For more than 150 years the McCelvey Center building has been home to a variety of educational institutions. Originally, the site was the home of the Yorkville Female Academy, founded in 1852 by Bethel Presbytery. Built to accommodate 300 boarding students, the school was considered to be one of South Carolina’s leading schools for women. Other than for a short time when the building was closed during the Civil War, the building served as an educational facility until it closed in 1987.
York School District One turned over ownership and operation of the building and one acre of land to McCelvey Center, Inc., in 1987 for use as a community and performing arts center. In 2001, the York County Culture and Heritage Commission took over operation of the site plus the eleven and a half acres of land behind the facility.
Through out its long history, the McCelvey Center Theater has provided students and local citizens, access to the performing arts.
The Lowry Family Theater at the McCelvey Center hosts an annual music series, showcasing established and emerging Southern musical acts.
Keeping with McCelvey’s long tradition of supporting the arts and education in the community, York Comprehensive High School and Junior High School Choruses perform concerts several times a year in the Theater.
Additionally, the McCelvey Center Theater acts as the home of The Yorkville Players, York’s community theater troupe. The Players, and the Young Yorkville Players, produce four theatrical productions a year. You can find out more about the Yorkville Players by going to their website www.yorkvilleplayers.com.
Today, the McCelvey Center offers a variety of performing arts programs. The annual McCelvey Series presents a diverse range of performing arts.
Meeting and reception space in the McCelvey Center is available for rent, and many local groups hold meetings there. Click here for rental information.