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Student playing a grand piano on a stage.

Arts and Entertainment

Being part of a thriving community opens a world of things to see and do. At the University of South Carolina, you can immerse yourself in an endless supply of cultural experiences both on campus and off.

With widely lauded theatre, dance, opera, art and music programs, the South Carolina campus is a perfect place to experience everything from the thrum of midday Hip Hop to a searing performance by a globally acclaimed mezzo soprano. The arts aren’t just at home here; they’re part of our foundation.

Just off campus is an entire city’s worth of art, exhibits, culture, film and events that grows with every passing day. Columbia boasts professional and community fine arts organizations, three ballet companies, a National Medal-level art museum, an art house cinema, and dozens for theatres including the country’s oldest community theater building in continuous use. It’s an arts scene that values artists and accessibility.

Fresh, Fun & Free

When it comes to unforgettable times, you’ll find no shortage here. From outdoor movies after dark to playing with baby goats on the Horseshoe to live music at the Russell House, there’s always an experience waiting. All that’s missing is you. 

Gamecock Entertainment
Crowd cheering in front of a stage with musician at night with glowing stage lights.

Cultural Performances

One huge perk of city life is the Columbia arts scene. Along with a full slate of campus venues and student performances, Soda City is home to seasonal music festivals and special events, award-winning theatre and show-stopping art exhibits. 

Art Events and Exhibits

Not only is campus home to the Horseshoe’s award-winning Southern-focused McKissick Museum, the School of Visual Art and Design hosts thought-provoking art exhibitions at McMaster Gallery and Passage Gallery, as well as events at Stormwater Studios in downtown Columbia

  • Columbia Culture

    Feast on experiences that feed your heart, mind and soul. Columbia’s overflowing arts scene offers something to thrill in any season. Whether you’re into live music or visual art, you’ll find experiences that entertain and inspire.

    Explore Columbia
  • Glowing marque from the Nickelodeon theater with the text Nickelodeon Support the Nick on it and people gathered around out front.
  • Two students sitting on a bench in a museum wiht pop art illustrations behind them.
  • Person on stage singing into a microphone with a view of the crowd over their shoulder.
  • Musician on stage holding a guitar with stage lights at an evening outdoor concert.

Our students don't just learn — they do. Each semester, our students collaborate on productions across multiple campus venues, and with those performances come endless opportunities to perform, direct, choreograph, design or work backstage. 

Student sits in a chair suspended in the air with ropes behind the scenes of a theatre production.

See for yourself.

There’s no better time to visit, take a tour and experience the unparalleled vibes of our campus and community. Our Visitor Center hosts a range of experiences to provide you with a better look at all of the opportunities that await you here. 

Tour Options
The Koger Center for the Arts light up against a sunset sky.