Columbia Music Festival Association still fills that role today: Leadership and Development. From the establishment of the Southern Symphony, the Columbia Festival Orchestra, the Columbia Youth Orchestra and Junior String Ensemble the community saw the evolution of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. With the Opera Study Group, the Columbia Lyric Opera and the Columbia City Ballet, CMFA led the way in nurturing civic performance groups. The Shandon Choral Society – today’s Columbia Choral Society, was established and matured under the CMFA umbrella, while the Columbia Dance Theatre, DanSework Jazz and the Amadeus Players set new goals for future development. New, experimental theatre groups have also had the opportunity of performing at the CMFA ArtSpace.
These proud traditions of arts nurturing, encouraging and developing continue. CMFA presents outstanding national and international artists in its own programs, and with its affiliate organizations. This makes CMFA the preeminent arts service and resource agency in this community. The community’s artists share their talents in civic and community projects and performances – bringing tourists and visitors to the community throughout the season.
It takes more than commitment and dedication to support the arts and make them a viable part of everyone’s life. Columbia Music Festival Association, unlike any other community arts agency, was established by local government and must look to that source for operating funds. CMFA is a barometer of community needs and directions in the arts.
Columbia Music Festival Association does not duplicate any other agency’s work; but rather complements all the arts with services, resources and support unique to the Columbia Music Festival Association.
Columbia Music Festival Association programs build audiences for the future. They bring visitors into the community. CMFA programs serve as magnets for business growth and industry relocation. CMFA ArtSpace is a hub of regional arts activity, nurtures young performers in quality performance experiences and makes the arts experience an integral part of community life at all levels.
Columbia Music Festival Association is a vital part of the Columbia Arts Community. Through CMFA, its family of affiliates, partners and the CMFA ArtSpace, the ARTS are a destination on the visitor’s map.