For years, Staunton has supported a large theatre community that has fostered the talents of residents and more recently, has become home to the only re-creation in the world of Shakespeare’s legendary indoor theater. The Blackfriars Playhouse, located just two blocks from the MBC campus, has been called "one of the five most important theatres in the world." It is the home of the American Shakespeare Center — Mary Baldwin’s partner in its unique Master of Letters/Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Performance — and the site of highly acclaimed productions of the plays of the Bard and his contemporaries.
Also within walking distance of campus are churches of just about all major Protestant Christian denominations, a Roman Catholic Church, and a Jewish synagogue. A bit further afield is a beautiful city park, where the Staunton Braves take the diamond and the bandstand is abuzz with ongoing jazz, bluegrass, and gospel concerts.
Whether performed on a street corner or inside one of they city’s many exciting venues, music is a part of life in Staunton. At least twice a month, musicians entertain locavores who visit the Staunton/Augusta Farmer’s Market in the Wharf parking lot on Saturday mornings April through November. Art galleries around town display original works from local artists, as well as exhibitions of historic items.
Visitors also can explore living history and the daily lives of the Shenandoah Valley’s early settlers at the Frontier Culture Museum or revisit the life and legacy of the country’s 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Birthplace. The library is Mary Baldwin’s partner for the minor in public history, which combines an academic degree with hands-on presidential library and museum experience.