ADDENDUM: I called the theatre to get information regarding the statue because some of you asked about its origin. COMPAS (Community Arts Programs) is a non-profit organization that offers many progams, one of which includes an artist who works in the summer. They donated the statue to SteppingStone; other than that there is no special significance, or so I've been told.
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development was founded in 1987 with two artist-in-residence programs at inner-city St. Paul schools that gave students a chance to have a participatory theatre experience. SteppingStone Theatre’s focus has been on reaching out to children and youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in theatre and providing them with an expanding range of educational theatre experiences.
Today, this focus is pursued through the Mainstage, Education, and Outreach Programs. In the past 9 years, led by Artistic Director Richard Hitchler, the theatre has served over 500,000 children, youth, schools and families through their six mainstage shows each year, in-school residencies, theatre classes for youth, and Community Education classes.
Construction on the former Grace Community Church, located at Victoria Street in St. Paul next to William Mitchell College of Law, began February 2, 2007. SteppingStone Theatre plans to move into its new home in late 2007, to open The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! December 1.
The renovation plans include improvement of the exterior; conversion of the sanctuary into a 430-seat theatre with a proscenium-style stage equipped with modern lighting and sound capabilities; installation of an elevator for accessibility to all areas of the building; and construction of classrooms, dressing rooms and administrative offices on the lower level.