Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
The Columbus Metropolitan Library:  The Art of Being Great
By Jennifer Sadler

Every city deserves a great library – and Columbus is the home of one of the greatest in the nation.  The Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is a great source of civic pride for our city; our cultural heritage would be poorer without it.  Since its opening more than a century ago, the CML has played a key role in our city’s identity as smart and open place as we’ve grown and adapted respectively to competing on the national stage.

The Main Library opened to the public in 1907 and is now part of a 21-location system throughout Franklin County that is nationally recognized as one of the premier library systems in the United States.  The CML has been honored with awards for excellence for its children’s programming, homework and job help centers, marketing, social media efforts and more.  It always tops the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings and is one of only 10 libraries in the country to have made the Top 10 list all 10 times the rating system has existed, including four #1 ratings.

In 2010 the CML earned the distinction of National Library of the Year, a prestigious recognition that goes to the one public library in the United States that most profoundly demonstrates service to community, creativity and innovation in developing specific community programs and leadership in creating programs that can be emulated by others.  In 2011, the CML was honored with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from The Institute of Museum and Library Services – the nation’s highest honor for community service initiatives in libraries and museums.

The CML offers much-needed resources for our community; educating young minds with literacy and homework assistance programs educate young minds and their job help centers get people back to work by providing basic computer instruction, help with job applications and resume building.  The Main Library hosts close to 1,000 children’s and teen programs each year, genealogy workshops and orientations to business, grants and careers research and more.

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Now Playing: Mark Rothko at CMA Artist Profile

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, marketed and promoted by GCAC. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with a few of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community. This month’s profile features acclaimed local poet, Lesley Jenike.  Jenike is an assistant professor of English at the Columbus College of Art & Design where she teaches poetry writing, screenwriting, American literature and film studies. She received her MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University in 2003 and a Ph.D. in twentieth century American poetry and drama from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. Her first book of poems is Ghost of Fashion (CW Books, 2009) and her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, The Southern Review, Sou’wester, Blackbird, Verse, Rattle, The Birmingham Poetry Review and other journals. She has received an Academy of American Poets Prize, and fellowships and scholarships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her second book of poems has been a finalist twice for the Anthony Hecht Prize and excerpts will be published soon in an anthology by Waywiser Press.

“I teach poetry and screenwriting workshops, composition, American literature, and special topics courses—basically everything. I’m one of the luckiest ladies on the planet because I get to spend all day discussing what I love—literature and writing—and I get to have smart, insightful conversations with CCAD students; they are so unbelievably talented and their minds work in such lovely, mysterious ways. Creative writing workshops in particular are rewarding because I get to mentor student writers as they discover the intellectual and aesthetic intersections between the visual arts and the language arts. Writers, artists and designers have a long history of collaboration and cooperation and I get to be part of that tradition because I work at CCAD.”

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Sneak Peek

Jazz Arts Group of Columbus Presents Kyle Eastwood

Today, Kyle Eastwood is less and less known as the son of Clint Eastwood and more of a universally respected musician and leader in his own right. A virtuoso bassist on electric and upright, as well as a talented composer with a keen ear for great tunes as well as the subtleties of modern jazz, he is right at the forefront of the contemporary scene.

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Ohio Paper Folders in Word of Art: FLOW

Ohio Paper Folders is a central Ohio based paper arts organization whose members are comprised of artists, authors and enthusiasts who teach and create works of origami.

Origami is an ancient art of paper folding. The appeal of origami is the universality of the art form. It is simplicity defined. It’s pure and honest. It speaks to our innocence and our playfulness.

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ProMusica Chamber Orchestra Presents Bravo, Maestro!

Timothy Russell will conduct his grand finale as music director in quintessential ProMusica fashion. Bravo, Maestro! will combine favorite masterworks and contemporary fare. The concert will also include another remarkable world premiere composed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis.

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GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.