Arts & Culture
Just a short drive from Minneapolis, Mankato is a thriving arts community with quality theater, music, dance and visual arts programs. Applaud a rousing theater production, peruse a gallery full of work by popular local artists, or reconnect under the stars at an outdoor concert.
If you want to know if your favorite local business is open, the best thing to do is call them or check their website/social media! However, our business community is actively posting on Greater Mankato Support Local Facebook Group letting our community know what’s new, specials, and more.
Adventure + Arts + Culture in Mankato’s City Center. Go>
Best Cities for the Arts: A Cultural Guide to Mankato, Minnesota. Go>
Take arts & culture on the road. The Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway offers many vibrant towns, including Greater Mankato, with unique arts & culture experiences. Go>
An Australian-based artist has traveled to the heart of southern Minnesota to help tell the story of Greater Mankato; a story of a community with a rich heritage, a thriving present and a future of unlimited potential. The Arden Mills Grain Silos, the largest structure in the Mankato City Center, is being transformed into a massive canvas by internationally recognized, artist Guido Van Helten. Learn how you can watch this story come to life. Go>
CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
See and enjoy art out in the open with CityArt. Enjoy the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour with 20+ sculptures from artists around the world in mediums ranging from bronze to cast iron to reclaimed farm equipment throughout City Center Mankato. You can even vote for your favorite sculpture. Noelle Lawton, CityArt Coordinator states, “The Greater Mankato community has a unique opportunity here. Sculpture programs are popping up all over the country, but CityArt stands out because we showcase a wide variety of sculptures from all over the world, including Africa, Italy and Canada.” Learn more. Go>
Download City Art Sculpture Tour Guide Go>
Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride
The newest form of public art in Mankato is poetry posted on signs in our numerous parks and along our miles of recreational trails. The Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride offers a creative outlet for poets of all ages while encouraging citizens to get out and get active. Learn More. Go>
Download Map Go>
Mankato On the Move Audio Tour
Enhance your experience of the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour with the Mankato On the Move Audio Tour. Just look for the QR codes on plaques and signs along the various tours. There are also phone numbers you can call to hear the tours. You can use your cell phone, smartphone or tablet to listen to information about each specific portion of the tour. Look for the Mankato On the Move Audio Tour Logo. Go>
Mankato Public Art Online Map
Take a virtual tour of all the local public art. This online map shows the Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride, WordWalk, Utility Box Art, CityArt Sculptures and other publicly-accessible art in Mankato and North Mankato.
View Map Go>
Mankato is a regional hub for art and culture. You will find art out in the open on our City Center streets and in a number of established galleries. Take a moment to visit one of Mankato’s art galleries including the historic Carnegie Art Center, the 410 Project and Twin Rivers Council for the Arts.
If you are interested in history, literature or just having fun you’ll find Mankato’s museums to be worth a visit. The Blue Earth County Historical Society operates the Heritage Center Museum, Research Center and Museum Store as well as the Historic R.D. Hubbard House in Mankato. Visit the Betsy-Tacy Houses and bring the classic books of Maud Hart Lovelace to life and get a glimpse into the past. Kids will love to learn in the interactive and hands-on environment of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.
Theater, Theater, Theater
The Mankato area offers a wide variety of options for the theater lover. Minnesota State University, Mankato Theater and Dance has several performances every year. Over 35,000 patrons witness, support, and enjoy the department’s offerings each year, ranking it in the nation’s top one percent of colleges in theater attendance. Other area colleges including Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter also have excellent theater programs. If you want a unique theater experience, The Merely Players Community Theatre brings art to the community through its theatrical performances year round. The Merely Players also offer special performances at local establishments. Be sure to check out the Mankato Playhouse for their fantastic show lineup.
Music & Dance
Enjoy musical and dance performances year round in Mankato. Catch a performance of the Mankato Ballet or Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota. Experience the power of music at a concert by the Mankato Symphony Orchestra or Minnesota Valley Chorale.