Osceola Arts originally called the Footlight Theatre Guild, first debuted in Osceola County in 1961. The Guild offered their first productions in the auditorium of Osceola High School. After one such production, Mrs. Margaret Bast sparked action by offering the Guild $1,000 "to find a home of your own without mosquito's and with comfortable seats." Here the dream of a Center that offers live theater, music, art, and other creative activities was born.
In 1962, the Center was chartered as a non-profit Florida corporation. On November 20, 1963, the first meeting of members was held. A few months earlier John E. Carroll, president of the First National Bank of Kissimmee, offered the new organization a three-year lease for a temporary facility in Kissimmee. After five years at this location, Irlo Bronson gave the Center a five-acre tract of land on Bermuda Avenue as a site to build a new permanent facility.
From the very beginning, the Center was considered a county-wide organization. The members of the Center decided that the new facility needed to be more centrally located. So, when John J. Johnston offered a site halfway between St. Cloud and Kissimmee the members couldn't pass on his offer.
On September 7, 1969, the new facility was dedicated and was named the Osceola County Art & Culture Center. The Center was home to the Osceola Players, Osceola County Art Association and the Historical Association of Osceola County. In the '90s The Center was renamed the Osceola Center for the Arts and focused on the creative arts.
Today, the organization enjoys serving as the Local Arts Agency for Osceola County and producing over 150 performing and visual arts events each year. The arts have become a vital part of our growing diverse community. In 2014, the Board of Directors developed a strategic plan that positions The Center as a multi-site arts clearinghouse for the county and to reflect that vision the Osceola Center for the Arts was re-branded as Osceola Arts.
The mission of Osceola Arts is to promote, cultivate, and foster interest and participation in the arts by providing affordable and accessible programs and facilities that encourage artistic expression in the diverse community we serve.