Since its designation in 1976, the United States has celebrated Black History Month annually in February. President Gerald Ford called upon the country to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In Columbus, there are plenty of ways to do just that. Below, we’ve rounded up a number of events, exhibitions and activities for people of all ages to help you get started.
2022 Aminah Day
February 19, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | King Arts Complex
Join The King Arts Complex to celebrate one of Columbus’ great visual artists, Aminah Robinson. The program is an opportunity for people of all ages to connect with local artists and be inspired by Aminah’s rich contributions to the Arts. All Arts Day is a free, community event. Surround yourself in inspiration and storytelling with themed projects inspired by her work. Kick-start your imaginations with prompts designed for a wide range of ages, abilities and materials. These workshops are free and supplies are provided, but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (Please sign up for one workshop only).
Ohio Statehouse Events
Dates and times vary based on event | Ohio Statehouse
The Ohio Statehouse will celebrate Black History Month with two free performances in February. The events will be live in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse; The Heritage of Ohio’s Black Voices will be Tuesday, Feb. 15, and An Affrilachian Storyteller Speaks will be Tuesday, Feb. 22. To expand viewer accessibility, the performances are planned to be livestreamed via OhioChannel.org.
#ArtUnitesCbus, a Black Lives Matter public art initiative
Throughout February | From the Greater Columbus Arts Council
Explore murals erected throughout the community that support the Black Lives Matter Movement, pay tribute to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and spread messages of love and hope.
Bruce Robinson Exhibit: Flutterby
Through April 24 | Columbus Museum of Art
Often inspired by actual people and specific histories, Robinson’s images of Black athletes, musicians, and dancers suggest the dynamism and grace of the body in motion. These figures are both painted and cut out of plywood; the images are inseparable from their material supports and seem to push into the space of the gallery. These works, along with Robinson’s wall- and floor-based assemblages, explore forms of movement while blurring the lines between drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Washington Gladden Social Justice Park
Visit the first park in the nation dedicated to the theme of social justice, located downtown at the corner of Broad Street and Cleveland Avenue. Designed to bring Columbus together to build the path to a better future through art, education and constructive dialogues, the park serves as an introduction to Columbus’ social justice pioneers.
REVIVAL: The 44th African American Heritage Festival
February 25, 2022 – March 5 | Student Life Multicultural Center
This weeklong festival will feature talent and poetry showcases, intriguing cultural awareness programs, and the annual Gospel Fest. This year's Festival will return to in-person events and will be filled with passion, excitement and Black culture.
Columbus Metropolitan Library Events
Dates and times vary based on Columbus Library branch | See library locations and events list here
The Columbus Metropolitan Library has a plethora of events to recognize Black History Month! Notable events include the Collection Spotlight, learning about Columbus Black Newspapers, and the Carnegie Author Series. Events range in audience from kids to adults, and other great things on the calendar include Science: Let's React! (hands-on science activities celebrating Black achievements in science), Exploring Black Inventors, Urban Strings Community Concert, and the opportunity to hear from a former Tuskegee Airman.
Ohio History Center Events
Dates and times vary based on event | Ohio History Center
The Ohio History Center is hosting both in-person and online events this month. Check out the link below to view the full list, but a few we're highlighting here are The Tea Room (a contemporary version of the African American Tea Ceremony that began in the mid-19th century) and Vanishing Communities (local photographers will discuss the changing dynamics of neighborhoods due to urban renewal).
Color of Science
February 24, 12-1:30pm | COSI
The Color of Science Digital Series features live one on one interviews with some of today’s brightest scientists from around the country who are women, persons of color, or within the LGBTQ community. Each scientist is interviewed by COSI’s President and CEO, Dr. Frederic Bertley. All guests have the ability to send in questions to each scientist in advance when they register for the event.
Rally Point: A Conversation with Black Vetrepreneurs
Feb 5, 10:00 am | National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Celebrate the determination, perseverance, talent and skill of Black Veterpreneurs. According to the Small Business Administration, black-owned businesses in the U.S. today account for more than $150 billion in revenue and employ close to 1 million people. On February 5 at 10 a.m., welcome U.S. Army Veterans James Howell of BK Smokehouse, Jeff Price of PLAN Logistics Solutions and Sizzle of Crafted Culture Brewery for a conversation about how military service impacted their drive to build their business. Join in to see the transition from military to business owner.