Young and broke? You can still afford great events!

I have always been a fan of the local cultural scene. Classical music, concerts, plays, museums, etc – I just love having arts and music in my life. Sadly, when the budget gets a bit tight (and honestly, when doesn’t it), these are often the first casualties.

This year, my partner and I have a bit more freedom in our schedule and are trying to use some of that to take in more shows of all kinds. Last weekend, we got to see the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra at the beautiful Ordway Concert Hall that just opened in March 2015. The sneaky photo doesn’t do it justice. You’ll notice that we’re facing the audience – that’s because most regular season concerts offer $15 seats in the choir loft. You may not have the greatest view of the orchestra, but the sound is amazing.

I’ve found a bunch of great options for young people wanting an affordable way to experience the arts…and yes, these really do hinge on your age. Many organizations are eager to get younger faces in their crowds and offer discounts accordingly.

  • Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s “club2030” – $10 tickets to most regular season concerts for anyone aged 18 to 39. This isn’t just the choir loft $15 seats for $10, no, it applies to anything. There are restrictions on certain special shows but that still leaves many concerts to enjoy! club2030 also hosts occasional post-concert happy hours.
  • Minnesota Orchestra’s “$20under40” – Select concerts are available for $20 if you’re under 40. There are currently 13 eligible concerts ranging from The Klezmatics to Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto. Signing up for the email list also gets you invitations to “Symphony & Suds” events, a partnership between MNO and the local beer community.
  • Guthrie Theater’s “30 Below” – Patrons 30 and under can enroll in the program at the Guthrie Box Office and then buy tickets by phone or in person on the day of the show for rush line prices without waiting in the actual rush line.
  • Guthrie Theater’s “Open Call” – This is a slightly different program that is more focused on community building than discounts. A social group for people 21-45, Open Call offers memberships at $150 for one person or $250 for two. That membership gets you tickets to four plays, season ticket holder discounts and privileges, tickets to specific performances with other Open Call members, artist hangouts, access to the Donor’s Lounge at intermission, and invitations to other social events. Oh, and $50 of the membership is considered a donation and is tax-deductible!
  • Minnesota Opera’s “Tempo” – Like Open Call, this is a membership program for people aged 21-39. $50 gets you savings on opening night tickets (up to 76%!), access to a members-only intermission lounge, invitations to special nights out and after parties, and opportunities to meet the artists.

I’ve certainly missed many more options, but I promise to keep hunting for my benefit and yours!

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