Breadcrumb Navigation

Ohio Arts

With hundreds of museums, theaters and performing arts organizations throughout the state, Ohio is a major contributor to the arts community in the Midwest. Film, music, literary, dance and displays of all kinds can be found throughout the state representing nearly every race, ethnicity, age, gender and cultural background.

Education in the Arts

Ohio offers premier education and training in the arts.

The Cleveland Institute of Art has earned the reputation for being among the top ten professional colleges for art and design in the country. The Columbus College of Art & Design is one of the oldest and largest private art colleges in the nation.

You can find music conservatories at Capital UniversityOberlin CollegeBaldwin Wallace, and the University of Cincinnati, and nearly all public and private colleges and universities in Ohio offer degrees in art, design, music, and dance, displaying Ohio’s leadership in arts education.

Back to top

Ohio Museums

Ohio is home to dozens of museums displaying diverse collections that enrich the lives of Ohioans and visitors alike. 

Some of the most notable art museums in Ohio include those in ToledoClevelandCincinnati,ColumbusYoungstownDayton, and Akron, encompassing everything from ancient to contemporary art. Not only can art museums be found in most major cities, but nestled in small rural communities throughout the state as well, such as the Springfield Museum of Art and theAllen County Museum of Art in Lima. Finally, many of Ohio’s colleges and universities have museums as remarkable as they are unique, such as Kent State’s Museum of Costume and Decorative Arts and the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books

One of the most unique and popular museums in Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, is a nonprofit  institution showcasing thousands of exhibits integral to shaping music history.

Back to top

Ohioans in the Arts

Not only does Ohio offer hundreds of venues and performing arts organizations, there are several accomplished actors, directors, singers, authors and artists who call Ohio home.

Actors Halle BerryDrew CareyDorothy DandridgeBob HopePaul Newman and Debra Winger all hail from the Cleveland area. One of the popular culture's most famous characters also has Cleveland roots- Superman, whose creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, attended Glenville High School in Cleveland together.

Singer John Legend hails from Springfield. Restauranteur and Iron Chef Michael Symon is from Cleveland. Food Network personality Ted Allen is from Columbus.

Award-winning director Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison is originally from Lorain, and accomplished lyric-soprano Kathleen Battle hails from Portsmouth. Ernest Ball, who composed the music for When Irish Eyes are Smiling, was born in Cleveland and wrote many American standards.

John Lithgow (Yellow Springs), Sarah Jessica Parker (Nelsonville), Katie Holmes(Toledo), Phyllis Diller (Lima), Annie Oakley (North Star), Ray Wise (Akron), Clark Gable (Cadiz),  Kym Whitley (Shaker Heights) and Dean Martin (Steubenville) are just a few of the other actors and entertainers from Ohio.

Back to top

Performing Arts in Ohio

From symphony orchestras to dance and opera companies, Ohio has a wide variety of professional performing arts organizations, many of which are considered among the nation’s elite.

Two of Ohio’s most notable orchestra ensembles are The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the fifth-oldest orchestra in the United States, and The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the “Big Five” orchestras (the classification given to the five most prominent and accomplished in the nation) whose performance history, recordings, and extensive national and international tours have earned them the reputation of one of the finest symphony orchestras in the world.

Ohio is also home to several dance companies, including BalletMet in Columbus, one of the 15 largest dance companies in the nation, and one of the premier African-American Dance Troupes in the nation, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, whose repertory includes the world’s largest collection of dances created by African-American choreographers.

Ohio is home to several opera companies, including those in ClevelandDaytonColumbusToledo, and most notably, the second oldest opera company in the United States, the Cincinnati Opera.

Back to top

Theaters in Ohio

Virtually every city in Ohio has a theater for actors and musicians to display their talents. In Columbus, the Ohio Theater, which opened its doors in 1928 and is now a National Historic Landmark, is the state’s busiest performing arts facility with more than 100 shows every year. Cleveland can boast the second largest theater district in the United States with the Playhouse Square Center, constructed in the early 1920s. The Karamu House in Cleveland is the oldest African-American theater in the U.S. and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

For more information on Ohio arts venues, visit

Back to top

Ohioans in Fashion

A graduate of Youngstown State University, Ohioan Nanette Lepore also studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology before launching her own label. With boutiques across the world, Lepore has placed her stamp on the fashion industry. 

Back to top

Movies Filmed in Ohio

  • A Christmas Story (1983): Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  • Rain Main (1988): Cincinnati
  • Major League (1989): Cleveland
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Upper Sandusky
  • Tommy Boy (1995): Marblehead & Sandusky
  • Happy Gilmore (1996): Cleveland
  • Air Force One (1997): Cleveland
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • Seabiscuit (2002): Cincinnati
  • Spider-Man 3 (2006)
  • Unstoppable (2010)
  • The Ides of March (2011)
  • Over the Wall (2011)
  • Liberal Arts (2011)
  • Old Fashioned (2011)
  • Seven Below Zero (2012)
  • The Avengers (2012)

Back to top