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  • Columbia Festival of the Arts Columbia Festival of the Arts


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Mission Statement

Our mission is to present an annual celebration of the arts in Columbia, Maryland, of regional stature that builds community through shared participation and celebration, engages participants in a broad spectrum of art forms and cultures, and encourages interaction among artists and audiences.

The Columbia Festival of the Arts was begun in 1987 as a way to bring together the people of Columbia, Howard County, and visitors from other cities, states and countries, through an annual celebration of the arts and artists. The fundamental aspirations for the Festival's programs are as follows to:

  • present international, national, and regional artists, as well as emerging local artists;
  • provide a wide range of artistic and multi-cultural experiences;
  • provoke the mind;
  • spur economic revitalization and development;
  • attract a diverse audience in culture, geography, and generation;
  • engage the community;
  • build community in Columbia and Howard County;
  • provide enriching experiences for the young;
  • aid in the development of new works of art;
  • support the local visual and performing arts community;
  • create an annual celebratory atmosphere with lasting memories;
  • showcase the riches of Columbia and Howard County to visitors; and
  • enhance the image of Columbia, Howard County and the State of Maryland


The Columbia Festival of the Arts is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Founded in 1987, the Festival's popularity and growth has transformed it into one of the Baltimore/Washington Corridor's premiere summer arts events. Each summer the Festival presents a brand new season of world-class events, including gala performances, exhibitions, free concerts, family activities, master classes, workshops and community dialogues. The Festival brings together the arts community, businesses, local schools, and individuals to create an annual event that shines a spotlight, not only on the arts, but on the Howard County community as a Maryland showplace

The Festival is dependent upon a variety of funding sources, including grants, corporate sponsorships and individual donations. The funds are used to subsidize Festival programming costs in order to make the arts accessible for people across a broad spectrum of social, cultural and economic strata. The Festival's focus is on reaching out and embracing the vast and diverse community that exists in the region.

Now in its third decade, the Festival continues to thrive because so many organizations and individuals are committed to its success.



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