Mission Statement

COMPAS uses the arts to unleash the creativity within all of us so we can create better lives and better communities.

Contact Information

75 Fifth Street West
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102

General Information

Alternative Name
Principal Staff
Dawne Brown White
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE)
Number of Clients


Board Chair
Roderic Hernub Southall
Number of Board Members
Board Meetings with Quorum
Average Member Attendance

Impact and Programs

In fiscal year 2016 COMPAS connected almost 58,000 people with the life-changing power of creativity. We inspired 26,176 youth in K-12 classrooms, over 4,500 adults in our Artful Aging program, and more than 7,000 patients and family members in pediatric hospitals. We also worked with women in shelters and jails; teens during artful summer employment programs; and people of all ages in rural Minnesota libraries. We increased the number of schools in which COMPAS artists spent 3 or more weeks during the school year; student outcomes include increased skills and understanding, gains in confidence and more willingness to take artistic and academic risks. We also enhanced student STEM learning during 29 weeks of classroom-based Arts+STEM programming. 90% of teachers said student interest in STEM increased when they participated in these programs. The work we started three years ago to build partnerships with social service agencies to increase access to hands-on art making is continuing to grow. Notably, through our partnership with Face to Face, an organization that serves youth who have experienced homelessness, we employed 28 young people as artist apprentices. We partnered with the Advisory Task Force on Justice Involved Women and Girls to grow the successful Women’s Writing Program to bring creative writing into women’s jails.
Current Goals
COMPAS main goal continues to be to offer amazing, impactful, life-changing creative experiences. We also seek to increase access to quality arts education and arts experiences for all Minnesotans. Breakthrough, impactful engagement comes when we make connections with participants’ lives. To this end, our programs encourage the doing, creating and hands-on parts of art. We are hands-on in how we teach but also hands-off in the way we let people learn through their own discovery process, interacting rather than observing or “appreciating.” We bring programs TO schools, libraries, hospitals, and other sites. Everyone participates regardless of financial, educational or health situations. Groups such as classrooms experience a new way of working together that increases social connections and improves group dynamics. Other barriers are removed: schools don’t have to transport students; people with disabilities have access to special equipment; older adults with mobility issues can stay in their building.
Community or Constituency Served
COMPAS inspires Minnesotans of all ages and walks of life to develop their creative selves; take risks; try something new; learn and grow. We provide access to vital arts programming by holding our programs in communities: in schools (including inner city schools where over 90% of students qualify for subsidized lunches, charter schools catering to blind students, schools with a high population of immigrants or children of immigrants, etc.); hospitals; homeless shelters; libraries; summer employment programs; after school programs; recreation centers; older adults residential facilities; jails; etc.
Geographic Area Served


3 Year Average Expenses
Program Services $837,733 80.2%
Management $112,244 10.7%
Fundraising $94,685 9.1%
Unrestricted Net Assets
2014 2013 2012
End of Year: $-45,490 $-53,712 $-227,418
Beginning of Year: $-53,712 $-265,918 $-137,868
Difference: $8,222 $212,206 ($89,550)

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700 Raymond Avenue, Suite 160 • Saint Paul, MN 55114
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