A Welcoming, Diverse Community

Imagine visiting a friendly place where you, your friends, and your family feel welcome. Now transplant that place to the U.S. Midwest, and you’re getting close to experiencing “Hoosier Hospitality”. (We’re called “Hoosiers” in Indiana, in case you didn’t know.)

Now take the best hospitality you’ve experienced anywhere (Hoosier or not), and place it in a special community that welcomes people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, and you’ll find yourself in Columbus, Indiana.

We’re sincere about being a welcoming place. So much so, that in 2004 the Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County — conducted the Welcoming Community Project. The research project was inspired by the work of Dr. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class.

The Welcoming Community Study was designed to assess the welcoming factor in Bartholomew County among various groups of people, with a focus on those individuals who can create a vibrant business climate and stimulate future economic growth. That study revealed some areas for improvement, and in 2011, Welcoming Community II was launched.

Since 2004 and the follow-up of 2011, several efforts have been launched to improve our “Welcome Factor”. We are grateful for the work of our friends at the Heritage Fund, Columbus Area Multi Ethnic Organization (CAMEO), Columbus Young Professionals (CYP), and many others who are working to make Columbus and Bartholomew County an even more welcoming place.

Columbus Arts District

The Columbus Arts District is one of only ten official Indiana Cultural Districts in the state, recognizing our city’s rich collection of arts, entertainment and cultural offerings. The district is found in downtown Columbus, and encompasses more than 360 arts programs and cultural assets.

For a look at some of our public art and local programs, visit the Columbus Area Arts Council. The district is home to four corridors focused on attracting, growing, shaping and engaging the public. The Commerce Corridor is located primarily on Washington Street and spans 15 blocks north and south within the Arts District. The Arts and Education Corridor can be found along Jackson Street with major assets such as the Indiana University Center for Art+Design Columbus (IUCA+D), the YES Cinema independent movie theater and the Jackson Contemporary Art Gallery.

Fifth Street is home to the Architecture Corridor and is recognized as one of the most architecturally significant streets in America. Fourth Street, which has received a major makeover to become an urban events and pedestrian plaza, features the Entertainment Corridor.


Speaking of entertainment, during warmer months, on any given weekend (or even Thursday night), you are likely to find a rock-and-roll or blues street festival, orchestral performance, or a free children’s concert somewhere in the Columbus area. Our community is also home to two orchestras, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Columbus Children’s Choir is a cooperative effort of our Philharmonic and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.