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Best Ways To Support Minnesota's Local Art Scene

By Cortney Mohnk

The Twin Cities and greater Minnesota are a haven for talented artists. From musicians to potters, from dancers to painters – our state is proud to own this local art scene. Show your support by investing in those who make our state rich with creativity. Whether you are looking to attend a performance, purchase a handmade greeting card or commission a sculpture, here are some of the best ways to back local artists.

Austin ArtWorks Center
300 N. Main St.
Austin, MN 55912
(507) 434-0934

The ArtWorks Center supports and showcases local artists with ties to the Austin, Minnesota area.  A public clay studio, two art galleries, a retail space, lounge and classroom all inhabit the three-floors of the center. Over 100 artists sell their hand-made goods here Tuesdays through Saturdays. The center also hosts the two-day ArtWorks Festival every August which highlights performing, literary and visual art in downtown Austin.

Northeast Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 788-1679

Art-A-Whirl is an annual open studio tour throughout Northeast Minneapolis. 2018 will mark the 23rd year of this much-anticipated event and it has become the largest tour of its kind in the U.S. This is your chance to meet more than 600 local artists in over 50 locations and to view or purchase their original artwork. The 2018 tour runs May 18-20 and is free to the public.

Grand Marais Arts Festival
Grand Marais Harbor
Grand Marais, MN 55604
(218) 387-2737

The Grand Marais Art Colony hosts a two-day festival beginning July 14, 2018 that showcases more than 70 area artists. View the handcrafts along the backdrop of Lake Superior and learn from the artists themselves as they give you a glimpse into their process and technique. Past artwork has included ceramics, photography, woodwork, jewelry and paintings. This event is free to the public and popular with out-of-towners so book your overnight stays in advance.

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RAAS MSP Local Market
60 E. Broadway, Floor 2 W.
Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 883-8800

If you are out and about at the Mall of America, know that there are a variety of stores that support local artistry and products that you can shop at. One such store features 24 mini shops within its walls. At RAAS MSP, you can peruse the artwork of Minnesota painters, purchase handcrafted leather goods from Twin Cities artisans or pick up one-of-a-kind ceramics from local crafters. Artists are featured here for a limited time each.

Penumbra Theatre
270 N. Kent St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-3180

The Penumbra Theatre has been highlighting the African American experience through the theatre since 1976. Not only does the Penumbra put on dynamic stage performances regularly, but they also produce workshops and other special events and educational programs that spur the dialogue on racism. Upcoming shows include The Wiz and This Bitter Earth. Discounted tickets are available for Wednesday performances as well as for students and seniors.

Related: Best Places To See Indie Rock In Minnesota


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