Helping to Keep Arts Alive, Columbia Film Festival Goes Completely Virtual June 17th – 26th, 2020

Jun 11, 2020 | Blog

Amid crisis and cancellations how does an arts organization survive while making a difference and contributing to its community?

COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES, June 11, 2020 / — Columbia Festival of the Arts was to celebrate 33 years as a well-loved mainstay of the Mid-Atlantic region. Thousands came to downtown Columbia, Maryland each year, by the edge of scenic Lake Kittamaqundi, for a traditional kick off to Summer with the Columbia Festival of the Arts’ LakeFest. Folks from all over gathered on the sloping lawn near the famous Pierre Du Fayet “People Tree” (Columbia’s most visible and iconic sculpture) to enjoy a free weekend-long celebration of diverse local and international bands, artisans, crafts, food, and more. This was, historically, the start of a distinctive and well attended two-week Festival with headliners like Aretha Franklin, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Preservation Hall Jazz Band among a long list of Industry leading artists. In 2016 a new Film Festival was introduced into the mix.

By March, it became clear that everything would change. Difficult decisions became both legal and responsible obligations. Doors closed and the world of Social Distancing and Zoom became our new normal. Fortuitously, the Columbia Film Festival was the one creative endeavor that could continue by going Virtual. This also opened up access for new nationwide and international audiences beyond the DelMarVa Mid-Atlantic region.

Working remotely, Columbia Film Festival Executive Producer, Robert Neal Marshall, has converted over 60 films onto an online platform, adding a series of virtual film making workshops, audience Q&A’s, a screenplay reading, plus an Emmy nominated web series. Horizon Foundations’ Mental Health Film Festival has joined with a series of inspirational films and guest speakers, including actress/writer/advocate Rain Pryor, daughter of the late legendary comic Richard Pryor.

“It is vital that we are presenting content during this challenging time and continue to offer our patrons, as well as our valued sponsors, a variety of new films and art that will enlighten, uplift and inspire” says Marshall. There has been an historic value connected to the quality and legacy of performances with Columbia Festival of the Arts, and now there is the growing Columbia Film Festival. “We hope to build a bridge for recovery and cultivation as we move forward, living up to our tradition.”

All workshops and the Horizon Foundation Mental Health Film Festival are completely FREE, however registration is required. To view primary Columbia Film Festival films, day passes go for $5-$10 each, with an unlimited access option for all ten (10) days using a deeply discounted $30 All Festival Pass. Tickets/Registration available via the website

Big Changes

Big Changes


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