You won't find a consistent theme running through the local arts scene this winter - except maybe that Columbus continues to grow as a destination for culture of all kinds.

You won't find a consistent theme running through the local arts scene this winter - except maybe that Columbus continues to grow as a destination for culture of all kinds.

This season, you'll meet emerging local artists and ones that tour across the country. Performances will take place in large arenas and living rooms, in your own backyard and beyond. The art forms will be familiar and foreign, yet always fresh.

If you're looking for a comprehensive event list, we've got you covered at columbusalive.com.

In the following section, though, you'll find something different.

When we were talking about the upcoming arts season, the Alive staff kept coming back to the people behind the events. So, to cover the stuff we can't wait to see, we focused on those destined to define the season.

Take, for example, Lisa Dent. She's the associate curator of contemporary art at the Columbus Museum of Art, which reopened New Year's Day with new themes in every gallery. Dent hopes that creating a mashup of classical and contemporary art will tell new stories about art history and the CMA collection.

Justin Luna is also shaking things up in visual arts this season. The director of ROY G BIV Gallery organized the statewide photo show "ImageOHIO11" and he'll offer his own work in an upcoming exhibition at the OSU Urban Arts Space. He'll be one of 10 Columbus artists in that show to interrogate photography's potential as a language.

Korine Fujiwara also plans to communicate, though in a much different way. Speaking via viola, she'll perform a series of shows with her Carpe Diem String Quartet, which returns home from touring this month for a handful of performances. Additionally, she'll offer an original score to "Courage," an evening-length piece by Columbus Dance Theatre's Tim Veach.

Musician Matthew Hahn also plans to collaborate with some local colleagues. The leader of Shadowbox Live's house band will score "7 Deadly Sins," BalletMet's highly anticipated rock performance.

Finally, Andy Batt will undertake the toughest task of all. Along with an equally daring cast, the managing director of MadLab Theatre & Gallery will lead improv show "Love in the Time of Comedy," based on the audience's best and worst first dates.

Here's more about five people making this a season to remember.