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Black and Funny Improv Festival looking for community support to continue opening doors

Improv festival looks to uplift Black voices in comedy
Improv festival looks to uplift Black voices in comedy 01:50

MINNEAPOLIS — For the past eight years, HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis has played host to the Black and Funny Improv Festival, where Jada Pulley is co-director.

"I've often had the experience of being the only person of color in an improv group," said Pulley.

The purpose is to open doors, to what Pulley said is a predominantly white artform.

"It's kind of a way to carve out space, specifically for black performers and audience members, to see themselves represented on stage," said Pulley.

HUGE has been the biggest supporter of Black and Funny, stepping up with financing, Pulley said.

"Financially, it is not as much of a success. Historically, we've either broken even or incurred a bit of a loss," said Pulley.

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But a new, more expensive location for HUGE, combined with some unexpected costs means that the theater is unable to help the way they used to.

It's why Pulley has decided to reach out to the community through an online fundraiser to help cover the costs of running the shows and associated workshops, and to provide free tickets so no one is turned away.

"When you bring in more voices there are just more stories being told," said Pulley.

The ultimate goal: Building a stronger, more inclusive community.

"Literally everyone benefits from having more diverse voices in their ears," said Pulley.

You can catch The Black and Funny Improv Festival March 21 through 24 at HUGE.

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