Mission: The Riverside Arts Center offers, promotes, and nurtures dynamic arts and cultural programs through arts education, performing arts, visual and fine arts activities that serve and engage the community in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, and the surrounding area.
Vision: The Riverside Arts Center offers diverse and high-quality arts programming that makes a positive contribution to the image, culture, education, and economic development of the Ypsilanti community. A hub of artistic ventures, Riverside Arts Center produces and hosts various fine and performing artist activities in an accessible facility that includes a theater, art galleries, dance studio, artist studios, and classrooms. With a primary focus on the Ypsilanti community, Riverside Arts Center provides artistic programming for Washtenaw County and the surrounding area.
Riverside Arts Center receives operational support from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). See Riverside Arts Center’s annual report for a complete listing of supporting individuals and organizations.
Thank you, Visit Ypsi Now, for making the above video! We love it.
The front facade of the Riverside Arts Center (RAC) as seen from Pearl Street.
Located just to the right of the RAC is the former DTE Building, now christened the RAC Off-Center. Between a “Cool Cities” grant and the elevator project this facility provides additional gallery and studio space.
Site of a former car wash, the space to the left of the RAC has been transformed into an inviting plaza. Stairs at the rear of the plaza connect with Riverside Park.
Studios One and Two are located on the floor above the Theater. Although these spaces have been in use for several years, in 2017 Studio One was completely remodeled for extended use. These smaller all purpose rooms are used for rehearsal spaces, classes, meetings, as well as the Programs of our FLY Creativity Lab.
The Theater lobby has been remodeled (pictures 6-9). Our “new” theater box office was salvaged from UM’s Hill Auditorium during a recent renovation. A big thank you to the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation for a generous grant to allow this important preservation project to occur!
The intimate black box theater space provides a great setting for both actor and audience member alike. The air conditioned space has been most recently used in the summer months for drama camps aimed at both early and later elementary grades. We have both weekly and single day rental rates. Please leave your inquiries at (734) 480-ARTS (2787).
This Downstairs Gallery hosts exhibits generally change every month at Riverside Arts Center. We have one of the largest exhibit spaces in Washtenaw county. (Pictures 10-12)
Located at the rear of the Gallery is a catering kitchen and a wheelchair-accessible restroom.
The Off Center
The DTE building, located on the other side of the Elevator, is the “annex” to RAC and called the Off Center.
On the street level floor, the Off Center Gallery, we are hosting the Ypsilanti Youth Theater as well as Art Exhibits, the Fridays Live activities, classes and meetings.
The Dance Studio is on the second floor and is shared by several ongoing dance and fitness classes as well as a variety of rehearsal teams.
The Art Studios
In 2015, a large room next to the Dance Studio was remodeled and converted into five small individual artist studios. Since that time, these studios have been occupied by local artists practicing their craft.
To view more pictures of all these spaces, please go to our Creative Spaces page.
The Elevator for Easy Access
The outside door to the glass tower is locked unless an event is happening somewhere within the facility.
The door should be open for events like a Theater performance or a Gallery reception. If you find it hasn’t been opened yet for an event you are attending, please ask someone heading into the Main Entrance to request it be opened for you.