Visitors and residents can delight in year-round plays at the Aberdeen Community Theatre located in the heart of downtown Aberdeen, and plays and performances at Northern State University in the newly renovated Johnson Fine Arts Center. Young People’s Theatre allows local youth to showcase their talent, and Storybook Land Theatre presents free family entertainment all summer long in the Storybook Land Castle!
The city also offers abundant arts programs for adults and youth through the parks and recreation department as well as the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, Northern State University, Presentation College and other organizations.
Aberdeen Recreational and Cultural Center (ARCC)
The ARCC is a multi-faceted arts and community center that provides programming in visual arts, dance, music, theater, athletics, meetings and special interest areas. The Gallery, located within the ARRC at 225 3rd Ave. SE offers a multitude of art forms, media and original artwork for sale from local and regional artists.
Summertime brings Arts-In-The-Park, a weekend of entertainment and artists selling their work in outdoor booths. In winter there’s Winterfest, an indoor festival featuring artwork for sale. Both events are sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Arts Council.
The Dacotah Prairie Museum
Come see and hear the story that the prairie has to tell. Step back in time to witness the people, progress and natural history that has influenced the development of our region. The museum is home to the Hatterscheidt Wildlife Gallery, which features more than 40 mounted specimens in a full scale mural. The Zietlow Telephone Exhibit is the largest collection of independent telephone and telegraph company materials in the US.The Dacotah Prairie Museum also features several excellent galleries hosting touring exhibits and artist presentations.
Near the James River is The Granary, a unique cultural center with a campus that includes interesting art galleries housed in a renovated granary, a large gazebo, a relocated historic, town hall, and park-like grounds.
Aberdeen’s Historic Capitol Theater
The importance of theater is reflected in Aberdeen’s Historic Capitol Theater, the charming home of the local Aberdeen community theater group. Actors and spectators alike have ample opportunities to participate in or witness ambitious productions that are held throughout the year. The theater opened in 1927 and is on the national historical register. The theater includes a sixty-foot tall marquee and six french era-deco chandeliers. Theatrical options for children are also abundant through community theater, touring children’s troupes, and outdoor summertime performances at Storybook Land Theater.
Aberdeen’s Community Concert Association
Aberdeen’s Community Concert Association brings nationally recognized musicians to the city. Northern State University frequently offers performances by its talented faculty and students as well as sponsoring special appearances by well-known musicians. Christmas music lovers look forward to the annual “Living Christmas Tree” concerts. Weekly performances by the community band are held during the summer in Melgaard Park.