Riverside Arts Center (RAC) began in 1995 to spur the cultural and economic revitalization of downtown Ypsilanti with an emphasis on the arts. During this early phase, Riverside Arts Center facilitated a number of focus groups to determine how the facility could best meet community needs and generate more public opportunities for the involvement in the arts. The Riverside Arts Center, located in the heart of Ypsilanti, currently occupies the former Masonic Temple and the adjacent former Detroit Energy Building for $1/year lease. These buildings are connected by an elevator system making every space accessible. For the first 18 years of existence, Riverside Arts Center was run entirely by a dedicated Board of Directors and a part-time Gallery Coordinator. In 2014, RAC hired their first Executive Director and today employ two full-time staff members (Executive Director and Program Manager), one part-time staff member (Outreach Manager), and two contract Teaching Artists. In August 2017, Riverside Arts Center incorporated FLY Children’s Art Center, which offers youth and family programs on-site and in the community.