The Ordway’s community programs connect our unique live performances with thousands in the community each year to create high quality arts learning and engagement experiences. Ordway events are so much more than what meets the eye. Every celebration, backstage tour, and community discussion can spread the wonder of live performance, inspire future generations, and strengthen an arts community that is as strong as it is diverse.

Ordway special programs

Flint Hills Family Festival

Made possible by a 20-year partnership between the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Flint Hills Resources, the Flint Hills Family Festival is celebrated each year with a week of school performances and a weekend of free and low-cost performances and art activities for families. The Festival has successfully served over one million people in our community since its inception in 2001.

The 2020 virtual Festival can be accessed on

Family Arts Blast

Bring the whole family to the Ordway and enjoy a wide range of creative activities happening throughout the building. You can make or try an instrument, learn new dance moves, explore hands on art projects — and every 20 minutes a new show or concert will start inside the three performance spaces. Programming provided by the Ordway, Minnesota Opera, Schubert Club, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Come explore. All are welcome! Admission is free for all ages and no reservations are required.

Taking Our Place Centerstage

In 2010, the Ordway along with Ms. Robin Hickman Winfield, Ordway’s Organizational Partner Strategist and CEO of SoulTouch Productions, and in partnership with communities of African ancestry, launched Taking Our Place Centerstage (TOPC), an initiative committed to artistic, educational and economic engagement.

This partnership has enabled the development of new and unique programming created in collaboration with leadership from Indigenous and communities of color and Ordway staff. These annual cultural celebrations led the foundation for opportunities to deepen and develop long-lasting relationships with our local communities.

A consistent thread is the economic empowerment of businesses and organizations that are led by people of color, and the paid engagement of artists from racially and culturally diverse communities who not only share their artistic gifts, but who have a voice in the way their work is presented and contextualized.

Sally Awards

Celebrating Minnesota’s commitment to the arts, the Sally Awards recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists, and leaders who strengthen and enrich the stage of Minnesota with their commitment to the arts and arts education.

The Sally Awards are presented annually to acknowledge achievement and contribution in each of five categories: Arts Access, Arts Learning, Commitment, Initiative, and Social Impact.

Saint Paul Public Schools Honors Concert

The Ordway partners with Saint Paul Public Schools and the Minnesota Museum of American Art (The M) to host the Annual Saint Paul Public Schools Honors Concert, Performance Art and Art Exhibition. Honors events provide creative and talented young artists in Saint Paul Public Schools with a professionally produced Concert, Performance, and Visual Art Exhibition experience and is a community celebration of Saint Paul Public Schools students’ knowledge, skills, efforts and commitment to Arts education.