The Columbia Festival of the Arts

A Community Tradition

columbia-skylineWith it’s 30th anniversary on the horizon in 2017, the Columbia Festival of the Arts is returning in June to the Columbia Lakefront for a spectacular celebration, in collaboration with Columbia’s 50th Birthday. The Festival’s commitment to the arts and the community it serves continues to expand its tradition of world-class performances and hometown fun.

Festival History at a Glance. Columbia, Maryland, turned 20 in 1987, and many of the town’s pioneers wanted to throw a birthday party that would not only celebrate the anniversary but would also reassert the town’s distinctive identity. A major community-based corporation contributed $60,000 to throw an event called “Hail Columbia.”

On the tail of “Hail Columbia,” a consensus emerged that there should be a Columbia Festival of the Arts that represented all genres; that combined both local and national performers; and that reflected and was accessible to all elements of the community: races, ages, incomes, and genders. The mission was to “present programs of the highest artistic quality that feature distinguished nationally known artists” and to produce an “annual arts event that builds the spirit of community.” Thus, the Columbia Festival, Inc. was founded in 1987.


April 1, 2017Judy Collins at James Rouse Theatre. Tickets on sale to donors now. Ticket sales open to public February 3.
June 15-18, 2017FREE Summer Festival at Columbia Lakefront.
Artists including Junkyard Saints, Sarah Ragsdale, the Columbia Concert Band, Donegal X-Press. And many more to come!
Columbia’s 50th Birthday
Festival 30th Anniversary Party
Invitational Fine Arts & Crafts Show
Family & Kids Events
Evening Ticketed Events
June 23-25, 2017Summer Festival Continues
Sundance Shorts on Tour
Manual Cinema: The End of TV