Northwest Ohio Arts Exchange (NWOAX)

Northwest Ohio Arts Exchange (NWoAX) is a group of artists, arts educators, arts administrators, arts advocates, and arts supporters who are dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Northwest Ohio's arts community. 

NWoAX was founded at Bowling Green State University in 2003 as an outgrowth of the Arts Roundtable, an informal association of faculty and administrators whose collective vision is to utilize the arts resources of BGSU to attract quality students and resources to our campus, and to enrich the campus residential learning experience through the arts. The members of the Arts Roundtable are dedicated to achieving these campus goals through cooperative and coordinated action. This group thought that others throughout the region might share their vision for the larger community and developed NWoAX.

NWoAX meets annually for discussions on the state of the arts in the region.   Recently these discussions resulted in the development of a study of the arts' economic impact on the region, led by BGSU's Center for Regional Development.

Michael C. Carroll of BGSU's Center for Regional Development (CRD)  has conducted a Study of the Arts in Northwest Ohio to measure the economic significance of the region's arts community. In conjunction with BGSU's School of Art, College of Musical Arts, Department of Theatre & Film, and Public Administration Program, the CRD has conducted a detailed analysis of projects sponsored by regional arts organizations.

Sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Arts Exchange, the study is unique in its emphasis on including a large number of regional assets, not just non-profit agencies, and includes visual arts, performing art, musical arts, literature, popular culture, and festivals. The study is relevant because there is a growing body of research that shows a thriving arts community is crucial for the health and vitality of a region. The quality of life within a region, of which the Arts is an essential component, is inextricably linked to a firm's decision about location. If Northwest Ohio hopes to secure a vibrant economic future, a quantifiable measure of Arts activities is needed to retain and recruit companies within the region.

Primary Sponsor: State of Ohio, Rural University Program

This directory complements the economic impact of the arts project by compiling a list of arts related resources, or assets available throughout Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan. By identifying a broad variety of arts related assets including festivals, and popular culture activities, along with the more traditional institutions, creativity and connectivity are enhanced; thus providing opportunities and networking that might otherwise not be realized.

Primary Sponsor: State of Ohio, Rural University Program


The Northwest Ohio Arts Exchange invites you to read the  results of a special study Arts and Regional Prosperity: Economic Impact of Creative Industries in Northwest Ohio. Our special guest was Frances Strickland, First Lady of the State of Ohio.