To help slow the spread of coronavirus, Minnesota's arts and culture institutions are canceling, postponing — or playing for radio broadcast only.

Here's a roundup of the latest:

Classical music

The Minnesota Orchestra has canceled two weeks of concerts, starting Friday and running through March 23.

The orchestra still performed Friday at Orchestra Hall — but for radio broadcast only. Listeners tuned into the 8 p.m. program, of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto and Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, on Classical Minnesota Public Radio or streamed at

"We have made the decision to land on the side of caution for our audiences and to play our part in the wider community effort to help slow the transmission of COVID-19," said Michelle Miller Burns, the orchestra's president and CEO, in a Thursday news release. "I'm humbled by the fact that our musicians want to play Friday's concert for the listening public, and we're grateful to MPR for making this possible."

Cloud Cult's concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, set for March 20 and 21, will be rescheduled for later this year.

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra announced Friday that it, too, is cancelling performances from March 13 until March 29, citing the recommendation that public events of 250 people or more be canceled through the end of March.

"Ticket holders do not need to take any immediate action," the St. Paul nonprofit posted on its website. "Tickets for canceled concerts will be automatically banked in your account and can be used for future performances."

The Bach Society of Minnesota said Friday that it was canceling its performances Friday and Saturday of Handel's oratorio "The Triumph of Time and Truth" and Bach's cantata "Ich habe genug."

Pop music

The coronavirus started to unplug much of the concert industry Thursday, as touring stars Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Rage Against the Machine and more announced they were postponing their Twin Cities concerts.

"This is all uncharted," Chesney said in a statement calling off his May 8 date at U.S. Bank Stadium and several other shows.

"I'm like everyone else: watching the news, wondering when we may know something concrete, not sure how this gets transmitted, worried someone I know will catch it. I want to believe this will all be OK in the end; but right now, [no risk] is worth it."

Xcel Energy Center lost both of its big concerts scheduled this weekend. The Lumineers concert Friday was postponed to Sept. 24. Jason Aldean's show Saturday is now rebooked for Aug. 8.

Rage has delayed the entire first leg of its first tour in over a decade, including sold-out shows May 11-12 at Target Center. Reba McEntire's May 7 gig at Xcel Center was rescheduled for July 23. Dan + Shay moved their April 10 show at Target Center to Aug. 29. No new date has been set for Chesney. Tickets to the original nights will be honored at the makeup concerts.

Both of Sturgill Simpson's upcoming shows at the Armory were called off. The April 4 concert was rescheduled for May 15 but the April 5 show was canceled outright; refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

On the club end, country band Lanco called off its concert Thursday at the Fillmore with only a half-day's notice. Saturday's show there with the Revivalists was also canceled.

First Avenue also started to churn out cancellation notices for its various venues, including the Drive-by Truckers' stop at the Palace Theatre on Saturday and shows by Devon Townsend, Adam Green and Avi Kaplan in the coming week.

Theater & dance

By Friday, nearly all the shows on Twin Cities stages were shut down.

The Guthrie Theater canceled all remaining performances of "Twelfth Night" and "The Bacchae" as well as the upcoming performances of "Centerplay."

–May 31) are expected to go on as scheduled, and the theater will continue to re-evaluate that decision. ... Ticket holders are encouraged to wait to receive communication from the Guthrie, which outlines a variety of options around exchanging, donating or returning tickets."

The Ordway postponed everything through April 19, including the Broadway tours of "The Color Purple" and "The Last Ship," headlined by Sting.

"We hope to get them back on the calendar," Ordway president and CEO Jamie Grant said Friday. "It's a brutal thing to do, but for our customers and staff, it's the right thing to do."

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres suspended all its shows — including its splashy revival of "The Music Man" plus music and comedy concerts — through April 12. Brindisi's Pub, its popular watering hole, will also be shut down. "We want to be part of the solution to this crisis," said its namesake, artistic director Michael Brindisi.

The Children's Theatre canceled all performances of "Spamtown, USA" and "The Rainbow Fish," which was to open this weekend, through April 5. The theater also scotched its education programs. It hopes to resume performances after April 5.

Theater Latté Da, which had planned to open "La Boheme" March 18, announced it is suspending performances for two weeks, pending news about COVID-19 (the theater also indicated it will continue to compensate artists and staff during those two weeks). The theater hopes to resume performances April 1.

The Jungle Theater pushed back its production of "Redwood," which was to open Friday. "We'll get 'Redwood' back up on stage as soon as we can," Jungle leaders said in a statement.

The musical, "Interstate," in a world premiere run at Mixed Blood, will continue, but its run will be shortened by a week, closing March 22. MacArthur "genius" Mac's appearance, scheduled for March 17, has been canceled but "may be rescheduled."

"Welcome Home" was a Red Eye Theater production scheduled to be performed in homes throughout the Twin Cities March 13-29. Those performances will be moved to this fall, instead.

Penumbra Theatre did make a change for its upcoming Wednesday new works lab, which will now be streamed online instead of being held in-person.

"We're aware that our community includes people who would be vulnerable to the virus," Penumba artistic director Sarah Bellamy said. "We want to be respectful about people's personal feelings around travel and shared space."

And 20% Theatre Company, which promotes work by female and transgender artists, announced that it would cancel its fundraiser event, Equinox Gayla, on March 21.

"The community we serve are some of the most vulnerable," said Claire Avitabile, founder and executive director. "There are a lot of low-income folks that don't have paid time off, don't have health insurance, a lot of artists with disabilities and artists with underlying health concerns ... We just feel in light of everything going on, that we wanted to protect our family in a way we could."

All spring dance events at the Cowles Center, including , have been cancelled, according to a posting on the venues website. "The Cowles is working with our season partners... to reschedule new show dates in 2020, and we will update ticket buyers via email as dates become solidified," venue leaders said in a statement.

Visual arts

Museums are shutting their doors. The Minneapolis Institute of Art closed starting at 5 p.m. Friday. The Walker Art Center, too, has temporarily shut down.

"As a tourist destination and community gathering place, we feel it is our responsibility to those around us to temporarily close the Walker to visiting audiences," the Walker announced Friday night. "This closure includes the Walker's Esker Grove restaurant and the Walker Shop."

In a statement Friday, Mia leaders wrote, "We did not make this call lightly, but the health and well-being of our community is our top priority."

Earlier in the week, both the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center cancelled weeks of events, tours and activities due to the spread of coronavirus.

The University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum also closed as of 5 p.m. Friday, along with other major campus venues. All programming is canceled⁠until further notice.

Smaller visual arts groups, too, have made changes.

All My Relations Arts has canceled and postponed events for the rest of March. Soomaal House of Art's new exhibition opening, set for March 14, has been delayed. The Highpoint Center for Printmaking has canceled its Free Ink Day scheduled for March 14. The Soo Visual Arts Center has postponed the opening of its new exhibitions until April.

Juxtaposition Arts has canceled its upcoming exhibition, "Penumbras: Sacred Geometries," and its opening reception March 19. "We are saddened in having to make this decision…" the arts organization said on Instagram. "However, due to the nature of the exhibition and artworks, as well as the amount of travel that would have been required by the artists and curator, we have decided to take the utmost precaution and cancel both the exhibition and opening reception."


The Wordplay book festival will shift to a virtual celebration this spring instead of the bustling in-person event the inaugural festival was last year.

Held in the neighborhood of the Loft Literary Center in downtown Minneapolis, last May's festival drew about 10,000 people to dozens of author events.

The Loft also announced Thursday that it will either cancel its spring classes or move them to online.

These steps are being taken because of the COVID-19 health crisis, which has resulted in the cancellation of thousands of in-person events across the world, including Broadway plays, major sporting events and others.

"It's crushing" to lose the in-person event, Wordplay founding director Steph Opitz said Thursday. "But I'm really excited that we're doing something other than canceling."

The virtual Wordplay will be free and online, using podcasts, video conferences, Twitter, Instagram and other outlets.

The remainder of the author appearances for the spring lineup of Club Book have been canceled. This includes the following appearances: Laila Lalami, March 24; James Rollins, March 26; Dahr Jamail, April 9; Kate Quinn, April 22; Christopher Ingraham, April 27; and Benjamin Percy, May 4.


The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival — a huge gathering of movies and movie-makers from across the world -- has been postponed.

MSP Film Society, the nonprofit behind the annual film fest, its marquee event, made the call Friday in the midst of coronavirus concerns.

"We're all pretty dejected around here," said executive director Susan Smoluchowski by phone. "But it's just the right thing to do."

This year's festival had been set for April 9-25 at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis and venues across the Twin Cities. The Film Society is also suspending its screenings at St. Anthony Main starting Saturday. (The nonprofit handles programming for one screen at the theater.)

"This decision is made to safeguard us all from any possible risk of infection," the nonprofit said in a statement, "and per today's recommendations from the office of the Governor of Minnesota."

Smoluchowski emphasized that the festival, with its 250-plus films, is being postponed — not cancelled. Curators and staffers are weighing what the festival might look like in the summer.

"It's very fluid and very much up in the air," she said.

Movie theater chains have released statements about additional cleaning and sanitizing measures. ShowPlace Icon Theatres in St. Louis Park indicated that, as a precaution, it also is changing the way it hands out condiments and refills and it is blocking off some seats that will not be sold, "to increase the distance between each group of guests."