Winona's Arts Organizations and Venues
Music Cafes and Restaurants
Winona has multiple music venues in restaurants and bars scattered between the bluffs. All types of music can be found from String Quartets to Alternative Rock. Visit each link above for a current listing of music and other events coming up.
The “Blue Heron Consort” performs Medieval and Renaissance Sacred Vocal and Holiday Music. The ensemble’s annual Christmas program is a Winona holiday tradition, recognized for providing Sacred Medieval and Renaissance music for the Christmas season. The vocal ensemble often features a program of Sacred Music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Gregorian Chant, Medieval Carols and other holiday music. The artistic director of the ensemble is David Lee Echelard.
The Bunnell House was built in the late 1850’s. It is Gothic Revival in style and is probably based on a design by Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852). Downing, whose designs were very popular in the mid 1800’s, believed that houses should blend with the landscape. The Bunnell House illustrates his description of the Rural Gothic style, whose “outlines are highly picturesque and harmonious with nature.” Many families occupied this riverside cottage before it was acquired by the Winona County Historical Society in 1954.It is open for tours June through August.
A social action initiative of the First Congregational Church, Cafe Congo presents a series of free will offering events. They promise good music, good events, good cause, and a good time. Events range from jazz, to classical, to vocal music, from original plays to readings of new poems and short stories to stand-up comedy.
Hurry Back Productions, established in 2017, is a nonprofit organization which exists to provide performing arts, cultural and educational programming, as well as to help promote the arts in Winona and the surrounding areas.
The Highway 61 Concert Series is held at the historic St. Cecilia Theater on the campus of Cotter Schools. In 2017, the theater underwent a major renovation, boasting excellent sight-lines and acoustics and seats 408 patrons. The spacious lobby area features beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage sales before and during all performances.
Follow Hurry Back on Facebook for information on upcoming events, concerts, and more.
A local craft brewery that houses many music and cultural events. Island City’s vision is to make their taproom a landmark and gathering place for family, friends, and neighbors in our community. To promote positive beer culture and responsible enjoyment. To provide a place of learning for novices and advanced beer drinkers alike, with a welcoming atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and educational opportunities. To support and give back to fellow makers and members of our local community. To contribute to the craft industry through sharing and collaboration. To remain grateful to be doing what they love. They aim to share and foster that love with an ever-widening community, and to give back to the community that supports
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts exists to provide quality arts education and performance by nurturing and encouraging artistic expression in children and adults. Our service to the community ranges from recreational to pre-professional performing and visual arts curriculum and programming designed to provide physical and aesthetic benefits, heightened self-respect, discipline, and confidence.
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) is an inspiring and exciting experience. MMAM exhibits 8 or more historical and contemporary exhibitions, and hosts educational experiences for thousands of people each year. The Museum's exhibitions and programs are inspired by one of the highest quality collections of art in the country. The Museum's initial collections focused on traditional marine or maritime art, however, through a collection on long-term loan, today MMAM is home to a large variety of the greatest European and American masters. MMAM is the public home to masterpieces by Turner, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cassatt, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, O'Keeffe, Homer, and many more. It is through this surprising diversity that the Museum is not only describing what marine art is, but pushing the boundaries of what marine art can be.
No Name Bar (formerly Ed’s No Name Bar)
A Winona legend for music lovers, since 2007, They have offered carefully curated beer, cocktails, art, and entertainment. If choice is what you crave, No Name Bar, A.K.A. Ed's No Name Bar, is the place to be in Winona.
Home to both student and professional performing and visual arts events including The Page Series. The Page Series offers entertainment for music, theatre, and dance lovers alike. They have recently expanded their programming to introduce the all-new Driftless Dance Festival. Their Page Series Community Programs offer opportunities to learn a new art form or hone skills in workshops and classes led by visiting artists; discover cultural traditions through artist talks and demonstrations; and even perform side-by-side with the professionals.
The Performing Arts Center at Winona State University is the home of the Theatre and Dance and Music Departments as well as the summer venue for the Great River Shakespeare Festival.
There are three performance spaces, the Vivian Fusillo (proscenium) Theatre, Dorothy B. Magnus Black Box Theatre, and the Recital Hall.
From its community collaborative space, Public Launch, in downtown Winona, Minnesota, Art of the Rural has offered over 70 events and 10 exhibitions freely to the region. Public Launch, was an evolution of its mission to contribute toward the conditions for community problem-solving and long-term cultural exchange through its Winona space. Art of the Rural welcomed Engage Winona as an equal partner and collaborator in the building, creating opportunities for Art of the Rural to work in collaboration with the intentional community facilitation of Engage Winona, a non-profit organization that has catalyzed a wide range of partnerships toward a vision of a more equitable community.
The mission of the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit, interpret and disseminate the heritage of the Kashubian Polish Culture. It resides in a three-story building built in 1890 by the Laird-Norton Lumber Company. It also maintains Winona’s Kashubian Polish traditions through events and other initiatives. The Polish Museum building was built in 1890 by the Laird-Norton Lumber Company located on the S.E. corner of Second and Liberty Streets in Winona. Purchased in 1977 by Rev. Paul J. Breza, it is now instrumentality for exhibition of Polish immigrant history. The upper floor of the museum also houses archives of the Diocese of Winona.
River Arts Alliance supports and celebrates regional arts and culture by organizing educational programs, community events, and public art projects while promoting opportunities for artists and facilitating collaborations between organizations in the Winona region. RAA sponsors a variety of local public art projects, such as Family Art Day (pictured) and the HBC Fence Project. It also pursues grants to enable the organization to collaborate with local government and community organizations to feature public art to enhance Winona.
The Finest Private Collection of Vintage Drag Race Cars in the Midwest! The Collection includes Original HEMI and Max Wedge Race Cars, featuring the Clark Rand Original Race Car Collection and a Rare Exotic Go Cart and Vintage Bicycle Collections. The collections are open by appointment only, but are one of a kind and well worth making the call to visit.
Treedome Productions is a music and arts production studio in Winona, MN. Founded in Sept. 2016, Treedome started as a group of friends seeking an outlet for creative ideas with a passion for music. As a small team, they set out to make Treedome a community arts organization, moving from the back of a record shop to creating a warm studio space in Downtown Winona after receiving the first WSU Innovate Challenge Award. On any day, they’re busy booking shows, making music videos, recording tracks, running their record store, and hosting community events like their block party, Shut Down Third Stree. In 2019 they received the Meow Wolf DIY Fund grant for non-conformist art spaces, one of only 4 awarded in MN.
The Watkins Museum & Store offers visitors a view into the Company’s 149 year history with displays of old products, advertising, photographs and other memorabilia. The museum offers free admission and is connected to the Watkins Store that sell over 350 different Watkins products including Watkins Vanilla and Watkins Liniment. While there visit the lobby of the Watkins Company offices around the corner, an architectural historic building with beautiful stained glass windows.
The Watkins Art Gallery hosts student, faculty, and visiting artist exhibits in a gallery setting which includes a first floor main gallery, top level viewing area, and a reception area. The Watkins Gallery aims to bring together the Winona State University community with local Winona and Minnesota artists. Our aim as an organization is to create an open space of creativity for students, artists, and those within the Winona community.
The Winona County Historical Society is a private non-profit educational institution, and our mission is to be dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of materials that document the history of Winona County. The Society currently has over 1400 members and 60 active business supporters. The Society operates three museums. The Winona County History Center in downtown Winona houses the main museum facility, Laird Lucas Library and Archives, Society offices and program and event spaces. The Bunnell House is located in Homer and the Rural Heritage Museum is on the Winona County Fairgrounds in Saint Charles. Exhibits in the downtown Center examine life in Winona as lived by both lumber baron and laborer. The encircling balcony gallery — once an exercise track — houses the “County Time-Line” exhibit, which begins with the area’s unique geologic formation and a superb collection of Native Americana.
Founded in 1908 by eminent composer Carl Ruggles, the Winona Symphony Orchestra is the oldest arts organization in Southeast Minnesota. With a mission “To provide enriching encounters with classical music through professional performances and educational outreach”, WSO has historically offered three symphonic concerts each season including their popular Children’s Concert for area schools and students. Proudly featuring some of the area’s finest professional musicians, the symphony is under the direction of Dr. Erik Rohde, music professor at University of Northern Iowa and prominent violinist and conductor.
After seven women spent the summer of 1956 painting together at the Lake Park Lodge, they formed the Winona Art Group. These women planted the seed that was to grow into the Winona Arts Center, which became a non-profit 501-c3 organization in 1964. The Center’s historic 1864 structure, built when Abraham Lincoln was President was the only non-school facility in the area devoted to the arts. The name was later changed to The Winona Arts Center to signify the inclusion of all art forms. WAC is committed to increasing community awareness of the arts by featuring work of visual artists, providing space for performances, readings, films and encouraging participation in workshops, demonstrations, and classes, for children and adults in our community. For the benefit of both art enthusiasts and artists, the upper level of the building contains the Frances Prentiss Lucas Gallery, performance stage and screening area. The Arts Center’s lower level houses a studio for classes including the RiverBed Press print studio, and their administrative office.
The band is comprised of 25 brass players and three percussionists from Winona and the surrounding area, including Wisconsin and Iowa. Under the direction of Dr. Richard Lindner, the Winona Brass Band continues to delight audiences with its variety of music programming, impressive technical flourishes and vibrant musicality.
The Winona Hims are dedicated to the quality singing of gospel, patriotic, and other music, both old and new, for the purpose of uplifting and encouraging God's people. We are a not-for-profit organization which delights in dedicating all profits realized from our efforts to charities and needy individuals in the greater Winona area. Representing a variety of churches in the Winona area, we are a group of men that band together with one purpose: the common enjoyment of singing gospel music. It is our goal to sing for church services, charity events, and benefits an average of once per month. Our membership is comprised of men from all ages and walks of life.
The Winona Municipal Band in Winona, Minnesota celebrated it’s centennial year in 2015! It is the oldest continually performing city band west of the Mississippi River. The Band season runs from June through August on Wednesdays from 8:00 – 9:00pm at Winona’s historic bandshell in Lake Park.