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!







Fitness Court

With help from a grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, Willmar has constructed the first Fitness Court in the state this summer!   The Fitness Court is in Sperryville Park on Hwy 71 across from Robbins Island.  Sonja Madsen from Willmar was selected to create the art for the Court.  The Court is ready for use!  Be sure to check it out!

Art Teachers' Art

The exhibit at WEAC is art by local art teachers, both teaching and retired.  Please make sure you take time to see it.  It’s wonderful!

Future Exhibits at the Barn Theatre

We will be hosting an invitational exhibit at the Barn Theatre for their upcoming plays.  The plays, themes, and due dates for the next two plays are:
“Toyland” – “Toys” – due date Dec. 4, 2023
“A Bad Year for Tomatoes” – “Vegetables” – Feb. 5, 2024
Hope you see your work!!


Nan Karr Kaufenberg

Nan Karr Kaufenberg’s Linoleum Block Prints with Watercolors are currently on exhibit at Kensington Bank until mid-October.  Please take time to stop by and see them!