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Ely has a rich culture and history that is embedded with the performing, literary, and the visual arts. 

Northern Lakes Arts Association's mission is to serve the community of Ely and its surrounding areas through the fostering, presentation, and promotion of the arts. By melding the professional artists from outside the area with local artists we strive to connect, strengthen, and grow our community through the arts. As well as to enrich the quality of life for our members, the community, and the surrounding area through support and development of the visual, literary and performing arts.


We strive to inspire people young and old to pursue the arts and to learn how to collaborate, communicate, and create together. There are few opportunities for resident artists to work alongside professionals, and NLAA hopes to afford them that opportunity.

Fostering and lifting up the arts will only help in creating a richer and more vibrant community

Northern Lakes Arts Association would like to thank all of the local businesses, individual donors and audience members that have helped to guarantee the existence of locally produced, live, professional arts in North East Minnesota.

Even as a 35 year old company NLAA is constantly growing and evolving in an effort to expose a broader audience to the joys of the arts. We keep learning and growing and always welcome the input of our patrons. If you have any suggestions or comments, please email us.