Visual and performing arts

Where to find theater, dance and other cultural outlets

click to enlarge Visual and performing arts
Photo Patrick Yeagle
SAA Collective

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many performing arts venues have postponed or cancelled their regularly scheduled seasons. Check the individual websites for up-to-date performance information as well as virtual offerings.

Performing arts

Hoogland Center for the Arts
420 S. Sixth St.

The Hoogland Center for the Arts is the home of the arts in downtown Springfield. Over 20 different arts and civic organizations call the Hoogland home. The building has three performance spaces, two art galleries, a dance studio, a full-service kitchen, private offices and plenty of meeting space. The Springfield Area Arts Council, a nexus of information for artists of all stripes, also has office space at the Hoogland.  Every year a variety of organizations hold meetings at the Hoogland, thanks to its location in the heart of downtown Springfield surrounded by the city's best restaurants, hotels and tourist stops. The Hoogland's website provides an updated calendar of events and links to other area arts organizations.

Illinois College TheatreWorks
300 Lockwood Ave., Jacksonville

The producing arm of the Illinois College department of theater presents both faculty and student-directed work at the McGaw Fine Arts Center in Jacksonville. It is a campus-driven program that consists of a variety of performances including MainStage plays, student-directed one-acts and an improv troupe.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra
524 1/2 E. Capitol Ave.
800-401-7222 (Admin)
217-206-6160 (Tickets)

Led by music director Ken Lam, Illinois Symphony Orchestra performances are held at both the UIS Performing Arts Center and at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Springfield, bringing live musical experiences to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Springfield Ballet Company
420 S. Sixth St.

Housed at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, this nonprofit ballet company has been entertaining and educating audiences since 1975. The company's diversity is evident in its repertory programs, which feature classical ballet, contemporary ballet, jazz, modern, tap, theatre and character with three major and several minor performances each season. Major productions are held at the UIS Performing Arts Center..

Springfield Municipal Band

This year marks the municipal band's 85th anniversary of providing free music in the city's parks for both residents and visitors. It is directed by Tom Philbrick and includes approximately 80 musicians who alternate on the various performances. The schedule includes outdoor concerts in Douglas Park on Tuesdays from June through the first week in August, 7:30-9 p.m., and in other parks and events throughout the summer.

Springfield Theatre Centre
420 S. Sixth St.

Housed at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, this local theater group has year-round performances as well as summer performing arts camps for children, providing central Illinois with quality theatre, educational opportunities and a creative outlet for live theatrical arts.

The Legacy Theatre
101 E. Lawrence Ave.

This intimate, jewel-box theater is an eclectic voice in the area arts landscape. Built in 1950 and lovingly rescued and renovated by a grassroots group in 2011, The Legacy Theatre presents plays and musicals, concerts, comedy, film and events for families.

The Springfield Muni
815 East Lake Shore Dr

The Muni is an outdoor amphitheater tucked away at Lake Springfield that offers residents and visitors a unique venue in which to enjoy quality, locally produced entertainment all summer long. The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theater organizations in the nation.

Theatre in the Park
15588 History Lane (Route 97), Petersburg

A nationally acclaimed repertory theater located at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. The outdoor amphitheater offers a unique environment for a variety of performances throughout the summer.

UIS Performing Arts Center
One University Plaza

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield, the UIS Performing Arts Center encompasses a variety of venues and programs including Sangamon Auditorium, the intimate UIS Studio Theatre, the UIS Ticket Office and the UIS Performing Arts Center Education Connections program. It hosts more than 120 events each year, including conferences, debates and a broad spectrum of the highest quality of music, theater, dance and comedy shows. From Broadway shows to today's popular musical stars, the UIS Performing Arts Center hosts big name entertainment throughout the year. It is the only venue of its kind and size in Sangamon county, drawing audiences from a 14-county semi-rural region.

Visual arts

SAA Collective
105 N. Fifth St.

Located downtown in the historic Broadwell Pharmacy Building, the SAA Collective showcases the work of more than 70 member artists in a variety of media, including painting, photography, ceramics, fibers and jewelry. It's the perfect place to go for a one-of-a-kind gift. The SAA Collective is committed to fostering community awareness and participation in the visual arts while providing support for local emerging and professional artists. The gallery is free and open to the public.

James S. Murray Gallery
5250 Shepherd Rd.

Located on the campus of Lincoln Land Community College, the gallery exhibits creative work from a wide array of artists, including faculty and students.

M.G. Nelson Family Gallery
700 N. Fourth St.

Located on the campus of Springfield Art Association, the gallery brings a variety of high-quality visual arts from the traditional to the most contemporary and features a variety of visual arts from around the globe. An average of twelve exhibitions rotate through the gallery each year. These exhibitions represent art from as close as the elementary school across the street and as far away as Russia. The gallery is free and open to the public.

The Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space
623 E. Adams St.

Ever-changing themed art exhibitions and open concept studio space located in a huge downtown gallery space. The Pharmacy is dedicated to cultivating and celebrating expressions of multidimensional artists. Features contemporary art and hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year.

Visual Arts Gallery - University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza

Located on the UIS campus in the Health and Sciences Building (Room 201), the gallery seeks to expand and enrich understanding of the visual arts for Illinois citizens, artists, and students through diverse quality exhibitions. It holds regular exhibits by visiting artists, faculty and students. The gallery benefits the Illinois art community by increasing public awareness of the visual arts and by exhibiting artists of regional and national importance. Events are free and open to the public.

DIM Art House
1613 S. MacArthur Blvd.

The studio and gallery of Springfield artists Joey Wallace, Christy Freeman Stark and Jeff Williams. Salon concept with event space, gallery shows, unique artistic expression events and more. Each artist brings their own unique talents to Dim Art House. Hours are by appointment.

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