Our Mission

The Cedar’s mission is to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through the presentation of global music and dance. The Cedar is committed to artistic excellence and integrity, diversity of programming, support for emerging artists, and community outreach.

About The Cedar

Located in the heart of Cedar Riverside, one of the most prolific neighborhoods for live music in Minneapolis, and the home to the largest Somali diaspora in the U.S., The Cedar plays a key role in maintaining the vibrancy and diversity of the Twin Cities’ arts scene.

From world legends to up-and-coming new bands, The Cedar presents unique voices from around the globe through 200+ shows a year. The Cedar's programming spans global roots, folk, indie, experimental, bluegrass, Americana and blues genres, and includes as artist residencies, educational programs, workshops, films, dances, comedy, spoken word and community events.

The Cedar is regarded as one of the best venues in the country to be able to see and hear an artist as though you were in their living room.
— Minnesota Public Radio


The only all-ages venue of its kind in the Midwest, The Cedar was established in 1989 and operates in a building that was constructed as a movie theater in 1948. 

The Cedar Theatre, as it was referred to pre-1989, once housed the Contemporary Dance Playhouse School (the precursor to Loyce Houlton's Minnesota Dance Theatre) and the Center Opera (which became the Minnesota Opera in 1968). In 1986 the Coffeehouse Extempore moved across the street and operated out of The Cedar until 1987. Ownership of The Cedar was transferred to Minnesota STAR, Inc. in 1989 and the theatre then became The Cedar Cultural Centre (now spelled ‘Center’)

The Cedar around 1989-1990

The Cedar around 1989-1990

The Cedar's hall can be configured for seated concerts (450 capacity) as well as standing room concerts (625 capacity) and provides high-quality sound in an intimate concert environment, never putting the audience member more than 30 feet away from the stage.

Through 200+ shows a year and programs such as Midnimo, the Cedar Commissions, and the Global Roots Festival The Cedar continues to fulfill its mission of promoting intercultural appreciation through global music.