From legal advocate to arts advocate

Published 7:01 am Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ten years ago, an area lawyer and arts advocate had the idea to create an arts business to bridge the promotional gap between local arts organizations and local residents. Twin Cities TOSCA (Theatre, Opera, Shakespeare, Culture, Art) was born.

Austin native and founder of Twin Cities TOSCA, Gail Weber, practiced law for 23 years, advocating for victims of violence . During that time, Weber developed a growing interest in the arts, serving as a board member of arts organizations and starting a drama club for her daughter and her daughter’s classmates. In 2005, Weber turned her professional and creative attention to a new advocacy endeavor: promoting the arts.

Twin Cities TOSCA began by producing unique events to inform and entertain. Twin Cities TOSCA also founded a quarterly print magazine devoted to promoting visual and performing arts in and around the Twin Cities. Today, Exploring TOSCA is a growing local arts publication that has just released its Summer Issue and will release its 10th anniversary issue this fall.

“There are so many talented artists and high quality theatre companies and arts events in our region that people may not know about, in part because arts organizations often lack the funding to get the word out” Weber explains. “I just couldn’t stand the thought of people not knowing about the arts organizations and artists we have available in this area.”

Over the years, Twin Cities TOSCA has even presented awards (dubbed ‘The TOSCARS”) to deserving theatres, artists and avid audience members that support the arts.

On a quarterly basis, the magazine Exploring TOSCA provides comprehensive and detailed listings of upcoming stage performances and gallery exhibitions in and around the Twin Cities metro area, and in venues as far away as St. Cloud and Duluth.

Exploring TOSCA’s Summer Issue now out this week, and the 10th anniversary issue will be published in September. More information about Exploring TOSCA can be found at www.tctosca.com.