The Cultural Arts Division aims to provide and promote a diverse, lively, accessible arts environment that advances the cultural assets and enriches the quality of life of the community. Housed within the Parks & Recreation Department, arts programming includes a public gallery featuring an annual schedule of exhibits at the Municipal Services Center, temporary and permanent public art projects, educational programming in the schools, summer outdoor concerts, and the City’s signature special event—the Labor Day Arts Festival.
To receive email updates on upcoming exhibits, programs and events please send your email address using the form below.
As the weather keeps getting warmer, you might be itching to make plans for the…
Did you hear? Summer is on at the City of Upper Arlington! In order to…
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Update Parks & Recreation Spring/Summer Program Registration Update Thank you for…
We are looking forward to providing Summer Day Camp – for children ages 6-12 years…
The Upper Arlington Commission on Aging is conducting an Older Adult Community Assessment and is…
Please be advised that weekday, afternoon access to the tennis courts at both Fancyburg Park…
The area of Burbank Park (noted by the shaded area in the above image) has…
January 28, 2021 Update COVID-19 VACCINATIONS UPDATES Franklin County Public Health Vaccine Info & Registration…
Join us as we celebrate Susan Caruso’s substantial contributions to Northam Tennis with her induction…
Join us for the Northam Tennis Open House on Saturday April 24 from 1-5pm. Enjoy…
UA Arbor Day Celebration is tentatively scheduled for April 30, but is subject to cancellation…
Friends of Upper Arlington Parks is a volunteer group that works with the Upper Arlington…
Activities for all ages, including inflatables, a fishing derby, falconry, Touch-A-Truck, arts & crafts and…
Junior Tennis Open House is tentatively scheduled for May 15, but is subject to cancellation…
The Upper Arlington Farmers Market is scheduled to operate every Wednesday from 4-7 pm from…
The Upper Arlington Farmers Market is scheduled to operate every Wednesday from 4-7 pm from…
The arts have been alive and well in Upper Arlington for almost 50 years, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Cultural Arts Commission and the work of our cultural arts staff in the Parks & Recreation Department.
In 2019 the City commissioned Columbus Firm Designing Local, Ltd to lead the Arts and Culture Master Plan process and to help set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to plan for, implement and enjoy a full range of creative endeavors, from public art to cultural programming.
After a yearlong process, the plan was presented and accepted to City Council on Monday, December 9, 2019. Staff in Cultural Arts and members of the Cultural Arts Commission are eager to begin implementation in 2020, so watch for enhancements to upcoming gallery exhibits, the Music in the Parks summer series, and of course our community favorite—the Labor Day Arts Festival.
The yearlong process began with a general study of the history and current state of the arts in Upper Arlington including an exploration of the community characteristics that define the City and make it unique. This research was followed by an extensive six-month community input process that included over 1,000 one-on-one touch points in the form of surveys, focus group meetings, and pop-up events. The feedback received demonstrated the community’s support for the programs offered by the division and support for continued investment in the arts.
- Over 140 participants gave feedback in 49 individual stakeholder interviews, eight different focus groups and community open houses. For more detailed information, click the document label Arts & Culture Stakeholder Interview and Focus Group Summary under the associated document section.
- Almost 400 participants provided input in a Arts & Culture Questionnaire or In-Depth Survey
- Opportunities to participate were communicated by the following channels:
- Activity link eNewsletter, City Insight e-newsletter, City Insight printed newsletter, Artslink Newsletter, Activity Guide, City website, UA art teachers, Wellington newsletter, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board email, City Manager’s Blog, Parks & Recreation and City of Upper Arlington Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts
Arts in Community Spaces brings art out of the gallery to the people. The program seeks to promote and provide unique opportunities for artists to share their works, while providing the community with educational, interactive, temporary art experiences at a variety of public venues.
All over the world artists and neighborhoods have been wrapping utility boxes in an effort to reduce graffiti and beautify their communities. Upper Arlington is taking part in this artful encounter with Outside the Box. We are thrilled to include the work of 10 juried artists, located on utility boxes on Tremont Road, Lane Avenue, Arlington Avenue and Northwest Blvd. Artists include: Susie Jordan (5 points), Jeanie Auseon (Tremont/Milden), Pam O’Loughlin (Tremont/Zollinger), Janis Mars Wunderlich (Northwest/Kingsdale), Nadine Block (Tremont/Ridgeview), Laine Bachman (Tremont/Farleigh), Michael Kaiser (Tremont/Northam), Caroline Chidester (Lane/Northwest), Duncan Snyder (Lane/ Wellesley) and Stephanie Rond (Lane/ North Star). This project was made possible through a grant from the Sharon and Don Cook Fund at The Upper Arlington Community Foundation.
Click on the image to explore the interactive map of Outside the Box artwork throughout Upper Arlington.
Since 1966, the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival has celebrated and shared the arts with the community and region within a beautiful park setting. Each year, more than 20,000 visitors flock to Northam Park on Labor Day to immerse themselves in hands-on art activities, interactive performances, live music, and the opportunity to explore and purchase fine art and fine craft work from some 150 artists working in a variety of media including paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, sculptures and mixed media.
The Festival is made possible through the hard work of City Staff, a dedicated Coordinating Committee, a cadre of some 100 community volunteers, and the financial and in-kind support of our event sponsors.
Join the Labor Day Arts Festival Coordinating Committee
It takes a great team to plan and coordinate one of the City’s largest events. Join the Coordinating Committee and be a part of bringing great art, music, food and activities to Upper Arlington. Several opportunities are available on the committee including artist management, performances, refreshments, logistics, art activities and volunteers. We are looking for people that work well with a team, have creative ideas and will be dedicated to making Festival great. For more information please contact Jodi Osborne at 614-583-5312 or use the contact form below. Meetings begin in February.
A project of the Cultural Arts Commission, the Literary Arts Directory contains resources such as local writing groups & workshops, open mics and poetry readings, Columbus publishers, literary agents, writing conferences, book clubs and more.
Partnering with the Upper Arlington Public Library, we offer an annual writers’ conference where networking and professional development is nurtured. The conference features local author presentations, networking opportunities, small-group workshops, exhibits and resources.
Click image to open Literary Arts Directory (PDF 227KB).
Music in the Parks
New for 2021: Join us for a safe and socially distanced summer concert series. June concerts will take place at National Church Residences in a drive-in format. We are hoping to offer the July concerts in our beautiful parks. Pre-registration for drive-in concerts will be required and may be required for other concerts as well. Stay tuned for more information.
Our popular, free summer concert series typically runs on Thursday evenings from 7-8:30 pm in June and July, bringing a mix of local and regional musicians of national acclaim to the outdoor amphitheater/stage of the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park. Enjoy a mix of musical genres while enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
Our Permanent Collection brings works of art into the hallways, entryways and offices of City buildings, fulfilling our belief that the arts improve the quality of life for all in our community. At present, the collection includes over 100 pieces, collected over the years through a combination of purchases, grants and gifts from artists and private citizens.
In 2018, when the collection was last appraised, its value stood at more than $286,000. Several of the oldest pieces have seen the most dramatic increases in value: works by Sid Chafetz, Ann Dewald, John Freeman and Gene Friley have doubled or tripled in value since they were purchased.
The Cultural Arts Commission created a catalogue of the collection to date in 2008, which can be explored by clicking the link below.
The Arlington Hall Gallery is a place to celebrate UA residents living and creating in our community. This space hosts a variety of temporary exhibits with a flexible schedule.
Complete the Contact Form below if you are interested in exhibiting in the Arlington Hall Gallery.
The division’s Visual Arts programming seeks to enrich our lives with art exhibits and works of art showcased in the City’s offices and public buildings.
The Concourse Gallery—located in the heart of the Municipal Services Center—features a schedule of visual arts exhibitions each year that showcase the works of professional and amateur artists, and students from our community’s public and private schools. Pieces from the Permanent Collection can be found in many of the offices at the Municipal Services Center, Senior Center and Public Service Center.
The Concourse Gallery—located within the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road—is our main exhibition space. Here we program visual arts exhibits in a variety of media throughout the year, accompanied by gallery guides, receptions, school tours, workshops and artist talks. The Gallery is free and open to the public during regular office hours of Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Free parking is available, accessible from Tremont Road and Kenny Road.
Many, but not all, of the artworks exhibited are for sale, and are marked accordingly within each exhibit’s Gallery Guide. Any purchased artwork is required to remain on display until the end of the exhibition.
For Prospective Artists/Exhibitors:
- The Concourse Gallery is comprised of 181 linear feet and 3,500 square feet of space, suitable for a variety of mediums
- Exhibitions typically hung for two months
- Option of having an opening reception
- The City will develop marketing materials. This includes but is not limited to: promotion on the City’s website, City social media platforms, the Arts Link e-newsletter, and other outreach as determined by the City
- The gallery is part of an open, public gathering space and therefore considered “low security.” Any groups scheduled to meet in the space are advised of our guidelines to protect and not obscure the artwork on exhibit.
- Works on exhibit are insured by the City of Upper Arlington.
- The Cultural Arts Division does require a 10% commission for pieces that are sold.
- Exhibit proposals are reviewed on a quarterly schedule (typically January, April, July, and November)
- The Visual Arts Committee strives to balance the desire for exhibition space by professional and community artists with the provision of an engaging and varied schedule of exhibitions. The works of student, emerging, amateur and professional artists—be they local, regional or further afield—are welcome and regularly featured within the gallery exhibition schedule.
Explore our Events Calendar for a complete exhibit schedule. Complete the Contact Form below if you are interested in exhibiting in the Concourse Gallery.
Artist Residency Program
The Arts in Community Education Program promotes the advocacy of arts education, helping to make the arts an integral part of learning for students in grades K–12 within the City’s public, private and parochial schools.
Funding and planning assistance is provided to place professional artists in our schools and community settings and foster involvement in the visual, literary, musical, theatrical and performing arts. Artists can visit schools for assemblies, performances, workshops and residences.
Complete the Contact Form below if you are a teacher and would like more information and to receive the appropriate application forms.
UA Arts Academy
In partnership with the Columbus Children’s Theatre and the Jazz Arts Group’s Jazz Academy, we offer a series of summer day camps that explore the performing arts. Theatre Camp provides an immersive experience in musical theatre for young performers. In our Making Movies Camp, students work together as actors, directors, camera operators, editors and scriptwriters to create commercials, music videos and more. Students get to work alongside talented jazz musicians in our Camp Jazz! program and perform at one of our Music in the Parks concerts.
New this year! We have expanded our partnership with the Columbus Children’s Theatre to offer spring theatre programs as well as a spring break camp! Registration opens in December at parks.uaoh.net.
How to Register:
1. Click the “Arts Link” image above
2. Enter your email address and check the box next to “Arts Link eNews”, “City iNSIGHT eNews”, “Activity Link” and/or “Sentinel”
3. You’re finished! You can now enjoy regular updates from the Cultural Arts Division
Arts Link eNews Archives
Back issues of Arts Links printed newsletter can be accessed via the Archives Portal – Newsletter search type.