Welcome to the
Willmar Area Arts Council

Twenty one years ago, 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

June 2019

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

June 16 @ 2:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 2:00pm on Sunday, repeating until June 30, 2019

The Barn Theatre presents the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."  Adults $20, ages 18 and younger $10.  320 235-9500 or thebarntheatre.com

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Prairie Winds and West Central Connection Chorus

June 19 @ 7:00 pm

Robbins Island Park.  June 19, 2019.  Come enjoy a free concert on beautiful Robbins Island.  West Central Connection Chorus will perform at 7:00 followed by the Prairie Winds Concert Band at 7:30.

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Council Happenings

Welcome to our new website!

We are so excited to unveil our new website and logo and are pleased you found us.!  We love the new, fresh look of our site and hope you do, too.

There are several new features on this site, including a form for you to submit items you’d like us to publish.  Our mission is “to promote the arts” and having a complete calendar of events is one way to accomplish that mission.  We need your help, however, to guarantee we list as many events as possible.  There is a link on the Calendar page of this site where you can submit an event.  We hope you’ll help us keep the site current by using this feature.

Another way we promote the arts is by promoting our local artists and arts organizations.  There is an artist registry on this site that will have a page dedicated to any individual artist or arts organization that gets us their information.  At this point, the registry is still a work-in-progress, so please contact us if you’d like a page.  We intend to have the registry completed soon.

We hope you’ll check back often and, please, let us know your thoughts!


The Arts Council is launching a bench project in Willmar. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Healthy Together Willmar has agreed to sponsor the project. The first bench is compete and sits in front of the Barn Theatre. We hope to create seven more benches that will be placed around Willmar. They are concrete benches covered with 6″ and 4″ ceramic tiles. The tiles are being made by Bill Gossman, potter, but we need YOU to add the art to them.   We have already brought the tiles to several events in Willmar for people to paint.  The next planned event is the Art and Culture Trek at Robbins Island June 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.   We will post more events as they become available.  If you would like to host a painting event, please contact us.



Barn Theatre Exhibit

The current play at the Barn Theatre is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”  We have chosen “Color” as the theme for the invitational exhibit in the mezzanine gallery.  There are thirteen works on display for this “colorful” exhibit.  Please take some time to stop by and see this amazing display and vote for your favorite work of art.  The winning artist will receive $50.  The exhibit is up until July 15, 2019.