Things to Do and See in Columbus This May

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

Columbus Monthly
Achea Redd

Achea Redd, May 4 

Gramercy Books 

The community activist continues to de-stigmatize mental illness with her third book, “The Precipice of Mental Health: Becoming Your Own Safe Space.” After struggling to find herself as a preacher’s daughter and an NBA wife (her husband is ex-Buckeye Michael Redd), Achea Redd began to share her own story of anxiety and depression to encourage others to recognize “it’s OK not to be OK.”

Sow the Seeds for GGC Garden, May 7 

East Side 

Join a combined garden walk and service project in support of this Near East Side agricultural collective. Donate funds and/or participate in a 3.7-mile walk with stops at each of six community gardens, and join in the post-walk celebration.

CCAD Fashion Show, May 12  

400 West Rich 

The focus is on Franklinton at the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show, which will be held in 400 Square at 400 West Rich, the retrofitted factory that is now a collaborative artists’ space. The event will be emceed in part by Walt and Erin Keys, co-owners of nearby Land-Grant Brewery. Land-Grant is dressing up a beer for the occasion, with a can displaying artwork by CCAD alum Dom Susi. The event, a fundraiser for CCAD scholarships, includes a runway show featuring a juried selection of apparel collections by CCAD fashion design and MFA students. Themes for the evening include body positivity, spirituality and biology, and looks will range from “nude” designs that embrace the variety of female forms to outfi ts inspired by Guatemalan traditional dress. Only VIP ticket packages were still available at press time.

Meroë Khalia Adeeb will join the Columbus Symphony in the performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony

Columbus Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven Nine, May 13–14 

Ohio Theatre 

Beethoven’s ninth symphony is one of those great classical works that soften the edges of the world. It pulls you up and into the sound, enveloping you in the here and now. It’s a great piece for connoisseurs as well as the uninitiated—and what a pleasure it will be to hear the symphony choir and vocal soloists after lo, these many months with little singing.

Survivors stand on the steps of Columbus City Hall during the 27th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Race for the Cure, May 14 

Downtown Columbus 

Dress in pink to join or cheer on participants in the annual event supporting breast cancer research and treatment. Komen Columbus will celebrate the race’s 30th anniversary with a return to in-person and an all-new Downtown course, starting at North Bank Park.

Art for Franklinton, May 21  


The annual charity art auction supports arts education, arts programming and individual artists in the Franklinton Arts District. Join in the bidding at silent and live auctions to win a mobile mural created at the annual Scrawl live art-making event.

Columbus Black International Film Festival, May 21–22 

Wexner Center for the Arts 

The Columbus Black International Film Festival returns to the Wex for a sixth year to showcase Black fi lmmakers and the stories they tell of people from the African diaspora. Local, national and international directors will screen their work and compete for awards in categories such as feature film, short film, short documentary, music video and more. The festival will include a filmmakers’ roundtable and a pitch competition.

Avian Avatars, a collection of six bamboo sculptures, represent iconic birds with connections to the Columbus area and Dawes Arboretum.

Avian Avatars, May 27 through Spring 2023 

Dawes Arboretum 

While bird-lovers turn out in May to spot the tiniest migrating warblers, visitors to Dawes Arboretum can see a different sort of avian migrant: monumental birds, some more than 20 feet tall. Avian Avatars, a collection of six bamboo sculptures created by a pair of artists who call themselves The Myth Makers, represent iconic birds with connections to the area and the arboretum. They’ll be on view for about a year, during which time they will gradually revert to nature.