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 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>
Explore Greater Mankato art with a scavenger hunt. Go>
CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
See and enjoy art out in the open with CityArt. Enjoy the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour with 34 sculptures from artists around the world in mediums ranging from cast iron to molded plastic 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 Mankat 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.
Customize your Mankato arts and culture experience with the online directory below.
731 S. Front St. | Mankato, MN 56001
The Mankato Ballet is dedicated to advancing the art of dance through education, demonstration and public performances. Several perfomances are staged each year.
The Mankato Children's Chorus is open to all youth, 1st through 12th grade. The Chorus holds several concerts each year.
415 Cherry Street | Mankato, MN 56001
As a living legacy, nationally-acclaimed artist, Marian Anderson has donated her entire inventory of fine art prints to the Blue Earth County Historical Society; 100% of the art sales benefit BECHS. Notecards and fine art prints, both framed and unframed, are available to purchase at the Heritage Center Gift Shop or online at www.mariananderson.com. Marian Anderson’s prints can be viewed online or anytime the Blue Earth County Historical Society is open.
201 Performing Arts Center | Mankato, MN 56001 | (507) 389-2118
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.
The Sweet Adelines provide family-friendly entertainment.
The mission of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra is to create emotion-packed, high-quality musical experiences and promote music education in and for South Central Minnesota. Whether providing free music education for thousands of youths in the schools and through our family concerts, entertaining the crowds on the Fourth of July, or giving a symphonic, chamber, or jazz concert, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra is deeply rooted in the community. Over 12,000 people attend a Symphony event in person and another 50,000 hear our radio broadcasts. Routinely praised for its artistic excellence and innovative programming, the Symphony draws performers and audience from all over Southern Minnesota and is often used by employers as a way to recruit highly skilled employees to Mankato.
P.O. Box 5134 | Mankato, MN 56002
The Chorale performs the great works of the Renaissance and Baroque eras as well as folk songs, madrigals and spirituals.