Policies and Guidelines

The Columbus Museum of Art is a nonprofit institution that receives monetary support from the community for its facility and collections, which are truly among Columbus’ most valuable assets. Its unique building and treasures benefit the education and enjoyment of the public. For the purpose of increased awareness and to make its programs more widely known, the Museum makes available to individuals and groups the special privilege of using the Museum for business and social functions. However, in order to protect its valuable collection and continue to ensure its integrity as a fine arts museum, the Columbus Museum of Art requires adherence to the following policies governing usage:

  1. Understanding: All event details must be approved by the Office of Special Events, including, but not limited to Food Service, Entertainment, Florists, Event Planners, production Companies, and Decorators, etc.
  2. Eligibility: Corporations, nonprofit groups, and individuals may rent Museum’s facilities for business and social functions according to the conditions listed below.
  3. Hour Facility Usage Fee: In order to pay for its overhead, the Museum charges a facility usage fee. The costs included in this fee vary according to the spaces selected. Additional fees may apply towards set up/breakdown times for certain events. This will be determined by the Office of Special Events.
  4. Waivers and discounts: Individuals or corporations may qualify for a limited waiver or discount of the facility usage fee based upon the level of contribution to the Museum’s annual operating fund. In this case all direct costs for security and staffing, etc., are still applicable.
  5. Member Discount: All individuals who are Museum members will receive a discount from the hourly facility usage fee.
  6. Purpose: Since it is the mission of the Columbus Museum of Art to stimulate public interest in art, groups are encouraged to include an educational component in conjunction with their event.
  7. Types of Events: Events not permitted include those of a political or religious nature and those for the purpose of commercial exploitation. Products or services may not be sold at the event, unless by special permission. Admission to the event and/or selling tickets to cover the costs of the event is acceptable. All admission fees and/or ticket sales must be sold prior to the event. No admission or ticket fee shall be collected on the premises of the Museum. Ticket price must be cleared through the Office of Special Events during planning stages before an Agreement Contract is issued by the Museum. No Auctions are allowed when involving artwork of any type.
  8. Scheduling an Event: All events are scheduled and coordinated through the Office of Special Events whose business hours are Tuesday-Friday from 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. Daytime events may be scheduled anytime Tuesday through Friday 8:00a.m. – 5:30p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am-2:30pm. Evening events shall not commence before 5:30p.m. No special events may occur on a Monday. Thursdays are limited.
  9. Guest Lists: It is requested that a copy of your guest list (names and addresses) be provided to the Museum for security purposes and so the Museum may send a letter thanking your guests for visiting the Museum and asking their consideration of becoming members.
  10. Invitations and Printed Materials: The content of all printed materials related to the event, including invitation copy and any promotional matter is subject to the Museum’s approval. All material must be submitted to the Office of Special Events for review and approval before being printed.
  11. Catering: Catering is available through the Museum’s own Palette Catering. In addition, certain independent caterers have been approved by the Office of Special Events and if chosen will be assessed an 18% fee on the total food bill issued to the client. This outside catering fee is not assessed when the Palette Catering caters an event. The Museum’s service staff must be used in conjunction with the caterer’s staff for all events.
  12. Beverages: All Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages must be purchased from the Museum. All alcohol must be consumed in approved areas of the Museum and cannot be removed from the premises. No alcoholic beverages may be served after 12:00 a.m. All bar service personnel shall be hired by the Museum’s Office of Special Events.
  13. Music and Entertainment: Any plans for music, dancing, and/or other forms of entertainment are subject to the Museum’s approval and must be cleared through the Office of Special Events. Please note that smoke machines, or any type of dry ice dispensers are NOT permitted in the Museum. All uses of live (including but not limited to bands, string quartets, and the like) or prerecorded (including but not limited to DJ’s and the like) are subject to advance Museum approval. If live or pre-recorded music will be used, client/organization must contact 1) Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) at (616) 264-2137, 2) a General Licensing Executive at ASCAP (800) 652-7227, and 3) a General Licensing Executive at SESAC (615)-320-0055 in advance of the scheduled event to obtain appropriate licensing of the music to be used. Client/Organization shall hold the Columbus Museum of Art harmless and indemnify the Columbus Museum of Art for all coasts, damages, claims, expenses, liabilities, judgments, and all attorneys fees incurred in connection with this provision or the enforcement hereof.
  14. Decor: Plans for decor, including floral arrangements and table centerpieces are limited and subject to approval by the Office of Special Events. Decor must not endanger artwork, necessitate its removal, or affect its appearance. Absolutely no glitter or confetti is permitted in the Museum. Arrangements are to be made through the Office of Special Events for the delivery, set up, and removal of decorations. The use of candles inside the Museum is strictly prohibited.
  15. Museum Equipment: A fee, known as the CMA Equipment Fee, will be charged for use of the Museum’s equipment such as crystal, china, flatware, linens and buffet equipment.
  16. Rental: Any rental equipment necessary for the event is subject to the Museum’s approval. The guest organization will be charged the direct cost plus a 20% surcharge when the Office of Special Events handles rentals.
  17. Photographers and Media: Plans for photography or media coverage at the event requires Museum approval in advance. Photographs of the Museum’s permanent collection may be taken with the use of a hand-held camera only. The use of flash, strobe, or other lighting source is not permitted at any time. Photography taken of works of art cannot be reproduced for publication. Photographers and media must be accompanied by a staff person from the Museum’s Office of Public Relations and Marketing during the event. An additional charge will be billed to the guest organization for said staff and coordinated through the Office of Special Events.
  18. Exhibition Fees and Tours: Exhibition fees are calculated according to the size of the group and rental plan selected. Docent guided tours of the galleries and/or special exhibitions are available but certain time and seasonal restrictions apply.
  19. Museum Shop: By request, the Museum Shop can be opened for your guests. To provide a lasting memento of your special event, consider letting the staff in the Museum Shop aid you in selecting the perfect favor for your guests (art catalogue, poster, jewelry, note cards, etc.). The Museum Shop can also provide an appropriate invitation for your event.
  20. Location and Parking: The Museum is located in downtown Columbus, three blocks west of I-71 on Broad Street between Washington Avenue and Cleveland Avenue. A $3.00 per vehicle parking charge is applied between the hours of 10:00a.m. – 5:30p.m. during public viewing hours. Parking is complimentary after 5:30p.m. The Museum parking lot can accommodate a maximum of 90 cars. There is additional off street parking during the day and adjacent parking lots are also available in the evening and on weekends. Buses are permitted to park at the Broad Street entrance.
  21. Liability: It is understood and agreed that the guest organization shall save and hold harmless the Columbus Museum of Art from all liability that may arise out of the occupying of the premises of the Columbus Museum of Art, except for any liability resulting from the negligence or intentional misconduct of Columbus Museum of Art’s officers, directors or employees.
  22. Agreement: All event requests must be approved by the Director of the Museum. Requests will be considered with the Museum’s needs and programs in mind, particularly security, conservation, and logistics of the physical building, and staffing concerns. Because of the character of the Museum as an educational and charitable institution, the need for protection of the art displayed and the building itself, the Museum reserves the right to refuse to make its facilities available to any prospective user for any reasons which the museum, at its sole discretion, deems appropriate. Full information about the event (organization, purpose of the event, date and time, expected attendance and program format) must be coordinated with the Office of Special Events.
  23. Contract, Deposits, and Billing: Upon the selection of the event date, the guest will receive a contract from the Office of Special Events to sign and return with a non-refundable security deposit to confirm the date of the event. Upon receipt of the contract an estimated cost proposal will be presented by the Office of Special Events. A 100% payment, based on the estimated cost proposal, is due two weeks prior to the date of your event.
  24. The Columbus Museum of Art is a smoke free facility.