Welcome to the
Willmar Area Arts Council

In 1997, a group of citizens responded to an incentive from a COM-PAS and Blandin Foundation partnership to build stronger support and appreciation for creative arts in the Willmar area. Along with financial support from the Minnesota Rural Arts Initiative (RAI), the City of Willmar, Willmar Public Schools, a development grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC), and membership fees, the Willmar Area Arts Council officially came into existence in the fall of 1997 and became a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity in 1998.

Since its inception, the Willmar Area Arts Council has been a visible advocate for the arts in West Central Minnesota. Besides providing the rotating exhibits in the Willmar Education and Arts Center, administering the Arts in the Schools project for the Willmar Public Schools and hosting themed, invitational exhibits in the Barn Theatre’s mezzanine gallery that run in conjunction with the current production, it is the force behind the popular Studio Hop.

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Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

August 2021

Music in the Park

August 1 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ava Hanson and the Drum Circle

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Music in the Park

August 8 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Harper Cord

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Council Happenings

The ARTS today!

Things are finally beginning to open up at last!  The WEAC building is now open and we are excited to get back in there with new exhibits and artists receptions.  The current exhibit is works by Roger Laux Nelson and it is wonderful!   His oil painting “Farmers Road” is shown.


We’re pleased to announce that a fifth bench has been completed.  The bench is in front of the Willmar Public Library.  Besides this latest one, there are four others – one in front of the Barn Theatre, one in front of Rositta’s,  one in front of Midtown Market and the fourth in front of the Health and Human Services Building.  It looks as if we have enough finished tiles to complete three more benches.   We’re working with the concrete company to make that happen.

Watch for them!






The Barn Theatre is presenting “A Comedy of Tenors” in August.  Here is a summary of the play:

One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could possibly go wrong? It’s 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century – as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runaway chaos.

For our themed exhibit we have chosen the subject “Chaos.”  Everyone is welcome to submit work, all mediums welcome.  There is a $5 entry fee ($7 non-members)  with a limit of 3 items.  We will have a ballot box for people to vote for their favorite work and the winning artist will receive $50.  Please submit your work by noon August 9.  Call or email for more information.

Hope to see lots of interesting works!

Interested in helping?

Now that things are beginning to open up again, our Board of Directors is back to meeting in person.  We are in need of some new Board members.  Are YOU one of the people we’re looking for?  We usually meet the second Tuesday of the month at 10:00 am at the Barn Theatre.  We know that time might not work for everyone, but we are amenable to changing the time if need be.

Please call or email me if you have questions about this opportunity.  Hope to hear from you!

Janet Olney ~ Executive Director
320 905-0520 or willmararts@gmail.com


Donate while shopping!

Did you know that while you’re shopping at Amazon you can make a donation to the Arts Council?   Simply shop at www.smile.amazon.com, find the Willmar Area Arts Council in the list of organizations, and they’ll give a percentage of your purchase to us.  It’s simple, it’s quick, and we’ll be very appreciative!