From singing and sketching to theater and festivals, each season provides opportunities to try something new and appreciate the talent of local artists in Mauldin Cultural Center.
Christine Faust, who became cultural center manager in August, is excited about the quality of the center’s programming and the opportunities to include more participants. Graduate of Center for Fine Arts and the summer honors program at South Carolina Governor’s School of the ArtsFaust’s resume includes event planning and years of involvement in the upstate arts community.
“We’ve created a magical environment in this building, and it reaches all segments of our community,” she says. “We offer extensive visual arts classes, theater for youth and adults, and activities to engage our retired citizens.”
Faust quotes Wood Carvers of Piedmont as an example of a group with a strong presence in the cultural center. In addition to weekly activities and monthly soap classes for children aged five and over with an adult, the club hosts workshops and special classes throughout the year.
“They’ve built an amazing community,” she says. “Like the members of the garden club and other groups that meet here, they have found their people.”
Another popular group is Mauldin City Singers, a community choir directed by Pam Mayfield, former director of choirs at Mauldin High School. The choir will present its Christmas concert “Sounds of the Season” on December 17-18.
The Mauldin Cultural Center hosts local artists providing year-round training in a variety of skills. Susan Wilson and Michelle Hyer of The Art Haven offer ceramics and multimedia art classes for grades 1-5, teens and adults. Brandon Dyck teaches individual, duo, and group guitar classes including guitar ensemble, rock improv, and music theory. Topics offered in the past as single or seasonal classes have included ballroom, Latin and swing dance, basket weaving and embroidery.
“Our programming continues to expand and we have a lot more to come,” says Faust. “Plans are in the works to add new music offerings that everyone wants. We will announce them on social media soon.”
The Mauldin Outdoor Amphitheater hosts seasonal events such as Beachin’ Fridays and Mauldin Makers Market, where upstate vendors sell locally sourced items. This year’s December to Remember holiday event is scheduled for 6-9pm Thursday, December 1, 2022 and will include a tree lighting, holiday market and live music. The amphitheater, as well as the center’s craft studio, meeting room and auditorium, can be rented for classes and private events.
The center has a thriving theater program that began with the creation of Mauldin Youth Theater in 2017 and has grown to include musical revues, MCC Shakes (Shakespeare in the Park program) and community theater for both adult and youth actors. Mauldin Youth Theater will present Once on this Island Junior November 4-6 and 11-13. Mauldin Theater Company will present “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” on December 2-4 and 9-11.
“We are very proud of our theater program,” says Faust. “We hear all the time that people are blown away by the quality of our productions.”
In 2021, Greenville Community Foundation made an unrestricted grant of $7,500 to the Mauldin Cultural Center to be used where it is most needed.
“Mauldin has done a great job of creating a sense of community through the quality programs available at the Mauldin Cultural Center. Whether you want to attend an outdoor show, participate in community theater or take music lessons, there are plenty of opportunities for all ages,” says board chair Liz Seman.
Upcoming events and performances
Once on this Island Junior November 4-6 and 11-13.
A December to Remember, 18:00 – 21:00 December 1
A Christmas Carol: The Musical Dec. 2-4 and 9-11
Christmas concert of the “Sounds of the Season” choir December 17-18
For more information visit https://mauldinculturalcenter.org/.