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

July 2019

Rockin’ Robbins

July 23 @ 5:00 pm

Free Concert.  5:00 pm.  local opening acts.  6:30 pm.  "Arch Allies."  Robbins Island Park.  Food vendors, beverage tent, kids entertainment area, artisan market, bring a lawn chair.

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Whitney Music Center

July 25 @ 6:00 pm
Whitney Music Center, 913 Hwy 71 NE Willmar
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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Music by the Great Time Band and great American Singalong.      

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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!


Our bench project is moving right along!  Three benches are finished – one in front of the Barn Theatre, one in front of Rositta’s, and the third one in front of Midtown Market.  There are no more public painting events scheduled at this time.  We will publish them here as they become available.

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!