Founded in 1972 by artists Pat Koelker and Nancy Wilds, Rose Hill Arts Center became a place for aspiring artists to create, to teach and learn. It was originally located at the Rose Hill Estate on Barnwell Avenue and soon became a haven for a variety of artistic disciplines. In 1993, the Center's current home at 122 Laurens Street became available, and Rose Hill evolved into Aiken Center for the Arts. The name was chosen due to the Center's central location in the downtown area.
The mission of Aiken Center for the Arts is to foster partnerships for the growth of an arts community and to provide arts education, cultural activities, and art opportunities that enrich the quality of life in Aiken.