
June 1, 2020 -Tired but Not Daunted in the Twin Cities (American Theatre)