Art Works Blog

Art Works in Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Children ages 6 to 12 participate in the YMCA Performing Arts Camp at the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus. Photo courtesy YMCA of Central Ohio

Arts organizations in Ohio have long employed the timeless tool of creative collaboration. When executed properly---with a combination of strategy and passion---such collaborations can not only enhance the growth of the arts within a community, they can actually strengthen the community itself. We saw this happen several times this summer in Columbus as arts groups reached out to each other (and to non-arts organizations) to share resources, launch innovative programs, and serve new audiences.

In the true spirit of creative collaboration, the historic Lincoln Theatre in downtown Columbus partnered with YMCA of Columbus to create the YMCA Performing Arts Summer Camp. The Ohio State University Hospital East was the lead sponsor for the program and additional funding came from American Electric Power, Ingram White Castle, and the Broad Street Presbyterian Church, all totaling $46,000.

This summer, more than 500 children (ages 6 to 12) participated in the seven-week program. Each week, a different YMCA branch sent its campers to the Lincoln Theatre where they spent five hours a day receiving instruction in either music from the Jazz Arts Group, acting and playwriting from the CATCO-Phoenix Theatre for Children, or dance from the Thiossane West African Dance Institute. Many campers had never received any performing arts instruction before, but by the end of their week at the theatre they were dancing, singing, acting, and playing music. The success of this camp is being considered a model for YMCA branches across the nation.

Another unique pairing: contemporary art and produce. In May, the renowned Wexner Center for the Arts, located on The Ohio State University campus, joined forces with the Wayward Seed Farm to present The Market at 15th & High, an outdoor farmers? market on the Wexner Center Plaza.

The market, open Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. through October 28, is the largest of its kind in the campus area and it features fresh, locally grown produce. Some vendors accept WIC and food stamps, and leftover produce is donated to a Neighborhood Services food pantry after the markets. Visitors can make an evening of their market trip and stop by the Wex?s galleries, which are open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays with free admission after 4 p.m.

For more information on the collaborations taking place in Ohio, contact the Ohio Arts Council at

Want to know about how art works in Ohio? Take a look at Rocco's Postcard from Ohio.

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