Concerts in the Garden – 2023 Season

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a beautiful evening in the Museum’s sculpture garden. Concerts in the Garden are casual outdoor events featuring musicians from across the country. In addition to great music, guests can enjoy food hot off the grill, nightly specials, beer, and wine.

General Admission: $15
Season pass: $62.50
Free admission for children twelve and younger.
Tickets are not concert-specific and can be used for any concert in the series. Fees apply to online ticket purchases.

To purchase tickets call 701.777.4195 or purchase online


  • Smoking is not permitted on campus
  • No outside food or drinks allowed
  • No coolers allowed
  • All concerts are rain or shine but will be canceled if conditions do not allow for an outdoor performance
  • Concerts will not be moved indoors in the event of rain or wind
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Free parking from 4:30 pm to the end of the show

Please consider supporting the Concerts in the Garden to help keep our admission prices low. For an additional $100, you can become a Patron of this year’s series.

Interested musicians: Musical groups interested in being a part of the Concerts in the Garden series should contact Matthew Wallace, 701.777.4195 or

Sponsorship opportunities: For sponsorship opportunities contact the Museum, 701.777.4195.

The Commonheart

TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2023 | 6 PM

Opening band:
David Allen

Sponsored by:
Bryan Hoime & Greg Martin
Shannon & Donovan Widmer

“This band is therapy for me to bring myself back to being a better person, and I hope people come along with me,” says powerhouse singer Clinton Clegg of The Commonheart. The testimonial begins on August 16th when the 9-piece band issues its most potent and purposeful dose of grittily redemptive rock n’ soul, its sophomore album, Pressure (Jullian Records).

Clinton didn’t grow up in a Baptist church, and his soul machine of a band isn’t pushing religion. Live and in the studio, the Pittsburgh-based collective is offering feel-good positivity, Golden Rule messaging, and sweat-soaked performances that nimbly ease through blues, vintage soul, and rock.

The nonet is bonded by familial-like ties and a desire to foster spiritual uplift. Among its ranks are female backup singers, drums, bass, guitar, a horn section, and keyboards. Out front is Clinton, a lightning bolt charismatic front man with dynamically expressive pipes that effortlessly traverse bluesy pleading, and honeyed balladeering. Onstage and in the studio, Clinton evokes B.B. King, Al Green, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke.

The Commonheart is known to have transformative powers. Case in point is the band’s own singer. During one gig, while singing “Do Right” from Pressure, Clinton experienced a revelation.

“Seeing the audience’s reaction to the positivity in that song made me feel like I was giving them something they may need.” He pauses thoughtfully, and then continues: “You know blues music is sad as hell, but it makes you feel good. I thought maybe my bad stories could make people feel good, and I could bring a little bit of love to the show.”

Previously, Clinton was in an eclectic indie band searching for some semblance of artistic focus. He had grown up loving B.B. King and soul music, and recognized the strength of his raspy emotive voice. After some soul searching, he and that band’s drummer decided to do a back-to-basics band centered around Clinton’s singing and a vintage R&B-informed aesthetic. At first the band’s name was a casual variant of The Commonwealth, as in “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” but the moniker later accrued significance as the band began to explore the pent-emotionality inherent in its gospel-tinged tunes.

The Commonheart’s latest album, Pressure, is both rugged and refined. The 10-song album showcases raw-nerve soul musicianship pristinely recorded. The opening track boasts soulful sandpaper-y lead vocals, swoops of cosmic slide guitar, a driving Sly Stone groove, and rousing female backup vocals. It’s an up-against-a-wall tune about making a living while raising a family, and it speaks to the album’s title. The bluesy ballad title track, replete with pleading emotive vocals, drips yearning and melancholy redemption. “That’s about the daily grind—what it takes to maintain important relationships while you’re away from home, driving thousands of miles in van to pursue a dream,” Clinton confesses.

A spirit of a new-day optimism courses through the aptly titled “Different Man.” The song soars with stirring group backup vocals punctuated by Clinton’s vulnerable confessions. It’s a rousing and uplifting slice of R&B brimming with warm organs, clipped soul-guitar chanks, and triumphant horn melodies. “That song is about begging for a second chance, and building something beautiful after a sordid past,” Clinton reveals.

Pressure is an album by a band on a mission. “We are willing to take risks and to go at any lengths for this band,”  Clinton says affirmatively. “We are ready to spread positivity and make a stretch of this thing.”

The Cactus Blossoms

TUESDAY, August 1, 2023 | 6 PM

Sponsored by:
Maniphone & Jonathan Haug
Darrell & Kate Larson

“Hey baby, do you wanna take a trip with me? / I’ve got a feeling there might be a silver lining all around.” So begins One Day, the captivating new album from critically acclaimed Minneapolis duo The Cactus Blossoms. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the record explores the tension between optimism and despair that’s defined much of the past few years of American life, examining the power (or naïveté, depending on your perspective) of positive thinking in the face of chaos and uncertainty. The songs here are tender and timeless, with straightforward arrangements centered around brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s airtight harmonies, and the performances are warm and intimate to match, delivered with a soulful, ’70s-inspired palette of playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and muscular percussion.

The Cactus Blossoms broke out nationally in 2016 with their JD McPherson-produced debut, You’re Dreaming. Dates with Kacey Musgraves, Jenny Lewis, and Lucius followed, as did raves from the New York Times and NPR, who praised “the brothers’ extraordinary singing.” The band was further catapulted into the spotlight in 2018, when David Lynch tapped them to perform in the return of Twin Peaks, and continued to build on their success with their 2019 sophomore LP, Easy Way, which led Rolling Stone to laud the duo’s “rock-solid, freak of genetics harmonies.”

Nicotine Dolls

TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2023 | 6 PM

Opening band:

Sponsored by:
Bryan Hoime & Greg Martin
Remington Zacher

Nicotine Dolls is a NYC based Pop/Rock band formed in 2017 with lead singer Sam
Cieri, Guitarist John Hays, Bassist John Merritt, and Drummer Abel Tabares.

The band has been steadily releasing singles and EPs since 2019. They have built a
devoted and strong base through their successful Social Media engagement. The bands
most recent release “What Makes You Sad” was able to garner over 19k Pre-Saves and
opened at #5 on the Itunes all Genre chart.

Joslyn & The Sweet Compression

TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2023 | 6 PM

Sponsored by:
Barbara White in honor of Robert White

“The music Joslyn Hampton conjures onstage is rich with the funk, soul, and rock ’n’ roll inspirations of multiple generations, and at the heart of the brassy attack of her band, The Sweet Compression, and in the clear and confident command of her singing, sits a core element: Groove.” Walter Tunis, Lexington Herald-Leader

After cultivating her dynamic voice and performance skills in backup roles and stage plays, Joslyn Hampton teamed with her stepfather, Marty Charters (a touring guitarist and songwriter who has shared the stage with legends such as Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and Van Morrison), to compose a captivating set of tunes and assemble an ace band. Joslyn & The Sweet Compression (Isaac Stephens – guitar, Smith Donaldson – bass, Rashawn Fleming – drums, Trevin Little – saxophone, and Sam Richardson – Keyboard) combine to deliver a hook-filled mix of funk and soul on their self-titled debut album, released in 2019. A headlining favorite at regional clubs and music festivals, they are poised to engage fans across the country with widespread touring in 2023.

The Dank

TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2023 | 6 PM

 Sponsored by:
Luise Beringer

Based out of Grand Forks, North Dakota, The Dank is a six-piece, groove driven, funk and rock-n-roll band that formed in 2017. High energy live music is their specialty and with multiple singers/songwriters pulling inspiration from genres from every corner of the musical realm, their music has something for everyone. The Dank is comprised of Anthony Diaz (guitar, vocals), Daniel Knight (guitar, vocals), Branden Kuersteiner (bass, vocals), Joseph McCauley (keyboards, saxophone, vocals), Brian Rydell (percussion) and Tyler Vacura (drums). Playing a combination of original music and cover songs, their live performances have made them a local favorite in North Dakota and surrounding areas.


2023 Series Sponsor

Premium Sponsors $1500+


Little Miracles, Inc.


Advanced Drainage Systems
Botsford Family Foundation
Economy Plumbing INC
McDonald Dentistry
Norby’s Work Perks
Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture
Prairie Public Radio

DONOR $250+



Martin Brown
Madelyn Camrud
Duane Christianson
Lynn Gilbraith
Alvin Boucher & Thomasine Heitkamp
Brad & Deborah LaChance
Betsy & Dexter Perkins


Luise Beringer
Maniphone & Jonathan Haug
Darrell & Kate Larson
Bryan Hoime & Greg Martin
Barbara White, in honor of Robert
Shannon & Donovan Widmer
Remington Zacher