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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Past Events

January 2020

New London Little Theatre

January 19 @ 1:00 pm
New London Little Theatre, 24 Central Ave E
New London, MN 56273
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Rialto Revisited is a collaboration between the Little Theatre and New London Roaming Cinema showing public domain classic movies.  "The Amazing Adventure," 1936 - 1:00 pm.  "Flying Deuces," 1939 - 3:00 pm.  $5 donation suggested.

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Whitney Music Center

January 23 @ 6:00 pm

Music by the Great Times Band and sing-a-long.

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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 next 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.”  We’d love to see how you interpret this!  All media is accepted.  any 2D work must be framed and ready to hang by a wire on the back.  There is a $5 fee ($7 non-members) per item submitted and you can submit up to three pieces.  Entries are due by noon Feb. 10.  The exhibit will be up until March 17, 2020.  There will be a ballot box available for the public to vote for their favorite work of art.  The winning artist will receive a check for $50.