Pillsbury House + Theatre

children dancing in the Pillsbury House Theatre lobby

Pillsbury House + Theatre

Pillsbury House + Theatre, a center for creativity and community, is leading the New Settlement Way forward into the 21st century by confronting the complex causes and effects of social and economic injustice through innovation.

One of the first Settlement Houses in Minneapolis, PH+T has occupied its current home in South Minneapolis since 1980. The Powederhorn, Central, Bancroft, and Bryant neighborhoods that surround it are some of the most diverse in Minnesota. Each year more than 27,000 people come through our doors.

We provide affordable accessible programs and services for toddlers to seniors, homeless youth to young artists, via our Early Education programs; Afterschool, Summer Arts Camp and teen social justice and arts programs for youth; health and wellness outreach and clinic; acclaimed professional theatre; and other community services like free tax preparation, free wifi, voter registration, neighborhood celebrations, and more.

Pillsbury House + Theatre is also the home to one of the Twin Cities' best professional theatres because the highest quality artistic experience helps all neighborhoods thrive.

We are committed to unleashing creativity in service to our South Minneapolis neighborhoods because the best way to effect positive change in our communities is to help people connect, build meaningful relationships with each other, and learn how to fulfill their dreams, their way.

Our Programs

Pillsbury Early Education Center

There are currently no openings at the Pillsbury Early Education Center for toddlers and pre-school aged students, but we will have openings in the near future. To reserve a spot, schedule a tour, and meet our teachers contact us at (612) 787-3648.

Pillsbury Early Education Center is an accredited learning center with a history of ensuring children are prepared for kindergarten. The arts-integrated learning program offers a wide range of activities designed to spark curiosity and creativity, and build learning confidence. Our approach is culturally diverse and attentive to the individual and distinct needs of each child. Our caring, licensed staff has advanced training in early education, and decades of experience in the field.

The center is located within Pillsbury House + Theatre, which provides families with a unique opportunity to access a variety of services, activities and events in the same location as their childcare center. Once PEEC students reach school age, families have the option of enrolling children in Pillsbury House + Theatre’s summer and after school programs.
Our program

Extended Hours: 6:30am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday

Fees/Rates: Based on full-time enrollment

16 months-36 months: $229 per week

36 months-age 5: $219 per week

We maintain a strong commitment to ensuring all parents can access affordable, quality early childhood education by offering a needs-based sliding fee. We accept Hennepin and Ramsey County Childcare Assistance.

Low staff-to-child ratios

16 months-36 months, 7:1

36 months-age 5, 10:1

Pillsbury Early Education Center is NAEYC accredited, and has received MN Parent Aware's highest, 4 Star rating.
Our approach

Culturally responsive instruction that acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates diversity and difference

Art-integrated learning that combines visual arts, dance, drama and movement into everyday learning activities

Developmentally-appropriate curriculum and activities to expand language development and build strong beginning literacy and math skills

Lessons that expose learners to Spanish and American Sign Language

Our teachers

Our highly qualified team is led by Ms. Charlene who has welcomed families to the Pillsbury Early Education Center for over 25 years. Meet the lead teachers »

Pillsbury House + Theatre's local artists work alongside teachers to foster growth and development through dance and drama classes that compliment children’s learning experiences.


A partnership with Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis Public Schools, be @school advocates work with families to prevent truancy.

FANS Scholars Program

FANS Scholars program is a free college, career and life preparatory program for high school students in 9th-12th grade. This program provides students with a support system and activities to strengthen high school performance and to achieve success after graduation in college and career. The FANS scholar’s program offerings are varied and include workshops and seminars, introduction to career options, college tours, leadership development, civic engagement and ACT/SAT test preparation. In addition students receive academic support, mentorship and assistance with the college enrollment process. Students that successfully complete the FANS Scholars program are eligible to receive a small scholarship to assist with college expenses and their FANS Advocate support them through college graduation. Since its inception in 1988, FANS Scholars have received over $1,000,000 in scholarships.

Kids College

Kids College is a literacy program that focuses on vocabulary expansion, fluency, comprehension and developing love of reading. This focused program offers one-on-one reading time with an adult for at least 30 minutes each day. In addition, youth receive homework help and a healthy snack. Tutoring is offered through a partnership with America Reads.

Power of our Voices

Power of our Voices (POV) is a literacy and leadership development program that creates space and freedom for young people to find, develop and bring voice to issues of importance in their lives. The POV program believes in the power of art – especially spoken word to be a catalyst in developing leadership skills, improving confidence, acquiring vocational strategies and improving academic performance. POV performance ensemble places youth voice at the center, fully integrating intellectual, social, emotional and cultural elements into its approach.

Power of our Voices is led by Siddeeqah Shabazz, Teen Program Coordinator and professional actor.

For more information about Power of Our Voices, visit pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org or contact Siddeeqah Shabazz at 612-787-3656.

Chicago Avenue Project

Since 1996, the Chicago Avenue Project has been bringing together the Twin Cities best adult playwrights, actors, and directors to work one-on-one with neighborhood youth on the creation and production of an original play. Children develop close mentoring relationships with at least four adults who are successful in their creative fields, while adult professional artists share the chance to perform in wildly imaginative plays. The project is not about teaching youth to perform, though they do learn acting—nor is it about teaching them how to write plays, though they learn that as well. This program is about building confidence, developing literacy skills and most importantly - The Chicago Avenue Project gives every child—no matter their circumstances—the opportunity to discover that they are valuable and can contribute.

The Chicago Avenue Project is lead by Emily Zimmer, CAP Director and professional actor.

For more information about the Chicago Avenue Project, visit pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org or contact Emily Zimmer at 612-787-3624.

Afterschool Programs

Daily afterschool programs for youth from kindergarten to 8th grade are central to Pillsbury United Communities' programming at four neighborhood centers. Whether learning from professional artists-in-residence at Pillsbury House + Theatre or stretching their athletic ability at Brian Coyle Center, PUC kids gain competence in the Six C's curriculum.

The Six C's nurture competence, confidence, character, connections, community, and contribution in all young people who pass through Pillsbury United Communities programming.

Summer Programs

With summer programs at four neighborhood centers, our work with youth from kindergarten to 8th grade continues throughout the entire year.

Whether learning from professional artists-in-residence at Pillsbury House + Theatre or stretching their athletic ability at Brian Coyle Center, PUC kids continue to gain competence in the Six C curriculum, while having great summer fun. Field trips to museums and water parks, nature walks, and special projects make summer programs a special time for kids at our agency.


Pillsbury United Communities’ Youth Action Crew bridges the gap in afterschool programming between 6th graders and teens with a service-learning program specially designed for youth in 6th to 8th grades.

In CREW, which stands for Creativity, Respect, Employment, and Wisdom, students gain leadership skills through working inter-generationally, as they did on a story-telling project in collaboration with the Minnesota History Center. They discuss career and college preparation and, when successful, are given priority enrollment in FANS.

In addition, CREW kids have worked on community beautification, hunger and nutrition, as well as fine arts like puppet making, and more.

Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP)

The Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP) offers voluntary, supportive, strengths-based, family-driven services to families who are at risk for child protection services due to high levels of stress or crisis. In addition, PSOP:

• Assists families in building connections with relatives, friends and community members.

• Supports families in their efforts to provide healthy, nurturing homes for their children.

• Access to a flexible fund to help families meet their needs, such as rental assistance, car repairs, clothing and grocery vouchers, school supplies, youth activities, and utility bills.

• Provides funds for therapeutic services such as in-home family counseling, in-home parent education, or assistance with outpatient counseling or chemical dependency treatment costs.

For more information contact, Cathy Gilbert at 612.377.7000 or Kelly Lecua at 612.824.0708.

Crisis Nursery

The Crisis Nursery is available to parents experiencing and overwhelming level of stress from daily life challenges. Our goal is to reduce the stress level by providing emergency childcare and respite services, while offering a resources to ensure both parent and children are healthy and well.

If you are in an abusive situation or you fear becoming abusive to yourself or your children, call 911 immediately.

Tax Assistance (seasonal)

Pillsbury United Communities partners annually with, AccountAbility Minnesota to provide free tax assistance to low to moderate-income individuals from late January thru April 15th. All taxes are prepared for free by volunteers who go through extensive training and are certified by the IRS. For each person listed on the return they need to bring their Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) card or letter, a picture I.D., and income statements. Visit AccountAbilityMN.org for more details.

HIV Outreach & Testing

Pillsbury House + Theatre’s HIV Outreach and testing program reaches out to at-risk adult men to provide support and resources aimed at preventing the spread of HIV. Services include free condoms, information on safer sex practices, and referral for free, confidential HIV testing.

Healthcare Enrollment

Healthcare Navigators are available at each neighborhood center to assist individuals who are seeking health insurance. Our trained navigators are committed to helping individuals and families find affordable plans that fit their needs.

Integrated Health Clinic

The Pillsbury House Integrated Health Clinic provides chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, medical services, counseling and health coaching. It serves patients in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood and surrounding communities. Services are free and open to the public.


Wednesday, 5:30-8:30pm
Saturday, 8:30-12:30pm

Breaking Ice

Breaking Ice is a customized professional theatre experience created for organizations and businesses that need help with difficult issues both interpersonal and institutional.

Full Cycle

Full Cycle is a nonprofit bicycle shop in south Minneapolis that offers a six-month, paid internship program for homeless youth.

Pillsbury House Theatre

Pillsbury House Theatre is a mainstage professional theatre located in the heart of the Powderhorn community.

Arts on Chicago

The Arts on Chicago initiative is an arts-based community development project in Minneapolis, MN, led by Pillsbury House + Theatre, Upstream Arts, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, The Third Place, and MCAD Professor Natasha Pestich with support from the Ward 8 Council Office of Elizabeth Glidden. Arts on Chicago is funded in part by Artplace, a collaboration of twelve of the nation’s leading foundations, eight government agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, and six financial institutions across the U.S. Additional funding is provided in part by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as well as VSA Minnesota.

Arts on Chicago implements arts projects to knit together existing creative assets in the Central, Powderhorn, Bancroft, Bryant communities along Chicago Avenue from 32nd Street to 42nd Street, using the process to build a framework for the ongoing support of a vibrant arts and cultural district.