Over the years, the City of Forest City, Waldorf University and Forest City Community Schools have developed a strong partnership through shared services agreements and facilities usage along with the Hanson Family Foundation. In 2011, this group of organizations worked together to upgrade the athletic facilities for the community and university to utilize.

Several years later, after its 2016 designation as an Iowa Great Place, Forest City's vision plan identified a bold collaborative project called “Expanding Arts & Opportunities,'' which centered around a community commitment to arts, culture and creative placemaking. This partnership included sharing staff, resources and project implementation responsibilities to create a world-class facility to celebrate the arts and culture in Forest City.

The vision of the Boman Fine Arts Center, completed in 2018, grew out of previous partnerships between the Forest City School District, Waldorf University, the City of Forest City and the Hanson Foundation. Touted as the “the bedrock of a strong, artistically enhanced community" and a beacon for the fine arts and entertainment in the region, the 29,743-square-foot building features a 6,000-square-foot plaza, a 630-seat theater. The art gallery, mezzanine and lobby areas allow flexibility for a wide variety of events, from weddings to the Waldorf University Artist Series and the hosting of regional and national touring groups.

The Boman Fine Arts Center proudly sits at the intersection of tourism, arts and economic development.

Project Spotlight

Forest City is an Iowa Great Place, designated by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The designation is both an honor that recognizes the city’s community spirit and a challenge to keep building a brighter future through partnerships like the one that led to the creation of the Boman Fine Arts Center.