Nestled in the heart of Minnesota, Brainerd is at the center of regional creativity and cultural richness, with a vibrant performing arts scene captivating locals and visitors alike. From unique venues to lively community events, Brainerd has become a hub for artistic expression, fostering a sense of unity and celebration.

At just about any time of the year, performing arts enthusiasts can find noteworthy performances, locally produced theater, concerts from regional musicians, orchestra, and more.

Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts

Constructed in 2021, the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts is a 1,200-seat performing arts center connected to Brainerd High School. It is located at 602 South 5th Street on the banks of the Mississippi River; Gichi-ziibi means ‘great river’ in Ojibwe. It is a beautiful venue for theater and music performances.

Central Lakes College Performing Arts

The Central Lakes College Performing Arts Center is another gem in Brainerd’s artistic crown. With state-of-the-art facilities and a dynamic calendar of events, this center brings professional productions and student showcases to the community. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, contemporary dance, or experimental theater, the Performing Arts Center has something for everyone. Performances are primarily held at the Chalberg Theater on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College and at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts.

Crossing Arts Alliance

The Crossing Arts Alliance is a 560 member arts organization in Brainerd, MN. Comprised of artists, arts enthusiasts, and interested community members, they hope to inspire and enrich the community for those who create, and those who appreciate the arts. They host more than 17 events per year in their gallery and workshop located in downtown Brainerd. Events include workshops, exhibits, classes, and presentations.

Franklin Arts Center

The Franklin Arts Center, a historic building turned artistic haven, hosts a variety of performances, from intimate plays to energetic musicals. Its cozy atmosphere and commitment to showcasing local talent make it a beloved venue for both performers and spectators. It is also home to a variety of art studios and workshops, plus it is an artist-in-residence.

Community Involvement:

One of the defining characteristics of Brainerd’s performing arts scene is the strong sense of community involvement. Local organizations work tirelessly to engage residents of all ages in the magic of the performing arts. From workshops and classes to community productions, these initiatives encourage participation and collaboration, fostering a sense of unity among Brainerd’s residents. Some of the organizations include:

In Brainerd, the performing arts are more than just entertainment; they are a reflection of the community’s spirit and creativity. As the spotlight continues to shine on local talent and cultural initiatives, Brainerd remains a destination for those seeking the feeling that only live performances can provide. So, whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or a newcomer to the world of performing arts, Brainerd, MN, invites you to join in the celebration of creativity, expression, and art of its cultural landscape.

For a list of what’s happening, visit our calendar of events or sign-up to receive the Weekend Round-up newsletter delivered to your email inbox each Wednesday.