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

June 2021

Prairie Winds Concert Band

June 9 @ 7:30 pm

The Prairie Winds Concert Band presents a summer concert.  Band practice at 6:00 pm in the park

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Wisdom and Wine

June 10 @ 7:00 pm

Friends of the Library fundraising event featuring Eva Moreimi, author of "Hidden Recipes, A Holocaust Memoir" and other special guests.  Tickets are free but preregistration is required at wisdomandwineathome at eventbrite.com.

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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.  We will be setting up one June 18, so be sure to watch for it.  The Barn will be having plays in August and September so we’ll be having exhibits during those as well.  Plus, we’re working on an exciting public art project for the Barn that will be unveiled in September.

So – lots happening!  And it sure feels good!  Hope to see you at some of these events.

Janet Olney ~ Executive Director


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.

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!

We’ll be bringing the tiles back this summer.  Check here for dates and locations.



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!