Arts and Culture
Arts, Music and Culture: Unexpectedly Awesome and Accessible.
St. Joseph is close to Kansas City and Omaha, but residents and visitors don’t need to travel for top-notch arts and culture. Thirteen arts organizations are members of the Allied Arts Council, offering everything from open air painting to award-winning community theater. St. Joseph has its own complete symphony, a local tradition that entertains and inspires across venues including historic cathedrals and a true architectural gem — the art-deco 1927 Missouri Theater. Special exhibits and professionally-led, year-round courses are offered at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Season after season, arts and music events like the St. Patrick’s Mexican Fiesta, Parties on the Parkway, Sounds of Summer at Felix Street Square and the Coleman Hawkins jazz and blues festivals demonstrate this truth: St. Joe has its own unique arts voice, and we’re speaking it loud and clear.
For a great directory of shops, dining & nightlife, arts & culture and more with addresses and contact info, see the linked St. Joseph Convention and Visitor Bureau pages.
AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCE ARTS
Few theater venues can inspire the reaction of entering the historic 1927 Missouri Theatre … and looking up. One of the last remaining elaborate art-deco theaters, this structure in the heart of downtown St. Joseph is painted to resemble an ancient theater in Greece and boasts one of the nation’s only suspended ceilings. Our award-winning Robidoux Resident Theatre performs here and in other fascinating venues, including the new Ruby Theater. The Performing Arts Association brings a list of exciting and diverse shows to St. Joseph each year, from Broadway to comedy. Children’s theater draws students from across the state, for both summer and year-long programs … and this is just the start of the uncommon theater resources you’ll find in St. Joseph.
WELCOME TO ARTS AND ARTS EDUCATION
What surprises people about the arts in St. Joseph? Lots of things, but especially the breadth of opportunities. For adults, classes and workshops in professional photography, illustration, painting and more are offered at the expansive Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. (Members’ pieces are showcased in an impressive annual exhibit.) Children can enroll in arts enrichment classes and workshops as well, throughout the year, learning from professional arts educators in hands-on studios. The Allied Arts Council hosts Artscape each August, a one-week immersive course in subjects like sculpture, painting, drawing and metal work in the studios at Missouri Western State University. Across the city, you’ll see that local art exhibits abound, across venues including Pony Espresso, Mosaic Life Care and more. The new Downtown Sculpture Walk and mural collection gives guests and residents a chance to contemplate and explore art in even more forms.
The arts are alive in St. Joseph, welcoming individuals, couples and families to be part of the experience. Our downtown First Saturday events are a festival-like atmosphere, with local businesses showcasing unique items, food and art. Every Friday night in the summer, you can park yourself on a picnic blanket at Felix Street Square to enjoy great local bands, food and beverages. The Pony Express Pumpkinfest is another arts and culture festival, highlighting both our rich history and the diverse talent we offer today. Don’t miss the annual Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival, paying homage to the great St. Joseph-born musician himself. The Celtic Street Fest, St. Patrick’s Mexican Fiesta, Southside Fall Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and more create an artsy atmosphere full of memories and moments you just can’t find anywhere else.
RRT has provided our kids with the ability to perform in front of a large crowd and completely has brought them both out of the shells they were in early in lifeChristina Johnson