The Columbus Area Arts Council has streamlined itself to go from a budget deficit to operating in the black for the first time in four years.

It has moved to a new, more visible, downtown office space at 431 Sixth St.

And the council is expanding its partnerships with a range of organizations as it continues to move away from large-concert, live-music, weather-dependent gatherings to more varied family and children events, and ones that appeal to more young people.

Plus, the nonprofit, independent agency is kicking off a new five-program series of artist-led workshops April 21.

If spring is a time for new life, then the arts council is blooming all over.

Kathryn Armstrong, who took over as executive director in June 2016, said that her agency is undergoing a shift — making artists a top priority while advancing its mission of integrating art and cultural experiences into community life.

“Artists are the core to our work,” said Armstrong, a longtime visual artist herself. “In order for the arts council to effectively move forward, we’ve got to put artists first. Without the artists, we have no art. We have no music. We have no performances.”

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.