By Shannon Hardin
Art makes Columbus. Columbus makes art. This phrase has become an iconic tagline that reminds natives and newcomers alike the critical role that art plays in our community’s success. Venues like the Ohio and Lincoln Theatres unite working moms and business executives, college students and neighborhood leaders. Whether it is riding the high wire unicycle at COSI or playing at Franklin Park Conservatory’s new Children’s Garden, arts and culture bring our kids and neighbors together to learn and grow side-by-side.
Not only are these spaces loved by Columbus residents, our cultural gems attract families, couples, young professionals, and tourism to our city. Our vibrant arts scene is a critical piece to attract and retain the best and brightest in Columbus. Furthermore, the creative sector creates tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Columbus residents, generating over three billion dollars in annual receipts. Across our city, from Franklinton to the Near East Side, the arts brighten our lives. That is why last year, I led the charge with my colleagues on Columbus City Council to double public funding for arts programming and access. These funds mean more grants to artists and improved access for families while protecting the existing infrastructure of arts and entertainment facilities.
The future is bright for the arts in Columbus. As I write this, my colleague Priscilla Tyson is working to bring Niccolò Paganini’s “Il Cannone” violin, considered to be the most famous violin in the world, to our city. Columbus City Council is proud to support our arts community so that the next generation of Columbus artists have a chance to learn and grow.
The author is President of Columbus City Council. Columbus City Council consists of seven at-large members representing more than 850,000 residents and are elected to serve a four-year term. Reach out to Council President Hardin and other members of City Council at columbuscitycouncil.org.