University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Arts and Culture

The University of Minnesota campus is home to many artistic learning and entertainment opportunities. Staff and faculty members can engage in the University's cultural community simply by attending a dance, music or theatrical performance, or visiting one of the many art and museum collections that are conveniently located on the Twin Cities campus.

Museums and Collections

Bell Museum of Natural History

U of M staff and faculty enjoy free admission to the Bell Museum of Natural History located just off of University Avenue on the University of Minnesota campus. Bell Museum visitors enjoy permanent exhibits as well as traveling and special exhibits. The Bell Museum is also available to rent for receptions, whether they are business meetings or social events.


  • Tuesday through Friday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday – Noon to 5 p.m. (Free admission for all on Sunday)
  • Monday – closed

Goldstein Museum of Design

The Goldstein Museum gallery, located on the second floor of McNeal Hall on the St. Paul campus, houses many exhibitions and events highlighting the role of art in everyday life.


  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday – 1:30 pm to 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed all University holidays

The Heritage Gallery

The Curtis L. and Arleen M. Carlson Heritage Gallery, located in the McNamara Alumni Center, is a multimedia exhibit honoring the achievements of University of Minnesota students, alumni, faculty and staff. The Heritage Gallery houses permanent and changing collections of photographs, videos, artifacts and more. The gallery is also available to rent for dinners and receptions.


  • Monday through Friday – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • (Open to the public unless reserved for a private event.)

Katherine E. Nash Gallery

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery, located in the Regis Center for the Arts on the West Bank campus, has housed exhibitions from both nationally and locally renowned artists. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.


  • Monday & Sunday – closed
  • Tuesday through Saturday – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Larson Art Gallery

The Paul Whitney Larson Art Gallery and the Larson Gallery Lounge, both located on the lower level of the St. Paul Student Center, feature an array of exhibitions organized by the Minnesota Program & Activities Council (MPAC). Both rooms are also available for rent.

University Libraries

The University Libraries mount numerous exhibitions each year featuring selections from archives and special collections. Marin exhibition locations are the Elmer L. Andersen Library Galleries and the T. R. Anderson Gallery. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Weisman Art Museum

A stunning stainless steel building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum adds an artistic and eye-catching element to the University of Minnesota campus. Admission at the Weisman is always free, and its convenient location next to Coffman Memorial Union provides a unique opportunity to view the collection of contemporary works on-campus. Spaces within the Weisman are frequently rented for wedding receptions and other social gatherings.


  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday – closed

Departments and Venues

Department of English

The University Department of English hosts many lectures and events during the academic year that are free and open to the public, including readings and lectures by visiting authors, scholars and poets. A complete list of English Department events can be found at their website.

Humphrey Institute

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs hosts many events, including discussions, exhibits and workshops, that are free and open to the public.

Department of Theatre Arts & Dance

The Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota puts on many performances featuring the creative work of students, faculty and distinguished visiting artists.

The Rarig Center, home to the theatre arts program, features four facilities that allow students and faculty to engage in innovative and creative performances. Tickets for all performances are open the public. Staff, faculty, students and alumni are encouraged to attend.

Just a block from the Rarig Center is the Barbara Barker Center for Dance, home to the University’s Dance Department. Like some of the theatre productions, certain dance performances are offered free or at discounted ticket prices to new employees.

During the summer, the theatre program takes to the water with the Minnesota Centennial Showboat. Docked on the Mississippi at Harriet Island Regional Park, the Showboat features a 225-seat theater where the U of M Showboat Players put on their production all summer. Tickets and information available on the Web site.

Opera Theatre

The University of Minnesota Opera Theatre showcases the talented voices from the School of Music performing fresh and unique takes on traditional opera. Show times and tickets are available online.

Northrop Memorial Auditorium

Overlooking the mall at the heart of the University of Minnesota campus, Northrop Auditorium has a long history of bringing a variety of cultural entertainment to the University community. Ticketed events at Northrop range from ballet performances to legendary musicians such as Minnesota’s own Bob Dylan. Tickets can be purchased at the Northrop ticket office, conveniently located in room 105 of Northrop, open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone at 612-624-2345, or online at

Ted Mann Concert Hall

Ted Mann Concert Hall provides not only a home for the University’s School of Music, but also a venue for visiting performers, right here on campus. Additional information about events and tickets can also be found at Northrop Auditorium’s site.


Since its establishment in 1851, the University of Minnesota campus has developed its own culture and way of life. With a campus spanning two cities and both banks of the Mississippi, the U of M also has the advantage of being bordered by a diverse array or neighborhoods, each offering its own culture and character for members of the University community to enjoy.


Dinkytown, located just North of the University of Minnesota, consists of several square blocks occupied by unique businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Dinkytown is also home to several notable landmarks, including the Dinky Dome, a former theological seminary converted to a large food court, the Loring Pasta Bar, above which Bob Dylan lived while in Minneapolis, and Al's Breakfast which is arguably the city's smallest restaurant.

Stadium Village

Stadium Village is an area of near the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. While not an official neighborhood of Minneapolis, Stadium Village is an important commercial district, containing many bars and restaurants. The name of the area is a reference to the old Memorial Stadium, which was torn down in 1992. In the fall of 2009, Stadium Village will once again live up to its name when the new TCF Bank Stadium becomes the new home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team.

West Bank/Seven Corners/Cedar-Riverside

The West Bank of the University of Minnesota is not only home to a variety of colleges and professional schools, but is also a major cultural center for the city of Minneapolis. There are several playhouses and theatre groups in the area, including on and off-campus venues. There is also a thriving music scene, with bands frequenting local bars like the 400 Bar, the Red Sea, the Triple Rock Social Club, and the Cedar Cultural Center. The arts flavor of the area is enhanced by the presence of the University of Minnesota’s West Bank Arts Quarter, home to the University’s arts programs.

St. Paul

The St. Paul campus is primarily associated with agriculture and is surrounded by university farm fields, giving it a quieter and more laid-back feel compared to its Minneapolis counterpart. It has a grassy mall of its own which features more greenery and is often less populated than the East Bank's mall. The St. Paul campus is bordered by the State Fairgrounds and the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul. St. Anthony Park is well known for its lovely parks, unique neighborhood flair, and boutique shopping.

Live Where You Work

Live Where You Work is an alliance of the University of Minnesota, the City of Minneapolis and the neighborhoods near the Minneapolis campus that promote living in the neighborhoods in the University District. The alliance provides information on local rentals and properties for sale, as well as financial resources to help you purchase and maintain your home in the University District.

On Campus

Coffman Memorial Union

From entertainment to dining, Coffman Memorial Union has much to offer faculty, staff, alumni and visitors! CMU is home to the main bookstore, where you can find more than just books; including a wide range of gopher apparel, gifts, cards, Apple computing products, and much more. Coffman is also home to many convenient services including a postal station, US Bank, U Card office, Tech Shop, Gopher Quick Clinic, and a computer lab. CMU's food court houses a variety of dining options including Chik-Fil-A, Baja Sol, Panda Express, Jamba Juice, and more. CMU also offers a variety of entertainment options, including the Whole Music Club, and is home to Gopher's After Dark.

Goldy’s Game Room, located on the basement level of Coffman, offers 11 full-size pool tables, a 14-lane bowling alley complete with auto-scoring, a video & pinball arcade, and a snack bar featuring hot appetizers, smoothies and more.

Stop by the Coffman Info Desk to purchase discounted movie tickets, metro passes, out of town bus tickets, and tickets to seasonal attractions (such as the Minnesota State Fair, The Depot Ice Rink, and more!) You can even purchase care packages, packed with a variety of special treats for any occasion, to be sent to your student.

The Raptor Center

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has specialized in the medical care, rehabilitation, conservation, and study of raptors (eagles, hawks, owls and falcons) since 1974. In addition to caring for birds, the center is also open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The Arboretum is located in the west metro and has 1,100+ acres of gardens, woodlands, natural areas, and model landscapes. There are more than 12 miles of hiking trails and paths, a three-mile drive, and 11 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.  The Visitor Center houses a gift store, restaurant, exhibit areas, and indoor rental spaces. The Arboretum serves as a community resource for horticultural science and education, cold-hardy plant research, plant conservation, and the environment. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas; admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, and free for Arboretum members, children ages 12 and under, and University of Minnesota students. Grounds are open 8 a.m. to sunset. Visitor Center hours vary by season.

Minnesota Film Arts

Minnesota Film Arts is a non-profit organization “dedicated to fostering an active and living appreciation of the film arts in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.” Each year Minnesota Film Arts hosts film festivals and events right here on campus at Oak Street Cinema and the Bell Museum Auditorium.