The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center


The mission of The Friends of The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center Corporation is to inspire citizens to engage in the arts, culture, and education while serving as stewards of the landmark 1927 public school building.

The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center is the keystone of the public arts community in Ocean Springs. Located in the historic Ocean Springs Public School Building on Government Street, the Center provides a diverse set of programs and facilities for the arts. Working with the City of Ocean Springs, the Friends of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education are dedicated to restoring the 1927 Ocean Springs School building and to providing an environment for artistic activities including music, visual and performing arts and education. The Friends of the Mary C. are responsible for the administration and operation of the Center.

A Brief History

The old Ocean Springs High School building - Home of the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education
Ocean Springs Public School, circa 1927

Mary C. O’Keefe, a progressive educator, was named the first woman public school superintendent in Mississippi. She instilled a spirit of learning and raised the level of education. In 1999, this facility was named in her honor.
The building was constructed in 1927 and is a primary historic landmark of Ocean Springs. The school’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places indicates the significance of this building in our community’s heritage.

The effort to save the building and create a community arts center began in 1998 and moved ahead quickly with the incorporation of the Friends of the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center in October 1999.  Since then, a major renovation has been completed and work continues on development of expanded facilities in the building.  Funding has been provided by the VA/HUD, Department of the Interior, State of Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Arts Commission, Jackson County Board of Supervisors, the City of Ocean Springs, and by generous contributions - large and small - from local people and organizations... (Read More)


Tuesday – Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (later during events)

Saturday - Noon - 4:00 pm (and as needed during events)

Sunday and Monday - Closed

The Studio – by appointment
Photo Tours - Take an online photographic tour.  Click a tour description below.


Dr. Pat Joachim - Chair
Carole Marie Stuart - Vice Chair
Nancy Duckett Allen - Treasurer
Ron Chambers
Eduardo Diaz
Ron Feder
Merileigh Furr
Debbi McCallam
Angel Myers
Dr. Pat Pinson
Kathryn Shanks
Joanna Worch
Sandra Barnes, Ocean Springs Art Association Representative
Bobby Cox, City of Ocean Springs Representative
Ann Whyte, Past Chair

Mailing List – Stay informed about events and classes at the Mary C! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.




The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education    1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, Mississippi 39564    228.818.2878    228.818.2886 fax   info@themaryc.org