Giving Matters: The Mauldin Cultural Center offers art, entertainment, and ways to find your people

Greenville Community Foundation

From singing and drawing to theater and festivals, every season offers opportunities to try something new and appreciate the talents of local artists Mauldin Cultural Center.

Christine Faust, director of the cultural center since August, is enthusiastic about the quality of the program and the possibilities to involve more participants. A graduate of Center of Fine Arts and the summer honors program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the ArtsFaust’s resume includes event planning and years of involvement in the upstate arts community.

“We have created a magical environment in this building that reaches all parts of our community,” she says. “We offer extensive courses in visual arts, theater for young people and adults, and activities to keep our retirees busy.”

Faust quotes the Piedmont wood carver as an example of a group with a strong presence in the cultural center. In addition to weekly carve-ins and monthly soap carving classes for children five and up with an adult, the club hosts workshops and specialty 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.”

The Piedmont Wood Carvers Club
The Piedmont Wood Carvers Club meets weekly at the Mauldin Cultural Center.

Another popular group is Mauldin City singer, a community choir conducted by Pam Mayfield, former choir director at Mauldin High School. From December 17th to 18th the choir will present its Christmas concert “Sounds of the Season”.

The Mauldin Cultural Center is home to local artists who teach classes in a variety of skills year-round. Susan Wilson and Michelle Hyer of The Art Haven offer pottery and multimedia art classes for grades 1-5, youth and adults. Brandon Dyke teaches individual, couples and group guitar lessons including guitar ensemble, rock improvisation and music theory. Subjects that have historically been offered as individual or seasonal classes include ballroom, Latin and swing dancing, basket weaving and embroidery.

“Our program is constantly being expanded and we have a lot more planned,” says Faust. “Plans are in the works to add new music offerings that everyone has been asking for. We will be announcing these on social media soon.”

The Mauldin Outdoor Amphitheater hosts seasonal events such as Fridays at the beach and Mauldin Makers Market, where upstate merchants sell locally sourced items. This year’s holiday event, A December to Remember, is scheduled 6-9pm Thursday 1st December 2022 and includes tree lighting, Christmas market and live music. The center’s amphitheater, studio, meeting room and auditorium can be rented for courses and private events.

The Vinyl Junkies perform in front of an audience at Beachin’ Fridays.

The center has a thriving theater program that began with the founding of Mauldin Youth Theater in 2017 and has expanded to include musical revues, MCC Shakes (a Shakespeare-in-the-Park program) and community theater for adult and youth actors. Mauldin Youth Theater presents Once on this Island Junior on November 4-6 and 11-13. The Mauldin Theater Company presents “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” December 2-4 and December 9-11.

“We are very proud of our theater program,” says Faust. “We keep hearing that people are overwhelmed by the quality of our productions.”

In 2021 the Greenville Community Foundation made an unrestricted grant of $7,500 to the Mauldin Cultural Center to use it where it was most needed.

“Mauldin has done a great job of creating a sense of community through quality programs available at the Mauldin Cultural Center. Whether you’re interested in attending an outdoor show, participating in community theater, or taking music lessons, there are many opportunities for all ages,” says Board Chair Liz Seman.

The Mauldin Makers Market.
The community participates in the Mauldin Makers Market.

Upcoming events and performances

“Once on this Island Junior” 4th-6th and 11.-13. November.

A December to Remember, December 1st, 6pm-9pm

“A Christmas Carol: The Musical” 2.-4. December and 9th-11th

Christmas concert of the choir “Sounds of the Season”, 17.-18. December

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