Community Impact

Collage of several Wexner programs representing community impact

We believe in the transformative potential of the arts and strive to connect with audiences wherever they are. The Wexner Center is committed to breaking down barriers to participation and inviting diverse voices into the conversation.

"The Wex has been one of the forces keeping me going through all of this."
Noah Demland, Arts & College Preparatory Academy music teacher and percussionist

Working with partner organizations, the center engages community members in various ways, including through Community Studios—a free program that involves artist-led activities for all ages in such neighborhoods as Linden, the Hilltop, German Village/South Side, and Weinland Park. The program has expanded to Maryhaven, a behavioral health treatment center, where artists and Wex educators engage social workers in art making as a path to resilience and well-being. Innovative school programs held in all corners of the city and state have engaged thousands of K–12 students over the years. Ohio filmmakers are invited to enter works in our annual Ohio Shorts film festival (often juried by local artists), and products by local artists and authors are featured in the Wexner Center Store.

"It was such a welcoming and encouraging environment. Can't wait for more opportunities to share my work like this in the future!"
Ellie Hartranft, Ohio Shorts filmmaker

The center also offers a suite of free Art & Resilience programs, such as On Pause—an ongoing series of arts-based meditation sessions created in partnership with The Yoga Carriage with Replenish Well. Initiatives for specific groups include Vets at the Wex, a discussion-based, multiweek program for military veterans organized in partnership with Chalmers P. Wylie Veterans Outpatient Clinic, and Sanctuary Night, a facility in Franklinton for vulnerable women, providing art activities led by artists and educators. The center has also worked with Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Maroon Arts Group, King Arts Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Columbus Museum of Art, and dozens of other organizations, large and small. As it strives to welcome a broad cross section of the community, the center now offers free gallery admission for all visitors and discounted parking vouchers.