The Osceola Center for the Arts (now commonly known as Osceola Arts) is an amazing space in Central Florida. The center is merely minutes away from the Orlando International Airport and Orlando’s major tourist destinations, such as Disneyworld and the other famous theme parks. Remarkably close to the city of Orlando, the Osceola Center for the Arts is a multi-faceted space where many amazing things occur with regularity. The main feature is arguably the center’s beautiful theatre space, which seats over 200 people; although, there are also great galleries with art exhibitions, and the space functions as an amply sized conference space, as well. The venue also features a lot of meeting rooms which serve a multitude of purposes. The page you are on is not the official website for the Osceola Center for the Arts, just a resource designed and created in order to educate and inform the public about this incredible site, which strives to promote interest and participation in the arts. Not only is this a useful location for local companies and organizations, but it is a fantastic place to visit for locals and tourists alike.

Osceola Center for the Arts rebranded itself to the simpler ”Osceola Arts” in 2014, but many loyalists (like ourselves) continue to refer it to the center as the name we remember it to be!

All Sorts of Events

Due to the dynamic nature of the Osceola Center for the Arts, a wide range of events have happened- and will continue to occur- here! The Osceola Performing Arts Center has earned an exceptional reputation in the Kissimmee and Greater Orlando community for hosting such events as the Big Band Fall Concert, Center Singers Country Music Concert, and various performances in the Osceola Arts theater. Corporate meetings also occur here, such as banquet dinners, a range of training sessions, and professional seminars. The Osceola Arts group is known for their particularly impressive diversity and flexibility within their event programming schedule; ranging from Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park,” to a variety of juried art show performances, to corporate conferences and more..

This site will work to catalog the cultural events which have already occurred here, giving the prospective renter or visitor an idea of what to expect from the OCTFA. As well as organizing the site’s past event listings, and other such things, the site will also give a comprehensive idea of the type of programming offered here for prospective guests and potential renters. If nothing else, this site will tell each visitor a little bit about this fantastic facility- hopefully sparking an interest in the venue. Each event here benefits the Kissimmee community and (we strongly believe) also benefits the party who chooses to hold the event at this particular spot in the Greater Orlando Area.

A Brief History

The organization which is known today as Osceola Arts continues to serve the greater community in a truly admirable fashion; every single year, more than 150 events, performances, and classes occur within the facilities. The list includes performances, visual art events, and corporate conferences, among many other things. Still, the group keeps a keen focus on Arts, just as the venue was built to do, and the organizations which founded the group truly aimed to do from the very beginning, in the 1960s. The 2014 rebranding was more than just a change of name, it was a signifier of the role of the arts in the Osceola community, and an investment into the building and the minds who continue to commit to growing a healthy and diverse environment in Kissimmee. Today, the building itself stands as a site where an impressive array of arts are commonly practiced on (nearly) a daily basis; Osceola Arts is undeniably the heart of Kissimmee’s arts and culture, and that heart continues to beat with strength and assurance.

This “rebranding” to Osceola Arts was not the first time the organization has had a change of title; indeed, the first name for this establishment was the “Footlight Theatre Guild,” which made its first steps into the Kissimmee-area in 1961, debuting their initial theatrical productions at the Osceola High School auditorium; this was the humble beginning of a beautiful story in Osceola County.

As the story goes, a passionate supporter of these original productions gave the company $1000, so they could find a proper space to do theatre shows, rather than performing in small high school spaces. That patron was Mrs. Margaret Bast, and her donation eventually led to the construction of the Osceola Center for the Arts, as the group could finally envision a realistic route to a proper theatre for performances and creative activities. Little did they know that this was going to be the birth of Kissimmee’s most celebrated cultural institution.

Momentum accrued consistently and incredibly. By 1962, the group was a chartered non-profit. In late 1963, Kissimmee’s First National Bank provided funding so that the Center could afford their first temporary facility. In 1968, the Center was given enough land to build a real, permanent place of operation. The first name of this permanent facility was the Osceola Arts & Culture Center, with three resident companies: the Osceola Players (theatre), Osceola County Art Association (visual art), and the Historical Association of Osceola County (history and culture). It wasn’t until the 1990s that the Osceola Arts & Culture center was rebranded (once again) as the Osceola Center for the Arts-- this change also revived the organization’s focus on contributing to the community through the arts, exclusively.

Today, the original promise is still alive, and the Osceola County community benefits greatly from the many offerings of Osceola Arts.

Osceola Arts Today

Despite years of change and evolution, Osceola Arts stay true to an honest mandate which represents the collective goal of the organization from its humble beginnings; Osceola Arts works hard to keep art alive and well in the County. Indeed, the organization’s creation and promotion of accessible arts programming - educational and presentational- make an invaluable impact on Kissimmee and the greater community. Although the facilities are sometimes rented for corporate purposes, Osceola Arts offers a significant quantity of cost-effective arts programs than ever before. With the intention of supporting and cultivating the artistic expressions of the community’s citizens, Osceola Arts continues to make an invaluable contribution to the community at large.

The Facilities

Many may not realize that, although OCTFA has been in operation (under one name or another) since the late 1960s, the center has seen many shifts, and was remodeled as recently as 2009. In fact, the entire theatre space has been expertly remodelled, as was the lobby and concession area; now, these elements of this Orlando-area institution are sparkling assets for the center. Internally, the quality is just as high; indeed, the sound system here is complete with high-grade speakers- a fantastic concert audio system- that were installed brand new. The lighting system here, as well, is high-caliber and second-to-none.

For those who are concerned about the little things (that are not so little in the end, ironically), parking is another great aspect of the Osceola Center for the Arts. The parking lot is quite large, and parking is always free. Again, even though this may seem like a minor detail to some, the added level of convenience is enough to sway enough people to make their way to Kissimmee! Plus, the concessions provide the visitor with a variety of potential snacks during theatre events.

The center’s general hours of operation are from Tuesday to Friday, opened from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Like many formal event venues, the Box Office is generally closed until 1 hour before an event is scheduled to begin. Generally, for those who wish to purchase in advance, third-party ticket sales are certainly available, though not necessarily organized by the venue itself. Still, there will always be tickets at the venue’s box office one hour before an event, and often during the general hours of operation between Tuesday and Friday.

Why Make This Site?

As believers and contributors to the Osceola Center for the Arts legacy, we feel that it is our duty to make sure our appreciation for this organization is maintained and respected with enthusiasm. If creating this little site which commemorates the past, present, and future of the OCFTA is one way of making sure that the people of Central Florida do not allow their gratitude for all that the Osceola Center for the Arts has done to fade away, this site has surely done a good job at doing what we designed it to do!