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An art centre
or arts center
is distinct from an art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...
or art museum. An arts centre is a functional community centre
Community centres or community centers or jumping recreation centers are public locations where members of a community tend to gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes. They may sometimes be open for the whole community or for a specialised group within...
with a specific remit to encourage arts practice and to provide facilities such as theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...
space, gallery space, venues for music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...
al performance, workshop areas, educational facilities, technical equipment, etc.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
, art centres began after World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
and gradually changed from mainly middle-class places to 1960s and 70s trendy, alternative
An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle generally perceived to be outside the cultural norm. Usually, but not always, it implies an affinity or identification within some matching subculture...
centres and eventually in the 1980s to serving the whole
community with a programme of enabling access to wheelchair users and disabled individuals and groups.
In the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
, "art centers" are generally either establishments geared toward exposing, generating, and making accessible art making to arts-interested individuals, or buildings that rent primarily to artists, galleries, or companies involved in art making.