Mission & History

our mission

The Art Center of the Bluegrass connects people to art, culture, and creativity.

Art Center HIstorY

The building housing the Art Center of the Bluegrass was originally constructed in 1909 as the United States Post Office and later became known as the Federal Building. After the Post Office moved in 1961, the building held military recruitment offices and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Pierce Lively’s law offices.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of this community treasure, we offer a free self-guided audio tour! The 25-minute tour combines narration about the building’s history and architecture with first-person stories from long-time Danville residents.

In the mid 1990s, the building was underutilized and began showing signs of decline due to disuse. In 2004, a group of dedicated art-lovers undertook a $1.4 million renovation to restore the building to its original beauty with the addition of modern amenities. In 2005, the Community Arts Center opened to the public with a goal of becoming an artistic hub for the community.

By 2019, the organization had grown, serving as a creative catalyst for the entire Southern Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Recognizing and embracing the important role that the organization played to the region, the Community Arts Center re-branded as Art Center of the Bluegrass.

The Art Center of the Bluegrass is the region’s leading visual arts center, drawing more than 20,000 visitors annually. Rotating exhibits showcase the talents of local, regional, and national artists while a wide range of educational programs inspire children and adults to explore their artistic potential. 

The Art Center is also the epicenter of Danville’s Creative District. The adaptive reuse of this landmark preserves Danville’s historic downtown, anchoring the community in the arts and contributing to Danville’s growing identity as a destination for cultural tourism.