Wichita’s arts scene is a driving force for what to do in Wichita. Wichita is the artistic center in the region, with art museums and galleries and performing arts traditions that are one of the city’s most prized possessions. Now is a great time to plan a visit to catch a Broadway-caliber performance or a Final Friday art crawl, and discover why our city is a cultural hub in the region!
Here are upcoming highlights you won’t want to miss:
Music Theatre Wichita wraps up the 2016 season – its 45th in Wichita – this month with 11 performances of “Mamma Mia!” from Aug. 10-21. Music Theatre Wichita becomes one of the first regional theatres in the nation to create its own brand-new version of this internationally acclaimed musical that enjoyed a 14-year run on Broadway. Tickets range from $26 to $64.
Wichita Grand Opera’s 2016 season has been about operatic favorites and there are two remaining performances. The company presents Verdi’s “Rigoletto" on Sept. 3 and Puccini’s "La Bohème" on Oct. 1. Tickets range from $37 to $85. As one of only 110 operas in the country, Wichita Grand Opera’s performances feature internationally-known singers, conductors, directors and designers.
Wichita Symphony Orchestra starts its 2016-17 season with a pops event on Sept. 17: watch speed painter Dan Dunn create large scale art as the Wichita Symphony performs classical, big band, rock and Broadway music. To experience the classics, get tickets for Beethoven’s Prometheus overture, Triple Concerto and Eroica Symphony on Oct. 8-9 or Mozart & Shostakovich on Oct. 29-30. WSO has a full season of pops, classics and family concerts through April.
Theater League begins its Broadway in Wichita Series in October by bringing the hit musical “Wicked” back to Wichita for a two-week run, Oct. 12-23. The series runs through May and includes “Dirty Dancing,” “Once,” a Broadway Christmas show, and “Stomp.” Tickets start at $35 and vary by show.
Looking for more performance options? Wichita has venues of every shape and size – from the 15,000-seat INTRUST Bank Arena to the historic Orpheum Theater – and a full schedule of national and local performances. Check out our calendar of events or learn more about our performing arts venues.
Wichita has some 30 art galleries, from artists’ cooperatives to art glass studios. A great time to explore them is on the last Friday of each month during Final Friday Art Crawl. In addition to the art galleries and studios, many museums, restaurants and retail shops stay open late and welcome visitors with special showings, refreshments and entertainment, all free to the public. Locations are across the city with a large concentration in the downtown area where you can park and ride the free Q-Line trolley. Remaining 2016 Final Friday dates are Aug. 26, Sept. 30, Oct. 28 and Nov. 25. Check the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation’s website for updated venues and maps for each month’s art crawl.
While downtown, you won’t want to miss the chance to shop and eat locally in the Douglas Design District, Old Town District and Historic Delano District. If you’re visiting on the second Saturday of the month, be sure to take advantage of 2nd Saturday. Simply purchase a recycled, reusable 2nd Saturday shopping bag or keycard for $5 and receive discounts at participating local merchants, including restaurants, retail and services. The deals change monthly.