Lightning Rod Toolkit

“Honestly? I hope people will steal Lightning Rod, make it their own and takes lots of pictures and notes and then send them to us,” says Lightning Rod co-creator Kat Purcell.

Lightning Rod is a flexible framework for creating “flash theater,” an action of community involvement and political action, and an exercise in the most basic qualities of collaborative performance-making. Read more about about Lightning Rod in their special feature and get the toolkit below.

A time- and resource-limited invitation for artists of all backgrounds and skill levels to embrace constraints as opportunities for creativity, in its original format, Minneapolis-based performance art incubator Patrick’s Cabaret invited six teams of participants spend just six days making and then performing devised (collaboratively created) work that responds to the immediacy of that week, generating performance from the prompt: “What needs to be said this week?” Drawing from curated prompts related to current events, and what’s on the hearts and minds of artists in our community, this unique collaborative process is a lightning rod to capture the electricity in the air.

This toolkit was created in 2018 as a partnership between artists, arts organizations, and Creative Exchange, the national program of Springboard for the Arts. Toolkit creation was supported by Colleen Powers, Nicole Rupersburg, and Nancy XiaoRong Valentine, with design support from Chad Nestor, and project management from Carl Atiya Swanson. Creative Exchange is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.