Theater. Music. Comedy. Arts education. You’ll find it all under one roof at the Mauldin Cultural Center. And in big doses.
Each year, the city hosts more than 1,000 events at the cultural center, part of a community complex that includes the Mauldin Sports Center. The 14-acre property was originally the campus of Mauldin High School and later Mauldin Elementary School.
The cultural center is housed in the original schoolhouse, built in 1937 as one of the public works projects initiated by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The classrooms are used for classes, workshops and private music and art lessons, and the auditorium for theatrical productions and a wide array of activities and events.
Each year, the Mauldin Theatre Company and Mauldin Youth Theatre present musicals like “Seussical,” “Disney’s Frozen, Jr.” and “The Lion King.” In September, the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers come to town for "Trains, Trains & More Trains," a free exhibit featuring push button-operated interactive N and S Scale train layouts with working accessories like a sawmill, log loader and outhouse.
An amphitheater constructed outside of the building is the venue for year-round concerts and festivals. Among the most popular is the free Beachin’ Fridays concert series held in June and July. Shaggers and beach music fans flock to the weekly event, featuring live music, food trucks, beer and wine and a fireworks display around the Fourth of July.
Summertime also brings the Mauldin Farmers Market to the center grounds. Held Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., the weekly event features vendors from all over the Upstate selling locally sourced and produced items, live music, food trucks and children’s activities.
With every season there are more opportunities to enjoy the arts. The array of events includes a blues and jazz festival, a barbecue cook-off, a spring bazaar and lots of Christmas festivities.
Educational offerings are just as diverse with classes in Lego robotics, pottery, voice, guitar, wood carving, Glee-style singing and dancing and a Broadway boot camp.
To enhance access to the visual arts, the city developed a public art trail around the cultural center with space for nine sculptures created by South Carolina artists. Each year, a theme is chosen for a new work of art. Topics have included “Industry of the Upstate,” “Appreciation of Diversity” and “South Carolina Strong.”
The cultural center also plays host to a number of community events, including performances by the Greenville Concert Band and the Mauldin Garden Club’s Spring in Bloom Festival & Bazaar.