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

February 2020

Concordia Choir

February 22 @ 7:00 pm
Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 5th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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Rene Clausen conducts the 73-voice a cappella choir in his 34th and final year at Concordia on the first stop of a 15 - day tour of southeastern US.  Adults $15, students $5, available at the door or with additional fees online at concordiatickets.com or by phone at 800-838-3006.

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The Barn Theatre

February 22 @ 7:30 pm
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An event every day that begins at 7:30pm, repeating until February 22, 2020

The Barn Theatre, 321 4th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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  The Barn Theatre presents, "The Savannah Sipping Society." Four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by Fate -- and an impromptu happy hour -- and decide it's high time to reclaim the enthusiams for life they've lost through the years. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 ages 18 and younger.  235-9500 or thebarntheatre.com.

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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.

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.