A Legacy of Art

Here you can find out what we do, how we do it and who we serve, as well as meet the people behind all the work we do!



Our Mission

The mission of the Community Arts Center is to enrich our community by nurturing the arts, fostering creativity, and promoting education.

Brandon with Hogsett Elem 5th
Our 2014 blockbuster exhibit "Re"
the possibilities of
creative recycling!


Local, regional, national and international artists are featured in our three galleries, whose content changes on a monthly or quarterly basis. Our most significant annual exhibit takes place during the first quarter of each year, engages the entire building and staff, and highlights the links between the arts and sciences. Prior annual exhibits explored topics as diverse as dinosaurs, trains and outer space. 


Beginning Ballroom Dance
Class offerings include pottery,
drama, Irish dance and beginning
ballroom dance (pictured).


Classes, camps and lessons are available throughout the year to provide high-quality arts education close to home. Private and group music lessons on a variety of instruments, voice lessons, dance, painting and drawing classes are available for children and adults.



Frank X Walker Community Arts Center August 2013
Lunch with the Arts is a monthly series that
encourages the community to meet local and
national artists (like Kentucky's Poet Laureate
Frank X Walker), learn about their art form and
ask them questions.

Events & Community Outreach

The Community Arts Center hosts a variety of reccuring events throughout the year, such as our monthly Lunch with the Arts series, bi-monthly Starry Night Studio Painting Classes, exhibiting artist receptions, juried art shows and seasonal and holiday events. 




Community Arts Center 1902


The Community Arts Center 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.

Arts Center sign by Mark Wilhelm


In 2004, through the generous support of our community, the building was refurbished to its original beauty with the addition of modern amenities. It is now the home to all things arts in our community. The historical post office which once stored letters now has galleries, studios, and classrooms which allow for the teaching, practicing and viewing of the arts. In addition, the adaptive reuse of this landmark preserves our historic downtown and enhances our cultural heritage.In fact, the Community Arts Center is now part of Danville's rich and vibrant Arts District.


Original construction photographs and other memorabilia can be found in the Archive Room on the second floor of the Community Arts Center.



The Community Arts Center provides crucial arts programming to the people in our community who most need it.

Though much of this work goes on behind the scenes and away from the public eye, the Arts Center is continually reaching out to the elderly, those with low-income, and/or physical, mental and developmental disabilities. When we say we want to provide arts opportunities for every member of the community, we mean it!


Community Arts Center Arts Cart McDowell placeArts Cart

The Arts Cart, often dubbed "Art with a Heart," is a program that takes arts activities to those with mental, physical and emotional disabilities, or those who are touched by poverty. We partner with service organizations like Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services and McDowell Place to identify those people most in need of valuable arts experiences regardless of their abilities.

The Arts Cart makes arts activities, such as painting, drawing and music-making, accessible to members of the community who otherwise might not have an opportunity to experience them. This program fosters creativity, develops artistic skills, promotes self-expression and improves self image.

Meet Our Staff and Board


mbt resizedMary Beth Touchstone
Executive Director

Mary Beth works closely with our board to make sure that we know our mission, that we actively plan how to achieve that mission, and that our organization runs smoothly in all respects. Before coming to the Arts Center, Mary Beth was the Vice President of Technology Management at JP Morgan Chase. 

Mary Beth's favorite thing about the Arts Center: I like being able to effect change so quickly and directly. When a person here has a great idea, we can implement it in as little as a week, directly affecting how people in our community experience art. It's a great feeling knowing that I was directly involved in exposing people to something that will change their lives forever.

Contact Mary Beth if you are redeeming a gift certificate, if you want to rent the Arts Center for your own event, or to book a private Starry Night Studio.

Lauren Hunter-Smith
Marketing Director
Lauren manages all marketing and communications for the Arts Center, overseeing advertising, branding, social media and website content, e-newsletters, and planning and promotion of special events. She has a bachelors in biology and studio art from the University of Kentucky. After graduating, she spent time with the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, using her graphic design skills to create non-verbal communication charts for physicians working there. Previous to joining the Arts Center staff, she was the curator of education and graphic design at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington, Ky. 


Lauren's favorite thing about the Arts Center: The joyous atmosphere coupled with the dedicated staff and vast variety of programming make the Arts Center irresistable to anyone! Regardless of which demographic you fit into, there is something for you here."

Contact Lauren if you have questions about the Arts Center's social media pages, want to sign up for an enewsletter, want to guest blog, if you're a member of the news media, or if you're interested in cross-promotion with the Arts Center.

Gretchen Hines-WardGretchen Hines-Ward
Education Director

Gretchen Hines-Ward has experience in many areas related to arts and education. Her graduate work in educational communication from Murray State University has led her to jobs curating exhibits, coordinating educational goals (for places like planetariums and historic sites), and arts administration for higher education.

She has also dabbled in as many art forms as she possibly can. With a degree in music from The College of William and Mary, Gretchen has spent a lot of time playing in orchestras, singing in choirs, performind ballads in coffee houses, and marching in bands. She has also been a costume designer for numerous theatrical productions and technical clothing designer for a commercial clothing company. Gretchen has worked as a freelance writer, photographer and graphic designer on occasion, and currently spends her free time in fiber arts such as knitting, sewing, and spinning. She and her husband currently live on a farm in Mercer County.

Gretchen says: My favorite thing about working at the Community Arts Center (besides the wonderful staff!)  is the opportunity to work with so many different artists in so many different mediums.  I love being able to learn from them and collaborate with them on creative ideas.  New ideas are always welcome, and our goal to support art in all forms, at any level, in any medium, gives us countless opportunities for creative programming.

Contact Gretchen if you want to teach a class, to ask about an existing class, to request a new class, to book a field trip, or if you need information about summer camps.

brandon resizedBrandon Long
Programming Director

Brandon was born an artist and a musician who joined the Arts Center in January 2007. He's in charge of scheduling and hanging exhibits, maintaining gallery spaces, developing content for the annual blockbuster exhibit, instructing Starry Night Studios sessions, leading Arts Cart outreach programs, creating innovative new programming for the Community Arts Center, and creating all of our graphic designs. Before working at the Arts Center, he was a merchandising coordinator at Joseph Beth Booksellers.

Brandon's favorite thing about the Arts Center: The reason I come to work every day is that we are providing a unique experience for artists young and old that simply didn't exist on a local level when I was growing up. My daughter, at five years old, is one of the most driven, creative young people I've ever been around and I can't help but think that the Arts Center is one of the main proponents of her enthusiasm. Sometimes people will tell her, "Jillian, you're going to be a great artists someday," and she replies, "I already AM an artist." That's when I know that at least one person has fully gotten our message and mission, and that makes it all worth it

Contact Brandon if you are an artist who wishes to exhibit at the Arts Center, if you have questions about the annual juried show "Horizon: Contemporary Landscape" or if you would like to book an Arts Cart visit to your area.

Nancy MartindaleNancy Martindale
Visitor Services Coordinator
Nancy does a little bit of everything! You'll see her working the front desk, leading volunteer training, teaching classes, helping out in Lisi's Art Lab... just about anywhere, really. Nancy also gathers valuable feedback from the community and visitors so that the Arts Center can provide the highest possible quality of exhibits, services and classes. Nancy is a retired teacher and former education coordinator for the Arts Center. She is an artist in her own right, working mainly with fabrics and hand-made felt, but she was also a juried potter in the Southern Highlands Guild and Pennsylvania Guild back in the 90's. 

Nancy's favorite thing about the Arts Center:
My favorite part of working here is the variety of exhibits, people, and activities I get to be part of. Never a dull day at the Arts Center!

Kate SnyderKate Snyder
Development Director
Kate is responsible for developing and implementing the Arts Center's fundraising programs by connecting art-lovers in the community with opportunities to bring their passions to life.  Kate holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in the Theology and Archaeology of the Old Testament.  Prior to joining the Arts Center, Kate spent eight years in non-profit fundraising and development in Pittsburgh, PA.

Kate's Favorite Thing About the Arts Center:
I love the inter-generational programming and the fact that there really is something for everyone at the Arts Center. Anyone in the community can get involved, from a toddler wielding a paintbrush to an eighty-year-old with a burning desire to learn the French horn. To me, that breadth of opportunity is what community is all about.

Contact Kate if you are interested in sponsoring an event, giving a cash or in-kind gift, or volunteering your time.

Andrea CuttsAndrea Cutts
Volunteer Extraordinaire

Andrea first volunteered for us during in August 2013, and she stayed! You'll see Andrea working the front desk, changing out crafts and activities in Lisi's Art Lab, running around town telling local businesses and visitors about upcoming events, serving as a paintwaiter during Starry Night Studio, helping build exhibits... just about anything and everything! 

Andrea says: I saw a call for Dantastic Revenge volunteers on Facebook. It was a lot of fun and I thought I’d like to come back more often. Now, I can’t leave this place! I love seeing people’s reactions when they come in to the exhibit... It means a lot to me to see them so appreciative of the hard work we’ve put into it.

Not sure who to talk to? Email info@communityartscenter.net and someone will respond to you soon!

Board of Directors
The Arts Center is served by a rotating set of board members selected from all different areas of the Danville community that devote their time, money and talents to fulfill the mission of the Arts Center.

Steve Griffin, President
Jo Ann Rice, Vice President
Matt Sirasky, Treasurer
Dr. Barbara Hall, Secretary
Jennifer Ahnquist
Gary Barkman
Suzanne Farmer
Margo Goodwin

Amanda Hendershot
Steven A. Hoffman
Niki Kinkade
Barbara Lockhart
Christopher J. Tucker
Sarah Wiltsee
Dr. Tom Baeker, Emeritus Board Member

Host an Event

Host your own Starry Night Studio

Starry Night StudiosThe Community Arts Center's popular Starry Night Studios are a "social painting experience" held several times a month in our Grand Hall.

If you can't make it to a scheduled Starry Night Studio or want to host one of your own, gather 10 friends and email Mary Beth to schedule it. Starry Night Studios are great for birthday parties, a girls' night out, staff retreats, client appreciation, or just because!

Host your next event at the Community Arts Center

The Community Arts Center offers a graceful and intimate for your next special event, and is conveniently located in downtown Danville. To make a reservation, download the rental contract, then call 859-236-4054 or email info@communityartscenter.net.

wedding arts center danvilleOur Grand Hall is available to rent for private birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weddings, meetings, conferences and holiday events!

Rental of the Grand Hall includes the use of catering space, a large beverage counter and a reception table area, and can comfortably seat 90 guests at a formal dinner or 125 guests at a cocktail buffet with space for music and dancing.

For more informal occasions, Kids World on our lower level and the Farmers Bank Gallery and Lockhart Gallery upstairs can also be reserved.

We do not provide catering services or rental of tables, linens or dinnerware. 

-$80/hour for the Grand Hall, including set-up and take-down time
-$30/hour for the upstairs galleries, including set-up and take-down time
-$50 one-time administrative fee
-$150 fee if serving alcohol
-$300 damage deposit 

Note: We must receive 50% of the total rental price to formally reserve your date and time.

Weisiger Park, the open area outside of the Danville Courthouse across the street from the Arts Center, is also available for use in conjunction with your event. This space has a small gazebo and is available nearly year-round. Call 859-236-4054 to find out  more about this rental option.

Download our complete rental contract for more information. 

wedding reception meeting rentalholiday rental image


Exhibit and Lisi's Art Lab Hours:

Mon. - Fri.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Exhibits free, Lisi's Art Lab $1 per child

Office Hours:

Mon. - Fri: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

401 W. Main Street

Danville, KY  40422

Events At A Glance

Sat Dec 20
Lisi's Art Lab is open!
Sat Dec 20 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Trees & Trains
Mon Dec 22
Munchkin & Me
Mon Dec 22 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Trees & Trains
Tue Dec 23 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Trees & Trains