Art and Culture

Arts and Culture

The arts and theatre flourish in Emporia. Coffee shops, night clubs, and local businesses and organizations showcase live music year-round. Art exhibits featuring premiere art and photography are found at Emporia State University, the Emporia Arts Center, coffee shops and local businesses. Music reviews, murder mysteries, and Shakespeare come alive through the work of Emporia State University and Community Theatre of Emporia casts and crews.

Accomplished musicians from Emporia State  University and abroad perform throughout the year along with the ESU Community Chorus. The historic 1929 Granada Theatre is host to live music, weddings, movies + plays. The downtown is adorned with murals, artistic seasonal banners, flags, landscaping, modern storefronts, and eclectic upper-story loft apartments.

When it’s time to make a movie, Hollywood arrives to take advantage of our prairie and historic grasslands for favorites such as the Hallmark television movie trilogy, “Sarah, Plain and Tall.”

Book discussions and children’s reading programs are hosted at the Emporia Public Library, chartered in 1869 and the oldest public library in Kansas. The library serves Lyon County with more than 100,000 pieces of print, non-print and electronic materials.



Art Galleries
Emporia Arts Center
815 Commercial St.
620-343-6473; Open Tuesday – Saturday. The brand new 15,000 square foot Arts Center gallery, exhibits work from local, regional and national artists. Exhibits change regularly. EAC is a 2010 Kansas Governor’s Arts Award recipient for community arts organizations. Art classes are offered to all age groups year round in clay, painting, stained glass and a variety of other genres. The performing arts series brings many nationally known performers to Emporia.

Department of Art, Emporia State University
Norman R. Eppink Art Gallery & Gilson
Memorial Room, King Hall • 620-341-5246
MON-FRI., or by appointment
Monthly exhibits of works from university
collection and guest artists. Gilson Memorial
Room hosts senior exhibits.

Emporia Public Library
110 E. 6th Ave. • 620-340-6462
Open 7 days a week. Call for hours.
A full-service public library chartered in 1869, the oldest public library in Kansas.

William Allen White Library & Special

ESU, 12th Ave. and Merchant St.
Houses the School of Library and Information Management and special collections including the W.A. White Collection, Mary White collection, and May Massee Collection. Also home of the William Allen White Children’s Book Award since 1952.

Sculptures & Statues
“Just a Taste” Bronze Sculpture
Emporia Public Library
110 E. 6th Ave.
Bronze sculpture is of two children enjoying an ice-cream cone, located outside, in front of the Emporia Public Library.

Peter Pan Bronze Statue
Peter Pan Park, S. State
St. & Kansas Ave.
Daylight to 11 p.m.
In 1995, a bronze Peter Pan sculpture was placed atop a large limestone boulder between the wading pool and tennis courts of Peter Pan Park. The Emporia Arts Council commissioned John Forsythe to execute the sculpture that was paid for by community donations.

Prairie Passage
Lyon County
Fairgrounds, West U.S.
Hwy. 50 & Industrial
Rd. • 620-342-1803
These chiseled pylons reflect Emporia’s history and role as the “Gateway to the Flint Hills”, its significance as a trade and education center, its history and its vision for the future. The eight pylons range in height from 10 to 15 feet tall and weigh between five and nine tons.

Theatre/Performing Arts
Community Theatre of Emporia
P.O. Box 962
Group presents three or four shows a year at the Emporia Arts Center.

Department of Music, Emporia State

Beach Music Hall • 620-341-5431
The Department of Music offers a wide
variety of musical performances each year.

Department of Theatre and Communications,
Emporia State University

King Hall
620-341-5256 for info;
620-341-5374 for box office.
Year-round theatrical events and performances in three theaters: Albert Taylor Hall, Bruder Theatre, and Frederickson Theatre.

Granada Theatre
805 Commercial St. • 620-342-3342
Open to the public                                      Built in 1929, this historic

Day and Night Jazz
700 block of Merchant St., on the back wall
of Flint Hills Music. Emporian Josh Finely
painted this scene of jazz musicians playing
the piano, stand-base and brass instruments.

“Our Flag Was Still There”
11th Ave. & Commercial St.
In honor of all Veterans and the 50th Anniversary of founding Veterans Day in Emporia. Painted by native Emporian Marilyn Dailey in 2003, the mural features an eagle overlooking the U.S. Flag with
bombs bursting in air as a reminder of “All Gave Some and Some Gave All.” The mural was the class project of Leadership Emporia Class of 2003.

“Spring in the Flint Hills”
6th Ave. and Merchant St.
Painted by renowned artists Stan Herd and Louis Copt the mural depicts a late spring landscape of the Flint Hills with exposed pieces of flint rock, for which the hills are named. The sky is full of a glorious Kansas sunrise and the prairie is covered with beautiful wildflowers in bloom.

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