For the city’s art enthusiasts, there’s no more welcoming hangout than the Erie Art Museum. Exhibits, performances and workshops comprise the museum, which strives “to maintain an institution of excellence dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the visual arts.” And it has been successful. In 2011, the museum was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries.

Boasting an assortment of paintings, photography and ceramics year round, the museum currently displays traveling collections of Pueblo pottery, Tibetan bronzes and Indian stone sculptures. Meanwhile, aspiring artists can take classes in everything from animation to wheel throwing to embroidery. Gannon’s campus is just a short walk from its location on State Street, and many students take advantage of its affordable art instruction. The museum also regularly hosts concerts and film series.

Admission is $5 for students, but the museum opens for free every Wednesday and second Sunday of the month.