Columbia Music Festival Association - CMFA - founded in 1897, by local government, is a partnership between government and the community. Throughout its distinguished history CMFA has undergone many changes in focus; but has never strayed from its original mandate "to educate, discover, develop, train, assist, present, produce, and promote the performing arts among the area's own citizens for the edification of all and to serve as a council and resource for the community." From its earliest years as the state's only performance consortium, CMFA has evolved into a broadly based support service and resource agency for the civic and performing arts in Columbia. The continued support from the City of Columbia and Richland County, enable CMFA to continue to serve as a magnet for the community; enhancing the quality of life and the community's ability to bring visitors for the arts into the metropolitan area.
CMFA is an organization of people, as diverse as the community itself - volunteers and professionals who bring the arts opportunity and experience to the community. While attaining this, they also keep a strong emphasis on fiscal responsibility as they are an important tool for economic growth and development.