Portage Center for the Arts' mission is to promote and foster the arts by providing a community venue and programming for the visual arts, performing arts, and arts education. PCA seeks to achieve its mission by developing alliances between itself and arts educators, artists, children, youth, and supporters of the arts.
The Drury Gallery, named in honor of Charles & Eleanor Drury, whose generous donation made the gallery possible, is host to eleven exhibits each year. Four of these exhibits are held annually: the Local Artist Showcase runs during the month of December; the Portage Elementary and Middle School Art Show runs during the month of March; the Portage High School Student Art Exhibit is held in May; and in June and July we feature our popular Art that Blooms exhibit, showcasing original artwork by area artists, along with floral arrangements and poetry inspired by each individual piece of art!
ZONA GALE THEATRE
Our theatre is named after Portage's Pulitzer Prize winning author Zona Gale, whose play "Miss Lulu Bett" won the prize in 1921. An intimate theatre, it seats 246 people and has a thrust stage. It is home to the Zona Gale Young People's Theatre, the Gale Singers Community Choir, as well as our Performing Arts Concert Series; it is also a regular location for Portage Area Community Theatre productions and other special events.
RENT OUR FACILITY
Portage Center for the Arts is available for rent as a meeting space for gatherings or small presentations, for performances, concerts, weddings, or other special events! Please check our website calendar for available dates before making a request. A nonrefundable $50 deposit is required to hold the date of rental, and will be applied to the Rental Fee. We also have equipment available for rent by special arrangement, including sound system, stage lighting, piano, keyboard, microphones, and risers.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Melody Brooks Taylor
In 1854, according to the Portage Presbyterian Church in Portage, a committee, along with Rev. William Wynkoop McNair, made plans for a "new" church. This brick edifice was built in 1855 on the northeast corner of Adams and Cook Streets at a cost of $13,000, and was dedicated in February 1856.
According to Portage: A Sesquicentennial History (p. 39) by Michael J. Goc, the steeple was toppled by a storm in 1871. In May 1892, fire damaged the interior and the congregation sold the damaged building to the Baptists, who renovated it and, according to Portage: A Sesquicentennial History (p. 154), enlarged the church building. Fire struck again in 1893, this time gutting the interior, and repairs were completed that year. Another interesting note from Portage: A Sesquicentennial History (p. 154): in 1904, the Baptist congregation began to build a parsonage and while excavating the basement, they unearthed part of the old Catholic cemetery, including the coffin of pioneer Pierre Pauquette.
The Baptist congregation used the church until 1938, when it was sold to the Assembly of God Congregation. In 1986, the Zona Gale Center (Portage Center for the Arts, Inc.) was established and purchased the building, renovating it for use as an Arts Center. On October 31, 1987, we celebrated the grand opening of the Zona Gale Center! In 2003, in an effort to distinguish ourselves from Zona Gale's home (Museum at the Portage), we changed our name to Portage Center for the Arts, however, we still honor our famous Portage daughter with our 246 seat Zona Gale Theatre.