If you’re a creative in Columbus, take note. The city is full of fantastic music venues, galleries, and coffee shops where you can rub elbows with others in the industry. We’ve narrowed down some of our favorite places and events where you’ll want to be seen.
Located in the historic Milo-Grogan neighborhood, 934 Gallery focuses on local, national, and international artists with a fresh perspective on contemporary art. Exhibitions rotate monthly, and other events include fashion shows, pop-up exhibitions, film premiers, and artist talks. Located next to the gallery is the Milo-Grogan Butterfly Garden, which serves as a way station for monarch butterflies and hosts musicians and artist talks when weather permits. 934 Gallery is also home to 934 Fest, a music and arts festival hosted by the volunteers of the gallery and nearby Milo Arts.
Just north of Ohio State University sits a meeting house disguised as a coffee shop. Kafe Kerouac is a staple of the creative community in Columbus and on any given night you may find yourself in the middle of poetry slam, book reading, or an acoustic music set. The coffee shop is filled with thousands of books and records available for purchase and drinks cleverly named after authors. See the full calendar of events (Tuesday nights are game nights) by checking out Kafe Kerouac’s website.
Possibly the most Instagrammable place on Earth, Fox in the Snow is full of natural light, gorgeous coffee drinks, and no shortage of dreamy houseplants. The cafe, located in the Italian Village neighborhood, also serves up delicious pastries and treats, from epic peach galettes to amazing egg sandwiches with pillowy eggs, bacon, cheese, arugula, and mustard. You’ll be sure to see someone you know in line, and no WiFi in house means you might be forced to make conversation instead of doing endless hours of work on your laptop.
Dress to be seen (and photographed) at this annual contemporary art party hosted every spring by the Wexner Center for the Arts. Mingle with Columbus’ hippest young art patrons, sample food by some of the best restaurants around, and dance the night away. Proceeds benefit Wexner Center education programs for children and youth.
Independents’ Day may have come and gone this year, but be on the lookout every September for the best weekend in Columbus. The streets of Franklinton come alive with music, art, games, crafts, food, and drink. Hit up one of the stages and find your new favorite band, see live art demos, and make sure to catch the Artist Wrestling League — an all-out backyard wrestling brawl featuring extreme live painting.
One of the hottest summer tickets in Columbus is Urban Scrawl. This two-day arts festival in Franklinton features live mural creations at 400 West Rich by a growing number of talented artists from across central Ohio. As with any good festival in Columbus, food trucks, music, and drink are in abundance. Completed murals can be purchased at the Art for Franklinton Fundraiser to benefit the Franklinton Arts District’s new George Bellows Artist Grant program.
Don’t wait for Urban Scrawl or Independents’ Day; the second Friday of each month is home to Franklinton Fridays. Galleries, businesses, and institutions of East Franklinton host an art crawl for the public. Explore Glass Axis, 400 West Rich, The Vanderelli Room, 129 Studios, the Ohio Art League X Space, and more.
Need more events and places in your life? Check out the following:
Kingmakers is a board game parlour in the Short North that features over 500 board games.
Gather in the Short North every October in your best costume for Highball.
Image courtesy of Curtis Cole.
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