Guthrie Theater with Ty Defoe & Larissa FastHorse


The Guthrie Theater is one of four 2020 Joyce Award winners that honor collaborations between artists of color and arts and cultural organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.

The $50,000 grant will allow the Guthrie to commission artists Ty Defoe and Larissa FastHorse, with Indigenous Direction, to create a new theater production that centers the stories and experiences of the Twin Cities Native community, in particular, the Dakota and Anishinaabe-Ojibwe people.

The new work is an extension of the 2019 production, “Stories From the Drum,” and will continue to amplify Native voices through community engagement and art-making to create a scripted, multidisciplinary performance piece with music and dance. Artist interaction with the local Native community will address issues such as displacement, visibility and the current affordable housing crisis.

“These activities provide the basis for the next iteration of the Guthrie’s partnership with Indigenous Direction, a piece that will feature Native voices and stories,” said Joseph Haj, artistic director at the Guthrie. “We look forward to having the artists build upon the past two years of community-art-making work in the Twin Cities.”

To date, the Joyce Awards have granted $3.7 million to commission 69 new works connecting artists with cultural organizations throughout the Great Lakes region. The award is used to support artists in the creation and production of a new work and provides the commissioning organization the resources needed to engage potential audiences, new partners and their larger communities.

“The potential inherent in this commission was obvious to our panel of jurors because both Larissa and Ty are individually making important contributions to American theater,” said Tracie Hall, director of The Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program. “To have them together as Indigenous Direction, helping to lift up the stories and genius of Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Indigenous community, was a tremendous opportunity. As with all Joyce Awards, we hope that the impact of this work will extend beyond the Guthrie Theater’s audience to reach residents across the city.”

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