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CMA Overview

Welcome to the Canton Museum of Art!

The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) is one of Ohio’s premier museums for an exceptional visual arts experience. CMA is recognized for powerful exhibitions focused on American art, its influences and themes that allow everyone to connect with creativity and cultural heritage. The Museum’s diverse education programs serve thousands of students and adults of all ages. CMA’s acclaimed Collection focuses on American works on paper, primarily watercolors, and ceramics. Founded in 1935, CMA is a cultural destination for the city and region, with community events and programs making the inspiration of art accessible to all — serving nearly 45,000 participants annually. Download CMA's 2023 Fact Sheet / Museum Overview   |   CMA Mission, Vision & Values   |   DEAI at CMA   

Exhibitions & Programs

CMA presents between 12 and 14 exhibitions per year. These include featured national touring shows, original productions curated by CMA staff to showcase celebrated American artists and diverse regional talents, and themed exhibitions that make our collections come alive with stories.


CMA’s exhibitions draw audiences from throughout the Midwest and across the country. Recent highly attended shows include Scrimmage: Football in American Art (2017), Elijah Pierce: An American Journey (2018); From Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad (2019); Dancing in the Light: Masterworks of American Impressionism (2020-2021); and Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii (2022).


Exhibitions are supplemented by programming that includes collaborative events with the Canton Symphony, Canton Ballet, Players Guild, Canton Palace Theatre, and other regional groups that immerse visitors in multi-faceted experiences of art, music, dance, and film. CMA’s Free Family Days, Canton Arts District First Fridays, and other community events bring people together to discover, learn, and enjoy art through hands-on activities and performances, while special gallery talks, behind-the-scenes tours, and other cultural programs delight and bring the Museum experience to life.

Education & Outreach

Education is central to CMA’s mission, fueling creativity and transformative experiences with art for all. Programs include free in-Museum tours and experiences for school groups across our region, serving more than 3,000 adults and students each year. Community outreach events reach more than 8,000 participants each year, including the annual fall Art Harvest; spring SmArtSplash (with Arts In Stark); and free Community Art Talks at businesses, libraries, and other institutions.


School of Art Classes are offered for adults and children in fall, winter, and spring sessions, as well as summer art camps. More than 1,500 students of all ages attend 30+ art classes each session, ranging from ceramics and photography to classic oil painting, printmaking, and “first” art classes for kids pre-K and up. Need-based scholarships are available for summer art camps.


Museum To Go is CMA’s technology-based, mobile museum program for schools. It brings a virtual exhibition tour and hands-on art lesson into the classroom, based on curriculum standards in language arts, math, social studies, science, and visual art. The program reaches nearly 2,000 fourth and sixth grade students all across Stark County, and lessons are archived online to share.


Art for Health & Healing is a new art therapy program created by the Museum that benefits more than thousands of individuals in our community. It was developed in response to the growing need for innovative treatments around addiction, aging, and mental and physical health challenges. Led by a licensed clinical counselor and certified art therapist, the program engages participants in tailored exhibition and studio art sessions that provide sensory experiences to both calm and heal the mind and body. The program supported by the Ohio Arts Council, local foundations, and individual donors and is expanding into working with those living with cancer, depression, Parkinson’s, and many other areas.

AAM Accreditation

The Canton Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). CMA was first accredited in 1974, and of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, CMA is one of only 1,065 institutions to be recognized by AAM for the highest standards of excellence. CMA is also an active member of the Ohio Museums Association and Ohio Citizens for the Arts, promoting arts advocacy.

Museum Location & Spaces

The Canton Museum of Art is located at the Cultural Center for the Arts in downtown Canton, Ohio. The Museum itself is approximately 33,000 square feet in size, including classrooms, ceramic studios, collections storage, events space, and approximately 10,000 square feet of exhibition gallery space. The CMA Shop is open during regular hours and features a wide range of curated products from local and regional designers and artisans, creating a unique shopping and gift experience.  

Dedicated Museum Groups & Volunteers

Canton Fine Arts Associates — Members present monthly arts programs and the annual Christkindl Markt fundraiser.

CMA Docents — Trained in art history, docents guide school tours and support special exhibition events.

Canton Ceramic Artists Guild – Members provide demonstrations, raise funds for pottery education and maintain the CMA Ceramics Studio.

Canton Artists League – Members present a biennial exhibition, arts workshops, and community programs.

Volunteer Angels – This dedicated group honors Museum volunteers through unrestricted gifts for programming and operations.

Canton HeART Guild™ — HeART Guild volunteers promote and present events that engage the community in a connection with art.

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