The Potentials of Performance: the Role of the Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the Development of Regional Professional Theater

by Susannah Engstrom

Jan 1, 2010
My dissertation examines live theatrical performance in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on the development of a new era of cultural professionalism and its impact on the urban community of the region. In conducting research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) I was therefore most interested in the activities of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) in Minnesota, and their support of the regional theater movement there. While the material at the RAC did provide insight into activities in the Twin Cities area, especially in connection to the University of Minnesota, the collection also illuminated the role of the RF and the RBF more generally in developing arts organizations, the work of individual artists, and the infrastructure of nonprofit art across the United States.
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