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North Topeka Arts District

The Historic North Topeka (NOTO) arts and business district. Near the Kansas River, this area is at the north end of the city’s main downtown corridor and boasts a number of original buildings from Topeka’s earliest days.

In the community’s process for determining priorities and strategic planning, Heartland Visioning listened to the community’s desire for an “Arts District.” In a prime example of the leveraging community partnerships the Historic North Topeka district was chosen for NOTO Arts District. The first new business, national known artist, Barbara Waterman Peters moved into Studio 831 in 2010. In the fall of 2015 the 34th business moved into the district that now includes a mix of artists’ studios, antique, vintage, and collectible item shops. On a First Friday art walks you will see thousands of visitors strolling the streets, listening to local musicians, while checking out home furnishings or handcrafted local jewelry as well as browsing through antiques and collectibles. Visitors enjoy sipping wine at art galleries, eating from food trucks, and learning about ways to get engaged in the arts at the NOTO Arts Center in the old historic post office. We are Topeka and NOTO proud!

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The arts are alive and well in Topeka!

Topeka’s First Friday event coordinated by ArtsConnect attracts hundreds of people to the multitude of art galleries throughout the city. Watch for details in the local paper each “First Friday” or pick up a copy of “City Arts” a brochure about arts in Topeka at the Chamber or galleries throughout the city.

The excitement of live theater can be experienced nearly every night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, the Topeka Civic Theatre, the Helen Hocker Performing Arts Center in Gage Park or Washburn University.

The Kansas Expocentre provides the stage for performers such as Kenny Rogers, Oak Ridge Boys, Chicago, Aerosmith, REO Speedwagon and George Strait. The circus comes to town annually along with rodeos and shows such as Sesame Street Live.

The Topeka Performing Arts Center has many different performances every year including well-known singers and Broadway shows that appeal to audiences of all ages.

The Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy offers award winning dinner theatre performances (and non-dinner, too!), studio productions and a children’s academy.

The Topeka Symphony Orchestra, an 80-member professional orchestra, presents classical music and world-renowed guest artists in their annual concert series. The Topeka Community Concert Association, the Topeka Opera Society, the Fine Arts Society, and the Topeka Jazz Workshop also offer a variety of entertainment by local, regional, and national performers. The Sunflower Music Festival brings professional musicians from across the country to Washburn University each June and the city and county parks and recreation departments feature local musical groups in area parks and at Brown Bag lunches downtown during the summer months.

Topeka has over 20 art galleries devoted to furthering artistic expression and appreciation. The Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library maintain permanent collections and present exhibits monthly. Community events such as the Mulvane Mountain Plains Art Far, Kaw River Valley Art Festival and Cider Days offer area artists opportunity for display and sale of their works.