About the Prairie Arts Center
The mission of the Prairie Arts Center is to encourage the exploration of art and promote creativity for all ages and skill levels.
A Short History of the Prairie Arts Center
In 1971, three architecture students from Oklahoma State University needed more studio space, so they came up with the idea of creating Stillwater’s first community arts center. Multigraphis, as the center was then called, was initially housed in a “drafty old barn” on the edge of town. Although it had limited facilities and funding, it attracted passionate and creative individuals from throughout the community and from among the students, staff, and faculty at OSU. A federal grant later funded the construction of a new facility on 12th Street in Couch Park, which was shared with the Senior Citizen Center for many years. Multigraphis enjoyed strong support from the City of Stillwater, which became the first city in Oklahoma to hire a community arts supervisor, according to a 1986 article in the Oklahoman. Over the years, arts supervisors included Illene Ozment, Sandra Duvall, Susan Venable, Dana Frank, and Jessica Novak, among others. In 2001, the City of Stillwater again demonstrated its commitment to the arts by erecting a new, state of the art, building for the center, now renamed Multi Arts, at 1001 Duck Street.
In 2005, art lovers in the greater Stillwater community formed the Friends of Multi Arts (FMAC), an organization whose purpose was to “promote and support the Multi Arts Center (MAC), a city-owned arts education center.” In 2012, the Friends of Multi Arts reorganized themselves as a non-profit and signed a contract with the City of Stillwater to run the facility. In 2017, the City of Stillwater voted to have OSU take over management of the Multi Arts Center.
Oklahoma State University has made every effort to continue this proud heritage of community-based arts. The name was changed to Prairie Arts Center in 2018 as a reference to our Oklahoma home and the distinctive architecture of our building.
Stillwater, OK is very fortunate to have such a long and rich history of community arts. Oklahoma State University is proud to be a part of this legacy, which supports our ideal of community engagement and our mission to serve the people of Oklahoma.
Tuesday thru Thursday: 9:30am-9:00pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed