5 Fantastic Cultural Institutions In Minnesota

From museums to orchestras to community radio stations, there are plenty of organizations throughout Minnesota that are dedicated to celebrating and supporting art and culture. Here, in no particular order, are a few groups that educate and inspire people in the North Star State.

First up, at #1, we have the Minnesota Orchestra, which aims to enrich, inspire, and serve the local community through symphony music. Since it was founded in 1903, the group has performed for local audiences, recorded and broadcast music, and toured internationally in Australia, Europe, South Africa, and more.

The orchestra partners with the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association in order to give children and teenagers the opportunity to attend performances and learn to appreciate classical music. Adults and children alike can also benefit from FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra, which offers social and educational events.

In the #2 spot is the Minnesota Museum of American Art, located in downtown St. Paul. Working to explore American identities and experiences through art and creativity, the M showcases a wide variety of works in order to connect to a diverse array of patrons.

Past exhibitions have explored topics ranging from the African American community to the COVID-19 pandemic. The permanent collection showcases the voices of American artists from the 19th century to the present.

For #3, we have the Minnesota Humanities Center. The group's mission is to bring people together to increase understanding and spark change. Through its Community Conversations program, the organization invites the public to attend events that are both fascinating and challenging, addressing topics ranging from true crime to racial justice.

The center also works with K-12 education, helping educators, students, and parents achieve success. Offerings include professional development workshops, educator resources, and immersive field trip experiences.

Next up, at #4, we have the Minnesota Zoo, which opened in 1978 with a mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. Exhibits allow guests to learn about animal species around the globe and their habitats.

The zoo works to conserve local Minnesota wildlife, from moose and bison to endangered prairie butterflies. It also offers resources for educators, such as kid-friendly science journals and downloadable curricula.

Finally, at #5, is Ampers, a group of community radio stations throughout Minnesota. Each station is programmed by and for their specific community. The programming serves and teaches others about underserved populations including communities of color, new immigrants, Native Americans, and rural areas not served by traditional media.

Programming covers a range of topics that are of interest to listeners throughout the state. The radio series Veterans' Voices explores the knowledge, experience and leadership of Minnesota service members. Minnesota Music Notes celebrates noteworthy songs, artists, and musical performances from the area. Take Control of Your Health is a series of short segments aimed at helping people make changes to improve their own health.