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

December 2019

Whitney Music Center

December 19 @ 6:00 pm
Whitney Music Center, 913 Hwy 71 NE Willmar
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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Music by Jon and Brook.

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Glacial Ridge Winery

December 20 @ 6:00 pm
Glacial Ridge Winery, 15455 Old Mill Road
Spicer, MN 56288 United States
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Music by Phil Berbig.

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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!



The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

The next play at the Barn Theatre is “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” and we have had fun with the art exhibit for the play.  We had coloring pages available for kids while they waited to see Santa during Holidaze and we also had the cast members create drawings and pages during down time at rehearsals.    All the pictures are displayed on large boards in the mezzanine gallery and will be up for the month of December.