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Celebrating the Columbus Arts Community

Columbus is home to a vibrant and dynamic arts scene. Whether you enjoy browsing art galleries, listening to live musical performances, immersing yourself in local theatre, or discovering public art displayed throughout the city, there are abundant opportunities to interact with and get to know the arts in our region.

At the heart of this lively arts scene are the many artists, creatives, and organizations dedicated to sharing their craft with the community and providing experiences that spark imaginations, challenge assumptions about the world around us, and celebrate our shared humanity. Powered by the generosity of donors, The Columbus Foundation is honored to invest in central Ohio’s visionary arts and culture organizations through grantmaking, capacity building, and collaborative partnerships. 

“From up-and-coming artists and volunteer-run programs to long-standing organizations that produce world-class performances, Columbus is full of exceptional artists whose talent and tenacity help improve the well-being of the community,” said Doug Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “Their creative contributions have made arts and culture in Columbus a significant source of community pride.”

This month, The Columbus Foundation took part in three unique opportunities to support artistic innovation, inspire creative growth, and bring world-class talent to the community.

Columbus Performing Arts Prize

Earlier this month, The Columbus Foundation awarded the Columbus Performing Arts Prize to ProMusica Chamber Orchestra to help produce a two-day musical residency with five-time GRAMMY and Academy Award-winning artist Jon Batiste. The Columbus Performing Arts Prize supported the world premiere of a piano concerto by Batiste, which was commissioned by ProMusica and performed before a sold-out audience at the Southern Theatre on May 3. Batiste’s lively and spirited performances exemplified his extraordinary talent, musical range, and deep love for humanity.

The Jon Batiste Trio & ProMusica Chamber Orchestra at the Southern Theatre on May 3. Photos courtesy of Rick Buchanan Photography.

The Columbus Performing Arts Prize celebrates and supports the exceptional artistic directors of local leading performing arts organizations and their aspirations for creative growth. The prize is made possible by the Arts Innovation Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at The Columbus Foundation created by George Barrett, the former Chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health and current member of The Columbus Foundation Governing Committee, The Columbus Foundation, and a range of other donors.

Concert for Humanity

On May 9, the community gathered for yet another uplifting musical performance, Harmony Project's Concert for Humanity. The Columbus Foundation’s Center for HumanKindness was the presenting partner to support making the concert free to the public and spreading awareness of the transformative power of kindness. The concert honored the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County's nonprofit members who are working tirelessly to strengthen and improve the region and encouraging the audience.

Through the generous support of the community, the event also raised more than $11,500 for the Gifts of Kindness Fund at The Columbus Foundation, which provides grants to individuals and families experiencing a sudden hardship.

Captured moments from Harmony Project's "Concert for Humanity: We Can Be Heroes!" on May 9. Photos by Challen Brown/The Columbus Foundation.

Arts and Culture Grantmaking

Finally, The Columbus Foundation recently announced more than $1.75 million in grants to 74 local arts and culture organizations that will provide unrestricted operating support to help meet community needs and expand arts and cultural programming in Franklin County. These grants build upon previous investments from The Columbus Foundation to local organizations that are dedicated to the creation and presentation of performing, visual, and fine arts—particularly as these organizations continue to recover from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arts provide neighborhoods and communities throughout the region with enrichment, entertainment, education, and enlightenment. Through dedicated philanthropy and innovative partnerships, The Columbus Foundation is committed to helping local arts and culture organizations stay healthy and strong so that the community can continue to enjoy the transformative power of art for many generations to come.


May 21, 2024

Cover photo by Challen Brown/The Columbus Foundation.





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The Columbus Performing Arts Prize celebrates and supports the exceptional artistic directors of local leading performing arts organizations and their aspirations for creative growth.






Center for HumanKindness' mission is to cultivate a culture of kindness that fosters a sense of belonging, and ultimately flourishing for all.