Grand Center Arts District is St. Louis’ epicenter for the arts. Here, world-class talent performs, and aspiring artists hone their craft. The district, located in midtown St. Louis, is home to more than 50 arts organizations including world-class institutions and a growing list of small, homegrown entities, as well as the region’s independent media industry, 8,000 full-time employees, and 2,300 residents.
When the district was established by civic leaders in 1980, the area was experiencing rapid decline, along with much of the City of St. Louis. Historically, Grand Boulevard had been an important entertainment district, with seven major theatre and vaudeville buildings during its heyday in the early 1900s. Given the heritage and architecture of the Grand Center neighborhood, leaders launched a redevelopment effort to re-establish Grand Center as a cultural center for the region.
Grand Center Arts District is managed by Grand Center Inc., whose mission is to enhance and enrich our partner institutions, neighborhood, and region and to increase the economic and cultural strength of our community. Since its founding in 1980, Grand Center Inc. has played a vital role in developing performing and visual arts venues; redeveloping historic buildings; attracting a diverse group of arts, education, public media, and commercial businesses to the district; enhancing the district’s parks and public spaces; and leading a coordinated marketing and placemaking program for Grand Center Arts District.
Today, Grand Center Arts District is home to an extensive range of arts and performance venues in midtown St. Louis including the Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall (home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Sheldon Concert Hall and Galleries, Jazz St. Louis, the International Photography Hall of Fame, Craft Alliance, and the Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s four facilities (the Kranzberg Arts Center, the Marcelle Theatre, the .ZACK, and the Grandel Theatre). We also claim a movie theater and bowling alley and a diverse range of residential options. The district is the center of independent media in St. Louis, with offices and broadcast facilities for the Nine Network (PBS), St. Louis Public Radio (NPR), and KDHX Independent Radio, a community radio station. In addition to arts and culture offerings, we currently host 20 restaurants and bars and a handful of small retail shops. There is one boutique hotel and a second slated to open in 2018; the new hotel, the Angad Arts Hotel, will occupy the last of the major historic structures to be renovated in the core of the district.