Community theatre and arts are alive in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In Grand Rapids, the creative spirit is ignited by the incredible natural surroundings. Inspiration surges forth with each new discovery of the wonders of nature. The changing seasons provide an endlessly shifting palette of enlightening experience.
It is an environment which encourages and inspires artists, in fact, draws them into the Grand Rapids area. The rich natural heritage of this Minnesota community is thus additionally enhanced with exceptional opportunities to become involved with the arts & culture of the area.
Outstanding venues offer visitors a chance to see a wide variety of exhibits and performances, both indoors and out. Musicians, sculptors, painters, performance artists, potters, jewelers, textile artists, photographers and more, add depth and understanding to the community.
Artistic, historical and cultural events fill the city calendar with frequent opportunities to view, hear, observe or participate in the arts. The small town atmosphere provides for relaxed discussions and easy access. Many artists are available to share their insights and talents.
Absorb the inspiration, and the results of inspiration, in the works of local area artisans. We welcome you to come experience the many year round theatre and arts offerings and options, and don’t be surprised when you find even more as you stroll the streets of Grand Rapids Minnesota.
The Reif Center
Since 1981 the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center has provided Minnesota’s northland with a truly diverse range of world-class performances. For a city of its size, Grand Rapids, Minnesota stands apart for its support of dance, theater, music, and popular entertainment. As a result of years of dreams, dedication, and hard work – people throughout Northern Minnesota have had the opportunity to enjoy some of the best talent in the world. Nearly 45 years ago, the dream began with a group known as the Performing Arts Council. Concurrently, groups such as the Grand Rapids Players, Grand Rapids Showboat, Blandin Chorus, and others have helped to bring performing arts to the forefront in the region. The very existence of the Reif Center today, is a testimony to the community support that has, and continues to nurture and provide a stage for performing arts in Northern Minnesota.
The Reif Center brings world class entertainment to Grand Rapids. The location of the theatre is attached to the Grand Rapids High School. The Reif Center theatre building exterior reflects and is complemented by the northwoods trees, nearby forest trails and natural lakes. This gives visitors a welcoming natures welcome. The Reif Center has year round performances and exhibits. In 2015 The Reif Center will undergo a complete remodel starting in the spring. They will be holding spring performances off site at other theatre locations throughout the Grand Rapids area. For a complete listing of performance, check out The Reif Center website.
Grand Rapids Players
The Grand Rapids Players mission is to strengthen, enhance and perpetuate community by initiating, sponsoring, providing and promoting theater preforming arts and education in the community and surrounding areas. The Grand Rapids Players stay busy all year long. From our spring musical and the Judy Garland Festival to out Summer Childrens Theater workshop, Dinner Theater and our Holiday production.
The Grand Rapids Players try to put on a fall and spring performance. Their upcoming spring 2015 performance is Young Frankenstein. In true Mel Brooks humor, the Grand Rapids Players present Young Frankenstein”, directed by John Schroeder. This award-winning Broadway musical tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a neurosurgeon, who has spent his life living down the legend of his grandfather. When he discovers his grandfather’s diary, he returns to the family castle to satisfy his curiosity. In replicating his ancestor’s experiments, he creates one very unique monster. Tickets are available at Reed Drug, the Reif Box Office and online at www.reifcenter.org. 7:30 performances are Feb. 13,14, 20 with at 2:00 matinee on Feb. 22. Made possible in part through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from the arts and cultural heritage funds. Underwritten by the Blandin Foundation and Lakes Area Credit Union. PG13 Tickets are $15/person. Available at the door, or at Reif Center Box Office by calling: 218-327-5780. Held at The Reif Center (720 NW Conifer Drive, Grand Rapids, MN 55744)
Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program
The Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program is Directed by Tara Makinen. The Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program (IOSP), as a nonprofit, provides opportunities to hear, learn and perform orchestral music for the youth and adults in Itasca County.
Itasca Orchestra will perform their winter concert featuring Aleks Tengesdal playing the Dvorak Cello Concerto on Saturday, February 21st from 7:30pm – 9:30pm at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (315 SW 21st Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744). For more information check out the Itasca Orchestra website. Their Spring Concert is Saturday, May 16th from 7:30pm-9:30pm at the Greenway Auditorium (308 Roosevelt Ave, Coleraine, MN 55722).
The UnCommon Loons Theatre Company produces original productions in unorthodox spaces. In November 2014 they began a three month residency in Old Central School, located in the center of downtown Grand Rapids, to work on putting together our original show Ziibi for the Mississippi Showboat stage in summer of 2015.
ziibi is the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe word for river. It’s the ‘ssippi’ in ‘Mississippi’. Ziibi means river.
What is Ziibi in our context? Ziibi is an upcoming spectacular theatrical production that celebrates life on the river. This is idea we’ve paddling around for some time… since last winter/spring, actually. We were looking at doing Ziibi for summer 2014, but we already had a Shakespeare in the Park project in the wings; with the scope of this adventure we wanted plenty of time to pull it all together. Ziibi is a show that we are creating as a new production on the Showboat stage. Grand Rapids Showboat is approaching its 60th anniversary and its amphitheater built right on the banks of the Mississippi is a rare treasure. Showboat is ready for a rebirth and we will be celebrating life on the river with a variety show called Ziibi. We like to describe Ziibi as Lion King on Broadway meets Moulin Rouge meets Cirque du Soleil meets Showboat. It will be a variety show with a lot of spectacle. Song and dance, yes, but also large-scale puppetry, colorful costumes and banners, a wild storyline, and a lot of visual and aural candy. As the name begs, we are also looking to collaborate with some Anishinaabe artists/performers.
MacRostie Arts Center
MacRostie Art Center (MAC) was formed in 1960 as the Itasca Art Association (IAA), a loosely organized painters’ club, with a primary interest in watercolor. In 1991, Ruth MacRostie made a gift of the building at the corner of 1st Avenue NW and 4th Street. With the addition of crucial start-up funding from the Blandin Foundation, IAA decided to change its name to MacRostie Art Center, both to commemorate Ms. MacRostie’s generosity and to reflect institutional maturity. The MAC’s declared goal to become an art center had important implications for programming and outreach.
MacRostie Art Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to community growth through the arts in northern Minnesota. The MAC exists to support and advance the work of professional artists in our region and build a community that recognizes, appreciates and celebrates art. We believe that art is central to the quality of life in northern Minnesota – as it is everywhere – and that the artists who create, sell, and exhibit art play a vital role in society. Art is not a luxury, but an important engine for economic growth and community development.
With these values at our core, MacRostie Art Center presents exhibitions, workshops, classes, festivals, lectures, and other activities to engage the community in the arts. We support artists by providing a well-established venue for exhibition and sale of work. We work to keep the arts visible as a defining part of the community. The MacRostie Art Center partners with the Itasca Area Community Education to offer year round art classes to all ages. You can view their listings at: www.getlearning.org
The MacRostie Arts Center has monthly exhibits to come and experience for FREE. Their exhibits for February 2015 are: Family Ties, that is sponsored by North Homes Children and Family Services. MacRostie Art Center is celebrating families who share the tradition of visual arts with a group exhibition. Artworks from multiple artists will be displayed side-by-side with their family members’ artworks. The other exhibit is the Ophelia Project by Susan Hensel, sponsored by the MacRostie Art Center Board of Directors. The Ophelia Project tells a story about female power and shame that is embedded in a male-dominated culture. It is about the compromises and conformities we commit in order to advance our lives, to stay alive, and to do what we need to do as women. This project seeks to discover female authenticity.
Grand Rapids Showboat Inc.
The Grand Rapids Mississippi Showboat , Inc. mission is to strengthen friendship, family, and fun for the enrichment and benefit of the community while preserving the integrity of Showboat. The Grand Rapids Showboat, also known as the Mississippi Melodie Showboat, has been performing on the Mississippi River edge for 60 years. This year the Showboat will be partnering with UnCommon Loons to bring new performances to the Showboat stage the summer of 2015. Check out the Showboat Facebook page for more information to come.
Grand Rapids is a robust community where the creative nature is reflective in the community spirit. Come experience for yourself. Come for the art and stay for the beauty of nature that surround Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids has wonderful lodging options with stunning views, full amenities and unique shopping and dining. We welcome you to experience Grand Rapids Community Theatre and Arts. For more information check out Visit Grand Rapids or call to speak to a Travel Information Specialist at 218-327-9607 or 1-800-355-9740.