Columbia deserves rave reviews for its diverse cultural scene, and recent surveys rank Columbia among the top cities in America for cultural opportunities. Here are some reasons why:
The Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts and the Jesse Auditorium are Columbia's largest fine arts venues, while the Ragtag Cinema hosts a well-known and critically acclaimed annual True/False Film Fest. The T/F Fest champions the works of independent filmmakers in the region and always occurs just before springtime, with the 2012 event scheduled for March 1-4.
The University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology displays 14,000 works of art and archaeological objects in five large galleries, at no charge to the public. The campus is also home to a Dunn-Palmer Herbarium of preserved plant specimens as well as a Laws Observatory for star gazing. Meanwhile, independent museums within the city limits include the Columbia Audubon Society Trailside Museum and Enns Entomology Museum.
Local libraries throughout the city include the Daniel Boone Regional Library, The State Historical Society of Missouri and the University of Missouri Libraries system that features more than 3 million volumes housed at its on-campus Ellis Library.
The "We Always Swing" Jazz Series and the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival bring some of the country's finest jazz and blues to Columbia and Central Missouri each year. And by the way, the well-known indie band White Rabbits was formed here while the members were students at the University of Missouri, before they moved to Brooklyn to record and gain a higher profile.
The Sporting Life
The University of Missouri's sports teams – the Missouri Tigers – play a significant role in the sports culture of Columbia. Faurot Field, with a capacity of 71,004, is host to both home football games and big-time concerts. The Hearnes Center and Mizzou Arena are two other large sport-and-event venues, with the latter being primarily the home arena for the University of Missouri’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.