A group of big-hearted residents with an even bigger vision created the Centralia Cultural Society back in 1961. With a mission to connect arts to the community and bring the community to arts, the Society has seen its dreams come true.
Four member groups, with 600 volunteer members and 350 patrons, carry out the society’s mission. These groups include the Little Theatre Players, Choral Society, Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Palette & Brush Club.
In 1971, the Society’s dreams came to life with the dedication of the Centralia Community Arts Center. The 15,000 square-foot building is the physical heart of the non-profit organization. In 2008, a new gallery/multi-purpose room was added, featuring dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows and a cathedral-style ceiling. A refurbished Main Hall has an auditorium that seats 250 people. The multi-use facility also includes a performance stage, dressing rooms, large rehearsal, board room, smaller meeting rooms, a workshop, and kitchen.
Throughout the year, the Cultural Society offers residents and visitors a wide range of opportunities for community entertainment and involvement. Musical performances, a variety show, and candlelight Christmas concert are several of the activities presented by the Choral Society. The 40-member Centralia Philharmonic Orchestra performs a series of concerts, including a winter concert of sacred music, a spring concert featuring Suzuki players and a cabaret-style pops concert. The Palette & Brush Club has scheduled weekly sessions and sponsors a juried art show each fall. And the Little Theatre Players delights audiences with its community-wide musicals, dramas and comedies, and dinner theater. In addition, there’s a Lens & Light Club that meets twice a month and a Bronze Expressions Handbell Ensemble that provide even more outlets for community involvement.
A full listing of upcoming events and activities with each of these groups can be found on the Centralia Cultural Society’s website.
Centralia Community Arts Center
1250 E. Rexford, Centralia, IL
It just goes to show what can happen when a Clinton County community comes together with a mission and a whole lot of dedication.