From singing and sketching to theater and festivals, every season provides occasions to try something new and appreciate the talents of local artists at the Mauldin Cultural Center.
Christine Faust, who became cultural center manager in August, is excited about the quality of the center’s programming and the possibilities for including more participants. A graduate of the Fine Arts Center and the summer honors program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, Faust’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 keep our retired citizens engaged.”
Faust cited the Piedmont Woodcarvers as one example of a group with a strong presence at the cultural center. In addition to weekly carve-ins and monthly soap-carving classes for children aged five and up 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 choral director at Mauldin High School. The choir will present its Christmas concert “Sounds of the Season,” December 17–18.
The Mauldin Cultural Center hosts local artists providing year-round instruction in a variety of skills. Susan Wilson and Michelle Hyer of The Art Haven offer pottery and multi-media art classes for grades 1-5, teens and adults. Brandon Dyke teaches individual, paired and group guitar classes, including guitar ensemble, rock improvising and music theory. Topics offered in the past as a single or seasonal class include ballroom, Latin and swing dance, basket weaving and embroidery.
“Our programming continues to expand and we have lots more to come,” Faust says. “Plans are in the works to add new musical offerings that everyone’s been asking for. We’ll be announcing those soon on social media.”
The Mauldin Outdoor Amphitheater holds seasonal events like Beachin’ Fridays and Mauldin Makers Market, where Upstate vendors sell locally sourced items. This year’s holiday event, A December to Remember, is scheduled for 6–9 p.m. Thursday, December 1, 2022 and will include a tree lighting, holiday market and live music. The amphitheater, as well as the center’s artisan studio, meeting room and auditorium can be rented for classes and private events.
The center has a thriving theater program that began with the establishment of Mauldin Youth Theatre in 2017 and has grown to include musical revues, MCC Shakes (a Shakespeare-in-the-park program) and community theatre for both adult and youth actors. Mauldin Youth Theatre will present “Once on this Island Junior” November 4–6 and 11–13. Mauldin Theatre Company will present “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” December 2–4 and 9–11.
“We’re very proud of our theater program,” Faust says. “We hear all the time that people are blown away by the quality of our productions.”
In 2021, the Community Foundation of Greenville made an unrestricted grant of $7,500 to the Mauldin Cultural Center to use where it was most needed.
“Mauldin has done a great job of creating a sense of community through quality programming available at the Mauldin Cultural Center. Whether you are interested in attending a show outdoors, participating in community theatre or taking music lessons, there are many options available 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, 6–9 p.m. December 1
“A Christmas Carol: The Musical” December 2–4 and 9–11
“Sounds of the Season” choir Christmas concert, December 17-18
For more information, visit https://mauldinculturalcenter.org/.