Updated: 4/18/20

Dear MCA Community,

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has made the decision to suspend face-to-face classes and large gathering for the near future due to the public health issue created by COVID-19.  As an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of MN, Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts has been directed to follow suit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. At this time all in-person lessons, classes, and performances will be put on hold through July 31, 2020. We will be continually reassessing the situation and recommendations from SMUMN and public health officials to find out the earliest but safest time we can return to regular programming. Until we are able to meet in person, we are happy to report that we have been able to move many of our classes and private lessons online and have new programs and partnerships in development. Explore our online programs below or by clicking here.

Thank you for your understanding during this unexpected situation. We are so sorry for the inconvenience and disruption in your arts education. 


Jamie Schwaba

Managing Director

P.S. During this time, we invite you and your family to join us on social media for educational and entertaining MCA Moments created by our talented MCA community. Click on the social media icons below to take you to our pages. Check back often, as new content is being created daily. If you like what you see please consider making a donation to help support our instructors and MCA during this unexpected closure.

MCA Online May Classes

Partnership Programs: (+registration through the partner organization, *registration through MCA)

Tuesday 10-10:30am & Friday 4-4:30pm, April 28  & May 1,- Movement & Musical Storytime: Storytime in partnership with Caledonia Public Library+

Wednesday, April 29, 3-4pm- Musical Storytime: Storytime in partnership with Lewiston-Altura Early Childhood*

Friday, May 1, 3-4pm- Virtual Adaptive Class: class in partnership with Home & Community Options+

Register Now:

June Online Camps & Classes

Online Private Music Lessons

student playing piano

We are excited to announce that we have shifted to offering private music lessons online and we are now accepting online registration for new students for most instruments. Now is the time to finally spend a little time with that piano that's been sadly sitting quietly in the corner or guitar that has been collecting dust in your basement! 

As with in-person lessons you may purchase lessons in a 4, 8, or 12 lesson package (ranging from $17-$19 per 30 minute lesson). We will be happy to shift lessons to in-person lessons once we can safely do so. No fees are paid until we connect you with an instructor. Learn more about MCA private lessons and instructors.

What you need need at your house to have a successful online lesson:

  • your instrument
  • a device with a camera and microphone (internal microphone should be fine unless you need to be far away from your device to be at your instrument.
  • optional: headphones or external speaker  
  • a wired connection (most reliable) or a strong wireless signal (around 1.5 Mbps for upload speed).  A 4G connection traditionally works as well.

Register Now!  


National Tap Dance Day Virtual Celebration

In honor of National Tap Dance Day, join MCA instructor Christine Martin, among others on May 31st at 6:30pm as we celebrate this historic event. Our virtual celebration from home will include dancing the Shim Sham Shimmy on screen together, a mini Tap jam with improvisation, and Tap trivia with prizes! The program will be run through Zoom and the website Kahoot will be used for the trivia section.

This class is celebration is free, however if you are find value in this program, our MCA Moments and want to help ensure MCA is able to continue to offer engaging programming during these challenging times and beyond, please consider making a donation if you are able.

Click here to learn more about the Shim Sham (including video instruction) and National Tap Dance Day.

Click here to register now!

Art in a Box for Ages 55+

MCA is so excited to be continuing to offer unique programs geared towards adults ages 55+. During this home based class, each participant will get a package of supplies to create with over the 8-week period as well as guided lesson plans. However, unlike other DIY (Do-it-Yourself) art kids, students be sending and receiving postcards from other area residents and receiving check-ins by the instructor. Registrations can expect to learn new artistic techniques, be encouraged to set aside time to be creative, and feel more connected to others during this challenging time. Please see the description below for class details.

Art in a Box: Playful Postcards

It's time to get creative and have a little fun sending and receiving colorful postcards. Each student will receive a special art kit to keep that includes everything you need to get started including blank postcards, stamps, colored pencils, dual tip markers, and weekly lesson plans. All you will be asked to do is to explore a new art technique then create and send a postcard a week to a Winona area classmate. Miss. Brianna will also check in with students throughout the program via a desired contact via digital platform or by phone which will be determined at a later date.

Day/Dates: Self-paced weekly project, June 1- July 18

Ages: 55+

Cost: $22 (includes all art supplies including dual tip markers, colored pencils, postcards, stamps and more, & Winona Delivery or pick-up)*

Instructor: B. Haupt

*Discounted fee thanks to the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
Register Now:

Partnership with Caledonia Public Library for Houston County Residents

Virtual Arts for All Houston County Residents 

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is excited to announce NEW virtual programming for both youth and adults in collaboration with Caledonia Public Library and Mainspring in June. Due to COVID-19, this collaborative group had to cancel in-person creative classes previously scheduled for spring and summer 2020. However, thanks to the dedication of funders and partners, we are excited to bring virtual creative and cultural classes to you at home! All of these events are FREE to Houston County residents, but registration is required.

This project is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

Creating Houston County in Oil Pastels

With beautiful bluffs, owls, and barn quilts, what’s not to love about Houston County? Now is your chance to create mini-pictures of your favorite spots and features of your home. You will learn how to play with color, blending, and design during this one-of-a-kind class.

Pre-packaged materials for this class will be provided for free, thanks to our funders. Once registered, you will receive an email with details for curbside pick-up or delivery. Each registered participant will also receive access to a series of short adult mindful stretching and chair yoga videos created by Mainspring to enjoy at home.

Day/ Dates: Fridays, June 5-26
Time: 2- 3:30 pm
Ages: Adults of ages
Instructor: Lisa Douglas
Location: Mainspring in Caledonia, MN (down the street from the Caledonia Public Library)
Fee: Free, but registration required
Youth Art Club

Do you love to paint, draw, & sculpt? Youth ages 5-10 are invited to flex their creativity muscles while creating and connecting with others virtually. Each week you will explore new artistic materials and concepts. This session will focus on explorations with oil pastels and drawing techniques. Each participant will receive their very own home art kit including oil pastels, an artist pencil, special paper and more.

Pre-packed materials for this class will be provided for free, thanks to our funders. Once registered, you will receive an email with details for curbside pick-up or delivery. Registrants also receive a series of short downloadable youth yoga classes and Houston County Activity Book created by Mainspring.

Day/ Dates: Wednesdays, June 3-24
Time: 10-11 am
Ages: Youth 5-10 years
Instructor: Lisa Douglas
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: Free, but registration required
Houston County Storytime
Join the Caledonia Public Library and Miss Jess from the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) of Winona during this special story time just for Houston County residents. Miss Jess will introduce fun dance and music based activities and read a special story each week that will invite young children and their families to be active and creative along with familiar faces while also practicing social distancing.
Registrants also receive a series of short downloadable yoga class and Houston County Activity Book created by Mainspring.
Day/ Dates: Tuesdays, June 2-23
Time: 10-10:30 am
Ages: Geared towards ages 0-6 years
Instructor: Jessica Dienger
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: Free, but registration required
This project is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.



Virtual Performances

Don't miss viewing these special premiere's in real time on both our MCA  Facebook Page or You Tube Channel.

May 29, 6:30pm: MCA Music Division Concert

June 5th: The Show Must Go Online- Virtual Musical featuring 18 Winona area youth. 

MCA Moments & Dance Stay Strong Videos

We have created two playlist to help you and your family get through COVID-19 and even come out stronger and smarter.

MCA Moments- are music, theatre, dance, and visual arts activities that will fill your creative tool box full of arts tips, tricks, and boredom busters.

Dancers Stay Strong- Since you can't get to the studio, we are bringing dance to you... here we are sharing dance combinations, movement games and conditioning exercises to help you burn off energy stay strong and learn.

Exclusive MCA Community Facebook Page

This group is for current (within 1 year) MCA students and their families. During the COVID-19 outbreak we plan to use this group to help us share and create together and inspire each other on a daily basis. 

Request to Join


Weekly Art Challenge

Each week during these challenging times, we want to help inspire you and your family to carve out a little time to create a little visual art with a weekly theme. All you need to do is use your imagination and the materials you have at home to create something and send us a photo of just your art (either message our Facebook Page or email: mca@smumn.edu) by 6pm Saturday of that week.We will post everyone's creations at the same time and even have a fan favorite vote off over the weekend! There will be a youth and adult division for voting, so all ages are encouraged to participate.

Each week's challenge will be listed on our private MCA Students & Families 2020 Facebook Page.

Request to Join the Facebook Page