Our Mission & Vision

We are a 501(c)3 for-purpose art center located in downtown Batavia, IL. Our mission is to help make the arts more accessible to the Fox Valley region and beyond. Our vision is to be a cultural hub in the Midwest. We provide our community with classes, artist studios, gallery exhibitions, free programs for under-resourced families and schools, events in our historic venue, and more.

Water Street Studios is committed to maintaining a welcoming and safe environment for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, or disability.

Public Hours: Thursday-Sunday 12-5pm

Our History

The current site of Water Street Studios was built in 1886 as a midwest expansion of the US Wind Engine and Pump Company was built in 1886. The factory manufactured the famous first Self-Governing Windmill invented by machinist and businessman, Daniel Halladay.  

In a past life, the building was home to the Batavia Metal Products company.

Prior to Water Street Studios, All Dressed Up costume shop and a community theater occupied space on the first and second floors.

In 2007, a group of interested community members, artists, a property owner and the City of Batavia started developing a plan for artists studio spaces. In the spring of 2008, a group formed Batavia Artists Association (BAA), what we now know as Water Street Studios. 

In partnership with Batavia Enterprises the BAA began laying the groundwork and realizing the dream of a community art center in the heart of downtown Batavia. Co-founders include Joi Cuartero Austin, Jim Kirkhoff, Kari Kraus, Steven Lockwood, and Sharon Sychta. 

As a dedicated all volunteer group, they worked alongside the artist community and art lovers to ensure that Water Street Studios would be completed and become an integral part of the City of Batavia for generations. 

Now led by a passionate board, dedicated staff and continuing efforts of the community, Water Street Studios provides art classes, exhibitions, artists studios, events, outreach and more for the greater Fox Valley region.