Grand Center Inc., The Organization


Founded in 1981, our mission is to support the arts, preserve a legacy and transform a neighborhood into a vibrant community.  By reinvigorating the historic Grand Center District as the arts and entertainment heart and soul of St. Louis, we help to create a vibrant and attractive place to live, work, shop, play and learn. Over the past 30 years, Grand Center, Inc. (GCI) has played a vital role in the development of performing and visual arts venues, the creation of arts festivals and the stabilization of struggling arts organizations. In addition GCI has been a catalyst for the development of real estate, the preservation of architecture and physical improvements in the district. To achieve this goal, GCI works closely with the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, the corporate and foundation communities, individual donors and its many district constituents.

GCI Roles & Responsibilities

GCI has a unique role as the coordinator, advocate, and catalyst for the Grand Center District. GCI’s primary objective is to engage in activities that will increase the overall economic and cultural strength of the District and hence increase the economic and cultural strength of St. Louis.

Through its leadership and partnership activities, GCI supports the economic growth and physical appeal of the district which in turn attracts new development, more visitors, more residents, more cultural events, and additional institutions and businesses that now call Grand Center their home.


What is Grand Center, Inc. (GCI)?

Grand Center, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-for-profit organization whose role and responsibility is to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of St. Louis’ historic arts and cultural district. 

What is the role of GCI?

Grand Center, Inc. has a unique role as the coordinator, advocate and catalyst for the Grand Center District. GCI's primary objective is to engage in the activities that spur the development and restoration of St. Louis’s historic and premiere arts and entertainment district. The impact of our efforts makes the arts stronger in our community and significantly increases both the economic and cultural assets of our city and the entire metropolitan region.

Does GCI manage the cultural organizations in the District?

With the exception of two venues, Grand Center, Inc. does not manage any of the cultural venues or organizations which make their home in Grand Center.  The two venues which Grand Center, Inc. does operate are the Grandel Theatre and the Kranzberg Arts Center. GCI manages the venue rentals, maintains the facilities and subsidizes the operating costs in order to maintain affordable rents for the small to mid-size arts organizations which use the theaters.

Does GCI produce any cultural events?

Grand Center, Inc. produces several art events and two major outdoor cultural festivals each year. The events and festivals include the Dancing in the Street Festival in September and First Night® in Grand Center, the visual and performing arts festival on New Year’s Eve.  All events that GCI produces are free with the exception of First Night which charges a modest admission fee. Learn more about GCI's events and festivals.

Can I purchase tickets to venues through Grand Center, Inc.?

Each venue or arts organization located in the District handle their own ticket sales. For a complete list of Box Offices and Ticketing Information, click here. 

Where is Grand Center?

The geographic boundaries of the Grand Center District include Grand Boulevard between Lindell to the south and Page to the north and from Josephine Baker to the east and Vandeventer to the west.

“Wonderful arts programs and shows help keep our city vibrant and exciting by keeping people in the city. And the arts are universal. It doesn’t matter who you are — what color, gender, age or faith — arts and culture can inspire, educate and entertain. In short, the arts make life better.”

Danny Ludeman
President & CEO, Wells Fargo Advisors
2010 Grand Center Gala Honoree

Creating a Greater Grand Center

See the changes taking place in the District with the Grand Center Great Streets Initiative.


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