King Center for the Performing Arts
The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors in 1988. Since that time, it has had a profound impact on the cultural and artistic landscape of Brevard County and East Central Florida. The need for a performing arts center in Brevard County had been apparent for many years. Periodically, task forces were formed to try to garner the necessary funds, but each time the costs were deemed prohibitive and the idea abandoned.
Through the leadership of Dr. Maxwell C. King, former President of Brevard Community College (BCC), the means to achieve this goal became a reality. Enrollment patterns at BCC indicated that South Brevard was evolving into the population center of the area. As the Melbourne Campus of BCC reflected this pattern of growth, the college was provided with justification for the construction of an auditorium; one that would fulfill not only the needs of the college, but also the long-identified cultural needs of Brevard County. The 1983 Florida State Legislature provided the funds for preliminary planning and design work for the Center. Subsequent legislative funding for construction came in 1985 and 1986 for the $12.3 million facility.
The Brevard Performing Arts Center was completed in the spring of 1988. Designed as a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility, the theatre offered a diverse array of programming, including popular artists, Broadway touring shows, classical artists, ballet and contemporary dance, opera, country music artists, family-oriented events and children’s theatre. The 126,000 square foot facility includes a 2000-seat performing arts hall, 200-seat black box theatre (Studio Theatre), art display areas, dance studios and rehearsal halls. In addition, the facility is available for meetings, weddings, business functions, graduations, etc. An Event Planner is on staff to offer professional advice.
In the summer of 1989, the Brevard Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the facility to the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in honor of the college’s president who had been instrumental in making the cultural arts center a reality. Over the span of time, it has met and continues to meet its mission to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Brevard County.
Brevard Community College, a state agency, owns the King Center. The management of the facility is by a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is a subsidiary of Brevard Community College. In 1990 the King Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. was designated a state cultural institution and a direct support organization of BCC.