P.O. Box 6015
300 S. Providence
Columbia, MO 65205
The Public Art Guide outlines a self-guided tour of Columbia’s publicly accessible art while the Columbia Arts Guide details the many visual and performing arts opportunities in Columbia. Copies of the printed brochures can be requested from the Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA@GoColumbiaMo.com).
The Arts Directory is an online listing of contact information for art agencies that currently receive funding from the OCA, artists whose work is in the city’s public art collection, or those selected for the Commemorative Poster or Traffic Box Art projects. The online listings are also available in a hard copy form (contact us for a copy).
Art News is a weekly email newsletter that includes information on upcoming arts events, exhibits, classes, and cultural activities. Subscribe to receive Art News here.
The city supports local arts agencies through annual and small request funding, with awards made in competitive review processes. About a fourth of the Office of Cultural Affairs' annual budget is allocated to education and presentation projects of local arts organizations, including exhibits, performances, in-school programming and workshops. Other funding opportunities, called “Small Requests,” allow arts organizations to apply for up to $750 to support new and unique programming on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
The Office of Cultural Affairs underwrites year-round radio and print advertising to assist local arts agencies with publicity and to raise public awareness about the variety of arts opportunities available to citizens and visitors.
ARTsuccess sessions are informal networking opportunities and free workshops for arts organization representatives, artists and arts enthusiasts to share information and develop collaborative efforts. Other technical assistance offered include one-on-one sessions with Office of Cultural Affairs staff and management consultations provided free of charge to local arts agencies.
A part of the city’s Parks and Recreation CARE Program, the Gallery provides summer employment to at-risk youth interested in the arts.
Work by a mid-Missouri artist is highlighted annually in a Commemorative Poster that is unveiled by the Mayor at the Office of Cultural Affairs' Poster Party for the Arts fundraiser each fallt. Proceeds from the Poster Party go the Columbia Arts Fund, an arts endowment fund created by the City of Columbia to provide resources to individuals and organizations that foster practice, education, accessibility, and appreciation of the arts for the benefit of the citizens of Columbia.
Held annually on the third Wednesday in September in Flat Branch Park, this free children’s art themed event is a collaborative with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and features visual, performing and literary art activities as well as kid-friendly performances of music, theater and dance.
Columbia is one of few communities in the state to have a cultural plan. First drafted in 1993, after the Office of Cultural Affairs was established, the plan is updated every five years in consultation with the Commission on Cultural Affairs, local arts agencies and the community at large.
MEHA stands for the Museums, Entertainment, History & Art Cultural Tourism Collaborative. The Office of Cultural Affairs along with The District encourages cooperative marketing and event scheduling with eight major cultural institutions in or near the downtown area.
The Office of Cultural Affairs is a member of the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s task force that organizes a community-wide reading project, One Read, focused on one book each year.
A year-round partnership between the Columbia Public Schools Fine Arts Department and the Office of Cultural Affairs encourages arts-related curriculum and achievement in all grade levels in the district.
Initiated in May 1997, Percent for Art allows for one percent of the cost of new city construction or renovation to be used for site-specific art. Above-ground capital improvement projects are eligible. A Standing Committee on Public Art is appointed by City Council to assist with the program. Since the program’s inception, fourteen large-scale projects have been initiated, with nearly $800,000 in city funds committed. In addition to Percent for Art projects, the Office of Cultural Affairs is charged with stewardship of other works of art owned by the city as well as implementation of a policy for accepting gifts of works of art.
The Office of Cultural Affairs serves as coordinator for the central region of Missouri for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Poetry Out Loud program, an initiative to promote poetry in school curriculum.
A collaboration with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to increase community access to performing arts opportunities, the Office of Cultural Affairs sponsors performances by local arts groups in the venue.
Local artists are commissioned to address traffic signal boxes thus minimizing the possibilities that those utilities will be vandalized. The goal of the Traffic Box Art program is to decrease instances of graffiti while at the same time contributing to the uniqueness of the downtown streetscape.