This article is presented in partnership with Visit Columbia.

World-class culture…

In Columbia? You bet! Columbians know what visitors discover, that they have access to high culture right in mid-Missouri.

Broadway musicals, celebrated soloists, opera, ballet, symphonies … the University of Missouri’s University Concert Series packs its season with stellar shows. There’s not a bad seat in the house when you take in a Concert Series show at the Jesse Hall auditorium or the Missouri Theatre. Upcoming highlights in this season include performances by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Brass; and the touring production of Legally Blonde, The Musical.

If classical music leaves you cold, you haven’t experienced the Missouri Symphony Society’s Hot Summer Nights. You’ll warm up to the lively line-up of classical performances that include concerts for kids, Patriotic Pops, and notable visiting artists. The Hot Summer Nights concerts help accomplish the Missouri Symphony Society’s mission of raising cultural awareness in Columbia, even as the temperatures rise during Columbia’s hot summer days.

The “We Always Swing” Jazz Series has been making Columbia a jazz-savvy town since 1995. The Jazz Series features some of the preeminent jazz performers in the nation performing in intimate venues around Columbia. The experience is unforgettable and has made the Jazz Series a mainstay of the Columbia entertainment scene.

The North Village Arts District, on the north side of Columbia’s downtown, is an everyday haven for art lovers. But on First Fridays, that artsy corner of the city goes all out with a gallery crawl and live music. The depth and diversity of Columbia’s talent is on display in a big way at First Fridays.

Talking Horse Productions brings the black-box theater experience to Columbia, producing engaging, character-driven plays and musicals. The small, versatile theater space puts the audience close to the action, forging an uncommon connection between the performers on the stage and the people in the seats. Creativity abounds in the space where playwrights, actors, and technicians are all encouraged to push the boundaries of their art.

Graceful leaps are nothing new for Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and it proved that from the start when, in 2006, it took a leap of faith to become the first professional dance company in mid-Missouri. The company’s dancers take their talents on the road, entertaining audiences across the country, but Columbia has the hometown advantage of enjoying performances by these gifted pros throughout the year.