A look at Lansing's fine arts scene

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Greater Lansing has a diverse and immensely deep art scene that can sometimes go unappreciated by those not in the know. There’s everything from jaw-dropping Broadway productions to remarkable local productions.

In the visual arts realm, our area is stacked with talented artists producing trailblazing work in a vast range of mediums. From traditional forms of painting and illustration to cutting-edge sculpture work – our home city really has it all. And let’s also not forget our remarkable local symphony and dance organizations. 

City Pulse has constructed a helpful guide that not only shows you where to go to enjoy top-notch art and awesome performances, but it will also help you stay connected with the scene as it grows and evolves daily and becomes even bigger year after year. If you’re just now looking to dip your toes into Lansing’s unique world of art, this rundown is the perfect place for you to start. 

PERFORMING ARTS

There are several great organizations and venues in Greater Lansing that cater to audiences that enjoy multiple forms of performing arts. Here are some of the organizations and hotspots you should immediately familiarize yourself with. 

Lansing Symphony Orchestra
104 S. Washington Sq., Ste. 300
(517) 487-5001 • lansingsymphony.org

Led by renowned director Timothy Muffitt, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra brings world-class symphonic performances right here to Lansing. If your fine arts itch has you craving great classical music, the LSO will become your headquarters. 

Upcoming events:
Oct. 9, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Gathering Together: Briggs, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing

Oct. 17, Sunday, 3 p.m.
Music for Flute, Oboe, & Piano
Molly Grove Chapel, First Presbyterian Church of Lansing
510 W. Ottawa St., Lansing

Nov. 12, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Lucia Micarelli Plays Sibelius
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing

Dec. 5, Sunday, 3 p.m.
The Element of Surprise
Molly Grove Chapel, First Presbyterian Church of Lansing
510 W. Ottawa St., Lansing

Dec. 19, Sunday, 3 p.m.
Holiday Pops
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing


The Robin Theatre
1105 S. Washington. Ave. Lansing
therobintheatre.com

The Robin Theatre hosts an eclectic range of performance arts. Through its doors you can find anything from live music, original plays, comedy and poetry readings. 

Upcoming events:
Sept. 19, Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
Adam Burke of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”

Sept. 29, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Adrian & Meredith and The Wild Honey Collective 

Oct. 1, Friday, 7 p.m.
Comedian Emma Willmann

Oct. 9, Friday, 8 p.m.
Songwriter Jeff Pianki

Oct. 13, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Songwriter Rachael Davis

Oct. 20, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Songwriter Monte Pride

Oct. 30, Saturday, 9 p.m.
Electronic Duo Crawl Spaces: Devil’s Night Showcase

Nov. 3, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Hip-hop musician MikeyyAustin & The Soulcial Club

Nov. 10, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Folk musician Dixon’s Violin

Nov. 12, Friday, 8 p.m.
Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto

Dec. 2, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Songwriter William Elliot Whitmore

Wharton Center for Performing Arts
750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing
1 (800)-WHARTON
whartoncenter.com

The Wharton Center for Performing attracts some of the best shows Greater Lansing has to offer. From world-famous smash hits like “Hamilton” to stand-up comedy sets from legends such as Steve Martin, the Wharton Center has solid gold coming soon. 

Upcoming events:

Sept. 24, Friday, 7 p.m. & Sept. 26, Sunday, 2 p.m.
“Particle”
Pasant Theatre

Oct. 15, Friday through Oct. 24, Sunday
“A Contemporary American’s Guide to a Successful Marriage 1959”
Pasant Theatre

Oct. 26, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Ballet Hispánico
Cobb Great Hall

Oct. 27, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Rénee Elise Goldsberry
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 3, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Whose Live Anyway
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 4, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
The Finest Hour
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 5, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 6, Saturday, 8 p.m.
Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 7, Sunday, 3 p.m.
Spartan Spectacular
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 10, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
The Klezmatics

Nov. 12, Friday through Nov. 21, Tuesday
“Wendy and the Neckbeards”
Arena Theatre

Nov. 14, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
Southern Journey featuring Ranky Tanky and Dom Flemons
Cobb Great Hall

Nov. 20, Saturday, 8 p.m.
Kristin Chenoweth
Cobb Great Hall

Dec. 1, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Cobb Great Hall

Dec. 2, Thursday through Dec. 5, Sunday
“Together We Will Improvise”
Studio 60 Theatre

Dec. 4, Saturday, 8 p.m.
MSU College of Music: Songs of Comfort and Joy
Cobb Great Hall

Dec. 5, Sunday, 7 p.m.
Leslie Odom Jr.
Cobb Great Hall

Dec. 7, Tuesday through Dec. 12, Sunday
“Hadestown”
Cobb Great Hall

Dec. 14, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Canadian Brass: Making Spirits Bright

Happendance
3448 Hagadorn Road, Okemos
(517) 333-3528Happendance.org

Happendance is a community dance organization with multiple programs and community projects. Its programs provide accessible, low-cost educational and performance opportunities for all dancers of all ages.

Upcoming events:
Oct. 10, Sunday
Dancing Through the ’80s
Adado Riverfront Park
201 E. Shiawassee St., Lansing

MSU College of Music
333 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing
(517) 353-5340
Music.MSU.edu

Michigan State University has an incredible, music program that is consistently churning out world-class talent. In particular, the jazz studies program is responsible for incredible bands led by brilliant professors. The College of Music puts on numerous concerts on a weekly basis, so be sure to check out its website for a full schedule.

Upcoming Shows:

Sept. 18, Saturday, 8 p.m.

Beauty and Sorrow in the Shadow of the Iron Curtain

Cook Recital Hall

333 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing

Sept. 20, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

The Music of Missy Mazzoli and her Mentors

Fairchild Theatre

542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing

Sept. 21, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, presented by Asieh Mahyar

Fairchild Theatre

Sept. 22, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Works for Flute and Piano

Cook Recital Hall

Ten Pound Fiddle
(517) 337-7744 • Tenpoundfiddle.org

Ten Pound Fiddle is a folk concert series based in Lansing with a rich history. For several decades, Ten Pound Fiddle has brought the best the folk music world has to offer right here to Lansing. If you want to see amazing roots music played with intense energy and heart, these are the concerts to check out. Visit the website for a full schedule.

Upcoming Shows:

Sept. 24, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Yellow Room Gang

University United Methodist Church

1120 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing

Oct. 1, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Joshua Davis

University United Methodist Church

Oct. 8, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Ten Pound Fiddle 47th Birthday Celebration with Peter “Madcat” Ruth 

University United Methodist Church
Absolute Music
Absolutemusiclansing.org

Absolute Music is a series of beautiful chamber concerts feature high-end talent performing all-time great classical music compositions. Each show promises to be something unique and exquisite.

Upcoming shows:

Oct. 14, Thursday

Father and Son Duo: Aaron and Charles Berofsky

UrbanBeat Events Center

1213 Turner St., Lansing

Nov. 18, Thursday

Classical Jazz Fusion

UrbanBeat Events Center

THEATER

Greater Lansing has a rich tradition of impressive community theater. While several production houses are keeping things under wraps due to the coronavirus pandemic, here are some movers and shakers that are still holding it down. 

Lansing Community College Performing Arts
500 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing
(517) 483-1122LCC.edu

Lansing Community College has an excellent theater program that is known to put together great shows that are entertaining for a wide range of audiences. Here’s what’s new and upcoming that you won’t want to miss.

Upcoming shows:
Oct. 14 through Oct. 17
“Women Playing Hamlet”

Nov.5 through Nov. 14
“Intimate Apparel”

Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts
122 E. Main St., Owosso
(989) 723-4003
Lebowskycenter.com

Formerly known as Owosso Community Players, the Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts is a community theater group that puts on high-level play performances and musical productions. The Lebowsky regularly receives great marks from City Pulse’s theater critics. 

Upcoming shows:
Sept. 17, Friday through Sept. 19, Sunday
“Five Women Wearing the Same Dress”

Oct. 15, Friday through Oct. 24, Sunday
“EVITA”

Dec. 3, Friday through Dec. 12, Sunday
“Holiday at Lebowsky”

Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. 
215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing
(517) 927-3016Peppermintcreek.org

Peppermint Creek is a longstanding community theater troupe based in Greater Lansing. It now operates out of the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Lansing and is branching out creatively by producing work based in mediums such as film. 

Upcoming shows:
Beginning in October
“Opening Up: A Community Returns to the World”

Nov. 1, Monday through Nov. 4, Thursday
“Play Date: A Theatre Book Club”

Dec. 7, Tuesday through Dec. 11, Saturday
“All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914”

Riverwalk Theatre
228 Museum Dr., Lansing
(517) 482-5700 • Riverwalktheatre.com

Riverwalk Theatre is a stalwart local production company that consistently puts on excellent shows. Productions range from family-friendly fare to edgy and serious plays tailored toward adults.

Upcoming shows:
Oct. 7 – Oct. 10 & Oct. 14 – Oct. 17
“DOUBT, A Parable”

Nov. 12, Thursday – Nov. 14, Sunday
“All Together Now”

Williamston Theatre
122 S. Putnam St., Williamston
(517) 655-7469 • Williamstontheatre.org

Williamston Theatre brings pro-level productions to the stage and never fails to impress. If you’re looking for plays that take the craft of theater deadly serious, this is the theater company for you. Check out the Williamston Theatre website for updates on upcoming shows and auditions.

Ixion Theater Ensemble
(517) 775-4246 • Ixiontheatre.com

In recent years, Ixion Theater Ensemble has proven itself to be a vital part of the local theater scene with eclectic shows driven by powerful performances. Shows by Ixion are typically held at The Robin Theatre in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood.

Upcoming shows:
Beginning in November
“Skeleton Crew”

Starlight Dinner Theatre
(517) 243-6040
Starlightdinnertheatre.com

What’s better than seeing a well-made original play? Getting to see said production while enjoying a delicious meal! Starlight Dinner Theatre offers a great way to enjoy the classic tradition of eating a multi-course meal during a great show.

Upcoming shows:
Oct. 30 – Oct. 31 & Nov. 6 – Nov. 7
“The Lion in Winter”

All-of-Us Express
(517) 319-6957 • allofusexpress.org

All-of-Us Express is community theater that features productions comprised of talented children. This is a great way to get your child immersed into the wonderful world of theater if they aspire to get onstage and become a star. 

Upcoming shows:

Nov. 5-7 & Nov. 12-14

“The Hobbit”

Hannah Community Center

819 Abbot Road, East Lansing

ART EVENTS

Need a constant stream of art in your life? Here are some entertaining ways to enjoy amazing art on a recurring basis. 
Downtown Sculpture Walk

The Downtown Sculpture Walk is a guide put together by Lansing Community College that takes you a on a tour across Lansing that will familiarize you with all the impressive public art installations, such as Ivan Iler’s psychedelic “Portrait of a Dreamer,” perhaps better known as Gearhead, on Michigan Avenue. 

Check out the Downtown Sculpture Walk map by visiting Internal.lcc.edu/buildforward/sculpture.

Arts Night Out

Arts Night Out is put together bimonthly by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. The recurring event typically happens in Old Town but has also taken place in several other historic Lansing shopping districts. Each participating neighborhood shop hosts a special sale, exhibit, arts and craft demonstration or live performance. 

The next Arts Night Out is Nov. 5 in Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood. Keep track of the Arts Night Out schedule by checking out MyArtsNightOut.com.


Art Path

The Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center’s public art project Art Path turns the Lansing River Trail into an outdoor art gallery with a variety of exhibits that explore a wide range of artforms and often convey a powerful, socially conscious message. Art Path returned in 2021 for its biggest year yet, featuring 20 new installations crafted by artists from across Michigan.

Find a full-scale map of Art Path and learn more at LansingArtGallery.org/ArtPath.

Cracked Pot Studio Tour
Sept. 18 – Sept. 19, 

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Cracked Pot Studio Tour is a celebration of all things clay art. This trip takes you across Lansing and highlights monumental pottery works that shouldn’t be missed or glossed over. For a full schedule and more details, be sure to visit the Cracked Pot Studio Tour’s website at crackedpotstudiotour.com.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Where can you go to check out the best art Greater Lansing has to offer? These rad galleries and museums are a great jumping off point for anybody searching for some seriously cool artwork. 

Michigan State University Broad Art Museum
547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing
Wednesday-Sunday,10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(517) 884-4800
Broadmuseum.msu.edu

The Broad Art Museum helped put East Lansing in the minds of art aficionados across the globe thanks to the mind-bending architectural work of Zaha Hadid. But it’s not only the building that’s breath-taking, but the Broad has also hosted numerous exhibits that have raised important sociological questions and challenged the boundaries of art itself.

Exhibits on display:
Aug. 28 – Dec. 12
“Free Your Mind: Art and Incarceration in Michigan”

Sept. 4 – Jan. 30
“Silenced: Voices from Solitary” 

Sept. 1 – Dec. 12
“Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana”


Broad Art Lab
565 E. Grand River Road, Ste. 1, East Lansing
Wednesday-Sunday, Noon to 6 p.m.
(517) 884-4800
Broadmuseum.msu.edu/ArtLab

The Broad Art Lab is the satellite to the Broad Art Museum, and it is located right across the street from the main museum on Grand River Road. This location focuses primarily on bringing together the community for special art-focused events, and it also hosts auxiliary exhibits that utilize works from the Kresge Collection, as well pieces crafted by Michigan State University students. Be sure to check out the Art Lab’s website for new group participation events as they are announced. 

Exhibits on display:
Aug. 27 – Dec. 17
“Spartan Upcycle X Art Lab Residency: Megan Heeres”
Aug. 28 – Dec. 19
“Connections, New Beginnings: Artists in Transition”

MSU Museum +  MSU Science Gallery
409 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(517) 355-2370 • Museum.MSU.edu

The Michigan State University Museum features rotating special displays that explore art through the lens of academic subjects such as science, sociology, culture and history. The museum has also begun collaborating with the Detroit Science Gallery on a series of fascinating new exhibitions. 

Exhibits on display:
Sept. 10 – Dec. 11
“Tracked and Traced”

Michigan History Center
702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing
Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Michigan.gov/MHC

The Michigan History Center is a great way to learn about the history of Michigan through interesting exhibitions that make use of historical artifacts and stunning art installations. 

Current exhibits:
Aug. 6 – March 30, 2022
“I Voted: Michigan’s Struggle for Suffrage”


Lansing Art Gallery
119 N. Washington Sq., Lansing
Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(517) 374-6400 • Lansingartgallery.org

The Lansing Art Gallery features stunning artwork produced by artists hailing from Michigan. It also helps piece together great events and exhibitions across Lansing, such as Art Path – a stunning public art installation that transforms the Lansing River Trail into a walkable art gallery. 

Current exhibits:
Sept. 1 – Sept. 30
“Heroes: Now and Then”

Sept. 2 – Oct. 23
“Fragmented Place,” by Aj Prajzner


MICA Gallery
1210 Turner St., Lansing
Tuesday-Saturday, Noon to 5 p.m.
micagallery.org

The MICA Gallery is a program under the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art. The gallery features artists whose work focuses on a mix of progressive styles, social commentary, experimentation and innovation. 

ART RESOURCES

Are you an aspiring artist? Need help getting plugged into the scene, or perhaps you’re just looking for a place to get some new supplies? Here’s where you can network and get the tools you need for your next masterpiece.

Arts Council of Greater Lansing
1208 Turner Road, Lansing
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(517) 372-4636 • Lansingarts.org

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing helps sponsor art events throughout Lansing. At any given time, it is working on several initiatives that help provide resources to artists and bolster art’s visibility in the capital city. If you want to keep track of what’s going on in fast moving local art world – or you’re an aspiring artist yourself looking for some help or guidance – this is the place to check in with. It also has a small gallery in its main office in Old Town that displays cool work produced by local talent.

Programs by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing:

517 Art Search: a mobile app created by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing that describes and guides you to public art and art venues in the 517-area code. Download it at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Art in the Sky: an annual contest put on by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing with an awesome top prize: Your art featured on a massive downtown billboard. More details on the contest can be found at lansingarts.org/programs/billboard-project.

Odd Nodd Art Supply

317 E. César E. Chávez Ave., Lansing
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
(517) 258-2509 • oddnodd.com

One thing Lansing is lacking is dedicated art supply shops that aren’t massive chains like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Luckily, there is Odd Nodd keeping the indie art shop flame alive. There’s all sorts of cool stuff you can purchase at Odd Nodd to help you get the job done on the mind-blowing piece you’ve got in the works. 

Lansing Public Media Center
2500 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(517) 483-4058
facebook.com/lanmediacenter

If you’re an artist that works with photography and video filmmaking, the Lansing Public Media Center might prove to be a very useful place for you. There are several pieces of equipment available for checkout, as well workshops you can sign up for to master the usage of said equipment. If you’re looking to pick up a new skill for your wheelhouse, this might be it.

Cedar Street Art Collective
1701 S. Cedar St., Lansing
(517) 402-2497
Cedarstreetartcollective.com

Cedar Street Art Collective is a DIY art house that shows off work created by underground local talent. This is an excellent venue for Lansing artists to book galleries where they can display and hopefully sell original artwork.

REACH Studio Art Center
1804 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
(517) 999-3643 • Reachstudioart.org

REACH Studio Art Center is a nonprofit neighborhood venue for arts education and local civic engagement. REACH has several programs dedicated to tasks such as mentoring youth, urban revitalization and bringing together community members.

Opportunity Arts
Opportunityarts.org

Opportunity Arts is a local service that was created to “fill the needs of artists and arts organizations who require promotional and administrative services to be successful.” If you need an extra push, consulting Opportunity Arts might not be too bad of an idea. Opportunity Arts provides services such as event booking and social media management.

White Bros. Music Shop
13630 Main St., Bath Township
Monday-Thursday, Noon to 7 p.m.
Friday, Noon to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m.
(517) 903-6040
whitebrosmusic.com

Are you an aspiring musician and need of some supplies for your next gig? A new pack of strings? Or how about some polish to shine up your instrument? Then White Bros. Music has your back.

Absolute Gallery
307 E. César E. Chávez Ave., Lansing
Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(517) 482-8845 • absolutegallery.com

Do you have an incredible piece of art work that needs the proper frame for it to be displayed in all its glory? There’s no better option than Absolute Gallery. Absolute Gallery also has incredible art work on display if you just want to pop in to window shop.


REO Town Marketplace
1027 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(517) 927-7576
REOtownmarketplace.com

The REO Town Marketplace has all sorts of unique shops that can help inspire creativity in artists working in any medium. 

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