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 2021

Low Scare Haunted Maze (AHH-MAZEing Holmstrom Haunt)

October 31 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Low Scare Day for the littles and scaredy cats. $5 - children 12 and under; $10 - adults

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Council Happenings

"A Crafty Lady - Works by Terri Robichon"

We are pleased to announce that the newest exhibit in the WEAC Gallery is works by Terri Robichon.  The exhibit consists of entries she made in the 2021 Kandiyohi County Fair in the Crafts Category.  There will be an artist’s reception October 28 in the gallery from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome!


We’re pleased to announce that we have commissioned eight artists to create barn quilts which will be 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.  The quilts will remain in the Event Center for now so please come see them.  They will be hung on permanent display at the Barn in the near future.
This project was made possible with funds from the David Korsmo Memorial Fund and from the Willmar Area Community Foundation.

Welcoming Resolution

Willmar Main Street and the City of Willmar invite you to a public art dedication on Thursday, October 21st from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM. The event will recognize “Bring Some to Share,” a mural by Lili Lennox, and “…Out of Many,” a sculpture by James Church. The dedication will begin with a speech from city leaders at the intersection of Litchfield Ave SW and 3rd St SW. Each artist will then present their piece and take questions from audience members.
These pieces were commissioned by the City in 2020 to commemorate Willmar’s Welcoming Resolution. “Bring Some to Share” is a mural made up of 9 aluminum panels that celebrate the culinary diversity of Willmar. The piece is on display on the eastern exterior wall of Midtown Plaza (309 Litchfield Ave SW). “…Out of Many” is a 6.5-foot-tall sculpture that depicts a robed person standing with welcoming arms. The sculpture’s garments are made of textile patterns representing Willmar’s many cultural groups. The piece is on display at the south boulevard of Becker Ave SW, at the intersection of Becker Ave SW and 3rd St SW.

Please join us in recognizing these artists and their wonderful contribution to our community!


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.  It looks as if we have enough finished tiles to complete three more benches.   We’re working with the concrete company to make that happen.

Watch for them!





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!