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101 Things To Do: The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson

The Phipps Center for the Arts offers a variety of shows featuring local as well as regional and national talent. The center is located in Hudson, Wis., Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
One of the galleries at the Phipps Center offers beautiful views of Hudson's Lakefront Park and the St. Croix River. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
The Phipps Center issues a call for artists to fill the seven galleries that change monthly. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
The Phipps' seven galleries are free and open to the public anytime the main building is open. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
The Phipps Center has dance, music, and theater performances year-round in Hudson, Wis. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

Editor's note: This is the latest stop in our new series, 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight. The stories are compiled at www.rivertown101.com.

The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson serves as a focal point for all forms of creative work in the St. Croix valley.

"We are home to a community theater and a children's theater," said John Potter, executive director. "The children's theater features area students in four productions a year."

The Phipps Center, which opened in 1983, also has a community chorus and the Phipps Choral Society, Potter said. The center has two students dance companies, the Phipps Dance Company and Phipps Junior Dance Company, in addition to an adult dance company, the Phipps Dance Theater, which does two productions each year.

Many of the music, dance, and theater productions feature local talent, according to Potter, but some special productions feature regional and national names.

"We present a series on the theater pipe organ and that features national and international musicians," Potter said. "Then we have what we call special events ranging from classical to jazz concerts. They may or may not include local talent. The bulk of what we do is featuring area people."

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The Phipps Center has seven art galleries, and much like the performing arts programming, they feature area and regional artists primarily. The galleries change each month, based on an annual call for artists which is juried and paired with galleries.

"We have lessons and classes for both the performing and visual arts year-round, and in the summer, we have eight weeks of a summer art camp," Potter explained. "It is for preschool to adults. We have everything."

Dance classes are held from September to May along with summer classes.

Because The Phipps Center operates with a small staff, there are many opportunities for community members to get involved as volunteers. The website has information about volunteering as well as an online form to sign up.

Their vision statement says, in part, "The Phipps Center for the Arts will be a leader in attracting artists and patrons through an eclectic mix of creating, producing, presenting, and exhibiting artistic expression."

That vision seems to be holding true, and Potter said, "Our goal is to have something that would interest everyone in the course of a season."

If you go...

What: The Phipps Center for the Arts

Where: 109 Locust St., Hudson, Wis.

Phone: Tickets 715-386-8409 / Admin 715-386-2305

Website: https://thephipps.org

Email: info@thephipps.org

When: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m.

How much: Galleries are free. Ticket prices for performances are on the website.

Steve Gardiner

Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming.  He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018.  He focuses on features and outdoor stories.  

(651) 301-7872