The creative spirit is definitely alive and well in Northern Indiana’s LaPorte County. The beauty and inspiration created by artists, musicians, and actors seem to be waiting around every corner, both indoors and out.
In the communities of Michigan City and LaPorte, galleries, boutiques, and a gleaming art center display traditional works and an intriguing blend of imaginative items. As visitors roam the streets in both cities and neighboring Westville, they enjoy outdoor sculpture, a giant painted mural, and even giant instruments to play. Talented actors entertain audiences with lively stage productions and symphony performances soothe the soul.
Open your mind and lift your spirit with art in all forms throughout LaPorte County. As the famed artist Pablo Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off your souls.”
Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City – Four gleaming galleries in this stunning facility just steps from Lake Michigan display the works of national and world-famous artists, along with monthly exhibits of intriguing regional creators.
Special features: A two-day outdoor Arts Festival in the summer (Aug 17 & 18, 2024) with family activities; Holiday Artisan Festival November-January.
Thaddeus C. Gallery, LaPorte – Creations from well-established artists and up-and-comers fill this first-rate gallery located downtown. Artists Laura and Thaddeus Cutler established their business nearly 20 years ago.
Special features: Shopping for unique works such as jewelry, glassware, ceramics, and, of course, paintings.
Uptown Arts District, Michigan City – A compact area along Franklin Street features shops with all types of unusual creations, including wearables such as clothing and hats, beach glass jewelry, and art.
Special features: On First Fridays from 5 to 8 pm each month, enjoy pop-up galleries in stores to watch artists work or musicians perform, plus view creations from artists who live and work in the Artspace Lofts.
SculptFusion, Michigan City – Visitors can’t help but stop and soak in the 13 astounding outdoor sculptures created by top-name artists along the streets in the Uptown Art District and other locations throughout the city. The display changes periodically, with the newest District additions including “Eye of the Storm” and “Connected.”
Special features: Head over to the Washington Park Zoo to view an amazing sculpture outside of a giant ram.
Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City – Stroll the leafy grounds just steps from Lake Michigan to view numerous sculptures created in steel and other mediums with a variety of themes.
Special features: See information above under “Gallery Hopping” for more on the Lubeznik.
Odyssey Sculptures, Westville – More than 40 outdoor sculptures draw visitors to the Purdue Northwest campus in this small community. Designs include modern sculptures, plus birds, animals, and people.
Special features: Arrange a tour with a seasoned guide who shares details about each work.
Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Contest, Michigan City – Watch professional and novice artists create works of art from sand in this festival which occurs in June each year on Washington Park Beach (June 7-9, 2024). You’ll be amazed at the lifelike carvings of animals, people, castles, and more.
Special features: Live entertainment, crafts, and a kid zone.
Plaza 618 Mural, LaPorte – The history of LaPorte comes to life in a huge mural painted on the side of a building in the downtown plaza. Two Indiana artists worked to detail important aspects of LaPorte, from the Pottawattamie tribe to log cabins to a host of products made here. Naturally, LaPorte’s beautiful lakes take their place in this incredible piece of art.
Special features: Benches and a splash pad make the plaza a great spot for lingering.
Make a Joyful Noise, LaPorte – Make your own kind of music throughout the city, where visitors can play giant musical instruments such as wind chimes, a huge xylophone, and drums, with some as tall as six feet.
Special features: Some of the instruments are located in parks and on the 618 Plaza (see above), providing great places for the kids to run off some energy.
let the show begin!
Footlight Theatre, Michigan City – Musicals, plays, concerts, and special events top the bill at this theater where longtime actors and newcomers from around the region perform.
Special features: Family-friendly Open Mic Nights.
Canterbury Summer Theatre, Michigan City – A talented Resident Company takes the stage, performing in comedies, musicals, and thrillers at one of the Midwest’s oldest professional summer companies.
Special features: The Canterbury Winter Arts Series, with productions and live music from local artists for both kids and adults.
Young People’s Theatre Company, Michigan City – Youngsters from age 7 through teens entertain audiences with super performances in a collaboration with Michigan City public schools in a program that is nearly 20 years old. The company also includes the Holdcraft Players, consisting of young adults 20 and older.
Special features: A wide variety of shows from Disney to musicals.
LaPorte Little Theatre Club, LaPorte – Started nearly 100 years ago, this group’s aim is to provide quality theater to the area with musicals, comedies, and dramas for all ages.
Special features: Located in a former historic church.
Dunes Summer Theatre, Michiana Shores – Just a few miles west of Michigan City, this longtime summer stock theater features five performances in the summer, from zany comedies to lively musicals.
Special features: Located on a 20-acre wooded site near the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan.
LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra, LaPorte – Performing in both LaPorte and Michigan City, this beloved orchestra features everything from holiday pops to classical to Beatlemania. The orchestra is in its 51st season.
Special features: Watch for special events in various locations from libraries to restaurants around the county.