HISTORY OF THE CENTER AND
THE KAGEY HOME
About the Center
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood presents contemporary gallery exhibitions and award-winning education programs in the visual and performing arts at three unique facilities in downtown Hollywood. The Center’s mission is to cultivate creativity and the support of the arts in our community through education, innovation and collaboration.
The Center was founded in 1975 as the only visual arts non-profit organization in south Broward County, operating out of a small community space on Hollywood beach. The Center now manages visual arts galleries in the renovated Kagey Home built in 1924, the Arts School that is adjacent to the main facility, and a 500-seat theater in Hollywood’s burgeoning downtown. The Center is the third oldest arts non-profit in Broward County and the Kagey Home is a cultural landmark for the Mediterranean Revival architecture of its circa-1924 building.
In March 2019, the Center was designated for $2.5 million in funds from the City of Hollywood towards its Arts Ignite! building initiative, as part of a General Obligation Bond referendum that was approved by Hollywood voters. These funds will be allocated toward the expansion of Center facilities with construction of a new Arts Education Building that will adjoin the Kagey Home. When completed, as early as 2023, the new education wing, with its gleaming façade and swooping rooftop, will provide the Center with a unique architectural distinction in Broward County of having adjoining, functional spaces built nearly 100 years apart.
The Center is a regional leader among South Florida arts institutions in presenting originally curated visual-arts exhibitions by national and local artists, and standards-based, multi-disciplinary arts education programs for youth. The Center impacts about 40,000 people each year through its programs and facilities. Contemporary artists exhibit in four ground-floor gallery spaces while the upstairs Community Gallery presents exhibitions by K-12 students who study under some of the most dedicated arts teachers in the region. Each year, 125+ artists representing a vast range of backgrounds and artistic media exhibit in our galleries. We are a two-time host organization for the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship Program (2011 and 2017).
In 2020, the Center created its Open Dialogues program to promote acceptance and inclusion in our community though documentary short films and other programming. Our first documentary, Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community, was an Official Selection of the OUTshine LGBTQ Film Festival (Miami Beach) and 35th Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, where it was named Best Broward Documentary. The Center is producing a second Open Dialogues film, Black Voices | Black Stories, set to premier in 2021.
Arts instruction for youth links curricula to other core subjects, such as math, science, literacy, and cultural studies. This shows students, from pre-K to high school, how the visual and performing arts may inform all facets of learning. Programs include Summer Arts Camp, the leadership development program Arts Aspire, Free Arts! Family Days, the Distance Learning Arts Studio, Center Stage Kids, ARTastic Artists, and Early Voices Collaborative Exhibitions. In 2016, the Center received an ArtsEd Forever! award from the Broward Cultural Division for Exceptional Service & Outstanding Contributions to Arts Education in Broward County.
Through its programs and facilities, the Center fosters a creative environment where new and challenging work can flourish through exhibitions and art-making activities that reflect the highest standards of artistry and diversity.
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood cultivates creativity and the support of the arts in our community through education, innovation, and collaboration.
The Home of the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is located in the former home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Kagey, a founding family in Hollywood. The home was built in 1924 and is a beautiful example of Mediterranean Revival architecture. It is one of Hollywood’s first show-place homes and was completed a year before the City of Hollywood was incorporated.
Jack Kagey was the sales manager of Joseph W. Young’s Hollywood Land and Water Company. He earned the seed money to build the home by winning a contest held by Young for his salesmen during the height of the 1920s real estate boom. The Kageys were in the home for just two years when, in September 1926, the structure withstood a devastating hurricane that ended the land boom. Some of the special features of the Kagey mansion are the Batchelder tiles in the fountain in the main gallery, a central tower, the hip roof with Spanish clay tiles, the second floor balcony with Norman double arches, a balconette, and a rough stucco wall finish.
It continued to be used as a private residence until 1960, when it was converted into a funeral home and doubled in size to 12,000 square feet. The expansion included the addition of a chapel along the east side, which later became the Center’s main gallery. Many of the home’s original features from the 1920s are retained, such as the glass doorknobs, wrought-iron railings, tiles on the second-floor balcony, wood moldings and floors, and arches. In January of 1990, the property was purchased by the City of Hollywood to become the new home of the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, which was previously located in a building on Hollywood Beach. The mansion was renovated with private and historical grant monies and opened on February 2, 1992.
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood now serves as a cultural landmark for both its contemporary visual arts programming and for the distinctive character of the structure. In 2008, the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation honored the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood for its stewardship of the Kagey mansion. The building is currently designated by the State of Florida as a significant historical structure and is forever to be held for public enjoyment by city government.