Little City’s award-winning Center for the Arts is making its long-awaited comeback.

After a years-long closure due to COVID-19, the Center for the Arts is scheduled to officially begin operations again in January with a new look and new approach.

Since as far back as the 1960s, Little City has had an ever-evolving arts program that has produced everything from internationally featured artists, documentaries and even a public access TV show led by participants.

The newest chapter of the Center for the Arts will keep that spirit of innovation alive, serving not only as a creative hub for some of Little City’s most talented artists, but a learning ground for valuable business skills including customer service, online store management and product preparation.

“We wanted to use what has been going on with the horticulture program as a framework for what we could do here, adding that vocational skills development aspect,” said Wendy Mayfield, Director of Community Day Services. “It will work like a microbusiness and pair well with the employment programs we have now.”

The program will start with limited classes in January including introductory art classes covering basics for beginners and advanced art classes for some of the longtime participants who will be returning to continue their art careers. Classes will continue to expand to include subjects like photography, so students can create their own art and take pictures of art pieces for the online shop; woodworking, where students can learn to build and set frames; and retail training, where participants can learn about gallery operations, online sales, customer service and more.

Community interaction will also be part of the new art program, with plans to take students out to local art galleries and museums to learn more about the world of art. There will also be opportunities to go to different locations and outdoors to create art. Wendy said they are also hoping to have area artists and experts come to the center for guest speaking and teaching engagements.

Long term, the new art program will be more robust and accessible than previous iterations. Wendy said the plan is to have gallery and store hours throughout the week and eventually on weekends. There are also plans to provide classes to more Little City families and participants through weekend and evening art classes in the future.

Special events, including Staff Art Night and Family Art Night, are in the works to allow more people to get involved with the Center for the Arts. Four quarterly gallery shows with featured artists are also planned so Little City supporters can see the incredible work being done at the center.

“Right now, we are just excited to get classes going again in January and welcoming people back to the program after a long time away,” Wendy said. “We see a lot of potential for the center and as we start to add more facilitators, we will keep expanding our programming and what we are
able to do.”

If you or someone you know has an artistry expertise in a specific medium such as ceramics, mixed media or other area and are interested in assisting the Center for the Arts, please contact Wendy Mayfield at