Bowlus Fine Arts
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
The Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center enhances the life of the regional community by nurturing a love of the arts; generating cultural and economic vitality; and providing spaces to experience and create educational, entertaining, and innovative live performances.
During his final illness in 1960, Iola citizen and banker Thomas H. Bowlus wrote a will directing that his estate be used to build and equip a fine arts center. The mission of the center is defined in the will as ''to broaden the cultural background of area youth and make available to the citizens of the area facilities, programs and entertainments not otherwise available.''
The Center opened its doors in the fall of 1964, with Kansas City Mayor, H. Roe Bartle as the featured speaker at the grand opening and dedication. A few weeks later the Kansas City Philharmonic performed the first major concert in the new auditorium. Since its opening, the Bowlus Center has become an organization of regional significance and a sought after venue for touring artists.