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Weekend Warriors: Staying Close to Downtown

in 3 min read

By Lacey Luce

I’m a Cbus native and old enough to remember a time when there was very little to do downtown. There were a few nightclubs (that you could find if you were in the know), a couple of restaurants, and of course the Ohio and Palace Theatres, but for the most part downtown Columbus was deserted after the 5 p.m. mass exodus. Mad Max could race down Broad Street and no one would know.

What a difference a decade makes.

If you a do a search on Experience Columbus for downtown area activities this weekend you’ll find nearly 50 options.

Here are a few of the downtown events that I put a pin in.

Thursday the Riffe Gallery is opening All Play, No Work and there will be a curator’s tour at 5 p.m. I love getting  the stories behind the art  that  you get from the curators at the tours.

Gallery shot of work by Ron Anderson in the  Riffe Gallery exhibition All  Play, No Work

Gallery shot of work by Ron Anderson in the Riffe Gallery exhibition All Play, No Work

I had a chance to see this exhibition while they were hanging the work, and it is exciting.  I am particularly drawn to a piece by Ron Anderson titled The Fanatics. I’ve long been a fan of his work. I see stories in his paintings. This piece was different from his previous work that I’ve seen, but still clearly Ron’s. I kept going back to it, and I can’t wait to see it again and hear what the curator, Alexandria Nicholis Coon has to share.

COSI has their monthly After Dark event this Thursday. It starts at 5:30 p.m. but they’ll let folks in ’til 10 (granted the thing ends at 10 so I wouldn’t recommend going quite that late.) This month’s theme is the chemistry of cooking, which totally fascinates me.

The Franklinton District, on the western edge of downtown, has two big events this weekend. This Friday is a Franklinton Friday, which is a great time to explore the constantly changing landscape of the district, and get some local noms.

Saturday they are hosting their inaugural Art for Franklinton event, where they will auction off Urban Scrawl mural panels. How awesome would it be to own such a unique piece of Columbus culture?

The event is at Strongwater Food & Spirits so of course there will be food and drink, plus the mural artists will be there. Tickets are $35 for gen admin and $75 for VIP. Things kick off for VIPs at 6 p.m. and  7:30 for everyone else. The auction starts at 8 p.m. Proceeds support the new George Bellows Grant Program, assisting artistically inclined Franklinton residents and enhancing art and culture in the neighborhood.

From CCAD's 2014 fashion show, the 2015 show is May 8.

From CCAD’s 2014 fashion show, the 2015 show is May 8.

Speaking of fundraisers, the annual Senior Fashion Show at Columbus College of Art & Design is this Friday. This show gets better each year and all proceeds benefit student scholarships. Get tickets at

The Columbus Museum has tons to see and do, but here are two things happening this weekend that caught my eye. On Sunday they have a Mother’s Day brunch. They sell this event out so if this appeals to you get your tickets now. On Saturday, they have Connector 27 from 1-4 p.m.  This looks so fun! You get to play with spray paint and other material with street artist Stephanie Rond.

Finally, a friend of mine posted on Facebook recently about ProMusica’s season finale this weekend at the Southern Theatre. I didn’t realize that Music Director David Danzmayr and Creative Partner & Principal Guest Artist Vadim Gluzman would be on the stage together for the very first time at this performance.  BTW this could also be a fun Mother’s Day outing.

I love that this is only a small sampling of things you can do in the downtown area this weekend.

Have fun, and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

Top Image: Untitled 2010 Urban Scrawl mural by Joey Monsoon, photo credit Kaitlin Herman.

Lacey Luce is the marketing, communications and events strategist at the Greater Columbus Arts Council.