New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago may be this country's cultural
meccas, but that doesn't mean they're the only cities where you can
check out the next big thing (or the already famous). Here are a few
smaller cities that offer a big dose of culture.
Maybe it's all that "Minnesota nice" that prevents this city from
tooting its horn as loudly as its bigger cultural brethren, but this
Midwest gem definitely has plenty to brag about.
Visitors can get their theater on at regional giants like The Guthrie
and The Minneapolis Children's Theater Company. Or hit up smaller
venues like The Jungle Theater, Mixed Blood or Workhaus Collective.
Minneapolis also has a historic music scene that birthed greats like
Prince and The Replacements. Catch old favorites and up-and-comers at
the iconic First Avenue, the Fine Line Music Cafe and the Varsity
Don't forget to stop by the Walker Art Center. Considered one of "the
big five" contemporary art museums in America, its indoor collection
and outdoor sculpture garden are a must see.
"KCMO" is home to one of the most concentrated art districts in the
nation. Officially dubbed The Crossroads, this neighborhood is home to
more than 400 artists and 100 independent studios as well as numerous
retail shops and restaurants. Make sure to check out the First Fridays
art walk when area galleries open their doors to curious patrons.
Their music scene is also of note, thanks to venues like The Riot
Room and events such as Middle of the Map Fest and Dancefestopia. There
you can catch local, lesser known bands alongside national headliners.
This tiny town in West Texas is a
hot spot for art tourism thanks to artist Donald Judd, who founded the
Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum with several large-scale
installations of note. Marfa is also home to Ballroom Marfa, a
contemporary venue that supports local and international artists in art,
music and film.
Speaking of film, the Marfa Film Festival boasts
open-air screenings and impromptu music performances — something you
rarely see on the circuit. You may even catch a glimpse of Marfa's famed
mystery lights — blue, red and white lights that appear at random along
the nighttime horizon.
ArtPlace America recently named this Wisconsin city one of
"America's Top 12 Art Places," citing the city's historic Third Ward
neighborhood. This area is home to numerous galleries, theaters and
music venues. Don't miss special events like Gallery Night and Day (a
local art walk) and the Summer Sizzle (a music festival).