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Visual & Performing Arts at the Kenan Center

Kenan Center Performing Arts

The 153-seat Taylor Theater is actually a converted carriage house, or more accurately, the stable which housed the carriage horses, and its original, rough-hewn beams and ceiling add a unique flavor to the experience. The Theater is located directly behind the Kenan House at 433 Locust Street. Regular and wheelchair access is from the north side of building. Ample parking is located behind the theater. The Theater and adjacent Meeting Room are both available for rental. Visit our About page for rental information and a downloadable pricing brochure.

Peter & Wendy with the Missoula Children's Theatre Residency

MCT returns for the 14th season with a brand new show--Peter & Wendy! Performances will take place at the Historic Palace Theatre, October 15 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. All seats $7; children 2 and under are free. Watch for news about special promotions! Group Audition: As in past years, MCT will cast approximately 50 young performers for the show. Audition takes place Tuesday, October 11 at 4:00 p.m. and lasts two hours. Roles are announced at the end of audition and schedules of rehearsals provided. Children must be at a minimum enrolled at the Kindergarten level.

Visual Arts

The Kenan Center House Gallery is actually several rooms on the first and second floors of the Kenan house, specially equipped for hanging art. Gallery visitors are treated to two artistic experiences: the works on view in the gallery exhibits, and the exquisite Victorian decor of the house, itself. Floor-to-ceiling windows, carved mahogany doors, Italian marble floors, and nine ornate fireplaces, are just a few of the fine construction details that make a visit to the House Gallery a memorable experience.

The House Gallery hosts approximately nine fine art exhibits each year that are free and open to the public. Along with exhibits by local and regional artists, the gallery also hosts the Storrs All-High Photo Show, which showcases the photographic talents of high school students from across western and central New York, a biennial juried showcase of regional artists called the Niagara Frontier Art Exhibit, and an annual show of the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society.

In recent years, the Gallery has presented one exhibit each year featuring a "legacy" artist--someone who has produced a large body of work over a lifetime career. Past artists have included painters Catherine Parker and Joseph Whalen; fiber artist Nancy Belfer; and late Lockport artist/teacher Olivia McConnell. In addition, an exhibit of exceptional craft art titled, "Extraordinary Forms," was launched in 2007, and re-emerges every two-three years to showcase accomplished craft artisans, and often, instructors from the top regional universities with studio craft programs.

Visit the Gallery page for a list of past, current and upcoming exhibits.

One of our newest events is the Gallery Tea & Tour which brings artists together with art-lovers in an informal way. Tea & Tours may include a conversation with the artist or a walking tour of the exhibit. Scheduled Tea & Tours or other gallery programs, will be listed on the Calendar page, Kenan Center Facebook page, and also announced through our E-newsletter. To subscribe, visit the homne page and click on the blue envelope at the top.

Craft Art

Craft art is the focus of two of the most popular events on the Kenan Center calendar. Coming the weekend following the Memorial Day holiday, 100 American Craftsmen is truly the start of summer in the Niagara region! While well over a hundred artists apply for this prestigious, juried show each year; only those who meet the high standards of quality, craftsmanship, and originality are accepted. 100 American Craftsmen is also unique in that it takes place completely indoors in the Kenan Center Arena, making it a rain or shine event.

Keep up on news about 100 American Craftsmen at, or follow us on our 100 American Craftsmen Facebook page.

A smaller but equally popular juried craft show takes place just before Thanksgiving each year. The Holiday Gift Show features fifty local and regional craft artists whose work is chosen especially with holiday shoppers in mind. Here you'll find a wide range of items from handcrafted jewelry, porcelain ornaments, paper clay figurines, and hand-bound journals, to exquisite dried and silk floral arrangements, delicious chocolate treats, children's toys, and folk art of all shapes and sizes. The Holiday Gift Show offers visitors a rare opportunity to visit all three of the historic Kenan Center buildings, which are used for exhibit space.