Fort Dodge is proud of the role the arts play in the lives of the community. We encourage residents and guests to visit these Fort Dodge art pieces, attractions and events.
The Blanden Art Museum has a permanent collection which includes modern American & European paintings, African sculptures, glassworks and 16th-20th century American, European & Japanese prints. The Blanden also has adult and youth classes, art education classes, meet & greet artist events and family fun activities.
Comedia Musica Players was founded in 1968. This theatre troupe has produced and performed at least one full-length musical each year since. They are known to give professional-quality productions of musicals of all types, from the dramatic “Man of La Mancha” and “Camelot” - to lighter fare such as “The Pajama Game”, “State Fair” and “Beauty and the Beast” - to the more operatic “Evita” and “Phantom”. The troupe’s most recent productions include “Into the Woods”, “Chicago”, “Young Frankenstein” and "Annie".
Continuing the tradition of providing quality music since its founding in 1949, the Fort Dodge Area Symphony invites guests to join them for a season filled with familiar classics and memorable melodies that are sure to delight all music enthusiasts.
Fort Dodge Choral Society is currently celebrating its 48th season. Organized in the spring of 1968 the Fort Dodge Choral Society is one of the oldest community groups dedicated to the performance of fine choral literature in the state of Iowa. FDCS frequently collaborates with area ensembles from several different genres. Additionally, FDCS presents concerts in tandem with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony and collaborate with the Comedia Musica Players, the King Ringers handbell choir, and choirs from local schools. As part of its mission to promote musical excellence in the Fort Dodge area, the society has commissioned and debuted choral works from area composers.
The Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association is inspiring a vibrant community by fostering creativity and celebrating life through the arts. The FDFAA has multiple members or events, and utilizes social media to spread news of the arts in the area.
The Fort Museum is housed in a stockade fort and pioneer main street. Buildings and corresponding collections include a family cabin, church, one room school house, cabinet shop, land office, general store, drug store, jail, print shop, blacksmith shop, livery stable, pottery building and tinsmith shop. Other collections included are prehistoric, military, Native American, Civil War, period furniture and early Fort Dodge artifacts. The only remaining cabin from the fort which established Fort Dodge is dedicated to Lewis A. Armistead, a confederate general killed at Pickett's Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. Prior to joining the confederacy, Armistead served as Quartermaster at Fort Dodge. Another special exhibit building tells the story of the Cardiff Giant, one of the biggest hoaxes from the 19th century which started from gypsum mined near Fort Dodge.
Just Completed in April 2016! This is the site of the Webster County Freedom Rock on which artist Ray "Bubba" Sorenson II painted patriotic scenes on the 25,000 pound boulder. Webster County's Freedom Rock will be specific to this county depicting scenes specific to this county's veterans.
The Freedom Rock Trailhead will also, include an informational trail kiosk, two flagpoles and parking. The site will have landscaping done and a paved parking area developed in the summer of 2016
Hawkeye Community Theatre has been providing live theatre productions since 1957. Every year they produce six high quality shows.
One of Fort Dodge distinguished citizens, Karl L. King's impressive career as a bandmaster, prolific composer and musician made him a legend in his own lifetime. Everyone has heard his Barnum and Bailey's Favorite which, along with the other 200 marches he composed, assured him the world-wide status of March King along with John Philip Sousa and Henry Fillmore.
Anyone wishing to visit the Karl King office should contact Nancy Olson at (712) 297-8193 or write to Karl L. King Municipal Band Room 146, Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge, IA 50501 to make arrangements.
The Karl King Band performs various free concerts to the public every year. In February, March and April the band performs once a month at Decker Auditorium. Every Sunday evening during June and July the Kark King Band performs at the historic Oleson Park Bandshell. Please bring your own lawnchairs to these outdoor concerts.
The Lizard Creek Blues Society was founded to help preserve, promote, and educate music lovers about an American Original, the Blues. Through staging of Lizard Creek Blues shows, promotion of blues at other venues, and educating the general public the Lizard Creek Blues Society brings blues to a population that might not otherwise have the opportunity to see live blues artists perform. Lizard Creek also encourages local musicians to play the blues.
Shellabration Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make positive contributions to the quality of life and the economic development of the greater Fort Dodge area through exciting, family-friendly entertainment and performing arts options. Shellabration brings legendary, nationally known bands for their summer Shellabration concert. This outdoor concert is complete with high tech light show and an LED video wall. In the fall, they hold their annual Oktoberfest Celebration at the Oleson Park Bandshell with the traditional polka music, custom wooden dance floor, German food, a variety of German and domestic draught beers on tap, live college football broadcasts all day and a rock or country band performing in the evening.
Sonshine Singers is a group of 140 vocalists which represent 40 churches in the area. They are dedicated to providing, through contemporary sacred anthems, a “music ministry” revealing the power of God’s love and grace so freely given.