Examples of Our Engagement
The block in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood on which Mixed Blood has resided since 1976 is home to more than 5,000 people who hail from 63 countries. Residents are primarily East African and Muslim immigrants and refugees. As that demographic emerged and transformed the area in the 199Os, Mixed Blood redoubled its commitment to be an anchor in the neighborhood in which it could have become an island. For two decades, Mixed Blood’s art, artists, staff, and facility have embraced their neighbors and have been in service of a healthy Cedar Riverside.
For nearly 20 years, Mixed Blood has produced mainstage and touring productions about disability, with artists, audiences and writers with disabilities. The company has hosted two festivals of disability-related plays and led a national initiative to infuse disability programming into theaters across the country. A Disability Advisory Council guides Mixed Blood’s efforts. The firehouse is fully accessible, with adjacent disability accessible parking spots, projected supertitles for every show, audio description for all performances, mats for service dogs, ASL interpretation once per run, and tactile tours for people with vision loss.
Mixed Blood endeavors to be a soapbox for trans and non-binary neighbors. Mixed Blood first produced a play, Liquid Skin, about a person transitioning in 1986, with the lead played by a 22-year-old Don Cheadle. Since then, Mixed Blood has produced numerous plays with trans characters portrayed by trans actors. It has cast trans actors in roles not written as trans characters, and hosted a festival entitled “On Our Own Terms.” With a year-round, part-time Trans Organizer, Mixed Blood has engaged trans board members, presented public conversations with trans policy makers, trans playwrights and trans activists.
Teatro Mixed Blood
While not categorically a Latinx organization, Mixed Blood has been deeply involved in the Latinx theater universe of America, both in producing Latinx work for 3O years in two languages with bilingual casts and by creating access points. A part-time, year-round Latinx organizer leads an advisory council representing Minnesota’s disparate Latino communities.
African American Theatre
While Mixed Blood is not categorically a Black theatre, its stages have presented the works of 39 great African American playwrights, many numerous times. They include Katori Hall, Lynn Nottage, Idris Goodwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Cori Thomas, Carlyle Brown, Kirsten Greenidge, Eisa Davis, Kia Corthron, Dael Orlandersmith, David Barr III, Samm-Art Williams, Gavin Lawrence, Jevetta Steele, Thomas W. Jones II, August Wilson, Geoffrey Ewing, Ntozake Shange, Warren C. Bowles, Sharon Walton, Lorraine Hansberry, Carl Lumbly, Anton Jones and more.
“The Cultural Temple”
Mixed Blood activates its 1887 firehouse for a multitude of uses. It is a venue for nomadic, itinerant artists, and mission-aligned companies in need of performance space. It is a home for the Cedar Riverside neighbors for political rallies, town halls, award shows, talent showcases, and important conversations. During the coronavirus pandemic it was used as a food shelter and a site for voter registration, census taking, flu shots, PPE distribution, and COVID testing.
About Mixed Blood
Using theatre to disrupt injustices, advance equity, and build community, Mixed Blood inspires the global village to create ripple effects of social change.
1501 South 4th Street
Minneapolis | MN | 55454