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Columbus Arts Festival: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

in Tom Katzenmeyer June 3, 2024 2 min read

This is my favorite time of year. By the end of this week I will be at the Columbus Arts Festival enjoying the results of more than a year of hard work by the Greater Columbus Arts Council team.

At GCAC, we know that there is always room to improve what we are doing; and this is true for the Columbus Arts Festival too. In the past few years the Greater Columbus Arts Council team has focused less on growing the Festival and more on making the Columbus Arts Festival more accessible and the best experience for our guests, artists, sponsors and vendors.

To that end we added some significant amenities for guests, including a universal changing station that provides adults with a hygienic facility for more complex bathroom needs, a sensory tent for those who need a moment away from the noise and crowds of the Festival and a Water for Everyone Today (WET) station to ensure that everyone has access to free, drinkable water.

Because we understand that Columbus is home to national acts, we focused our efforts and budget on filling our four stages with Columbus-based performances and we brought back the crowd favorite Fashion as Art. In addition, the Big Local Arts Stage is getting a glow up with an art projection lighting and art installation by Columbus-based artist Heidi Clifford (aka Primary Child) in partnership with Mural Re-Mix.

At the beverage booths Rhinegeist and High Bank Distillery have become Fest favorites, and we are thrilled to have them back. We are adding to the selection a nonalcoholic beer option from Go Brewing. We love choices. And, of course lemon shake-up booths will still be on site. Personally, I feel there is no room for improvement there—lemon shake -ups are one of my favorite things about the Festival.

Our popular Patron Party is back in the fan favorite Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center. Last year we expanded the GCAC booth and added an interactive component—which we are doing again this year. We’ve also expanded our SWAG offerings with art stickers, fans, a temporary tattoo using the 2024 Columbus Arts Festival designs created by Nick Nocera, stickers featuring mural art from Columbus-based artists Adam Brouillette, Adam Hernandez and April Sunami and free coloring pages and crayons by these artists and several others. And while you are collecting the new SWAG, be sure to check out the new public art activity and show us where you want to see more public art in Columbus—there is a huge map you can sticker and a digital map where you can drop a pin.

There is also art—of course. Once again we have nearly 300 amazing artists–our exhibiting artists from around the county, our class of 22 Emerging Festival Artists and our Big Local artists, all coming to share their beautiful work with us.

I highly recommend you check out the Festival Guidebook before you come down. It is going to be an incredible weekend and I can’t wait to see you.