Arts & Culture
From a Broadway-style show or an award winning local production to local artists showcasing their well-crafted pieces in galleries, we are a community of proud makers. The vibrant arts and culture scene thrives across our area, celebrating the work and dedication of our local artisans and the community itself.
As you wind your way through the 6 cities and towns of Elkhart County, you can take time to absorb the work, meet the artists, and share stories of our well crafted communities.
Our museums are rich in history and far from stuffy. Fun is the best word to describe them. There is the Hall of Heroes Comic and Superhero Museum filled with fantastic memorabilia and the Ruthmere Museum which offers a window into the "Gilded Age."
Make your visit the ultimate road trip by visiting the RV/Mobile Home Hall of Fame and the National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart and then drive west to South Bend to visit the Studebaker National Museum. Or get in touch with our history at the Elkhart County Historical Museum and the Middlebury Community Museum.
The Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart highlights what makes American art so unique, including signed lithographs from Mr. Americana himself, Norman Rockwell.
Performing Arts and Theaters
From Broadway-style shows to acrobats flying over the audience to local productions in a barn, our theater scene runs the gamut. The Elkhart Civic Theatre is inside the historic Bristol Opera House, while the Lerner Theatre has a community legacy stretching over a century. The Blue Gate Theatre and Performing Arts Center is host to a full schedule of concerts while the Michiana Events Center hosts everything from acrobats to rodeos. And for some local flavor, check out the productions at The Round Barn Theatre at the Barns at Nappanee and the Heritage Hall at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury.
Get your hands on a piece of authentic northern Indiana culture by checking out our varied art galleries. Here you meet the artists that put their time, heart, and soul into every piece they produce. At Found you’ll find handcrafted works alongside pieces from around the world. At Goertzen Pottery, you can peruse Mark Goertzen’s works that he’s been creating here for more than thirty years. You might even catch him at his pottery wheel. You will also discover shopping centers that are almost as unique as the artisans who sell their wares there. Coppes Commons was once a cabinet factory that produced the famous Hoosier Cabinets and The Old Bag Factory was once the Chase Bag Factory where the term “bagology” was coined. The hunt is as rewarding as the find.
Our Amish Community
One of the largest Amish communities in America makes their home right here in Elkhart County. Many shops dot the landscape and welcome guests to their home based businesses. Meet Vernon and Elma Lehman at Sonshine Baskets in Millersburg and LaVern Miller at Teaberry Wood Products in Middlebury. They are proud of the work they do and love sharing it. Here, learning Amish culture is an immersive experience. From a horse and buggy ride to a nostalgic family-style meal and a night at a bed and breakfast, you learn about another culture living and thriving right next to your own.
The Heritage Trail
Explore, wander, get lost, and find something amazing. The Heritage Trail happily takes you off the beaten path and helps you explore Elkhart County’s amazing communities at your own pace. An audio driving tour takes you from our bustling main streets to the country back roads, highlighting history at every turn. And the best part is: the audio guide is absolutely free!