6 Arts Organizations Bringing Passion and Energy to Ohio

Art has the power to evoke emotions, share powerful messages, and bring communities together. The six Ohio organizations listed here give creators a platform and introduce audiences to talented new voices, creating experiences that inspire and connect people across the state. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Ohio Groups That Showcase & Celebrate The Arts

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Heights Arts Cleveland Heights, OH Celebrate the region's literary, musical, and visual artists, and share their contributions with the community
Cincinnati Art Museum Cincinnati, OH Contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring its people and connecting communities through the power of art
Cultural Arts Center Columbus, OH Connect the people of the community through the power of creativity
Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland, OH Create transformative experiences through art, "for the benefit of all the people forever"
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Cleveland, OH Inspire and strengthen the community by investing in arts and culture
Cleveland International Film Festival Cleveland, OH Promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community

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In Depth

Although its culture may focus largely on sports, Ohio is also home to plenty of groups that bring creativity to communities throughout the state. Using art as a critical tool for social development, inspiration, and intellectual enrichment, the ones included on this list provide a variety of opportunities for people of all ages to be aesthetically engaged. Encompassing museums, galleries, festivals, and more, here are, in no particular order, six passionate arts organizations vitally contributing to the creative culture of the Buckeye State.

Showing up at #1 is Heights Arts, located in Cleveland Heights. Committed to celebrating and emboldening the region's art scene, this nonprofit fosters an inspiring, collaborative environment where people have opportunities to partake in a number of creative activities. Tapping into the community's artistic spirit, it presents myriad education programs, events, and performances, as well as group and solo exhibitions that spotlight local and regional creators working in a range of media. Moreover, the organization facilitates public art projects that enliven the urban landscape, such as murals, benches, and sculptures.

To further engage the public, Heights Arts offers programs including a chamber music series, community concerts in the gallery, master classes for young musicians, and a literary series that mixes poetry with artist talks. In collaboration with other organizations, the group also provides outreach programs such as Pet Project, which benefits animal welfare groups through profits made from custom pet portraits. In addition, the public can enjoy community partner events at the organization's Holiday Store, which showcases thousands of items made by local artists. Become a member to get into these events for free, and receive other discounts in the process.

To further engage the public, Heights Arts offers programs including a chamber music series, community concerts in the gallery, master classes for young musicians, and a literary series that mixes poetry with artist talks.

For #2 we have the Cincinnati Art Museum. Utilizing the power of art to enrich the city and its communities, CAM boasts a diverse, comprehensive collection of over 67,000 works that span 6,000 years of history. It includes works from Africa, East Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East, and features everything from antiquities to modern painting and sculptures. The permanent collection is complemented every year by several national and international traveling exhibitions, as well as by various art programs, activities, and events designed for people of all ages.

CAM provides a plethora of programs for adult visitors, including lectures, film screenings, art-making classes and workshops, and gallery experiences that involve discussions and musical performances. For families and youth, there are hands-on tours, puppet shows, summer camps, and sensory activities at the Rosenthal Education Center, an interactive space housed inside the museum. Teachers, meanwhile, can enhance their classroom curricula through an assortment of arts-related professional development programs and resources. Support CAM and its services to the community by making a donation to its annual fund.

Coming in at #3 is the Cultural Arts Center. A hub for cross-disciplinary arts activity and education, this Columbus-based gallery offers adult classes, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and events that unite the community through the spirit of creativity. Featuring two gallery spaces, its many juried shows and exhibitions encompass a spectrum of mediums, styles, and philosophical approaches, and showcase the work of diverse creators from Ohio and beyond. CAC also offers programs that take advantage of its accessible, multi-purpose facility, such as weekly lunchtime art talks, meetings, and tours.

CAC also offers programs that take advantage of its accessible, multi-purpose facility, such as weekly lunchtime art talks, meetings, and tours.

Taught by an experienced faculty of local artists over seven to eight weeks, CAC's studio classes cover everything from painting to ceramics and printmaking, and accommodate adults of all skill levels. There are also shorter, specialized week-long workshops offered during the summer that provide more concentrated experiences in disciplines such as sewing, creative writing, and Japanese pottery. Students have access to an array of resources throughout the Center's nine studio spaces, which are equipped with necessary amenities including looms and kilns. Help bolster the art scene of central Ohio by volunteering to assist with CAC's many yearly operations.

For #4 we get the Cleveland Museum of Art. Through the conservation, interpretation, and sharing of its eclectic art collection, CMA aims to generate transformative aesthetic experiences, motivate new scholarship, and serve as an indispensable community resource. Spanning thousands of years and multiple continents, its curatorial departments include Islamic, African, East Asian, and Greco-Roman art, as well as photography, textiles, and contemporary paintings and installations. There are also a bevy of events and educational programs available to the public, plus valuable research opportunities enabled by the Ingalls Library and Museum Archives.

Events at CMA include yoga and meditation sessions, lectures, film screenings, and concerts featuring diverse global music. On the education side, there are studio classes and workshops that accommodate people of all ages, summer camps for kids, and skill-building and leadership experiences for teens. Deepening the Museum's public presence are its community outreach initiatives, which include a mobile art studio that brings hands-on activities to neighborhoods across the region, and festivals that invite the participation of school groups, educators, and other individuals. To both aid CMA's efforts and receive benefits, join at your chosen membership level.

Deepening the Museum's public presence are its community outreach initiatives, which include a mobile art studio that brings hands-on activities to neighborhoods across the region, and festivals that invite the participation of school groups, educators, and other individuals.

At #5 is Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. One of the country's biggest local public funders of arts and culture, CAC makes investments in hundreds of organizations in order to connect millions of people to enriching cultural experiences. With the aim of invigorating and bolstering the community, its grants help create educational and economic opportunities that enhance people's lives throughout the county. CAC's funding efforts ensure that arts programs and activities are accessible to the public at over 2,000 locations such as schools, libraries, hospitals, parks, and senior centers.

CAC's primary funding programs include General Operating Support, which bestows multi-year grants upon arts and cultural institutions big and small, and Project Support, which awards annual grants to facilitate community projects such as festivals and performances. Working with nonprofit partners, the group also provides assistance through its Support for Artists program, which offers creators fellowship-type funding, professional development, and valuable connections. Many other collaborations and events, such as an annual concert in Cleveland, further work to elevate community life. Connect with CAC on social media and spread the word about its work.

Finally, for #6 we come to the Cleveland International Film Festival, which promotes the cultural richness and resonance of the cinematic arts through film exhibitions and education. Developed as a subscription series and first held in 1977, today the festival reaches over 100,000 people through hundreds of screenings of full-length and short films that come from around the world. CIFF's program includes many competitions that award cash prizes to filmmakers working in documentary, animation, and independent cinema, among other categories.

CIFF's program includes many competitions that award cash prizes to filmmakers working in documentary, animation, and independent cinema, among other categories.

Complementing CIFF's festival lineup are a number of special programs designed to further unite people through the power of cinema. Notable among these is FilmSlam, a media literacy program for students that fosters critical analysis and social awareness. Other initiatives are focused on celebrating filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, such as DReam Catcher, which recognizes LGBTQ creators, and the Someone to Watch Award, which honors rising, mid-career directors. The festival also shines a spotlight on new technologies through an immersive exhibition involving virtual reality and other interactive media. Keep CIFF's operations running strong by donating online.