Mission & History

Mission

The mission of the Lamorinda Arts Council is to ignite and sustain artistic expression and appreciation for all ages throughout Lamorinda.

We are an engaged group of volunteers and donors who develop and produce events, partner with professional organizations and artists, give financial support and awards, and advocate for a vibrant, local culture of visual, performing, and literary arts.

History

Founded in 1950 as the Orinda Arts Council, the Lamorinda Arts Council has been stimulating, supporting, and advocating for the visual and performing arts in the schools and community for over sixty years. Key contributions to the schools and community include Lamorinda Idol, the High School Visual Arts Competition, Lamorinda ShortDocs Film Fest, Art in Public Places, Orinda Library Gallery, school musicals, and much more!

The organization actually began as the Orinda Children's Art Center to supplement art instruction in the Orinda schools.  It soon became incorporated as the Orinda Arts Council (now the Lamorinda Arts Council) also has a long legacy of supporting the arts in the broader community over it's 60 year history.

The Orinda Arts Council began installing art exhibits in the 1960's at the Orinda Library and had a long tradition of holding elaborate annual Art Events at showcase homes and the Orinda Country Club featuring local professional and student artists to raise funds for arts in the schools and the community. In the early 1970's, the Orinda Arts Council provided critical financial and organizational support for the opening of the new Orinda Community Center in 1973, where it went on to provide visual and performing arts classes for several decades. The 1980's included funding for for the Orinda Community Center Amphitheater and Cal Shakes as it moved to Orinda. And in 1989, The Heart of Orinda, a proposal advocated by the Orinda Arts Council for a physical center of the arts, resulted in the addition of the Orinda Art Library Gallery & Auditorium at the Orinda Community Center in the 1990s.

Since the millennium, the Orinda Arts Council has given $25,000 towards the new Orinda Library and participated on the Art in Public Places Committee. In 2011, we helped fund the annual Orinda Jazz Festival. We've also partnered with the Pacific Chamber Symphony, the Orinda Film Festival and sponsored the California Independent Film Festival (CAIFF).  We also launched the then Orinda Idol (now Lamorinda Idol) student singing competition, as well as the High School Visual Arts Competition.

In more recent years, programming has expanded to include the Lamorinda ShortDocs Film Fest and a soon to be announceed Poet Laureate program.  In 2015, the Orinda Arts Council became the Lamorinda Arts Council, in order to expand our opportunities to include Orinda's neighbors of Lafayette and Mortaga in this vibrant, local, artistic community.