WSU is a campus for creators to play, perform, produce and perfect their art—whatever that may be.
Don’t worry if you aren’t much of an artist. Anyone can enjoy a beautiful painting, an intriguing melody or a riveting story. So what are you waiting for?
Each year, the WSU Music department hosts dozens of concerts—everything from classical to jazz to international music—featuring student, faculty and guest performers.
Do you play an instrument or like to sing? Continue in college by auditioning for the WSU concert band, orchestra, choir and more. Passion for music is required, but declaring a music major or minor is optional.
If you’re looking for a more casual vibe, check out Mugshots Coffeehouse on West Campus. These free shows are held every week during the school year and the entire event is coordinated by WSU students. UPAC also brings musicians to perform on campus.
Try Out Theatre & Dance
Add a little more drama in your life--but only the good kind of drama-- with WSU’s many theatre and dance productions.
See what shows are planned for the current season in the Black Box Theater and on the Fusillo Main Stage. One show that you won’t want to miss is Dancescape-- an annual dance performance with original choreography by WSU students, faculty and guest artists.
Thinking of auditioning? Go for it-- theatre and dance majors shouldn’t have all the fun! Everyone is welcome to try out, and that’s one of the benefits of a smaller school like WSU.
WSU is also the home stage for the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Each summer, this professional theatre company performs plays by the Bard and other playwrights too. The festival also features conversations with the actors, free concerts and a race around Lake Winona.
If you’re up for a little road trip, the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, MN is a professional company that performs plays and musicals year-round.
Admire in Art Galleries
You know good art when you see it. At WSU, there are two art galleries on campus in Watkins Hall that feature a ton of original and creative pieces by local artists and students majoring in Art and Design.
Head over to the Watkins Gallery for collections by visiting artists and graduating seniors or the Weber Gallery for its mix of solo student exhibitions and department showcases year-round. These exhibits rotate out every few weeks so there’s always something new!
Need even more art in your life? Visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum to see works by masters like Monet, Renoir, Degas as well as contemporary artists.
Read & Write On
If you’re a bit of a Bookworm Warrior, then WSU has two reading series that are your perfect match.
The Common Book Project is sort of like a campus-wide book club where everyone is invited to read a selected book and talk about the themes and issues it raises. The Common Book is often part of required reading for courses—especially ENG 111—and used in other on-campus events, like public readings and lectures.
Another option is the Great River Reading Series. This series brings in poets, fiction writers and non-fiction writers alike on campus and into certain English classes. If you’ve been dying to meet a published author and listen to them read their own work, mark these events on your calendar pronto!
Looking to break into the writing world? Start building your portfolio with these campus media outlets:
- WSU Student Blogs – These student-written blogs are a great way to share your experiences, give advice to new students and tell the stories of cool people doing interesting things on campus
- The Winonan– The student newspaper covering sports, entertainment and campus news as well as student life and opinion pieces. P.S. Reporters and editors are paid!
- Her Campus – Don’t let the name mislead you. Her Campus is a WSU student club for anyone who wants to write about, well, almost anything.
- Winona360 – Another outlet for student journalism for Mass Communication majors
- Satori – WSU’s literary magazine filled with student-written poems, short stories and more that’s pulled together by English majors each spring
Explore New Ideas
WSU Film Series
Are you always up for a good movie? Well, you’re in luck because there are two different film series—both free to students!-- that take place right on campus.
Then be sure to attend the annual Frozen River Film Festival, which features an impressive lineup of documentaries by directors from across the U.S. Some films are full-length while others are just a few minutes -- but all will make you think a little differently.
Guest Speakers & Presentations
At WSU, learning isn’t limited to the classroom. While professors choose the lecture topics in class, you can decide to explore new ideas on your own through guest speakers and lecture series on campus throughout the year.
These presentations include subjects like:
- Geoscience, math and other sciences
- Cultural diversity and social awareness
- Arts, literature, pop culture and more
Whatever your passion or lecture topic you just can’t find in class, check out these guest speaking events you won’t find anywhere else. The best part? They’re free!