After two years of having to announce the cancelation of the live, in-person Columbus Arts Festival, I am excited to be able to invite everyone back to the riverfront for my favorite event: the Columbus Arts Festival. AND we are celebrating its 60th Anniversary!
To officially open the festival, we are partnering with the city of Columbus and the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation to unveil three new public art murals from Columbus-based artists Adam Hernandez, Lucie Shearer and Nick Stull. Each artist created a stunning mural on the side of the new Peninsula parking garages just off Broad Street on the west side of the river. There will be an 11 a.m. dedication on Friday, June 10 with Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, Council President Shannon Hardin, myself and other city and project representatives. The garage will be open for festival parking, but only from Broad Street.
The Columbus Arts Festival is all things art, and we have a great line-up of visual and performing artists for you. We are welcoming 200+ artists from 15 different mediums, from 2D and 3D mixed media to photography, jewelry to glass, fiber arts, ceramics and more. These artists come from all over the country, and I know Columbus will give them an enthusiastic welcome.
We also have three performing arts stages: the Big Local Arts, a spoken word stage at the Cultural Arts Center and ABC6 Bicentennial Park Stage with our headliners Shadowbox Live on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and We Were Promised Jetpacks on Saturday at 9 p.m. Many thanks to Huntington and Worthington Industries Foundation for supporting our headliners.
This year, Rhinegeist joins the festival as our exclusive beer sponsor, providing us with a unique selection of beer, hard lemonades and hard teas available on draft and in cans. Rhinegeist will also be available at beverage booths throughout the Festival. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy their interactive beer garden near the Big Local Arts Village.
As with every year, we have a wide selection of food available during the festival—classic festival foods as well as new and international flavors to try. Arts Council staff will tell you to look for me at one of the Lemonade Shake Up stands.
A new addition that I am particularly pleased to announce is Film at the Fest, presented by J.P. Morgan Chase in partnership with Gateway Film Center and Film Columbus. We’ll have screenings of Columbus-based documentaries, animation shorts from Columbus College of Art & Design, episodes of WOSU’s award-winning arts and culture series Broad & High and screenings of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.
Another new addition is not arts related, but instead community focused. With COVID still very much a part of our daily lives, this year we have invited Columbus Public Health and the Columbus Division of Fire to provide free COVID vaccinations and a Family Care Station at the Festival. Look for them at Belle and Town streets on the west side of the river.
In our ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprint, the guidebook has gone digital. You can find it here 2022 Columbus Arts Festival Guidebook. We also have a robust app, search Columbus Arts Festival in your app store.
Finally, I would like to end this blog as I do many of my posts—with gratitude. The Festival is produced with no public money. Each year we reach out to the business community to raise the funds needed to create this free event. So first and foremost, thank you to our presenting sponsor American Electric Power Foundation who supported us even when there was no Festival. Bath and Body Works and CoverMyMeds also let us carry over their sponsorship dollars, and this year we are joined by more new and returning sponsors as well. From the bottom of our hearts—THANK YOU!
The Festival would not be possible without our business and community partners, our volunteer coordinating committee and onsite volunteers, and, of course, you! We are humbled year after year by your support for the Arts Council and the Arts Festival, especially during the past two years when everyone was in need. Without you we wouldn’t be able to continue supporting artists, nor could we produce the Arts Festival. We look forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary with you.
—Tom Katzenmeyer, connect with Tom on LinkedIn.