In addition to its history as the state’s capital city, Harrisburg also has a rich culture filled with art, theatre, and music. Explore themed art galleries and watch artisans craft their creations. Take a walking tour of Harrisburg’s murals that brighten up parking lots and streets all over the city. Enjoy the harmony of the symphony or take a front-row seat for a performance, be it Shakespeare or improv.
The art scene in Harrisburg handsomely illustrates our region’s beauty through the talents of local artisans and its willingness to show visitors that art is for everyone! Much of the art in Harrisburg is free and represents an array of styles and genres for every palette! 🎨
The Art Association of Harrisburg is the oldest and largest art gallery in the city, pen seven days a week in the historic Governor Findlay Mansion. The themed exhibits change every five weeks and include art from more than 500 of its artist-members. When you think of museums, you might think relics, but at the Susquehanna Art Museum, you’ll find exquisitely displayed current works of local, national, and international artists. With no permanent collection, their displays refresh throughout the year and are chosen to represent a variety of themes. You probably know The Millworks for its food and craft beer, but inside this former woodshop, you’ll find 25 artist studios and plenty of works on display. Before or after a meal, browse the galleries and peek in to see the artisans at work.
It’s impossible to miss the eye-catching, colorful murals throughout Harrisburg, added over the past few years to beautify the city. Every piece of artwork has a story, even when it’s many stories tall. The space-inspired masterpiece at Capital Joe’s Coffeeshop depicts a young female astronaut and was created by Arthur Haywood and inspired by how limitless space is and the potential to reach the stars. It’s free to download the Harrisburg Mural Map and take a self-guided walking tour to see these creations in person. Sprocket Mural Works often hosts guided walks where you can learn the stories behind the projects.
Each year, Wildwood Park plays host to free outdoor art, full of nature, wonder, and creativity. Dozens of displays made from naturally derived materials like sticks, rocks, bamboo, and yarn blend into the scenery, fitting the theme: Woodland Harmony. Take a refreshing walk around the 3-mile loop to see them all.
For its size, Harrisburg has a notable number of local acting troupes across three community theatres. From Shakespeare and children’s theatre to renditions of Broadway musicals and plays, residents and visitors alike come together for a show.
Gamut Theatre Group specializes in classic stories told anew. Their Harrisburg Shakespeare Company stages several shows a year, while also bringing the Bard’s tales to local schools and the community during their free outdoor Shakespeare in the Park performances. And their children’s theatre, Popcorn Hat Players, retells timeless fairy tales with a modern twist. Open Stage is Harrisburg’s oldest professional regional theatre, often choosing plays and performances that address transcendent issues and satisfy artistic freedom. Theatre Harrisburg is rooted in the community but offers visitors a chance to see top-notch performances at an affordable price.
In its 90th season, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra provides moving performances for all ages while enriching the city’s love and appreciation of music. The classic Masterworks Concert Series brings the elegant and enduring works of Beethoven, Gershwin, and other greats to today’s audiences. Their Pops performances pair orchestral music with modern entertainment like Motown, the ‘80s, and even movie scores.