Fargo, ND Arts Scene: Theaters, Galleries, Music and Museums

By Pamela Coyle on August 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm EST
Bluestem Center for the Arts in Moorhead, MN

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Conti

The Plains Art Museum is the single largest art museum between Minneapolis and Seattle.

In Fargo, concert venues draw top musical acts, while theaters set the stage for live performances and museums and galleries showcase artful creations. Fun annual festivals round out the area's many entertainment options.

Museums and Galleries

From the building itself to rotating exhibits and its permanent collection, the Plains Art Museum is the single largest art museum between Minneapolis and Seattle. The educational offerings include state-of-the-art printmaking, landscape painting and a clay camp for children.

Aviation lovers may enjoy the Fargo Air Museum, which is home to a collection that includes the world's only flying Super Corsair and a classic used for World War II recon, a Beech Staggerwing.

And with more than 50 exhibits, the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm will keep little ones entertained for hours. Housed in an 1876 brick home, the museum has been lauded by Child magazine as one of the best in the nation.

Focusing on regional and international artistic heritage and cultural traditions, the Rourke Art Gallery Museum includes a permanent collection of pieces from artists such as Andy Warhol and Leonard Baskin, as well as temporary exhibitions from new and established artists.

The Spirit Room includes a gallery with works created by local artists, such as paintings, photographs and calligraphy, and offers classes in dance, yoga, meditation and tai chi. In addition, the venue provides studio space for artists, hosts literary events and concerts, and features other special events.

Downtown art galleries Gallery 4, Ltd. and Ecce, both located on Broadway Avenue, enrich Fargo's artsy types. Founded in 1975, Gallery 4 Ltd. features original paintings, drawings and sculptures created by local artists. Ecce, a community arts center, showcases the works of local and regional artists and offers yoga classes.

Performing Arts

To enjoy a Broadway series show, look no further than the Gate City Bank Theatre, located inside the Fargodome. Shows such as RentCats and The Sound of Music have been performed at the theater, as well as a variety of popular entertainers including Lorie Line and Mannheim Steamroller.

The Fargo Theatre showcases a mix of speakers, concerts, and foreign and independent films. The venue was used as a cinema and vaudeville theater after it was built in 1926.

Bluestem Center for the Arts hosts concerts and events and also is home to Trollwood Performing Arts School. The Stage at Island Park is a half-round theater that hosts plays, concerts and events. Additionally, the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre puts on several shows a year and offers acting classes for all ages, and Theatre B has an ensemble cast that puts on about four shows annually.

The Fargo Moorhead Ballet also entertains local audiences, performing in shows such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, while the Fargo-Moorhead Opera and Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra offer several concerts each season. Great Plans Harmony, a 50-member men's chorus, performs music in genres such as gospel, barbershop and vocal jazz.

Fargo has drawn plenty of big-name artists, such as Paul McCartney, Pink and Taylor Swift.

For even more live music, head to The Aquarium and Studio 222.


The music scene in Fargo heats up each August as the city sponsors a two-day Blues Festival. During the festival, which has been recognized as one of the best of its kind in the country, 12 bands grace the stage.

In nearby Detroit Lakes, Minn., a favorite summer event is WE Fest, an annual country music festival featuring three days of top acts such as Sugarland and Rascal Flatts on the campgrounds of the Soo Pass Ranch.

The Fargo Film Festival, held each March, showcases nearly 100 movies created by filmmakers from around the United States and beyond.

See more on the arts in Fargo, ND.

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