Last updated: 3/1/2013
Columbus, Ohio
Street Address
50 West Town Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Mailing Address
50 West Town Street
Columbus, OH 43215
phone: 614-292-8861
Tuesday - Wednesday, Friday - Saturday11 AM - 6 PM
Thursday11 AM - 8 PM
Museum Type(s)
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Valarie Williams, Executive Director
Leigh Lotocki, Communications Coordinator

The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space challenges our ways of thinking about the performing and visual arts and their role in everyday life through conversation, art-making, and experimentation. Urban Arts Space encourages transformative experiences that expand worldviews, offer hands-on practical experiences in the arts and education, and develop new career skills to reflect an entrepreneurial culture.


Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, the OSU Urban Arts Space joins the university with the state of Ohio and the world, functioning as an arts laboratory for Ohio State faculty and community artists and serving as a professional launching pad for Ohio State students.


OSU Urban Arts Space is a part of the revitalization of downtown Columbus, located in the "heart," between the Columbus Commons park and the Scioto Mile. A 10,000 square foot exhibition and non-traditional performance space, the Space welcomes over 35,000 patrons a year.

At the start of the new millennium, The Ohio State University's arts units began to explore ways in which they could better prepare students, especially those in art, design, and art education for their chosen careers as artists, designers, and arts administrators, while forging a link to downtown Columbus.

OSU Urban Arts Space is part of the Arts Initiative, which is embedded in the interdisciplinary core and curricular programming in the College of Arts and Sciences. As one of multiple gallery spaces, OSU Urban Arts Space focuses on supporting co-curricular activity and community partnerships. Critical to our success is the partnership between the OSU Urban Arts Space and faculty from the Arts and Humanities. It is this partnership that allows the Space to carry out its mission of teaching, experimentation, exhibition, and community engagement.

As part of OSU Urban Arts Space's organizational structure, two committees steer the activities and everyday happenings of the Space: the Community Partners Group and the Project Committee. The Community Partners Group serves as the advocacy coalition for the Space and is comprised of representatives from the arts community and those involved with downtown revitalization. Each year the Project Committee, made up of faculty, staff, students and representatives from community arts organizations, meet and select proposals and help plan exhibitions and related programs for the upcoming year.

Educational Programs

The OSU Urban Arts Space Education Department is dedicated to fostering substantial interactions between the greater Columbus community and our diverse performing and visual arts. Through a variety of programming we strive to promote equal access to quality arts education. By means of an interactive approach we nurture critical, creative thinking and instill a foundation for enduring art expression and appreciation.

  • In addition to our tours, the Space has learning partnerships with various private and public academic institutions. These partnerships produce interdisciplinary projects and educational experiences as well as opportunities for community engagement. Over the course of multiple visits, students tour the gallery, participate in a hands-on activity, and practice critical analysis of artworks.
  • Art Explorations is an interactive art education series that provides an opportunity for children ages 4 to 8 and their families to create art in a gallery setting, with a goal of instilling a sense of art appreciation. Held on the second Saturday of every month, Art Explorations encourages an interest in the arts and aims to develop participants’ cognitive skills, self-esteem and self-expression. This free family programming provides opportunities to develop a range of artistic techniques with visiting artists and explore current exhibits at the OSU Urban Arts Space. To read more about Art Explorations,
  • For those who cannot make it to the Space, our exhibitions go mobile to provide accessible art experiences for everyone. Our education team will work with you to create a lesson plan that fits around the needs and wants of your demographic. To schedule, or for more information, please contact our Education Coordinator at
  • We welcome and encourage faculty to teach classes at or in conjunction with the OSU Urban Arts Space. We offer two methods for interested faculty members to submit class ideas, depending on the type and the commitment of the class. If the class is a one-time event we suggest submitting a Space Request/Event Rental Form. If professors would like to propose an ongoing program, for example: a semester-long interactive theatre class, please submit a Preliminary Project Proposal as part of our yearly call for entries.

Large Print

You may request large-print for any of our print materials, including artists' statements and curator notes, by contacting the Space. For information about large-print materials or visual description (on guided tours for visitors who are blind or visually impaired), sign language interpreters, or print scripts; or to arrange for braille or large-print materials to be created, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator. Allow three weeks for arrangements to be completed.


Accessible Entrance and Parking

There is a designated barrier-free entrance and approved accessible parking for vehicles displaying the appropriate disability permits, located in the Ohio Statehouse Parking Garage. This garage has entrances off of both Broad Street and Third Street and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis with a pay-per-hour fee. There is also a drop-off-only space located on State Street, near High Street, in front the Ohio Theatre, allowing a driver to drop off a passenger near (1 block away) the accessible entrance of the OSU Urban Arts Space, without paying the parking fees.

The OSU Urban Arts Space is also equipped with accessible restrooms and drinking fountains. All of the gallery spaces, including the conference room, are completely barrier-free.

Accessible Programs help people with disabilities enjoy their visit to the OSU Urban Arts Space and find inspiring connections between the arts and their lives. Visitors may explore the space on their own, or may request a personalized tour.

For more information, please contact Scott Neal, our Accessibility Coordinator, by phone at (614) 292-8861 or TTY, through the Ohio Relay Service at (800) 750-0750, or by fax at (614) 223-1587.

Wheelchair Accessible




Accessible Tours

Several tours are offered that take into consideration the characteristics of a wide variety of disabilities. These tours are led by specially trained guides and include:

Specially Tailored Tours:

These tours are available by prearrangement for individuals or groups from the mental health community as well as those with Autism, Alzheimer's, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, or other unique perspectives. Themed tours are developed around the needs and interests of the participants and can focus on any aspect of the exhibitions, with appropriate touchable and visual materials to supplement descriptions and discussions.

Podcast Audio Tours:

Starting April 22nd, 2009, audio tours will present the opportunity to learn more about an exhibition, or take a self-guided tour of the space. You will be able to subscribe to our free audio podcasts for use on your mp3 player or you can borrow one of our iPods during your visit.

Sign Language Interpreted Tours:

Tours of exhibitions are available by prearrangement for individuals or groups who are deaf or hearing impaired. Printed scripts of audio tours may be available by request.

Join our team!

At Urban Arts Space we seek students and volunteers who are interested in making a meaningful contribution to our mission. As a bustling center, all team members are expected to work well independently, take initiative, and be ready to learn and take direction. Most importantly, applicants should be passionate about fostering the arts and humanities...but you don't have to be an 'artist' to apply! Any high school, undergraduate, or graduate student is encouraged to apply for a position at the Space. You do not need to be a student to volunteer!

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

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We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

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