The first Centre for the Living Arts (CLA) exhibitions were installed in the window boxes of the Saenger Theatre as part of the “Art Off Centre” series, which ran from 2001 through 2004. In 2003, the Press-Register, Mobile’s daily newspaper, donated its downtown office space to the CLA.
Concurrent with a $6 million campaign to renovate the Saenger, the CLA raised an additional $6.2 million to convert the former Press-Register building into Space 301, an art center that included a 16,000 SF gallery, a studio space for educational classes and programs, and a 180-seat, 2,300 SF terrace used for film screenings, community events, and stage performances. Space 301 opened to the public in 2003, receiving further renovations by Mathes Brierre Architects in 2008 when offices, a classroom, and a multi-purpose auditorium were added.
In 2015, the CLA rebranded with a new visual identity and new name – Alabama Contemporary Art Center – to reflect the organization’s position as the state’s premiere showcase for significant art of our time.