701 Center for Contemporary Art
701 Whaley St., 803-779-4571, 701cca.org. Presents high-quality contemporary art, with selected artists taking part in on-site residencies. Organizes annual Columbia Open Studios event, too.
American Guild of Organists - Greater Columbia Chapter
columbiaago.org. Professional association serving the organ and choral music fields.
Anastasia and Friends Gallery
1534 Main St., facebook.com/Anastasia.and.Friends. Presents diverse and eclectic exhibitions in the front of the Free Times office; a hot spot during the monthly First Thursday art crawls.
Árpád Darázs Singers
adsingers.org. Performs a varied repertoire of classical and contemporary works including sacred, secular, accompanied and a cappella.
vistacolumbia.com. Held in April, Artista Vista is a free, three-day gallery crawl during which galleries and studios open their doors late on Thursday night. Galleries open again on Friday and Saturday and often feature artist demonstrations.
1000 Hampton St., bigappledance.com. Built as the House of Peace Synagogue in 1915, it became an African-American dance hall in 1936, where the Big Apple dance craze started. Now popular for events and receptions.
Broadway in Columbia
1051 Greene St., broadwayincolumbia.com. Think you can’t see live, Broadway-quality productions in this mid-sized Southern town? Actually, you can. Performances in the Koger Center.
914 Pulaski St., 803-771-6303, carolinaballet.net. A civic company for pre-professional dancers, Carolina Ballet alumni can be found in top companies throughout the country. Stages annual Nutcracker production at the Township Auditorium.
Cayce Historical Museum
1800 12th St., Cayce, 803-739-5385, cityofcayce-sc.gov/museum.asp. Interprets the architectural, social and cultural heritage of Old Saxe-Gotha, Granby, Cayce and West Columbia areas with exhibits depicting periods of Colonial trade, Indians, agricultural development and transportation.
Chapin Theatre Company
107 Columbia Ave., Chapin, 803-240-8544, chapintheatre.org. Founded in the late 1970s, the Chapin Theatre Company is a staple of Lexington County’s cultural life. Performances at Harbison Theatre.
City Art Gallery
1224 Lincoln St., 803-252-3613, cityartonline.com. A beautiful, expansive gallery hosting locally and regionally oriented exhibitions. Also offers classes and art supplies.
Colonial Life Arena
801 Lincoln St. at Greene St., coloniallifearena.com. Opened in 2003, this 18,000-seat venue is the largest arena in South Carolina, hosting major concerts and entertainment acts and serving as the home for USC men’s and women’s basketball.
Columbia Arts Academy
3630 Rosewood Dr., 803-667-4451, columbiaartsacademy.com. Lessons for guitar, piano, voice, drums, bass, ukulele, mandolin and violin. Plus, rock band classes! Also operates the Irmo Music Academy (irmomusicacademy.com) and the Lexington School of Music (lexingtonschoolofmusic.com).
Columbia Arts Center
1227 Taylor St., 803-545-3093, facebook.com/ColumbiaArt. City-run center houses classes, workshops and open studio for participants to explore and learn about the visual arts.
columbiabaroque.com. Local ensemble specializes in the performance of 17th and 18th century European Baroque chamber music on period instruments.
Columbia Children’s Theatre
3400 Forest Dr. (inside Richland Mall), 803-691-4548, columbiachildrenstheatre.com. Theater for families and young audiences. Performances at Richland Mall.
Columbia Choral Society
803-933-9060, columbiachoralsociety.org. Founded in 1930 as the Shandon Choral Society, the Columbia Choral Society performs choral masterworks and often collaborates with other local arts organizations.
Columbia City Ballet
1128 Taylor St., 803-799-7605, columbiacityballet.com. Consistently voted Best Dance Company in Free Times’ annual Best Of Columbia readers’ poll, the City Ballet is increasingly a regional company, too, with performances in Savannah, Charleston and more.
Columbia City Jazz Conservatory
100 Park Pl Ct., Lexington, 803-252-0252, columbiacityjazz.com. Pre-professional jazz dance company. Also brings in guest artists for master classes.
Columbia Classical Ballet
2418 Devine St., 803-252-9112, columbiaclassicalballet.com. Known for its multinational dancers, high-quality choreography and its annual LifeChance performance, which attracts top-tier guest artists.
Columbia College Goodall Gallery
1301 Columbia College Dr., columbiasc.edu. Visual arts gallery at Columbia College.
Columbia Community Concert Band
cccb.bandlink.org. So, you played trumpet in high school or college? Get your chops up, and maybe you can join the band — again.
Columbia Marionette Theater
401 Laurel St., 803-252-7366, cmtpuppet.org. Presents children’s productions ranging from traditional fairy tales to educational shows. Located near Riverfront Park.
Columbia Museum of Art
Main and Hampton streets, 803-799-2810, columbiamuseum.org. The museum’s traveling exhibitions span the full range of art history, the newly expanded display space for its permanent collection boasts similar variety. Also hosts the popular Arts & Draughts series, classical and jazz concerts, art classes and more.
Columbia Music Festival Association
914 Pulaski St., 803-771-6303, cmfaonline.com. Founded in 1897 as an arm of local government, CMFA is an umbrella organization offering rehearsal and performance space at its ArtSpace in the Vista.
Columbia Writers Alliance
colawriters.info. Hosts workshops and presents prose, poetry and spoken word events.
1301 Columbia College Dr., columbiasc.edu. A 375-seat auditorium on the Columbia College campus in North Columbia.
Crooked Creek Art League
crookedcreekart.org. A group for artists that meets on the third Monday of each month. Features speakers of varied artistic backgrounds.
Dr. Sketchy’s Columbia
drsketchy.com/branch/columbia. Formed in Brooklyn, Dr. Sketchy’s is an “anti-art” alternative art school where artists draw glamorous underground performers in an atmosphere of boozy conviviality. Want to draw? Just show up. Meets at Frame of Mind in West Columbia.
Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County
810 Lyttleton St., Camden, 803-425-7676, fineartscenter.org. Presents community-oriented theater, music, dance and exhibitions, as well as the annual Carolina Downhome Blues Festival.
First Thursdays on Main
firstthursdayonmain.com. Eclectic monthly arts series on Main Street, with events at the Tapp’s Arts Center, Anastasia & Friends (in front of the Free Times office), Michael’s, the Arcade Mall and more.
844-537-7661, freewaymusic.net. Music lessons taught by hardworking local musicians at multiple locations. Also presents recitals, showcases and other music-related events.
Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
7300 College St., Irmo, 803-407-5011, harbisontheatre.com. Presents high-quality touring productions of theater, dance, opera and comedy, and serves as a rental facility for local arts organizations.
803-252-7742, historiccolumbia.org. Manages historic homes, including the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, and organizes historic tours and the annual Jubilee Festival.
if ART Gallery
1223 Lincoln St., 803-238-2351, ifartgallery.blogspot.com. Gallery hosts high-quality contemporary art shows and increasingly frequent avant-leaning jazz and rock shows in the heart of the Vista.
Indie Grits Labs
1013 Duke Ave., 803-814-3874, indiegrits.org. An outgrowth of its namesake festival and the Nickelodeon Theater, this arts organization serves the area through community-based art projects and media education programs.
jasperproject.org. Puts out a magazine covering the Columbia arts scene, produces a literary journal and organizes arts-related events.
1051 Greene St., 803-777-7500, kogercenterforthearts.com. The Koger Center is operated by the University of South Carolina and has served as Columbia’s primary facility for the performing arts since 1989. Seats just over 2,000.
Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra
803-400-3540, lmso.org. Think there’s no culture when you get outside downtown? Think again. This community orchestra plays a mix of classical, light classical and pops.
Lexington County Choral Society
803-348-7445, lexcochoralsoc.org. Presents a varied and challenging repertoire reflecting numerous musical traditions.
Lexington County Museum
231 Fox St., Lexington, 803-359-8369, lexingtoncountymuseum.org. Founded in 1970, the museum complex encompasses seven acres and features 36 historic structures focusing on the early history of Lexington County, from 1770 until the Civil War.
McKissick Museum (USC)
USC Horseshoe, 803-777-7251, facebook.com/mckissickmuseum. Offers exhibits relating to the cultural, political and natural history of South Carolina and the southeastern United States.
McMaster Gallery (USC)
1615 Senate St., 803-777-5752, facebook.com/svadmcmastergallery. Tucked away inside USC’s Department of Art, McMaster Gallery features student and faculty exhibitions along with contemporary traveling shows.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD Series
metopera.org/season/in-cinemas. All broadcasts at Sandhill Stadium 16 (Village at Sandhill) and Columbiana Grande Stadium 14 (Bower Parkway).
facebook.com/groups/mindgravy. Poetry readings and music performances held Wednesdays at Cool Beans near the USC campus.
New Life Productions
newlifeprod.com. Presents social- and religious-themed plays and films and hosts workshops.
Newberry Opera House
1201 McKibben St., Newberry, 803-276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com. Originally built in 1881, the beautiful 400-seat Newberry Opera House presents folk, rock, big band, bluegrass, theater, dance and sometimes even hip-hop.
purposepeople.company. This group of mainly minority actors, directors and producers presents everything from storytelling and children’s shows to more edgy contemporary shows at various local venues.
1607 Main St., 803-254-8234, nickelodeon.org. Specializing in independent films, the Nickelodeon also hosts the popular annual Indie Grits Festival as well as media education programs.
On Stage Productions
680 Cherokee Lane, 803-351-6751, onstagesc.com. Community theater in West Columbia.
1219 Taylor St., 803-254-5008, onecolumbiasc.com. City-backed arts promotion organization. Maintains local arts calendar and organizes public-art projects.
Opera at USC
music.sc.edu. Offers a comprehensive program for students, covering every facet of opera production, both onstage and behind the scenes. Presents two fully staged operas per year.
Palmetto Center for the Arts
Richland School District Two Auditorium, 7500 Brookfield Rd., palmettocenterforthearts.org. Various fine arts performances by artistically gifted high school students.
803-400-1178, palmettoluna.org. Promotes Hispanic/Latino culture in South Carolina through poetry, the visual arts and more.
803-765-0777, palmettomastersingers.org. Founded in 1981, the men’s choral group has performed at The White House, Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral.
palmettooperasc.org. Promotes opera in the Midlands through its Opera Thursdays program, which presents opera selections at local restaurants, and through occasional full-scale productions.
Ponder Art Gallery (Benedict College)
1600 Harden St., ponderartgallerybc.com, 803-705-4764. Features works by African-American artists.
The Power Company
803-786-3590, thepowercompanycollaborative.org. Local contemporary dance company.
richlandlibrary.com. Offers numerous literary and other public programs for children and adults throughout the year. See website for details and locations. Books and other media available in physical and digital formats.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
6952 Saint Andrews Rd., 803-732-2273, sapc.net. Home to the Palmetto Artist Series.
The Sandlapper Singers
803-381-5481, sandlappersingers.org. Professional choral group specializing in American music.
Sapphire Moon Dance Company
803-419-3022, sapphiremoon.samsbiz.com. Columbia-based contemporary dance company led by Angela Gallo, assistant professor of dance at Coker College.
Shandon Presbyterian Church
607 Woodrow St., 803-771-4408, shandonpresbyterian.org. Home base for the multidisciplinary Arts at Shandon series.
The Skipp Pearson Foundation
skpfoundation.org. Organizes concerts and events honoring the music and influence of late local jazz icon Skipp Pearson.
Soda City Cirque
sodacitycirque.com. Sword swallowing! Bellydancing! Burlesque! No, these are not lost arts: Soda City Cirque brings the best in touring alternative circus acts to Columbia.
Soda City Stand Up
sodacitystandup.com. Collective of local comedians; performances are held at various locations. Open mic night every Monday at New Brookland Tavern.
South Carolina Center for the Book
1500 Senate St., readsc.org. Lunchtime author talks held at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book.
South Carolina Philharmonic
803-771-7937, scphilharmonic.com. The state’s premiere orchestra performs both masterworks programs in the Koger Center and pops concerts at Harbison Theatre in addition to outreach efforts such as its interactive Conduct the Phil appearances.
South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
301 Gervais St., 803-737-8095, crr.sc.gov. Showcases Civil War memorabilia and more, with artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to World War II. Located in the former mill that also houses the S.C. State Museum.
South Carolina Military Museum
1225 Bluff Road, 803-299-4440, scmilitarymuseum.com. Pays homage to the role of South Carolina’s citizen soldiers and the state’s martial tradition from its colonial founding in 1670 to present-day operations.
South Carolina Shakespeare Company
803-787-2273, shakespearesc.org. This theater group performs works mostly — but not always — by Shakespeare.
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St., 803-898-4921, scmuseum.org. Housed in the historic Columbia Mill building (built in 1893), the S.C. State Museum opened a popular planetarium, observatory and 4D theater in 2014. Focusing primarily on South Carolina’s cultural history, natural history, science, technology and art, the museum also brings in non-S.C.-related blockbuster exhibitions.
Southern Exposure New Music Series
music.sc.edu. These free concerts offer the best of contemporary classical music. Stop scratching your head and just go see a concert — they’re awesome, and free. Normally held in USC’s School of Music Recital Hall.
Studios in the Arcade
Main Street, facebook.com/ArcadeBuilding. Want to discover a place only locals know about? Check out the L-shaped Arcade Mall, with entrances on Main and Lady streets. Several artists have studios there.
Sumter Opera House
21 North Main St., Sumter, 803-436-2500. sumtersc.gov/operahouse. Hosts movies, concerts, musicals and more.
Tapp’s Arts Center
1644 Main St., 803-988-0013. tappsartscenter.com. A haven for the visual arts, with studio spaces and regular exhibitions, Tapp’s also hosts film screenings, concerts, comedy shows and more.
Theatre South Carolina
803-777-5208, theatre.sc.edu. High-quality productions from the University of South Carolina’s theater company.
1012 Sumter St., 803-799-2510, towntheatre.com. The oldest continuously operating community theater building in the country; presents family-friendly musicals and other productions.
1703 Taylor St., 803-576-2350, thetownship.org. First opened in 1930, the 3,000-plus-seat Township Auditorium has hosted Elvis Presley, Duke Ellington, Pink Floyd and The Clash. Books everything from gospel plays and comedians to major rock, pop, R&B and country acts.
Trenholm Artists Guild
trenholmartistsguild.org. Members include amateur and professional artists who work in watercolor, oil, acrylics, pastel, sculpture, fiber and photography. Presents speakers on various studio art topics.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
1100 Sumter St., 803-771-7300, trinitysc.org. Known for its strong musical offerings, Trinity Episcopal’s chapel offers beautiful acoustics for its numerous concerts, which include organ, chamber and choral music.
520 Lady St., 803-254-9732, trustus.org. Columbia’s only professional theater company, Trustus produces a wide range of works from cutting-edge contemporary to popular musicals.
Unbound Dance Company
unbounddance.com. Edgy, athletic young contemporary jazz dance company.
USC Dance Company
803-777-5636, dance.sc.edu. Presents both classical and contemporary works.
USC School of Music
803-777-4280, music.sc.edu. The USC School of Music is a steady source of high-quality music programming in the city. Most events are held at the USC School of Music Recital Hall (second floor of the music school on Assembly Street), the Koger Center and the Johnson Performance Hall in USC’s business school. Performance updates are posted online throughout the season.
USC Symphony Orchestra
803-777-7500, music.sc.edu. A high-caliber student orchestra performing traditional classical repertoire, often with highly acclaimed guest soloists. Concerts at the Koger Center.
Village Square Theatre
105 Caughman Rd., Lexington, 803-359-1436, villagesquaretheatre.com. Community theater from the Lexington County Arts Association.
803-799-6551 (box office), workshoptheatre.com. Longstanding community theater presents musicals, comedies, mysteries and more at the Cottingham Theater at Columbia College.