All 50 states and more than 90 countries are represented at Kansas State University in Manhattan, infusing the city with a cultural richness than only geographic diversity can create.
The university is a leader and major draw for arts and culture in the area, with new residents in the area pursuing their artistic goals and cultural amenities springing up to satisfy the tastes of the educated crowd. Within the university’s campus is the Beach Museum of Art, a 12-year-old collection of more than 4,500 works of art. The focus of the art is primarily Kansas and the region, and the collection spans historical and contemporary drawings, sketches, prints and paintings. A 15,000-square-foot addition is currently in the planning phase, and construction is expected to commence within two years. The performing arts are also vibrant in Manhattan. T
he Manhattan Arts Center is a facility that presents theater and musical performances and offers classes for adults and children in these disciplines. The center also offers visual arts classes in media such as clay. McCain Auditorium, on the Kansas State campus, attracts many recognizable acts in all performance varieties. Notable recent appearances include Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Music is also an important part of Manhattan’s cultural appeal, and the city hosts numerous festivals each year to showcase talent both local and national.
Kansas State sponsors the annual Little Apple Jazz Festival, which drew more than 2000 people in 2006. In that same vein, the city’s Parks and Recreation department has sponsored the concert series Arts in the Park each summer for more than 30 years, drawing more than 20,000 music lovers some years. Country Stampede Music Festival is a four-day event that draws hundreds of thousands with big names like Faith Hill and Brooks and Dunn.