Things to See and Do in Columbus in January

Editors’ picks for things to do and ways to give back this month

Columbus Monthly
Hanif Abdurraqib poses in his favorite sunset spot near Miranova in Downtown Columbus.

Creative Writing Workshop with Hanif Abdurraqib, Jan. 6


Get writing tips from Columbus’ new MacArthur “genius,” Hanif Abdurraqib, in this immersive workshop. Attendees will work with the celebrated poet/essayist to “create a poetic tapestry” that focuses on the Ohio Arts Council’s 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition, which features the work of 53 artists in a variety of media. The free workshop is at capacity as of press time; sign up for the waitlist.

More:Get to Know Hanif Abdurraqib Through His Writing

Inon Barnatan

Russian Winter Festival, Jan. 7–9 and 22–23

Ohio Theatre

Works that evoke a strong audience response will headline the Columbus Symphony’s two-part Russian Winter Festival this month. Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” the ballet and orchestral work that reportedly caused a rumble at its 1913 Paris premiere, will be featured in the first show, along with Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Part II will present Rachmaninoff’s crowd-pleasing Piano Concerto No. 3, performed by Inon Barnatan.

Littlest Helpers, begins Jan. 13

Seeds of Caring, an organization that encourages volunteerism for kids, offers a seven-week program of activities and service for ages 4–5 (with a grown-up) on Thursday mornings, covering senior empathy, planet protection and more. Contact

Find more things to do in Central Ohio:Subscribe to Columbus Monthly's weekly newsletter, Top Reads

Learning Through A Lifetime Gala, Jan. 20

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Children’s book illustrator Oge Mora will be the keynote speaker at the Columbus Early Learning Center’s annual gala, raising funds to help young learners develop, families succeed and communities thrive.

Oge Mora

Hasan Minhaj, Jan. 22

Palace Theatre

Five years after the release of his Peabody Award-winning Netflix special “Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King,” The Morning Show actor, former Daily Show correspondent and star of his own satirical comedy series is returning to his standup roots. His new show features his patented mix of personal storytelling and multimedia visual aids, covering marriage, parenthood, South Asian culture and more.

Michelangelo: A Different View

Michelangelo: A Different View, through Jan. 23

Greater Columbus Convention Center

No time to make it to Italy this month? Don’t worry—the Convention Center is bringing one of the country’s greatest artistic treasures to town. The exhibit showcases Michelangelo’s entire set of works that adorn the Sistine Chapel. The images were reproduced and transferred to special fabric webs, which will give attendees a realistic reproduction of the works. The exhibition is officially licensed by the Vatican Museums and is the only one of its kind showcasing the entire set of works. Tickets are $11 for children and $17 for adults and must be purchased ahead of time.

“School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play," Jan. 27–Feb. 13

Studio Two, Riffe Center

This theatrical spin on the 2004 film is sure to be so fetch. Written by Ohio State grad Jocelyn Bioh in 2017, the adaptation flips the movie script by focusing on an American student who shows up at a school in Ghana. Teen drama and laughs ensue as the school’s queen bee, Paulina, has her rank challenged by a newcomer. 

Rescue Leftover Food, ongoing

Help reduce waste and fight hunger in as little as an hour a week by volunteering for the Columbus branch of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. Pick up donations from local businesses and deliver them to participating nonprofit organizations.

This story is from the January 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.