Mankato arts and cultureVisit Mankato
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. Take a 360° virtual tour.
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>
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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>
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.
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.
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 (360° virtual tour) .
Customize your Mankato arts and culture experience with the online directory below.
Minnesota State University, Mankato | Mankato, MN 56001
The University's Department of Theatre and Dance presents numerous performances each year. Theatrical productions include several works in both the Mainstage and Studio seasons each school year, as well as four Highland Summer Theatre productions. The performances are staged in either the Andreas Theatre or the Ted Paul Theatre on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus.
Bethany Lutheran College is a private, residential, Christian, liberal arts college owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The fifty-acre campus overlooks the Minnesota River Valley in Mankato, Minnesota, a community of approximately fifty thousand people.
The Blue Earth County Historical Society is a community non-profit organization that boasts two public facilities in Mankato: the Blue Earth County History Center & Museum and Historic R.D. Hubbard House. The Blue Earth County History Center & Museum is located at 424 Warren Street and features an interactive history museum dedicated to the rich heritage of Blue Earth County, a fully staffed Research Center for historians and genealogists, and a great book and gift shop featuring unique local items such as Marian Anderson fine art prints. The History Center & Museum is open year-round Tuesday-Saturday; admission charged. The Historic R.D. Hubbard House, located at 606 S. Broad Street, is a historic house museum chronicling the life and times of Mankato flour mill entrepreneur R.D. Hubbard in the late 1800s. The Hubbard’s home was the first private residence in Mankato to have indoor plumbing, electricity and a telephone; and stands as one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture and design in Minnesota. Walk-in guided tours are available seasonally May – September; admission charged.
The Carnegie Art Center opens new shows every month. The gallery and gift shop are open Thursday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exhibitions are always free to the public.
The Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota is full of opportunities for discovery, development, and hands-on play. The Museum is many things: a mission, a place, and an organization -- but it is entirely devoted to serving children, families, and the greater community. Come play in the indoor and outdoor exhibits and enjoy hands-on play for all ages.
Mankato, MN 56001
The CityArt Walking Sculpure Tour is a walking tour in the CIty Center of Mankato and North Mankato. The walking tour features 34 sculptures with a variety of styles, types, materials and sizes.
1400 Madison Avenue Suite 202 | Mankato, MN 56001
The Dance Conservatory provides a structured, positive environment to learn the art of dance, and provide recitals to the public.
Dance classes of all sorts for all ages available, with regular recitals.
Minnesota Farm Interpretive Center has three equipped farmsteads plus over 240 acres of crops span the time and technology of agriculture. See first hand what it was like to break the prairie soil to grow small grains that evolved into today's commercial crop production. In addition, both heritage/heirloom crops and livestock are grown along with the most advanced genetics developed to date. You can just simply have fun, experiencing the outdoors on a farm with a picnic as you wander the time path into the past. Volunteers are always needed. It is good way to relax, feel good and learn new skills whether it be in animal care, crop production, gardening or just messing with old tractors and equipment.