Space for everyone.
South Bend Heritage Foundation began development of the Colfax Cultural Center in 1983. Today, we own and manage the 23,000 sq.ft. historic building as a creative collaboration space. Development of the center grew out of our desire to save the building and expand the availability of art and wellness opportunities across South Bend. South Bend Heritage has designed intentional spaces at the center for cultivating art, music and wellness that provide affordable access for everyone. Our Art and Wellness Program fosters relationships with artists, wellness practitioners and community agencies that provide unique community building and engagement opportunities throughout year.
The Center hosts a variety art-related businesses and social service agencies that include:
- The SBH Colfax Campus Gallery
- Southhold Dance Theater
- Neil Gilbert, Counseling & Healing
- Renew, Inc. Housing
- The South Bend Chapter of the NAACP
- Kimberly DeNolf Fine Art Studio
- The Hearth Studio and Gallery
- Kurma / Awareness Based Healing
- Massage by Suzanne Thomas
- Well Being TLC, Inc.
- Dave Labrum, Art Counselor
Built in 1898 as a public grade school, the building is named after Schuyler Colfax and is the oldest remaining Victorian school house in South Bend. Schuyler Colfax was born in South Bend after his father died in 1823. At the age of 32, Colfax was elected to the U.S House of Representatives, becoming Speaker of the House and Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant in 1869. Colfax was known for his opposition to slavery while serving in Congress, and was a founder of the Republican Party. During his first term as speaker he led the effort to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery. When it came before the House for a final vote in January 1865, he emphasized his support by casting a vote in favor—by convention the speaker votes only to break a tie. He died in 1885 and is buried in the historic South Bend City Cemetery.