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Mission Statement: 

The mission of the Northern Lakes Arts Association is to support and develop the visual,

performing, and literary arts to enrich the quality of life in Ely and the surrounding area.


Vision Statement: 

Northern Lakes Arts Association is committed to presenting, promoting, and fostering artists and arts experiences for local artists, residents, and visitors to the Ely community. We will collaborate with other arts organizations to facilitate the growth of the arts in our area. We will engage local artists with other artists, including professional artists, to nurture the creative spirit in everyone, and welcome all participants and observers to grow individually and collectively. We believe that nurturing the arts and artists will lift up our community, creating a richer and more vibrant experience for everyone, while making Ely an arts and cultural destination.

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

Northern Lakes Arts Association's goal is to serve the community of Ely and its surrounding areas through fostering, presenting, and promoting the arts. By melding professional artists from outside the area with local artists, we strive to connect, strengthen, and grow our community through the arts and enrich the quality of life for our members, the community, and the surrounding area.


We strive to inspire young and older adults to pursue the arts and 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 create a more prosperous and vibrant community.

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

Even with its 35-year history, NLAA is constantly growing and evolving 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.

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