Hands-On Activities, Demonstrations and More Interactive Fun at the 2023 Columbus Arts Festival
For immediate releaseMay 15, 2023
Contact: Jami Goldstein
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With more than 225 exhibiting artists at the Columbus Arts Festival, presented by the American Electric Power Foundation and produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC), there is certainly plenty to see June 9-11 on the riverfront, but there is also plenty to do. The Festival offers interactive opportunities for people of all ages and skill-sets to create, observe, explore and learn.
Kids Hands-On Activities Village
Always a popular attraction, the Festival’s Kids Hands-On Activities Village presented by Battelle has even more going on this year. Located on Dorrian Green to the west of COSI, the village is staffed by volunteers from 19 local organizations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Activities include printmaking, painting with acrylics, creating fantastical creatures, building kinetic sand castles and more. With representatives on hand from organizations like A Kid Again, American Institute of Architects, Art Garden Academy, Artisan Tap Ensemble, The Arts & College Preparatory Academy, Columbus Children’s Theatre, Columbus Music and Art Academy, Columbus Printed Arts Center, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Franklin County Auditor’s Office, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Kindermusik, KINDkamp, Musicologie, National Youth Advocate Program, Ohio Craft Museum, Ron Spangler, Ronald McDonald House, Salon Schools, Thurber House and Quilt Beginnings, there are activities to fit a wide range of interests and ages. Almost all activities are free and open to both kids and adults.
Teen Programming at the Village
This year’s village will also feature a new adult/teen activity area with in-depth crafting and arts activities led by Kym’s Kanvas, Petals That Inspire and Plenty O’ Cookies. Due to the limited capacity of these programs, those interested in these activities must register in advance or on site:
- Plenty O’Cookies (Friday, June 9), teaching attendees to decorate sugar cookies:
- Kym’s Kanvas (Saturday, June 10), helping Festival-goers make pieces of art that express their unique selves: kymskanvas.com
- Petals that Inspire (Sunday, June 11), guiding attendees in making their own floral arrangements: com/e/floral-design-class-at-the-2023-columbus-arts-festival-tickets-618256049487
Performances at the Activities Village
As part of the Activities Village, Columbus Children’s Theatre’s CCT Stage will host performances from Artisan Tap Ensemble, Kindermusik with Learn Sing & Grow, Musicologie, Ron Spangler Magic and others over the course of the weekend alongside their own original performances.
Children’s and Teen Art Gallery
Kids play art collector in the Children’s Gallery! Children ages 12 and younger are invited to experience the unique kid-sized gallery—located near the Hands-On Activities Village—with artwork donated by exhibiting artists. Each piece is priced at $5 and under. New this year is a Teen Art Gallery geared toward collectors aged 13-17. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meet the Art Shark
Always on the move, the beloved mascot of the Columbus Arts Festival will appear on the west side of the river and wandering the Festival grounds. Festival-goers can say hello and take a selfie with Arthur S. Hark (a.k.a. Art Shark), who can be found “swimming” around the Hands-On Activity Village on Saturday, June 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Big Local Arts Village
Each year at the Columbus Arts Festival, creatives from all over the city come together to build a place for people to experience and purchase local art. The Big Local Arts Village sits at the Festival’s Franklinton entrance on West Rich Street. More than 60 artists from central Ohio will sell their work, while select artists will demonstrate everything from woodturning to Japanese calligraphy, clay-throwing to blacksmithing, wire sculpture to leather crafting and more.
Nearby, the Big Local Arts Stage has an incredible lineup of Columbus-based musicians. And for those who appreciate the brewing arts, the Rhinegeist Beer Garden features a wide variety of beers and fun group games – perfect for pairing with lunch or dinner from a local food truck. Be sure to taste Sketch, the hoppy wheat ale brewed by Rhinegeist especially for the Arts Festival.
WOSU’s Second Saturday Kids Day
Bring the whole family to Dorrian Green on Saturday, June 10 from 9-11 a.m. for WOSU Public Media’s Second Saturday Kids Day. Participate in engaging hands-on activities and meet Nature Cat in person!
Get Framed at the Arts Festival
If you didn’t get a selfie at the Festival, did it really happen? Make Festival memories with Columbus’ beautiful cityscape in the background at the giant picture frame just north of the intersection of the Rich Street Bridge and Washington Boulevard.
Take Care of a Family Need
The Family Safety & Care Station, courtesy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, offers a private air-conditioned space for diaper changing, nursing and relaxing. Offered in partnership with Columbus Public Health and the Columbus Division of Fire, eligible Festival-goers can get their COVID vaccines and boosters at the booth near the Hands-On Activities Village.
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.; artists have the option to stay open later.)
To volunteer at the Columbus Arts Festival, please go to columbusartsfestival.org/engage/volunteer/.
For more information on the Columbus Arts Festival, call (614) 221-8625 or visit columbusartsfestival.org.
Download the Columbus Arts Festival app through the Apple app store or Google Play at guidebook.com/app/cafg/.
For a selection of high-res images, visit the Festival’s press media page.
The Columbus Arts Festival is produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
The 2023 Columbus Arts Festival is presented by the American Electric Power Foundation. Additional sponsors and partners include Art for Life, Bank of America, Bath & Body Works, Battelle, Cardinal Health, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, COSI, Deloitte, Encova, Graeter’s, High Bank Distillery, Holiday Inn Downtown, Hotel LeVeque, Huntington, IGS Energy, JP Morgan Chase, The Junto, King Business Interiors, ML Concessions, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University, OSA Technology Partners, Paul-Henri and Erika Bourguignon Charitable Trust, Pepsi, Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center, Rhinegeist, Toyota, The Westin Great Southern Columbus, White Castle and Whole World Lemonade. Media sponsors include ABC6/FOX28, CD92.9, Dispatch Media Group, Lamar Outdoor, Ohio Magazine, Orange Barrel Media, RSVP, WCBE, WOSU Public Media and WSNY/Mix 107.9.
Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. www.gcac.org
The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the city of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University. There are no funds from the city of Columbus, Franklin County or Ohio Arts Council used to support the production of the Columbus Arts Festival.
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