Eva Barr: Bringing Down the Barn

If you wanted to find a star of the Chicago theater scene, rural Minnesota isn’t the first place you’d look. But that’s where Eva Barr ’88 runs DreamAcres, an off-the-grid organic farm in Wykoff, home base for educational and cultural programs and a Community Supported Agriculture business. After graduating from Northwestern, Barr became one of the founding members of ­Lookingglass ­Theatre on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in 1988. Soon, though, she became restless in the Second City and embarked on five years of self-education, which included time in the Peace Corps in West Africa. When she returned stateside, Barr and her life partner, Todd Juzwiak, built their home in southeastern ­Minnesota. In 1995 they purchased land in the valley her grandparents loved and founded DreamAcres. “We always associate culture with urban, and I think that’s highly debatable,” she says. “Farmers are the most creative people I know.” DreamAcres gives people space to express themselves. The farm hosts performances in its barn, offers ­summer camps and retreats, and sponsors arts events offsite. Barr also remains involved in ­Lookingglass, most recently appearing in Blood Wedding in March.

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