Arts & Culture
Residents of the Columbus Region frequently celebrate the arts in the city, where they can enjoy any number of performances and activities, including ballet, the symphony, musicals and plays. Local creative endeavors are admired, and residents are often treated to a variety larger cities would envy.
When the Springer Opera House opened in 1871, it was the grandest theatre between New York and New Orleans, so it served as a venue where shows traveling between the Big Apple and the Big Easy could recoup some of their travel expenses. As a result such noteworthy performers as Edwin Booth, Buffalo Bill, John Phillip Sousa, Ma Rainey, Tom Thumb, Burt Reynolds, Oscar Wilde, Garrison Keillor, Chet Atkins and W.C. Fields have trod the Springer’s boards. Besides being a fascinating National Historic Landmark destination for tourists, it hosts three popular series of plays — the Mainstage Series, the Studio II Series and the Springer Children’s Theatre Series — and Springer Theatricals, a national touring program. Visit www.springeroperahouse.org to learn more.
The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Columbus, is a prize asset to our cultural scene. This 245,000-square-foot complex was built in large part by $85 million of the more than $100 million raised by the Columbus Challenge, which also raised funds for other cultural venues like the restoration of the historic Springer Opera House. Its state-of-the-art facilities include the Bill Heard Theatre, the center’s main venue and home to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. You will find yourself applauding for more in this beautifully designed 2,000-seat theatre, known for offering world-class performances. Since opening its doors in 2002, the theatre has hosted cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Yitzhak Perlman, and magician David Copperfield as well as numerous touring shows, including Chicago, Miss Saigon, Cats, and A Year with Frog and Toad.
As an American art and regional history museum, and the second largest general museum in Georgia, the Columbus Museum offers a diverse collection to the public. The Museum houses over 14,000 artifacts and objects that tell the story of the Chattahoochee River Valley’s development, an American fine art collection from a host of renowned American artists, a hands-on gallery for children, the finest traveling exhibitions from across the U.S., and the historic Bradley Olmsted Garden. In addition, the Museum also features a range of educational programming for adults, families, and children. The Museum is always changing and always free, so come back again and again to experience award-winning collections and new and exciting programs.
As country music legend Tracy Lawrence says, “When the sun goes down, the stars come out to play” at the Phenix City Amphitheater, located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. This large outdoor theater offers concerts, community activities, and theatrical events throughout the year, including Fourth of July and Christmas celebrations.