June 10-12, 2022

at the riverfront in the Arena District

Columbus Arts Festival News

56th Annual Columbus Arts Festival powered by American Electric Power Brings Art, Music & More to the Riverfront June 9-11

January 9, 2017

Contact: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Arts Festival powered by American Electric Power (AEP) and produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) celebrates its 56th year of bringing the best in fine art and fine craft to Columbus, June 9, 10 and 11, 2017. The Festival has been rated by AmericanStyle and Sunshine Artist magazines as one of the top festivals in the nation and each year hosts hundreds of juried artists from across the United States, as well as several international artists. Performance stages featuring music, dance, theater and spoken word can be found throughout the festival, and hands-on arts activities, work by local artist collectives and a wide selection of quality food and beverages round out Columbus’ favorite outdoor summer event.

The Columbus Arts Festival consistently ranks among the best arts festivals in the nation. The Festival has been honored with accolades in the January 2016 Best of Ohio issue of Ohio Magazine, Art Fair Calendar’s Top Five Art Fairs in the Country in 2015, Sunshine Artist magazine’s Top 25 Fine Arts Fairs and Art Fair Sourcebook’s ELITE 25 Fine Art Fairs.

The overall ambiance of the festival is amplified by the beautiful Columbus downtown riverfront. Known as the Scioto Mile, the waterfront includes Bicentennial Park, two bridges on Main and Rich Streets, lush green spaces and walkways and mesmerizing water features along with plazas, paths and bikeways. The Festival’s home on the riverfront has brought in record crowds and drawn praise from festival-goers of all ages.

“The Columbus Arts Festival continues to offer a complete weekend of the arts for Columbus to experience and enjoy,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of the Arts Council. “With hundreds of visual artists, dance and theater performances, live music in a variety of styles, hands-on demonstrations and delicious food and drink, the Festival is truly a full arts experience.”

Following are some of the exciting programs happening at the 2017 Columbus Arts Festival:

Six Entertainment Stages

In addition to the ABC6 Bicentennial Stage at Bicentennial Park, which features some of Columbus’ top musicians, there are two other music stages, a dance and theater stage, the GROOVE U music stage and the Ohio Magazine Word is Art Stage for spoken word performances including poetry and storytelling.

Big Local Arts Tent

Columbus artists and artist collectives join together to present work for sale and a make-and-take and demonstration area at the Festival. Come meet some of Columbus’ most creative artists and learn more about art making.

Sign Your Art

Sign Your Art, a project where the city of Columbus becomes the gallery, returns to the Festival this year. This first-of-its-kind street art project engages local artists and members of the public to create a unique art installation across the entire city. Local artists and attendees of the Columbus Arts Festival will make art on 6” x 8” wood tiles that will be installed in groups of five on street signs in strategic locations across the city to spell out the word “ART” on a Google Pin Map of Columbus.

Emerging Artists

Started in 2011 the Emerging Artist Program was designed to promote central Ohio artists who are new to presenting their work at festivals. Artists from central Ohio are selected by the Festival jurors and in addition to a lower booth fee, they receive assistance from Festival staff on how to best present and market their work to the public.

Friends of the Festival Package

The Friends of the Festival Lounge is located in the Cultural Arts Center for Festival supporters and sponsors to come and relax. Comfortable seating, free water and snacks, a private cash bar, VIP restrooms and other amenities are provided.

Friends of the Festival packages will be sold prior to and during the festival. Passes are valid the entire weekend. To find out how to become a Friend of the Festival, visit the Festival web site at www.columbusartsfestival.org/get-involved/friends-of-the-festival/.

Meet the Art Shark!

Everyone’s favorite Festival mascot, the Art Shark, will be back again this year to mingle with fellow art fans! Kids of all ages can meet the Art Shark during special appearances onsite throughout the Festival weekend.

Festival Hours: Friday, June 9 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Please note: on Friday and Saturday artist booths close at 9 p.m.)

To volunteer at the Columbus Arts Festival, please go to columbusartsfestival.org/get-involved/volunteer.

For more information on the Columbus Arts Festival, call (614) 221-8625 or visit columbusartsfestival.org.

The Columbus Arts Festival is produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

The 2017 Columbus Arts Festival is powered by American Electric Power. Additional sponsors include AT&T, Blue Moon, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Columbus Recreation & Parks, Columbus State Community College, COTA, CoverMyMeds, DLZ, G&J Pepsi-Cola, Graeter’s Ice Cream, Grange Insurance, Hopper Cart, Hotel LeVeque, Huntington, IKEA, Kroger, LAZ Parking, LBrands Foundation, Nationwide, Oakland Nursery, The Ohio State University, PNC, Safelite, Svedka, Toyota, Vintage Wine, The Westin Columbus and White Castle. Media sponsors include ABC6/WSYX and FOX28, CD102.5, Dispatch Media Group, Lamar Outdoor, Ohio Magazine, Orange Barrel Media, RBX, RSVP, WCBE 90.5 and WOSU Public Media.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, the Arts Council funds exemplary artists and arts organizations and provides programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support. www.gcac.org

For a selection of high-res images, visit the Festival’s Press Room Images page.