by Jeremy van Meter

It is not often that we within the Commonweal Theatre Company publicly “toot our own horn.” We are happy, for the most part, to let the quality of our work speak for us. Today is not that day. Today we have officially announced that the Commonweal is the recipient of the 2017 Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits Award for Excellence. Woo-Hoo, indeed!

Presented each year since 1987, the Mission and Excellence Awards recognize and honor the contributions of Minnesota nonprofits in the areas of Innovation, Advocacy, Anti-Racism, Responsive Philanthropy and Excellence (for large and small organizations). All nominees met a rigorous standard of evaluation in a wide range of areas, including board governance, financial management, civic engagement and, of course, artistic excellence. The Commonweal is the winner of the award in the category of small organizations and is, in fact, the first professional theatre in the history of the awards to ever receive that distinction from the council. As we sit on the cusp of a 30th birthday in 2018, this award comes at a very appropriate time in the life of the theatre and reaffirms our mission of providing live, professional theatre of the highest quality possible and to enrich the common good while doing so.

Commonweal Executive Director, along with Development Director Scott Dixon and members of the Commonweal Board of Directors will accept the award this Friday night, October 13 as part of MCN’s Annual Conference at the RiverCentre in St. Paul. In speaking with Hal about the award he said, “We are deeply honored to receive this award which recognizes not only the fine work that the professional artists of the Commonweal have put onstage for nearly 30 years but also the administrative excellence that the company has brought to serving our mission.”

The award comes with a modest cash prize, a one-of-a-kind glass sculpture and a professionally produced video highlighting the company, who we are and what we do best. This video is ours to use as we see fit in the promotion of the company and the ideals to which we strive. As with all accolades that we receive, we are fully aware that we could not do what we do without the support and love of the people who join us for performances and quickly become a part of the “family.” We share this award with you and look forward to celebrating with each and every one of you in the coming months and years as the fruits of this award ripen.

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