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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Council Happenings



They’re done!!  Jessalyn Canavan finished putting the remaining tiles on the concrete slab in front of the hospital and they look GREAT!   Thank you again to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for sponsoring this project.

Be sure to stop by and see them!







No Place Like Home

The exhibit in the Barn Theatre during “The Wizard of Oz” is titled “No Place Like Home.”  Be sure to stop by and see it and vote for your favorite work of art.  The winner receives $50.  The exhibit is up until the end of June.

Roots, Reflections, Retrospective - Reinventing Self Through Imagery

The exhibit in the WEAC gallery is titled “Roots, Reflections, Retrospective – Reinventing Self Through Imagery.”  This is all work by photographer John Kellen.  The work will be up through July and there will be a reception for John on July 18, 2024.