Marquette Named a Top Ten Best Small Town Cultural Scene in the Country

April 19, 2024
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Marquette has proudly secured its place among the Top Ten best small town cultural scenes in the United States, according to a ranking by USA Today’s 10Best. This recognition highlights Marquette’s rich cultural community, where galleries, museums, festivals, and performing arts thrive alongside the natural beauty that defines the region. Residents and visitors alike enjoy not only the picturesque landscapes but also easy access to a vibrant arts and cultural scene that truly makes Marquette someplace special.

“This honor is national recognition of the amazing creative community that calls Marquette home” says Tiina Morin, City of Marquette Arts and Culture Manager. “We are a City that is intentional about supporting and integrating the arts and celebrating the people that live here. The culture is an economic driver, a tourism attractant, but it’s so much more than that. Marquette is special because the people who live here are passionate about their community and expressing that joy in so many creative ways.”

The City of Marquette’s vibrancy is rooted in collaboration, uniting artists, audiences, and advocates. Its Top Ten status is reliant on no single industry. A blend of public, private, nonprofit, for-profit players, and individuals all contribute to the happenings that ensure a full calendar of cultural opportunities any day of the year. For a community calendar to post events and find out what’s happening in Marquette, visit the website. Managed by the City of Marquette Office of Arts and Culture, the site also lists creative opportunities, resources, City Arts & Culture programs and projects, and a public art directory.

Marquette is where community-driven culture blends with city-backed initiatives. The City Office of Arts and Culture takes the lead in fostering placemaking and economic vitality through planning and policy. Guided by the Arts & Culture Master Plan and Public Art Policy, the City prioritizes resource building and empowerment of local creatives.

The City Office of Arts and Culture works with local partners across sectors to secure state and national grant funding for capital projects and initiatives:

  • Public Art: The Seven Grandfather Teachings sculpture by Anishinaabe artist Jason Quigno, will be installed at the entrance to the new downtown walking pier late June. (57% in grant funding leveraged by the Marquette Public Art Commission)
  • Events: The City’s annual Art Week festival will occur June 24-29 and feature locally led, free-to-attend events, performances, and installations. (100% of funding for artists and events secured through a Michigan Arts and Culture Council project grant)
  • Cultural Trail: The dual-language (Anishinaabe/English) story marker signs will be installed along City’s shoreline cultural trail this fall. (100% grant funded through the Native American Heritage Fund and National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Band Shell: Architectural designs will be developed this summer and constructed in 2025 for the new Peg Hirvonen Band Shell at Presque Isle Park (100% funded by the Hirvonen Foundation and local donors)
  • Cultural Center and Trailhead: Architectural designs will be developed this summer and constructed in 2025 for the new Cultural Center and Trailhead building at Father Marquette/Lions Lakeside Park, which will become the new home of the City’s Office of Arts and Culture staff and a creative resource hub for the local community and visitors. (100% grant funded through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the MI Department of Natural Resources)

The community will be engaged with feedback opportunities and project updates for the above and more during Art Week 2024.

To learn more about USA Today’s 10Best and discover the other Top Ten destinations, visit

To learn more about the City of Marquette Office of Arts and Culture, its mission to celebrate and empower a creative community, and its current projects, visit