Connection and Creativity Shine in Columbus

While their collection may contain works from the 17th century, Columbus Museum of Art’s approach to community engagement is anything but baroque.

In fact, the museum is chock full of ideas to encourage connection, creativity, and interaction during your visit. Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite audience engagement activities:

  • Family costume breakfast was just one of several themed engagement events celebrating the Force of Fandom exhibit which demonstrated how the media franchise has influenced generations of fans and creators. Community members dressed up in their favorite fictional characters and had fun connecting over breakfast while playing games and taking photos with other famous heroes and villains from the exhibit.

  • Hearts for Art has become Valentine’s Day tradition at CMA where patrons are invited to show their love for art. People are invited to pick up a heart and place it in front of an artwork they love and share it by snapping a pic and hashtag #heartsforart. CMA actively encourages guests to share photos of their experience all times of the year with #myCMA.

  • Roaming Docents is a free program that encourages guests to initiate a conversation with one of the museum’s trained guides during their visit.

  • Teen Open Studio offers teenagers an opportunity to experiment with technology and arts supplies, or just connect with friends, in a space that is just for them.

What's the word

The Museum’s messaging matches this commitment to creativity and connection.

From their bi-monthly Connection magazine and newsletter for members, to the inspiring calls to action on their website, to their current 140 anniversary campaign, Wow Happens Here, the museum’s communications repeatedly capture the joy and creativity behind each museum experience.

140 Years of Wow and Wonder | Columbus Museum of Art

140 Years of Wow and Wonder | Columbus Museum of Art

What's next

Doubling down on this commitment to families, CMA is even launching a creativity focused preschool later this year.

The Wonder School is a partnership with Columbus State Community College and The Childhood League Center that aims to foster purposeful play, critical inquiry, and a collaborative community approach to education—for children, for their educators, for a more creative and compassionate society. 

What's behind it all?

So what is the rationale for these investments? According to their website, -- connecting is one of the hallmarks of their creative programs and initiatives.

Sound familiar? Connecting is also the hallmark of our research on what motivates audience participation. Learn more about Columbus Museum of Art, their resources, and how creativity is nurtured throughout the museum on their website.