In 2004, an ad hoc committee on the arts formed via a recommendation of the City of Geneva’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. In 2006, the City of Geneva launched the Cultural Arts Commission to recommend policies and programs supporting the arts, sponsor public art programs and projects, partner with other entities, act as a resource, create an arts center, and develop a business plan for the arts that contributes to the economic development of Geneva.
The first meeting of the Arts Commission was held on November 2, 2006.
In 2010, the City of Geneva hired a consultant to survey cultural needs and gauge public interest in building a cultural arts center. Results showed there was a high level of support for the arts in Geneva and significant interest in an arts center. While there was strong support for a community arts center, the survey also found that Geneva residents were uncertain about funding it.
In 2013, the Geneva Foundation for the Arts was formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to collaborate with the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission. Because state law forbids municipalities from forming nonprofits, the Foundation operates independent of the city.
In 2016, GCAC formulated a business plan for a community arts center. Community leaders and representatives from several organizations throughout Geneva were engaged in a collaborative approach.
In late 2017 the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, Geneva Foundation for the Arts and staff from the City Economic Development Department participated in a planning session. It has been recommended that operation and management of the Arts Center be undertaken by the Geneva Foundation for the Arts.