About the Center for Cultural Arts

On the corner of Fifth and Broad in historic downtown Gadsden sits an unusual building. Its triangular shape and enormous cylinder have come to stand for the educational opportunities and endless entertainment the arts bring to a community. The Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, under the direction of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation, opened in 1990, and today around 100,000 people visit the exhibits, performances, and functions held at the Center each year.

The Hardin Center is home to:
-Galleries that feature a wide range of changing national and local exhibits.
Cultural Arts Presents sponsors dinner theaters, concerts, chamber music, and more.
-Imagination Place Children’s Museum located adjacent to the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in the historic Kyle Building. IPCM reaches thousands of children through museum visits and educational outreach.
-The Gadsden Community School for the Arts which offers instruction in art and music.
-The Downtown Dance Conservatory which offers quality classical ballet and contemporary dance education. With an enrollment of over 500 students, the dancers are trained in the renowned syllabus work of the Royal Academy of Dance.
-The nationally celebrated Etowah Youth Orchestras featuring 300 talented young musicians.

Projects of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation:

  • Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts and its Exhibits
  • Concerts, films and live audience events
  • Imagination Place Children’s Museum and Outreach
  • Etowah Youth Orchestras
  • Downtown Dance Conservatory
  • YouthALIVE!
  • Coosa Valley Model Railroad
  • Gadsden Community School for the Arts

The Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation was founded in May 1984, in order to provide, maintain and operate a cultural arts facility for the citizens of the City of Gadsden, Etowah County and their surrounding communities. It was chartered in response to citizen initiatives, as an independent, non profit organization working to enrich our lives, support artistic and cultural progress, affirm individual value and dignity, and to promote a sense of well-being for all people. The Cultural Arts Foundation is a positive reflection of the best interests of our city.


Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm*
Friday: 10 am – 1 pm*
Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm*
Closed Sunday
*Imagination Place is closed from 1-2 pm each day for cleaning.
The art exhibitions and the model railroad are closed on weekends.

In 2020, we are closed November 26-27, December 24-27, and December 31.


Admission to view the art exhibitions and the model railroad is free. Admission for Imagination Place Children’s Museum is $8 for all-day access.  Children up to 24 months are free. Free for Members*

Parents with a valid EBT card receive admission for up to 6 people (adults and children) for $2 per person.

The Hardin Center does not offer senior, student, or military discounts.

*Some restrictions apply. Blockbuster exhibitions excluded. Please contact the Hardin Center for more information.

The Hardin Center reciprocates through the ASTC Passport Program. Free admission is granted to Imagination Place Children’s Museum and discounts are usually offered for other exhibitions. Some restrictions and exclusions apply; please call ahead to inquire about current discounts.

501 Broad Street
Gadsden, AL 35901

Phone: (256) 543-2787