Visual Arts

Annual Manual 2021: Arts & Music | Special Sections

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701 Center for Contemporary Art

701 Whaley St., 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 Professional association serving the organ and choral music fields.

Árpád Darázs Singers Performs a varied repertoire of classical and contemporary works including sacred, secular, accompanied and a cappella.

Art Bar

1211 Park St., Art Bar’s been around for more than 20 years now, but it still hasn’t grown up: It’s still the same eclectic, non-corporate nightspot it’s always been, known for presenting mostly local, mostly rock shows on weekends, and for hosting popular comedy nights.

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor

710 Meeting St., Instrument store hosts bluegrass jams, Opry-style country jams and occasional concerts featuring top-flight bluegrass and old-timey musicians.

Broadway in Columbia

1051 Greene St., Think you can’t see live, Broadway-quality productions in this mid-sized Southern town? Actually, you can. Performances in the Koger Center.

Carolina Ballet

914 Pulaski St., 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, 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, Founded in the late 1970s, the Chapin Theatre Company is a staple of Lexington County’s cultural life. Performances at Harbison Theatre.

Chayz Lounge

607 Meeting St., In 2019, Chayz Lounge, a smooth jazz outpost, moved out of a shared space and into its own 80-seat venue in West Columbia. A full menu with wings, pasta and more is accompanied by a full bar.

City Art Gallery

1224 Lincoln St., 803-252-3613, A beautiful, expansive gallery hosting locally and regionally oriented exhibitions. Also offers classes and art supplies.

ColaJazz Maintains a thorough calendar of local jazz events and puts on many of its own, including the annual ColaJazz Festival at The Senate in the Vista.

Columbia Arts Academy

3630 Rosewood Dr., Lessons for guitar, piano, voice, drums, bass, ukulele, mandolin and violin. Plus, rock band classes. Also operates the Irmo Music Academy ( and the Lexington School of Music (

Columbia Arts Center

1227 Taylor St., City-run center houses classes, workshops and open studio for participants to explore and learn about the visual arts.

Columbia Baroque 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), Theater for families and young audiences. Performances at Richland Mall.

Columbia Choral Society 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

1545 Main St. 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, Pre-professional jazz dance company. Also brings in guest artists for master classes.

Columbia Classical Ballet 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., Visual arts gallery at Columbia College.

Columbia Community Concert Band 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., Presents children’s productions ranging from traditional fairy tales to educational shows. Located near Riverfront Park.

Columbia Museum of Art

Main and Hampton streets, 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., 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, Hosts workshops and presents prose, poetry and spoken word events.

Comedy House

2768 Decker Blvd., Regional and national comedy acts stop by this club regularly.

Cottingham Theater

1301 Columbia College Dr., A 375-seat auditorium on the Columbia College campus in North Columbia.

Crooked Creek Art League A group for artists that meets on the third Monday of each month. Features speakers of varied artistic backgrounds.

Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County

810 Lyttleton St., Camden, Presents community-oriented theater, music, dance and exhibitions, as well as the annual Carolina Downhome Blues Festival.

First Thursdays on Main Eclectic monthly arts series on Main Street, with events inside and outside the Columbia Museum of Art, at the Arcade Mall and at other spots along the pedestrian-friendly downtown strip.

Freeway Music, Music lessons taught by hard-working local musicians at multiple locations. Also presents recitals, showcases and other music-related events.

Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College

7300 College St., Irmo, Presents high-quality concerts and touring productions of theater, dance, opera and comedy, and serves as a rental facility for local arts organizations.

if ART Gallery

1223 Lincoln St., 803-238-2351, Gallery hosts high-quality contemporary art shows and increasingly frequent avant-leaning jazz and rock shows in the heart of the Vista.

Jasper Project Puts out a magazine covering the Columbia arts scene, produces a literary journal and organizes arts-related events.

Koger Center

1051 Greene St., 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 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 Presents a varied and challenging repertoire reflecting numerous musical traditions.

Lexington County Museum

231 Fox St., Lexington, 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, Offers exhibits relating to the cultural, political and natural history of South Carolina and the southeastern United States.

McMaster Gallery (USC)

1615 Senate St., Tucked away inside USC’s Department of Art, McMaster Gallery features student and faculty exhibitions along with contemporary traveling shows.

Mind Gravy Poetry readings and music performances held Wednesdays at Cool Beans near the USC campus.

New Brookland Tavern

122 State St., New Brookland Tavern is Columbia’s most storied rock club, known for shows that span metal and punk, indie rock, Americana and hip-hop.

New Life Productions Presents social- and religious-themed plays and films and hosts workshops.

Newberry Opera House

1201 McKibben St., Newberry, Originally built in 1881, the beautiful 400-seat Newberry Opera House presents folk, rock, big band, bluegrass, theater, dance and sometimes even hip-hop.

NiA Company

2225 B Apple Valley Rd., 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.

Nickelodeon Theatre

1607 Main St., Specializing in independent films, the Nickelodeon also hosts the popular annual Indie Grits Festival as well as media education programs.

On Stage Productions

711 East Main St. (Old Mill, lower level), Community theater in Lexington.

One Columbia

1219 Taylor St., City-backed arts promotion organization. Maintains local arts calendar and organizes public art projects.

Opera at USC 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 LUNA Promotes Hispanic/Latino culture in South Carolina through poetry, the visual arts and more.

Palmetto Mastersingers Founded in 1981, the men’s choral group has performed at The White House, Carnegie Hall and the National Cathedral.

Palmetto Opera 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., Features works by African-American artists.

The Power Company

803-786-3590, Local contemporary dance company.

Richland Library 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.

The Senate

1022 State St., Formerly Music Farm Columbia, the city’s marquee rock club attracts an impressive selection of country, hip-hop, metal and indie rock.

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church

6952 St. Andrews Rd., 803-732-2273, Home to the Palmetto Artist Series.

The Sandlapper Singers Professional choral group specializing in American music.

Shandon Presbyterian Church

607 Woodrow St., Home base for the multidisciplinary Arts at Shandon series.

South Carolina Center for the Book

1500 Senate St., Lunchtime author talks held at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book.

South Carolina Philharmonic 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 Shakespeare Company This theater group performs works mostly — but not always — by Shakespeare.

South Carolina State Museum

301 Gervais St., Housed in the historic Columbia Mill building (built in 1893), the 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 These free concerts offer the best of contemporary classical music. Seriously, brings in some of the true heavyweights of modern composing and performance.

Studios in the Arcade

1332 Main St., 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, Hosts movies, concerts, musicals and more.

Tapp’s Outpost

713 Saluda Ave., Last fall, Tapp’s Arts Center vacated its former department store shell on Main Street, and is now reconstituted in Five Points, where it has built new artist studios and a gallery.

Theatre South Carolina High-quality productions from the University of South Carolina’s theater company.

Town Theatre

1012 Sumter St., The oldest continuously operating community theater building in the country; presents family-friendly musicals and other productions.

Township Auditorium

1703 Taylor St., 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 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., Known for its strong musical offerings, Trinity Episcopal’s chapel offers beautiful acoustics for its numerous concerts, which include organ, chamber and choral music.

Trustus Theatre

520 Lady St., Columbia’s only professional theater company, Trustus produces a wide range of works from cutting-edge contemporary to popular musicals.

USC Dance Company Presents both classical and contemporary works.

USC School of Music 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 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, Community theater from the Lexington County Arts Association.

The White Mule

711 Saluda Ave., Beloved former Main Street music pub and eatery is now in Five Points, looking to balance intimate listening room experiences with louder, rowdier rock shows.

Workshop Theatre

1301 Columbia College Dr., Longstanding community theater presents musicals, comedies, mysteries and more at the Cottingham Theater at Columbia College.

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