The History of the Community Education Center
Housed in a former Quaker Friends School and Meetinghouse that was rebuilt at the turn of the 20th century, the Community Education Center (CEC) is located in the University City, Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1973, the CEC was founded by local community members to promote shared experiences and nurture fellowship among its varied neighborhoods across cultural and economic differences. Over time, the performing arts have become the common thread that has bound the diverse population, and continues to be the enduring factor that has woven creativity and goodwill throughout our neighborhoods and the city of Philadelphia.
Today the CEC is established as a professional arts organization, and has increased its focus on cultivating a support system for artists. Now recognized as an “artist incubator,” our primary goal is to support developing artists, and connect artists and communities for the mutual positive development of each. This artist-centered space is best known as a venue for cutting edge dance and performance, as well as a hub for the study of dance and other movement forms. The CEC is well respected by artists, audiences and the media. Through its artist service programs, performances, and arts education activities, the CEC is one of the most accessible and utilized performance spaces in the city.
The CEC is a unique arts community center that provides rehearsal, audition, workshop, and performance space for a broad cross-section of artists from aspiring commercial dancers, models and musicians, to the up and coming modern dancer choreographers, to some of the cities best-known and celebrated artists. Through its open access, artist resource services, performances and arts education programs, the CEC is one of the most utilized performance spaces in the city. Our name, Community Education Center, reflects the organization’s roots as a teacher resource center operated by the Philadelphia School District, but today we would be better named The Artists’ Center CEC – CelebratingEveryone’s Creativity! We are proud to have played a role in the development of one of the finest arts scenes anywhere! For CEC, the supporting of artists and providing quality arts experiences to the community are two sides of the same coin! Come join us in Celebrating Everyone’s Creativity!