Celebrating over 50 years of arts leadership, The Arts Commission is a nonprofit organization based in Toledo, Ohio.

The Arts Commission serves Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to develop and promote visual, performing, and literary arts. The organization's mission includes youth programing, and programs that explore opportunities for economic development and revitalization.

The Arts Commission is the longest standing arts commission in the state of Ohio, developing and promoting the arts in the community since 1959. The organization has administered the City of Toledo’s “1% for Art” ordinance since 1977, which uses a percentage of public tax dollars to commission, acquire, and maintain works of public art for the community.


The Arts Commission strives to nuture artistic talent and interest in area youth, assist local artists with professional development, and play a role in the revitalization of our community through the arts.

Our mission is defined by a number of programs and services that provide opportunities for area creatives, as well as the general public. Everything we offer is made possible by the support of our Board, our community partnerships, generous donations from the public, and by revenue raised at our fundraisers.

We encourage you to join us for one of our program events or fundraisers. Whether its pounding the pavement on an Art Walk, hopping on the bus for a Gallery Loop, attending an opening reception in our Parkwood Gallery, or dancing the night away at The Mix, our annual spring fundraiser, The Arts Commission always proves that fostering the arts isn't just vital to the community - it's fun too!

For more information regarding programs, events, fundraisers, or to volunteer, please give us a call at (419) 254-ARTS (2787) or email us at [email protected].


  • The Mix – This funky-meets-upscale Bohemian extravaganza is our flagship spring fundraiser, held annually in March. The event features a silent auction, live entertainment, gourmet food and a cash bar.
  • Hot Glass – Hot Glass is a biennial event that pays homage to Toledo’s heritage in both the industrial and studio art glass movements with a party that features a collection of some of the most innovative glass works being produced in the glass world, an auction of those works, and, of course, great food and drinks.
  • The Art of Fine Living – Good music, great food, and one-of-a-kind art are the heart of this event, which showcases the best Toledo has to offer.

Art in Public Places:

Toledo has an impressive collection of public works, including large-scale sculptures, murals, and functional structures. Our Art in Public Places program commissions, aquires, and maintains these works through management of the City of Toledo’s 1% for Art program, a 1977 ordinance that dedicates a portion of income tax to beatification and public expose to art.

Programs and Services:

Art in TARTA – A collaboration between The Arts Commission and the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, with Bowling Green State University, University of Toledo, and Young Artist at Work apprentices, this program transforms our city busses into quite literally moving works of art and poetry.

Ninth Congressional District Art Exhibition – A partnership between The Arts Commission, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Firelands Association of the Visual Arts and Oberlin College supports and elevates the talents that exist in our area high schools, featuring more than 75 works of art from nearly 20 area high school annually.

Young Artists at Work – This award-winning program has provided an intense exposure to the arts and paying summer employment to diverse and at-risk area teens since 1994.

Parkwood Gallery – Our Gallery showcases more than 100 local artists annually, providing opportunities for professional and portfolio development, exposure, and increased sales potential.

Live Work Create Toledo – Exploring opportunities for economic development and revitalization through the arts, this program has its sights set on Toledo’s future. The mission of Live Work Create Toledo (LWCT) includes elevating a central arts district in the city, and assisting Toledo to its place as a Midwest creative hub that is attractive to artists and arts lovers alike. LWCT works to improve the Arts Zone in Downtown Toledo, and oversees programs such as Artomatic 419! (a biennial all-inclusive, non-juried arts extravaganza featuring hundreds of local artists and performers), Thursday Art Walks (self-guided walking tours of Downtown’s galleries and studios), and the Gallery Loop (biannual bus loops that visit the galleries and studios of the central city and its nearby neighborhoods).