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Arts and Entertainment

Rockford is home to numerous professional and community performance groups and facilities, museums and art galleries.

Rockford Art Museum downtown is Illinois’ third-largest museum. Three galleries display a permanent collection of more than 1,500 pieces of modern and contemporary American art, American masters, photography, contemporary glass art and outsider art.

The historic Coronado Theatre downtown is home to “Coronado Presents,” a season of live musical and entertainment shows. The regional performing arts center plays host to performances by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the Rockford Dance Company, the Rockford Coronado Concert Association and Broadway at the Coronado.

The Rockford Dance Company, a pre-professional dance company now in its 35th season, produces The Nutcracker with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra annually and a full-length ballet in spring.

Built in 1981, the MetroCentre, a 10,000-seat arena in downtown Rockford, draws an annual attendance of more than 500,000 to live concerts and events. The MetroCentre is home to professional sports teams like Rockford IceHogs hockey (an affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks), Rock River Raptors indoor football and Rockford Rampage indoor soccer.

Located on the Rock Valley College campus in Rockford’s east side, the world-class Bengt Sjostrom Theatre houses Starlight Theatre, the longest-running summer theater program in Rockford. An average of 40,000 people come each June, July and August to see productions under the theater complex’s dramatic hexagonal dome roof made of six triangular “roof leaves.”

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra has entertained music lovers in the community since 1943. Named Illinois Orchestra of the Year, RSO performs more than 20 annual classics, pops, summer and youth concerts.

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has the distinction of being the oldest, continuous community music organization in the U.S. Today it is home to the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Chorale, the Rock Valley Children’s Choirs and the Kantorei, The Singing Boys of Rockford.

 

 

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