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Our Past

CityMusic got started in 1983 when Artistic Director and Founder Steve Rosenberg, in collaboration with community members, performed an informal concert with the Quantz Trio in the Short North Tavern on High Street.  The non-traditional venue offered a uniquely casual, friendly environment and the concert was a standing-room-only success.  Live chamber music became a regular occurrence at the Tavern and from there evolved into the CityMusic Chamber Music Series which was presented in the space for seventeen years. From the Short North Tavern, the Series moved to the historic Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus to the Grand Ballroom of the Athletic Club of Columbus.

CityMusic (formerly the Short North Performing Arts Association, Inc.) received non-profit status in 1987 and two years later expanded its offerings to include the World Music Series, designed to be a musical celebration of ethnic and cultural diversity. 
The Columbus Dispatch lauded the series for “consistently presenting the finest in folk music spanning the world.” 

Our Future

Our current programming is centered around music lessons and experiences for children who have been historically underserved.  

We currently partner with Central Ohio Music Therapy to ensure our programming is executed by trained professionals who understand the multitude of issues that young people are dealing with in the wider Columbus community. 

Our partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries and Head Start Programs have yielded a variety of programming that supports the growth, development and musical skill building of children from pre-school through teen years.

Additionally, we offer a unique music lesson program where children can learn to earn musical instruments.  Lessons are provided by teachers using the innovative color string method and as children demonstrate skill, aptitude and desire to care for their loaned instrument, they are able to earn the instrument. 

Our future is centered on working with high calibur artists to provide dynamic concert experiences in order to further our mission of getting guitars into the hands of every child and music into the life of every child who has a desire to learn an instrument regardless of income or background.  

Our Vision

Our vision is that music enhances learning, literacy, enrichment, spirituality and creativity. Exposure to music builds a better community. CityMusic Columbus can enrich the lives of children by filling the gaps in their musical experiences.

Board Members present on 8/23 from L to R: Leslie Laufman, President; Gayle Karafil; Eugene Braig; Erin Spring, Educational Director; Crystal Mayle, Secretary/Treasurer; Dennis McCann, Vice President; Ceara Chiapparelli, Executive Director


Our Board

Leslie Laufman - President

               Retired Physician                        

Kent Robinson - Secretary 
Retired Accounting Software Engineer
Founder of the Robinson Youth Guitar Program


Crystal Mayle, CPA -Treasurer


Velocys, Inc.

Eugene Braig - Trustee

Artistic Director of Columbus Guitar Society's Concert Series, Biologist

Gayle Karafil - Trustee

Retired EMT, Professional Musician, Founder of the Joel Guild and Gayle Karafil Endowment

Eric Burden- Trustee
Retired Attorney

Simone Ellerson - Trustee

Technical Assistance Specialist, Family Child Care

Action For Children​

We offer our sincere gratitude to Dennis McCann, Trustee emeritus who served our Board for several years as Vice President.  Our sincere thanks for your service Dennis!

​​Questions? Suggestions? Contact us!

We're interested in your thoughts about our new focus and your ideas for programing and fundraising. Please use the form at the right to contact us.


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