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 two popular events: Studio Hop and Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee!

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Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

February 2020

Love Your Health: Family Fun Night

February 18 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Kennedy School, 824 7th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201
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Join us for an evening of learning, exploring, healthy freebies, and community resource booths, among other things.  "We will be there with tiles for you to create one for our tile benches.  A light meal will be served from 6:00 - 6:30.  Contact Amber Silva if you have questions - 320 231-5097

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Frog and Toad

February 18 @ 6:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 6:30pm, repeating until February 18, 2020

The Barn Theatre, 321 4th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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Auditions for the Barn Theatre'a production of the musical "A Year with Frog and Toad," will be Feb. 17 and 18 at 6:30 pm.  Adults and Teens needed.  Director Nikki Betcher Erickson.  Performance dates April 16 - 19, 23 - 26.  320 235-9500 with questions.

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Council Happenings


Our bench project is moving right along!  Four benches are finished – 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.

Your next chance to paint a tile will be February 18, 2020!  We will have the tiles at the Love Your Health:  Family Fun Night at Kennedy Elementary School.  The event is from 6:00 – 8:00, so please join us and make your tile to go on a bench!

We received a lot of press about this project – a nice article in the West Central Tribune on June 26 and a feature in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Sunday, July 7.  Watch for more benches to pop up!  And have your creation on one of them!



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!


The Savannah Sipping Society

The current play at the Barn Theatre is “The Savannah Sipping Society,” a story of four very diverse women who form a bond and share time together while they “sip.”  We chose as the theme for our invitational exhibit “Live, Laugh, Love.”   There are twelve works by seven artists.  Please take a  moment to view the exhibit and vote for your favorite piece.  The winning artist will receive $50.  The exhibit will be up until March 17, 2020.