First City Art Center (FCAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art center in Pensacola, FL engaging the community through a broad range of workshops, classes, studio spaces, gallery exhibits, fundraising events, summer camp, youth art program, outreach programs, and field trips. FCAC provides a variety of opportunities for people to interact with art. We offer classes and workshops in glass blowing, glass bead making, stained glass, sculpture, pottery on the wheel, hand-built pottery, drawing, painting, and various other mediums. We are unique in this area for many reasons, and we are the only public glassblowing facility in Northwest FL.
FCAC cultivates a creative culture, inviting people of all backgrounds, ages, and skill levels to explore, participate and experiment with art. We encourage a cooperative environment that nurtures the artist and the observer while building a community around the arts that provides open dialogue, camaraderie, public service, education, fellowship and mentorship programs. FCAC serves approximately 10,000 adults and children each year. First City Art Center is an active, dynamic and exciting resource for the community.
FCAC hosts four popular fundraising events:
Hot Glass Cold Brew, is held 3 times annually throughout the winter and spring months, and features live glassblowing and ceramic demonstrations. The annual Pumpkin Patch event is held in October, and features work by over 50 local artists – these artists collectively make and sell thousands of pumpkins and each year attendance grows. These cultural experiences have a fun energy that make guests feel like they are part of something interesting and important. We are actively helping to build the economic vitality of Pensacola by bringing people from outside of the area to attend events and experience art, in addition to strengthening the local community of artists in the Gulf Coast region.
Our collaborations with other community and non-profit organizations have provided us with some of our greatest successes. Over the years, we have continually strengthened and diversified our offerings in the arts. It is because of our core values that we maintain our vitality, enriching the area through arts education, outreach, and consistently well-attended events that provide entertainment for all ages.
It is the policy and commitment of First City Art Center that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or religion in any of its activities or operations.
First City Art Center is a hands-on visual art center for the community that engages the imagination, inspires creative exploration, and cultivates economic and cultural growth.
FCAC is actively involved in bringing art, culture, and entertainment to the people of Pensacola and the Gulf Coast region. Every day, we achieve our mission while we work diligently toward our vision. We bring people together to learn from each other, and in the creative process, we unlock profound accomplishments though our ongoing collaborative work in the arts.
To establish a thriving, vitally dynamic arts district in Northwest Florida that is an economic and cultural driver for our region, which includes a nationally recognized arts facility featuring glass and ceramics studios.
First City Art Center endeavors to serve as the hub of an arts district that includes private studios and galleries, helping to promote local involvement in and appreciation of creative work. It is our goal to instill in our community the recognition that the arts are an essential element of a prosperous city.
To achieve our vision of growing the property into an arts district, FCAC, along with the Long Hollow and North Hill Neighborhoods Associations, Pensacola State College Visual Arts Department and University of West Florida Department of Art will continue to improve the programs and properties to keep the momentum of creating an active and diverse art destination for the city of Pensacola and the entire Gulf Coast region.
First City Arts Alliance, Inc. was established as a non-profit arts education organization in 1999, doing business under the name “Belmont Arts and Cultural Center.” Since the very beginning, we’ve maintained core values. These values are: leadership, integrity, accessibility, vitality and collaboration. In the early days at the Belmont, activities were severely limited by the facility, and growth at that location was not feasible without a major overhaul of a rented building which, at the time, was not possible for us. The original space was primarily utilized as a glassblowing and ceramics facility. To continue expanding our offerings, the process of relocation from Belmont/Devilliers area to a larger and more autonomous property on Guillemard Street in the Long Hollow neighborhood began. Upon relocation, the Center’s “Doing Business As” name was changed to First City Art Center (FCAC).
On May 7, 2012, the City Council unanimously approved FCAC’s lease of a city property that had recently been vacated by Habitat for Humanity under the urging of Mayor Ashton Hayward. The Center’s new home is located in the old waterworks building, between the Long Hollow and North Hill neighborhoods at 1060 N. Guillemard St. This new location has allowed FCAC to not only expand studios in number and in size, but also to begin creating an arts district that now includes private artist studios and a gallery, as well as establish classroom spaces for many different types of visual art instruction.