Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center

  1. Parks and Recreation
  2. Parks and Facilities
Parks and Recreation

Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center

222 E Drake Ave

Sara Hand Custer

Sara Hand Custer

Cultural Arts Director

Welcome to the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center (JDCAC)! Your cultural community resource for creativity and education in the visual and performing arts.

Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center Renovation and Expansion

The JDCAC is currently under construction undergoing an expansion of approximately 8,000 square-feet to accommodate classes for diverse dance disciplines as well as the Dean Road Ceramics Studio by providing needed studio, classroom, and gallery space. The interior of the existing building, including the dressing room, storage area, and office will be reconfigured. Improvements to the existing building will include renovating the restrooms, doorways, kitchen, dressing room, and main entrance. A new sidewalk will be constructed along the front of the facility. Additional parking will be constructed along East Drake Avenue, the existing building will receive roof repairs and roller shades will be installed. Relocating the ceramics studio to the Arts Center will free up space at Dean Road for therapeutics programs, as well as social and recreational activities designed for special needs residents. The project is part of the City of Auburn's Parks‚ Recreation‚ & Culture Master Plan. The project is anticipated to be completed by March. 2024.

Who We Are

The JDCAC offers many opportunities in the Auburn area to experience the visual and performing arts, entertain innovative ideas, develop new talent and experience everything cultural our community has to offer. There are classes and workshops for all ages, art exhibits in our gallery, community theatre performances, art education programs and special events held throughout the year that bring our cultural community together.

In 1999, the JDCAC was constructed as a multi-use facility to better serve the artistic needs of our community and provide residents and visitors with cultural programming, as well art exhibitions, theatre productions, concerts, dance recitals, lectures and workshops and special events. The facility offers an art gallery, children's gallery, performance room, two art studios, and a conference room. The JDCAC is also available for rental and has been the site of many birthday celebrations, showers, workshops, and arts related events.

In addition to supporting local artists and performers, the JDCAC has developed a strong culture of collaboration, partnering with the Auburn Arts Association, Auburn Area Community Theatre, Auburn Community Orchestra, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and other organizations by providing fundraising assistance, studio and meeting space, exhibition opportunities, technical support and publicity.

Our Mission

To inspire and enrich our community by offering exceptional classes, performances, visual arts exhibits and special events.

The JDCAC meets its mission by presenting programs in visual, literary and performing arts in the Auburn area.

Become an Instructor!

Share your passion with the community! Become a Contract Instructor!

Explore to find out more!

Auburn Arts Association - Art Gallery

Auburn Area Community Theatre

Auburn Community Orchestra

Cultural Arts Programs

Dean Road Ceramics Studio

JDCAC Summer Camps

JDCAC Annual Events

Auburn CityFest

SummerNight Downtown Art Walk

Ho Ho Ho Hike and Holiday Celebration

Holiday Art Sale

Auburn-Opelika Empty Bowls

Day In Clay

Cultural Calendar

23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition Call for Entries | A competitive exhibition open to area artists. All art mediums except photography are eligible for submission. | Entries due at the Frank Brown Recreation Center, Room C, Feb. 29 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and March 1 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. | For more info. and to register, click HERE.

Auburn Area Community Theatre Young Performers Present "Miss Nelson is Missing," the story of a teacher that can't control her crazy classroom because she's just too nice. But when she disappears, the kids will do anything to bring her back! Laughter and action for all ages guaranteed. | Feb. 22 - 24 at Grace United Methodist Church | Traveling AACTors Show Feb. 27 at Boykin Community Center | March 1 at Camp Hill Municipal Complex at 7 p.m. | March 2 at Tuskegee A.R.M. Mission Hub at 2 p.m. | March 3 at Loachapoka Family Enrichment Center at 3 p.m. | For more info. or to purchase tickets, visit

JDCAC Day in Clay | Saturday, March 16 from 1 - 4 p.m. | The JDCAC Ceramics Studio will host a one day open house where adults and children can tour the studio and create a clay project | Clay projects taught at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. | Participants must pre-register on MyRec to reserve a spot. Follow this link to register. | $10 per participant | For more info., call (334) 501-2944.

Auburn Area Community Theatre Presents The Games' Afoot | May 10, 11 & 16 - 18 at 7 p.m. | May 12 & 19 at 2 p.m. | JDCAC | For more info. or to buy tickets, visit

Auburn -Opelika Empty Bowls to Benefit the Food Bank of East Alabama | Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Denson Drive Ceramics Studio | As part of an ongoing effort to combat hunger in our area, the City of Auburn and City of Opelika host the annual event. Each year, the event alternates between Auburn and Opelika. The event will include soup, entertainment, and raffle prizes. | Every ticket purchased is a direct donation to the Food Bank of East Alabama. Each ticketholder gets their choice of a handmade bowl created by local artists along with soup and bread. | For more info., visit

Auburn Area Community Theatre Adults Announce Open Auditions for "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" | April 22 & April 23 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. | Callbacks April 24 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | JDCAC | Set, props, and other volunteers are also welcome to come to auditions. | For more info., visit

19th Annual Auburn CityFest Juried Art Show and Preview Reception | Thursday, April 25, 2024 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Historic Nunn-Winston House at Kiesel Park | FREE and open to the public! | Artist applications will be available at HERE. Registration begins Monday, February 5th.

23rd Annual Auburn CityFest | Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Kiesel Park | FREE and open to the public! For more info., visit

18th Annual SummerNight Downtown Art Walk | Friday, June 7 from 6 - 10 p.m. | Downtown Auburn Entertainment District Event | FREE and open to the public! |

Auburn Area Community Theatre Presents "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" | Aug. 9 - 10 & 15 - 17 at 7 p.m. | Aug. 11 & 18 at 2 p.m. | JDCAC | For more info. or to buy tickets, visit

Make sure to check out everything happening in the Auburn and Opelika area and visit Auburn-Opelika Tourism's calendar of events.