Able to seat 1,700, the Learn is Elkhart's premier center for the arts. Housed within a renovated and expanded 1920s movie theater, the Learner holds a unique place in Elkhart's history. It is the home of the Elkhart Symphony and the city's theater group, Prier Arts. Performances here include jazz, choral, ensemble, and orchestral music as well as stage plays from local and regional acting companies and Broadway tours. In addition to the breathtakingly beautiful theater, with its domed ceiling and ornate, palace-like interior design, the Learner also houses a ballroom, banquet hall, and a wonderful collection of local art.
Known for more than a century as the "band instrument capital of the world" for its one-time musical instrument manufacturing niche that included more than 60 businesses, it should come as no surprise that Elkhart as a community has a profound investment and interest in live music performances. Annual music festivals in Elkhart include celebrations of holiday and ethnic music, among others, but by far the Jazz Fest is the most well known and loved. This nationally recognized, three-day, summer festival features more than 100 legends and up-and-comers in jazz and draws crowds exceeding 15,000 from around the globe.