Mauldin Cultural Center

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As Mauldin continues to grow, so does the Mauldin Cultural Center’s programming. Between arts classes, live music and food festivals, the Mauldin Farmers Market, a robust theatre program, and more, Mauldin residents don’t have to go far to have a great time.

A variety of classes are hosted throughout the year at the Center. The Art Haven offers classes in pottery, watercolor, sketching, ink and pencil drawing, and other multimedia arts to youth and adults alike. In addition to visual arts, the Cultural Center hosts lessons in vocal arts, guitar, woodworking, theatre, and more.

The Mauldin Cultural Center has quickly become a hub for local arts, beginning with the construction of its outdoor amphitheater in 2011. The amphitheater has hosted performances by musicians of all styles, from the classical sounds of the Greenville Concert Band to the soulful rock tunes of Hustle Souls, and more.

For those who enjoy music that fits well to a hot summer’s day on the sand, Beachin’ Fridays offers live performances by well-known Beach bands. Since 2016, Beachin’ Fridays has brought people from all over the Upstate to the outdoor amphitheater for evenings of shag dancing, food trucks, and beer and wine. The finale night features a special performance and an impressive fireworks display. All shows are FREE of charge, so grab your dancing shoes and bring your energy!

On Tuesday evenings in the summer, residents and guests enjoy shopping at the Mauldin Farmers Market, located in the outdoor amphitheater. The farmer’s market features a variety of Upstate vendors selling locally sourced and produced items including dairy, eggs, produce, honey, gifts, clothing, accessories, treats, pastries, and more, as well as live music, food trucks, beer and wine, and family fun.

While attending any of our outdoor events, guests can stroll along City Center Drive to view sculptures by local artists. The Mauldin Public Art Trail, an annual program in which a new art work is selected each year by the Mauldin Cultural Council, a nonprofit arts organization that supports artistic efforts at the Mauldin Cultural Center, to fill one of nine predetermined slots around the outdoor amphitheater. The trail is always open for viewing by residents and visitors alike.

November 2019 saw the fifth addition to the trail, “The Big Cocoon” by Aldo Muzzarelli. The sculpture exemplifies the theme “Youth: Passion for Change,” a theme selected by the Cultural Council to celebrate youth as our future and the driving force behind positive change across the globe. This piece follows Arrington Matthews’ 2018 installation, “The Groundbreaking.” A new work will be commissioned each year to fill the remaining sites along the perimeter, with the goal that all nine sites will be filled within ten years. For each year after the first ten years, the oldest installation will be replaced, resulting in a new slate of artwork every decade. Retired works will be relocated to other areas around the community.

The outdoor amphitheater is also home to SOOIE., Mauldin’s Annual BBQ Cook-off. For its ninth consecutive year, the Cultural Center has partnered with the SC Barbecue Association and the Mauldin Recreation, Public Works, Police, and Fire Departments to host the annual competition. More than 25 cookers come from all over South Carolina show off their barbecue skills each fall. Friday evening kicks off the event with live music, a kids’ zone, and an “Anything Butt” competition, where cookers can serve anything but pulled pork. The event continues Saturday afternoon with more live music, a kids’ zone, and a sanctioned pulled-pork competition. Visitors can purchase a tasting pass for the event, allowing them to taste samples from different cookers and to vote for their favorite ’cue. The festival will kick it up a notch in fall 2020 in celebration of its 10th anniversary!

To support budding talent, the Cultural Center partnered with director Tim St. Clair, II to start the Mauldin Youth Theatre, giving youth from the community the opportunity to perform on stage. In November 2017, after countless rehearsals and plenty of hard work, the troupe proudly presented their inaugural play, Disney’s The Lion King, JR., and have since performed four more shows, each to greater and wider interest from the public. The Mauldin Youth Theatre holds open auditions for anyone in the community who is interested in acting. No prior experience is necessary to audition and there are no fees to audition for productions.

The Mauldin Youth Theatre kicked off this season with their Fifth production, Disney’s Frozen, JR. Over the course of 12 shows spanning three weekends, the production brought in nearly 2,500 viewers. Following that success, the Mauldin Youth Theatre will produce Annie, JR. in spring 2020. This season, guests can enjoy even more productions at the Cultural Center with the addition of two musical revues and the Mauldin Theatre Company’s inaugural production, Seussical.

Every fall, the Cultural Center partners with the Greater Mauldin Chamber of Commerce for the ever-popular train show, Trains, Trains and More Trains. Thousands of guests from across the region visit the Cultural Center for the two-weekend event where they can interact with model trains.

Continuing their partnership, the Chamber and Cultural Center ring in the holiday season with festive events for all ages, including a Holiday Market, breakfast with Santa, a Christmas tree lighting, a parade, musical performances, and much more!

The future continues to shine bright for the Cultural Center and the City of Mauldin, with new and exciting changes on the horizon. One of those changes includes incorporating the Cultural Center into the new City Center master plan – the City’s vision for an urban downtown village. Plans have been approved and funded for a pedestrian bridge that will span I-385, making a path for the Swamp Rabbit Trail to connect to another mixed use village currently in development, BridgeWay Station, as well as the rest of southern Greenville County.

This news follows the renovation of the Cultural Center’s auditorium. Renovations, which began in February 2019 and were completed in December 2019, were funded through several grants and partnerships from the Graham Foundation, USDA, Hollingsworth Funds, Momentum Construction, American Fire Pro, and GBS Supply, as well as a $200,000 grant from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, which was matched by Mauldin City Council. Changes included adding Flooring and an accessible lift to the green room for performers, new lighting and sound systems, plush stadium-style seating, renovated Flooring, a raised ceiling, new HVAC, an extended stage and more.

To learn more about classes, performances, festivals, and more held at the Mauldin Cultural Center, visit mauldinculturalcenter.org or call (864) 335‑4862.