Arts & Entertainment
If you’re looking for a dose of arts and culture, Northfield, Minnesota might be the best small town to visit to get your fix. Northfield is home to many museums, galleries, and performance spaces, both in our vibrant downtown and at our two renowned colleges. And with a great local art community, it’s no wonder why people from all corners of the country enjoy the cultural offerings of our creative town.
Music at Carleton
Compared to its neighbor across town, Carleton may not seem like a music powerhouse, but a third of all Carleton students are involved in musical activities, and musical events jam the campus calendar, to the tune of 150 concerts per year. Performances by student groups and guest musicians are nearly always free and open to the public.
Music at St. Olaf
Recitals, concerts and other musical events happen almost daily on the beautiful St. Olaf College campus, including the nationally televised St. Olaf Christmas Festival. St. Olaf is home to six choirs, two bands, and two full orchestras — including the internationally acclaimed St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra.
Grand Event Center
Northfield’s historic event facility and reception hall frequently offers musical acts and other shows for your enjoyment.
316 Washington St.
Downtown Music Venues
Live music can be found almost every day of the week in downtown Northfield, From Nordic, Irish, jazz, and bluegrass jam sessions to piano balladeers and original indie rock, you’ll find a thriving music scene in Music City, Minnesota. The Contented Cow hosts performers at their indoor or outdoor stage nearly every evening, and you’ll find the Tavern Lounge, Froggy Bottoms, and the Rueb & Stein rocking most weekend nights.
Check our calendar of events for listings.
Northfield Arts Guild Galleries
The Arts Guild’s downtown Center for the Arts includes two main-floor exhibition spaces, with a dance studio and additional exhibition space upstairs. All exhibits are free and open to the public. The Guild also sponsors satellite galleries all over town, including the Archer House hotel, Allina clinic, Tandem Bagels, and even F-Town Brewing in Faribault!
304 Division St.
Flaten Art Museum
St. Olaf’s Flaten Art Museum hosts exhibits of regional, national, and international significance. The college’s permanent collection includes more than 4,000 paintings, fine art prints, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, graphic arts, and textiles from around the world.
Dittmann Center, St. Olaf College
Perlman Teaching Museum
At approximately 2,500 objects, the Carleton College art collection comprises about 700 prints, nearly 650 contemporary photographs and paintings, sculptures and other artifacts of intrinsic beauty and technical interest. The Perlman Teaching Museum’s two galleries host major exhibitions throughout the academic year, while other spaces throughout the Weitz Center display a constantly-rotating plethora of visual delights.
320 East Third St.
Kelsey Theater and Haugen Theater
The St. Olaf Theater Department produces five mainstage productions—from classics to modern experimental works—as well as a one-act play festival each year. The campus’s two public performance spaces include the 348-seat Kelsey Theater and the 110-seat Haugen Theater.
St. Olaf College
Weitz Center Theater & Little Nourse Theater
These two theaters are located on the Carleton College campus. The 250-seat Weitz Center Theater can be configured into a traditional proscenium, a thrust stage, a black-box theater, or whatever a production requires, and the 96-seat Nourse Little Theater is an experimental theater with traditional seating.
Northfield Arts Guild Theater
Northfield Arts Guild Theater presents a year-round season of lively musicals, entertaining comedies and heartwarming dramas. This is a community theater, meaning that local talent makes it all happen! The 118-seat venue is an intimate setting perfect for music, theater, and other community events.
411 W. Third St.
Dittman Center Dance Studios
St. Olaf’s Dittman Center has three beautiful dance studios that showcase the work of students, faculty, and visiting dancers and choreographers.
Weitz Center Dance Studio
Carleton’s Weitz Center includes two dance studios that serve as instructional, rehearsal, and performance spaces, with a 100-seat retractable seating unit and full light grid, making them uniquely inviting for guest artists and touring productions. Visitors can look forward to witnessing choreographic collaborations with the Twin Cities arts community and visiting artists from around the world.
320 East Third St.