Saint Paul's nonprofit performing arts center

Recognized as one of the U.S.’s leading not-for-profit performing arts centers, the Ordway is home to a wide variety of performances that encompass the finest in Broadway musical theater, music, dance, and vocal artists in its Music Theater and Concert Hall.

In 1980, Saint Paul resident Sally Ordway Irvine challenged her community to help create a performing arts venue in which her dream of offering “everything from opera to the Russian circus” could be realized. She set an example by making the first donation to a fund that eventually built the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

Sally’s vision is alive today as the Ordway presents a robust schedule of theater, dance, music, family events, and educational programs.


Dakota Land Acknowledgment

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Dakota kiŋ ded ohiŋni tipi.

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts respectfully acknowledges that we gather on Dakota land.

De nakuŋ Imniżaska Otuŋwe eyapi otaŋiŋ. This place is also known as Imniżaska Otuŋwe (Village along the White Cliffs).

Hekta Dakota oyate kiŋ hehan nakaha k’a nakuŋ tokatakiya ded tipi k’a makoce kiŋ ohodapi heuŋ pidawicauŋkiyapi. We are obliged to the Dakota people, past, present, and future, who live here and protect this land.

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Ordway will continue to honor our Native and Indigenous communities through the arts.

Dakota Land Acknowledgment Brochure
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We are grateful to all of the partners whose work informs this project.
Our special thanks to

Wambdi Wapaha, Glenn M. Wasicuna (Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba) – Gwen N. Westerman, Ph.D. • Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate – Christal Moose • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe – Kate Beane, Ph.D. • member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe in South Dakota – Čhaŋtémaza (Neil McKay) • Spirit Lake Dakota Nation in North Dakota – Ethan Neerdaels • Bdewakantunwan Dakota – Denise Nelson • Dakota – Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI)

Art: Angela Two Stars • Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate – Design: Maryam Marne Zafar • Lenape/African American/French-Dutch


Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Since Sally’s founding vision, our community has grown and evolved, and so too has the Ordway’s concept of what a Performing Arts Center can, and should, do to ensure equal access, representation, and participation in both our programs and our decision-making processes.

To that end, the Ordway aims to reflect the communities we serve on our stages, in our audiences, and in our breakrooms and boardrooms. We are also deeply committed to addressing barriers to participation that can restrict access to the performing arts for schoolchildren, adults, and organizations.

And we work proactively to ensure that everyone can take part in and shape our programs—both in the community and at the Ordway—as well as participate in our workforce and activities.

A place for lots of music—no, lots of everything! And for everybody!”

— Sally Ordway Irvine