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    Arts & Culture

  • To be human is to create. Writing. Designing. Performing. Curating. Sculpting. Whether we’re the creator or the consumer, creative expression shapes who we are as a community. It informs our perspective, influences our conversations, inspires our actions and evolves our understanding — of self, of humanity, of our place in the world.

    From the innovative craft of our students to the masterful work of our faculty, to invited guest performers, Pulitzer Prize winners, accomplished orators, filmmakers, painters, sculptors and more, Capital University helps fuel the artistic and cultural life that makes Central Ohio a destination place.

    It is our privilege to share our work, and the creations of those we host, with the community. Through our renown Conservatory of Music, The Schumacher Gallery, Electronic Media and Film, Art, and University Theatre programs, and our annual events like a robust lecture series in the humanities (Gerhold), undergraduate research, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning, Faculty Scholars and more Capital shapes perspectives, conversations and values. We improve lives. We impact our world. We invite you to join us.


    Annual Events

    Jazz & World Music Festival

    Capital University's Conservatory of Music Jazz & World Music Festival features student music, faculty and guest ensemble concerts, and world-class jazz artists in clinics, workshops, and in concert throughout the period. All events are free and open to the public unless marked otherwise. 

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    NOW MUSIC Festival  

    NOW MUSIC Festival is a celebration of contemporary music — primarily the 20th- and 21st-century art music styles, but also including progressive jazz and popular music most years. This annual festival is one of the most comprehensive and diversified celebrations of contemporary music and its composers presented in the Midwest.


    Wind Band Invitational and Reading Clinic

    Capital University’s annual Wind Band Invitational and New Band Music Reading Clinic is a prestigious event which connects talented high school musicians, renowned composers, conductors and music educators, and the best new concert band music for two days of rigorous reading, learning, and performing the newest and most compelling selections available for concert bands.  

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    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Learning 

    Every January, the Capital University community celebrates the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning. Citizens of Central Ohio delight in an opportunity to be challenged by the keynote speaker, engage in meaningful dialogue with students, staff and faculty during the workshops, and enjoy the hospitality of our campus.  


    Christmas Festival 

    Featuring performances by the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, Women's Chorus, The Chordsmen, Philomel and a variety of instrumentalists, Capital University’s annual Christmas Festival is a long-standing holiday tradition enjoyed by the university, its friends and the greater Columbus community. 

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    Gerhold Lecture in the Humanities 

    Edward L. and Mary Catherine Gerhold established the Mary Catherine Gerhold Annual Lecture in the Humanities at Capital University to promote peace and human understanding through higher education. Past lecturers include The Drop, Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River novelist and screenwriter Dennis Lehane, A.S. Byatt, author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession, and Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Mountains Beyond Mountains. Funds from the endowment also support symposia, conferences, study projects and other scholarly activities in Mrs. Gerhold’s honor. The couple also established an endowed chair in the humanities at Capital. They were longtime Bexley residents, and Edward Gerhold was a lifelong Lutheran. The Gerholds were awarded honorary alumni status in 1996. Gerhold lecturers have been:

    • Award-winning novelist and screenwriter Dennis Lehane – 2014
    • Journalist, author and essayist Richard Rodriguez – 2013
    • Writer, composer, visual artist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier – 2012 
    • Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author, Illustrator Art Spiegelman – 2011 
    • Booker Prize Winner Michael Ondaatje – 2010 
    • Booker Prize-Winning Author A.S. Byatt – 2009* 
    • Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Kidder – 2007 

    *The 2008 Gerhold Lecture in the Humanities was canceled due to severe weather.

    This year's event


    Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship 

    Capital’s annual Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship is a celebration of the intellectual life of the University. The event highlights students’ original research projects and showcases their scholarship activities. All projects are completed in conjunction with or under the oversight of a faculty mentor, emphasizing the University’s commitment to the highest-impact teaching and learning practices and providing close access to top-notch faculty. Past research projects have focused on topics ranging from autism and art therapy techniques to the role of museums in developing countries. A keynote lecture precedes each year's symposium.

    Past Symposium keynotes include:

    • 2015 Josh Rador, Bexley native, filmmaker, writer and director, and star of the Emmy-nominated television comedy How I Met Your Mother
    • 2014 David Pogue, Yahoo Tech Writer, Host on PBS’ NOVA
    • 2013 Dr. Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics
    • 2012 Dr. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimes
    • 2011 Joan Halifax Roshi, Buddhist teaching, anthropologist, and social activist
    • 2010 Dr. Michael Shermer, author of Why People Believe Weird Things
    • 2009 Ed Sarath, musician
    • 2008 Dr. Joseph Ferrari, psychologist   

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