Connecting arts and community since 1972.


Columbus Area Arts Council provides a variety of quality arts and entertainment events, exhibits, and programs in the Columbus area throughout the year. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, many of these programs are provided at no cost to the community. Arts Council events:

Stimulate Community Interest [strengthening the community, celebrating arts, and expanding horizons] Many Arts Councils fund presenters, but few actually do the presenting or partner the way we do. The Columbus community is enriched by:

Direct Programming

JCB NeighborFEST! [art strengthening community] A free summer series allowing the community to gather downtown, listen to great music, meet old friends, and make new ones in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
unCommon Cause [an evening to celebrate the arts] For 38 years we have celebrated, raised funds, and enjoyed dinner while sampling a range of artistic traditions.
Live on the Plaza [new musical experiences in an extraordinary setting] Take an I.M. Pei design, add a Henry Moore sculpture, place it downtown and fill it with an unexpectedly engaging musical performance. What results is our vision for a community gathering in the heart of Columbus.

Partner Programming

Dynamic Partnerships The Arts Council has a long history of partner programming, working with entities such as the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Columbus Museum of Art & Design, Yes! Cinema, kidscommons, IUCA+D, and others.
Service in the Community We also support the work of Ethnic Expo, the Farmer’s Market, the annual Hospice Concert, the Scottish Festival, and much, much more.
New Ventures In the future, we will expand this work with a new focus on developing programs that compliment the work of others. We will be talking with Ivy Tech to find ways we can enhance its annual Big Art Bang and develop an alternative building “institute.”

Destination Programming

Meltdown & ArtFest Street Fair [columbus as arts destination] The Arts Council will work in partnership with others to expand these events into a weekend-long arts festival featuring music performances and a significant temporary visual arts display. The result will be an event that draws visitors from across the region.

Foster Creation [discovering and exercising your creative spark throughout columbus] Whether its your first interaction with music as a child, first time drawing as an adult, or just the first time in a while since you have tried something new—the Arts Council wants to ease the transition to art.

Activities that Connect Art, Education & Inspiration

Art Break Day [sit down, take a break, make art] Part of a global celebration, this daylong event encourages each of us to sit down, take a short break from our busy lives, and make art for free.
First Fridays for Families [a window to art that the whole community can share] A free program for children (pre-kindergarten through third grade) that introduces the arts to a young audience
Noon Kids Concerts [school children ooh-ing and ah-ing, wiggling and giggling] Free summer concerts presented with the Parks Department that inspire the youngest among us
MLK Day [uniting history, education and art] Started in 2013, the Arts Council presents a free annual program in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. This program changes annually and includes theatrical and live music performances uniting history, education and art.
Summer Meltdown [juried art, fiery spectacle, and hands-on creation] Iron Pour & Glass Forming Workshops, and Glass Blowing Demonstrations, are quite a spectacle, complete with fire, sparks, and molten metal and glass. These workshops are held in conjunction with ArtFest, an annual juried art show held on Washington Street in downtown Columbus.
Arts for All [eliminating barriers to creative expression for children with disabilities] For more than 20 years, this annual festival has introduced students living with moderate to severe emotional and physical disabilities to the arts.