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 the popular Studio Hop.

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Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

October 2022

The Odd Couple

October 2 @ 2:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 2:00pm on Sunday, repeating until October 2, 2022

The Barn Theatre, 321 4th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201 United States
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The Barn Theatre presents Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple."  Adult tickets are $20, 18 and under $10.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 320 235-9500 or online at www.thebarntheatre.com.  Tickets may also be purchased at the box office Wed - Fri, 10:00 - 4:00.

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Council Happenings

Little Crow Photography Club

We are pleased to announce that the Little Crow Photography Club is exhibiting at WEAC through September.
WEAC is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 – 4:30 and during performances.


The exhibit in the Barn Theatre mezzanine is titled “Eulogies.”  It is photographs that depict the decay of structures in rural Minnesota and is by Justin Beck of Hutchinson.  Justin says of his work:

Working in black and white allows me to focus on form and texture. It is evocative and surreal at times, and I compose my photos with those ideas in mind. To paraphrase a quote I often think about, “photographs need to belong to the future.” I firmly believe this adage and I apply it to my process when I am creating work. These photos serve as both a document of a bygone era and a window to future possibilities when the structures and buildings are inevitably gone forever.

The exhibit will be up through August.  The Barn is open Wed – Fri, 10:00 – 4:00 and for performances.


We’re pleased to announce that we commissioned eight artists to create barn quilts which are on permanent display in the Barn Theatre.  The artists are:  Ron Adams, LeeAnn Atchison, Pauline Donahue, Dona Larken, Janet Olney, Joanna Korsmo Prosser, Pauline Prawl and Monica Villars.  The quilts were unveiled Monday, September 13, 2021, during a reception for the artists.  Be sure to see them!
This project was made possible with funds from the David Korsmo Memorial Fund and from the Willmar Area Community Foundation.


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.  Unfortunately, we are no longer able to get the benches made so we have decided to put the completed tiles on the concrete slab the City poured for us in front of the library.  We’re not sure if that will happen yet this year or have to wait until next year.  We’ll keep you posted here.






Interested in helping?

Now that things are beginning to open up again, our Board of Directors is back to meeting in person.  We are in need of some new Board members.  Are YOU one of the people we’re looking for?  We usually meet the second Tuesday of the month at 10:00 am at the Barn Theatre.  We know that time might not work for everyone, but we are amenable to changing the time if need be.

Please call or email me if you have questions about this opportunity.  Hope to hear from you!

Janet Olney ~ Executive Director
320 905-0520 or willmararts@gmail.com


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!